For those fans of Star Wars out there, maybe in a land far far away, this weekend could your chance to land a lead role in the next Star Wars movie. A Disney casting director will be holding open auditions in St. Louis on Sunday. They're looking for a 17-18 year old girl and a 19-23 year old young man to play street smart, independent, athletic characters in the upcoming Star Wars: Episode Seven. Those auditions are on Sunday from noon to five at the Sheraton Hotel downtown.
CHICAGO (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn has selected former Chicago schools CEO and 2002 gubernatorial candidate Paul Vallas as his running mate in 2014.
The Chicago Democrat announced Vallas as his pick in an email Friday.
Quinn says he's known Vallas for 30 years and "he's never been shy about fighting for education, reform and opportunities for working people."
Vallas is currently the school superintendent in Bridgeport, Conn., where he's been fighting to keep his job in a court battle waged by his critics.
Vallas ran Chicago Public Schools from 1995 until 2001.
He lost the Democratic nomination for governor in 2002 to Rod Blagojevich (bluh-GOY'-uh-vitch). Vallas then was superintendent of schools in Philadelphia and New Orleans.
Quinn's current lieutenant governor, Sheila Simon, is running for comptroller next year.
CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) - A new crime laboratory is now open in St. Louis County, several weeks later than anticipated and costing about $2 million more than projected.
Police officials told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/1cIioXh ) that the lab that opened this week will help cut backlogs.
The lab has been at the center of problems. The delay came after Gregory Sansone, a partner in a subcontracting company called SM Mechanical, temporarily lost a heating and cooling license after his business partner quit. That halted work for several weeks.
Sansone was county police board chairman, and there was concern about whether his firm should have received the contract in the first place. It was paid $3.7 million for the work. Sansone resigned, as did two of the four other members.
Missouri House Speaker Tim Jones is weighing in on the felony charges leveled this week against state Representative Steve Webb.
Jones issued a statement Friday saying, “As elected officials, our actions must be held to the highest standards and the strictest letter of the law. The allegations against Rep. Webb are egregious.
Although as a nation of laws we believe that every individual is innocent until proven guilty, the allegations alone besmirch not only Rep. Webb's name and reputation, but also unfairly tarnish the large majority of outstanding public servants who always obey the laws they are elected to craft.
Rep. Webb must now search his conscience and take whatever action is necessary to preserve the integrity of his caucus, his colleagues and the institution of the Missouri House.
I also trust the good people of Missouri will realize this is an isolated incident and not at all reflective of what I know to be the ethical and lawful behavior of the many, many men and women who serve honorably in the Missouri House of Representatives.”