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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - An employee pension reform bill passed by the Legislature for the Chicago park district is being watched as a test case for statewide reforms, even as it poses a tricky dilemma for Gov. Pat Quinn.

Lawmakers say passage of the park district reforms shouldn't be interpreted as a blueprint for the success of a larger plan addressing the state's $100 billion pension problem. But it could be a test case for how pension reform deals will be interpreted by the courts.

House Speaker Michael Madigan's spokesman credits successful negotiations between the park district and labor union, something that hasn't happened statewide.

Quinn has been a champion of pension reform. But union officials who raised a late objection to the park district plan are among his biggest campaign contributors.

 

Friday, 15 November 2013 15:51
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St. Louis Police announced today that they have a suspect in custody connected to the shooting of an off-duty officer this week.

On Wednesday night the officer was visiting his sister at her north St. Louis home. The officer asked to men inside the house to leave. One suspect ran out and while the officer was escorting the second man from the house, he shot at the officer. The victim was hit in the leg and the suspect ran from the scene.

The suspect was captured today and charges are pending. The officer was taken to the hospital in stable condition. 

Friday, 15 November 2013 15:31
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A hearing to consider the request of a Missouri teen to have her guilty plea in the killing of a 9-year-old neighbor vacated, corrected or set aside has been rescheduled.

Alyssa Bustamante pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and armed criminal action in the October 2009 killing of Elizabeth Olten. Bustamante now is 19 years old and was 15 at the time of the killing. They lived in St. Martins, just west of Jefferson City.

Online court records show a hearing scheduled for Friday has been moved to Jan. 30.

Bustamante was sentenced to life in prison with the possibility of parole and ordered to serve a consecutive 30-year term for armed criminal action. She was initially charged with first-degree murder, which carries a sentence of life without parole.

Friday, 15 November 2013 12:34
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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - The head of the NAACP Salt Lake City branch is asking Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon to commute a death sentence for a serial killer who killed two Salt Lake City joggers in 1980.

Joseph Paul Franklin is scheduled to be executed next week for the 1977 murder of a Missouri man outside a synagogue. He was also convicted in the 1980s killings of 20-year-old Ted Fields and 18-year-old David Martin, both black men.

Jeanetta Williams, president of the NAACP's Salt Lake Branch, says in a letter to Nixon that the execution costs more than keeping Franklin in prison for life.

Franklin has claimed responsibility for nearly two dozen other killings and many other crimes. He admitted shooting Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt in 1978 but was never charged.

Friday, 15 November 2013 12:31
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