A former St. Louis city employee, convicted of wire fraud in March, has been sentenced to two years in federal prison. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that 71 year old Fred Robinson embezzled about $240-thousand from the now-defunct charter school, Paideia Academy, and collected more than $175-thousand in city paychecks as a "ghost employee". Robinson was the chairman of the charter school's board. Robinson's sentence includes five other charges of federal program theft, relating to his salary from 2006-10 under then-St. Louis Treasurer Larry Williams. Prosecutors say Robinson earned a $35-thousand city salary, but filed bogus time sheets and never did any work for the treasurer’s office. The judge also ordered Robinson to pay about $420,000 in restitution. He must also serve three years probation following his release from prison. Robinson is free on bail while his case is appealed.
Is it a retiree scam? Two Missouri officials are joining forces for an investigation to answer that question. State Treasurer Clint Zweifel is raising concerns about deals in which retirees are signing over future pension checks in order to get quick cash. Zweifel says the deals typically involve an upfront payment to a retiree, under a contract in which the business then gets part of that person's future pension payments. Attorney General Chris Koster says he plans to join the investigation into such practices.
"It can wait." That's the message at Kirkwood High School where students are getting a crash course in the dangers of distracted driving.
The entire student body at Kirkwood High School is taking a pledge today not to text and drive as part of a national campaign. 16-year-old Gabe Masi went through the texting-and-driving obstacle course set up in the Kirkwood parking lot. He offers this advice to other teens who might be texting in the car.
"Never do it. I definitely learned my lesson today," said Masi. "A pedestrian could be a friend, it could be a family member. You never know what could happen."
According to AT&T, 78% of student drivers say they're not likely to text and drive if a friend tells them it's wrong or stupid. 90% say they'd stop if a friend in the car asked them to.
TIGHTENING RACE: Four of the six teams vying for the two AL wild-card berths squared off against a fellow contender Tuesday night. Texas topped Tampa Bay 7-1 to move into a tie with the Rays atop the wild-card chase. Cleveland moved a half-game out while Baltimore is now within two games. Kansas City and New York both lost, but are still in the hunt 3½ games back.
STAYING HOT: The Washington Nationals swept Atlanta in a day-night doubleheader to postpone the Braves' first NL East title since 2005. Washington has won 10 of its last 11 games to close within five games of Cincinnati for the NL's second wild-card berth. The first game was a makeup following shootings at the nearby Washington Navy Yard on Monday. Rookie Tanner Roark (7-0) remained unbeaten by allowing just two hits in seven shutout innings in the nightcap. Manager Davey Johnson even seemed to make up a word — "posure," apparently a cross between poise and composure — to describe his young star.
WELCOME BACK MATT: Matt Kemp went 4 for 4 with three RBIs in his first start since coming off the disabled list Monday to lead Los Angeles to an easy 9-3 rout of Arizona. With the victory, the Dodgers reduced their magic number to clinch the division to two. They can clinch the NL West with a win Wednesday.
LOST PERFECTION: Boston closer Koji Uehara saw his run of 37 consecutive batters retired come to an end as the Orioles rallied against the Red Sox's star closer. Danny Valencia ended that streak with a triple to lead off the ninth and Matt Wieters hit a go-ahead sacrifice fly to give Baltimore the 3-2 win. Uehara fell four outs short of Bobby Jenks' major league record for a reliever of 41 consecutive retired batters set in 2007 and Mark Buehrle's mark for all pitchers of 45 in 2009. The run was the first off Uehara in 30 2-3 innings and ended a streak of 27 scoreless outings since July 9.
SLUMPING PIRATES: Pittsburgh can't wait for San Diego to get out of town. The Padres beat the Pirates for the second straight night, improving to 30-10 in Pittsburgh since the new ballpark opened in 2001. Pittsburgh fell a game behind St. Louis, which routed Colorado 11-4 to take the NL Central lead.