Happy Birthday G.R.R! One of the most scenic roadways in the area is celebrating a milestone this week. The Great River Road, a 3,000-mile stretch of highway along the Mississippi River which winds from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico, is turning 75. The Mississippi River Parkway Commission is gathering Friday in downtown St. Louis to celebrate. A ceremony on the significance, economic and tourism impact of the road is planned at the riverfront stage beneath the Gateway Arch. The commission is a multi-state organization that promotes tourism along the Great River Road. Commission officials say travelers spend more than $25 billion annually in communities along the Great River Road, supporting thousands of jobs in ten states.
Guests at a local motel were evacuated overnight after a suspected meth lab was discovered during a police response to a domestic disturbance. Sunset Hills police were called to a room at the Econo Lodge Inn at Lindbergh and Watson Rds. around midnight. While investigating that incident, an officer discovered another crime in progress in a different room. Sunset Hills police chief William LeGrand says the officer saw a subject sitting outside the hotel cutting batteries with a pipe cutter. The policeman then saw smoke and pushed the room door open to make sure that there wasn't a fire. At that point, the Chief says, the officer was overcome a bit by the fumes. The subject was arrested. He had apparently been attempting to cook methamphetamine in the room. After St. Louis County police Hazmet crews inspected the area, guests were allowed to return to their rooms. The officer was taken to the hospital, treated and released. Charges have not yet been filed.
St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson is scheduled to give a deposition Thursday in the sex abuse case involving Father Joseph Jiang.
Father Jiang has been charged with child endangerment for allegedly having a sexual relationship with a 16 year old Lincoln County girl. He also faces witness tampering charges. Father Jiang has pleaded not guilty.
A spokesperson for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests says this is the first time a high ranking Catholic official in St. Louis will give a deposition in a criminal child sex abuse case.
Part time employees at one of the metro area's biggest healthcare providers may soon lose their health insurance.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that BJC Healthcare is preparing to cut health insurance benefits for employees who work less than 24 hours each week.
The paper cites two part time nurses as saying that managers and Human Resources representatives recently began informing certain employees of the plan. Hospital official declined to comment on any planned changes, but did tell the paper that they are in the process of sharing their 2014 benefits plan with employees.
The change of policy could affect thousands of workers at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, St. Louis Children's Hospital, Christian Hospital and other BJC hospitals, outpatient centers and clinics.