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  SAN DIEGO (AP) - A San Diego judge has ordered the frontman of the Grammy-winning Christian metal band As I Lay Dying to stand trial on charges he tried to hire someone to kill his estranged wife.

   San Diego Superior Court Judge Robert Kearney handed down his decision Monday in the case against Timothy Lambesis after several hours of testimony by witnesses for the prosecution, including an undercover officer who posed as a hitman.

   Howard Bradley testified that Lambesis met him believing he was a hitman and told him he wanted his wife, Meggan Lambesis, dead. Bradley says Lambesis gave him his wife's name, photo and address, along with $1,000 cash.

   Lambesis has pleaded not guilty to solicitation for murder. He'll be arraigned on Oct. 22, when the date for his trial will be set.

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   The largest coalition of organized labor unions in the St. Louis region is pulling its support for St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley's 2014 reelection bid.  Greater St. Louis Labor Council President Robert Soutier and Jeff Aboussie of the St. Louis Building and Construction Trades Council met with Dooley Monday.  

   Soutier spoke with Fox 2 News about that meeting. "And I said at this point, we're withholding support.  We would urge you not to run." 

   Dooley says he's sorry the labor leaders are pulling their support, but he has no plans to bow out of the race.

   "There is no better friend to labor than Charlie Allen Dooley," he said.  "I have been labor's friend since I've been in politics, since I've been the county executive, on the county council since 1995."

   Soutier says the action isn't the result of any one incident, but stems from a relationship that has deteriorated over time.

   "The building trades certainly have some problems with non-union contractors in the county," Soutier said.  "Certainly, the firefighters have a problem with an appointment that Dooley made for, I think, one of the training centers." 

 

Tuesday, 17 September 2013 01:27
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ST. LOUIS (AP) — Jeff Fisher says officiating mistakes were the biggest reason the St. Louis Rams fell short in their bid for a second comeback victory in as many games.

The Rams (1-1) had seven penalties for 53 yards in a 31-24 loss at Atlanta on Sunday.

After reviewing tape Monday, their coach said he wasn't concerned about the penalties because only two made by referee Scott Green's crew should have been called.

"I was upset after the ballgame, but looking at the tape those are incorrect calls," Fisher said.

"There were some other instances where there should have been some things called against our opponent that were not called, that could have created some situations for us."

Among others, Fisher judged that twice-whistled rookie Stedman Bailey had proper technique on calls for illegal block above the waist and offensive holding on special teams.

The call Fisher disliked most came on the third play of the game when defensive end Chris Long was penalized for offside after tackle Lamar Holmes moved. Fisher said it was an example of "False Start 101."

Instead of third-and-17 and a chance to give rookie punt returner Tavon Austin a chance to take off, it was third-and-7.

Matt Ryan hit Tony Gonzalez for an 11-yard gain and eight plays later they had the game's first score on an 8-yard pass to Steven Jackson.

"You get off the field, get the ball back," Fisher said. "You're also talking about field position and a young punt returner that's not backed up with his heels on the 8-yard line.

"He's got a chance to put his hands on the ball."

Fisher also thought officials missed an intentional grounding call on the Ryan out of the end zone in the third quarter. The Falcons had seven penalties for 53 yards.

Two calls Fisher thought the referees got right were holding on center Scott Wells in the third quarter and an illegal motion call on wide receiver Austin Pettis in the second quarter.

Softening the critique slightly, Fisher added: "By no means am I placing blame. I have great respect for the officiating department and the officials and work very close with them, and we move on."

The first Bailey penalty pushed the Rams back to their 11 in the second quarter, and the second one pushed them back to the 13. Fisher said those calls drove home the point not to rush to judgment "unless I see the act."

The Rams erased an 11-point deficit against Arizona in the opener. They trailed 21-0 early at Atlanta and twice cut the gap to a touchdown in the second half after going to a no-huddle, spread offense.

"I think it made a pretty big difference," quarterback Sam Bradford said. "It seemed to just put them on their heels a little bit."

So, there's no quit.

"We just eliminated the mistakes," tackle Jake Long said. "We just calmed down and started protecting, Sam was flinging the ball around and it was a little too late."

Officiating was far from the lone culprit, with miscues canceling out big plays.

Austin caught two touchdown passes, but dropped two passes and missed some other reads.

"I could have had some big plays but didn't," Austin said. "So I blame myself for that. I will correct it, it is something that definitely will be corrected."

Daryl Richardson's dropped pass was intercepted and returned for a touchdown and Janoris Jenkins got burned for Julio Jones' 81-yard score.

"I took my eye off of it," Richardson said. "I was looking to run and I need to make sure I eyeball that ball and catch it."

Fisher said he'd have more information Wednesday on the status of offensive tackle Rodger Saffold, who injured his left knee.

Backup safety Matt Daniels will undergo surgery this week for a fractured right ankle after kickoff returner Benny Cunningham rolled into him in the first quarter.

Monday, 16 September 2013 23:58
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DENVER (AP) -- Todd Helton started his final homestand with a key single in the eighth inning that helped the Colorado Rockies beat the St. Louis Cardinals 6-2 on Monday night.

Charlie Blackmon had three hits and drove in three runs for the Rockies, who prevented the Cardinals from taking over sole possession of first place in the NL Central. They remained tied with the Pittsburgh Pirates, who lost 2-0 to San Diego.

Matt Carpenter and Matt Adams had two hits each for the Cardinals.

Helton was playing in front of Colorado fans for the first time since he announced his plans to retire at the end of the season, his 17th. He received a standing ovation when he came to the plate in the first, and Cardinals starter Lance Lynn stood behind the mound and waited as the crowd saluted Helton.

The first baseman was given a loud ovation in each of his four plate appearances. His night started slow, but he had a big hit during the decisive rally.

Troy Tulowitzki led off with a walk against reliever Trevor Rosenthal (2-4), and one out later Helton singled to center to put runners at the corners. Wilin Rosario singled to give Colorado a 3-2 lead.

Helton was caught in a rundown between third and home for the second out, but Blackmon doubled to right to score Josh Rutledge from first to make it 4-2.

Pinch-hitter Ryan Wheeler's two-run single off John Axford gave the Rockies a 6-2 cushion.

Collin McHugh started for Colorado in place of lefty Jorge De La Rosa, who has a sore thumb on his pitching hand that forced him to miss his turn in the rotation. McHugh allowed one run on four hits, with the only damage coming on David Freese's RBI single in the fifth.

He left after throwing 75 pitches in five innings.

Lynn stuck around longer and got stronger as the game progressed. He scattered four hits through six innings and didn't let a runner past first after Tulowitzki's double before running into trouble in the seventh.

After Lynn retired Helton in a nine-pitch at-bat, Rosario singled and moved to third on Rutledge's bloop single to right.

Left-hander Kevin Siegrist relieved Lynn, and Blackmon lined an RBI single over the pulled-in infield to give the Rockies a 2-1 lead.

The Cardinals tied it in the eighth on Carpenter's RBI double off Chad Bettis (1-3) that scored pinch-runner Pete Kozma from second.

The Rockies took a 1-0 lead in the first on Tulowitzki's RBI double.

NOTES: Rockies OF Carlos Gonzalez will see a hand specialist in Cleveland this week to see if he needs surgery on his injured right middle finger. "It looks like I'm going to," Gonzalez said. "I think that's what is best for my finger right now. I'm thinking about the future. I don't want to continue to deal with the same pain over and over. If that's what I have to do, I'm going to do it." ... The Rockies made a donation to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund as the area recovers from devastating flooding. ... Cardinals OF Matt Holliday entered Monday hitting .358 against his former team.

Monday, 16 September 2013 23:55
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