JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Supporters of a Missouri initiative to restrict passengers on motorcycles can begin collecting signatures to get the proposal on the 2014 ballot.
The secretary of state's office announced Wednesday that the petition met standards for circulation. Proponents have until next May to collect enough signatures to get the proposal before voters.
The proposal would require Missouri motorcycle operators to be at least 21 and complete a rider-safety class before they could carry passengers. The restrictions would not apply to those who have had had a motorcycle license for the previous two years and were born in 1984 or earlier.
The first violation would be a misdemeanor with a fine of up to $300. Penalties would increase for repeat offenses.
ALTON, Ill. (AP) - A southwestern Illinois man is jailed on $1 million bond after being accused of sexually assaulting a girl for about three years.
The (Alton) Telegraph reports Madison County prosecutors charged 48-year-old Jack Garrett of Alton with eight counts of predatory sexual assault of a child and five counts of criminal sexual assault of a child.
The charges related to alleged sexual conduct when the girl was between 11 and 13 years old, from February 2001 and July of this year.
A spokeswoman for the county state's attorney's office says the investigation began when the girl reported the allegations to a family member, who then notified authorities.
PARK HILLS, Mo. (AP) - Authorities in the area around the eastern Missouri town of Park Hills are investigating four suspicious fires in the past two weeks.
The Daily Journal newspaper in Park Hills (http://bit.ly/18SnwpQ ) reports the latest fire was early Wednesday at an abandoned home near Bismarck. The owner said no one had lived there for two decades. The home was fully engulfed in fire by the time firefighters arrived.
The other three fires also occurred in abandoned buildings - in a rural area along Missouri Route D, in Doe Run and at a two-story building in Park Hills.
CLEVELAND (AP) - Ariel Castro learns his sentence today after pleading guilty to 937 counts, including kidnapping, rape, assault and aggravated murder for holding three women captive in a run-down Cleveland home for a decade.
The prosecutor says one captive's diaries document the horrific physical and sexual abuse that Castro subjected the women to on a daily basis. Castro could get as much as life in prison plus 1,000 years.