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   The FBI is investigating a former metro-east official accused of embezzling more than $750,000 over the last 10 years.  

   The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that an audit by Alton accounting firm Kenneth E. Loy & Co., LLC has determined that former Moro Township Supervisor Donald Flack embezzled more than $100,000 last year alone.  But exactly how much was taken won't be known until the forensic audit is completed in September.  

   Auditors say charges against Flack are likely to be filed soon.

   Flack resigned May 14th when trustees confronted him about the missing funds.  

   Moro Township covers a rural area of Madison County northeast of Alton.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013 01:27
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MILWAUKEE (AP) — It took a few days for speedy St. Louis infielder Kolten Wong to show he can provide a spark for the Cardinals in the NL playoff race.

Wong got his first two major-league hits Monday night, keying a four-run rally with an infield single in an 8-5 win over the Milwaukee Brewers.

"That was a spark, that's what we talked about when we brought him here," manager Mike Matheny said of the rookie who was hitless in his first 10 at-bats after joining the team from Triple-A Memphis Friday night in Chicago.

"It was a pretty good example of what we were hoping for," Matheny said.

Wong had infield singles in the sixth and eighth innings, and stole two bases. St. Louis trailed 6-5 with two outs in the eighth when he hit a high chopper to third and was ruled safe at first by umpire Marty Foster in a call disputed after the game by the Brewers.

"That's what they brought me up here for, to get on base, so the guys behind me can drive me in," he said. "That's my goal. That's what I go up there every time trying to do."

The infield hit opened the flood gates. The single was the first of six consecutive hits, capped by pinch-hitter David Freese's two-run double, and the Cardinals won for the ninth time in 11 games.

"They were relentless right there," Matheny said of his team. "It started with some hustle with Wong legging that out, and guys having some big, big at-bats for us."

Carlos Beltran and Jon Jay homered, and Yadier Molina had four hits for St. Louis, which got seven of its 16 hits in the eighth inning.

Aramis Ramirez snapped a 1-for-18 skid since returning from the disabled list Aug. 13 with a two-run homer off Michael Wacha (2-0) in the seventh to give the Brewers a 5-4 lead.

It didn't last long. The Cardinals erupted in the eighth off reliever Brandon Kintzler (3-1), who gave up four runs and six hits while getting just two outs.

Edward Mujica, who was unavailable during the weekend series at the Cubs because of a tired arm, pitched the ninth for his 32nd save in 34 chances.

Kintzler gave up a leadoff single to Molina, but Jay grounded into a double play. The Brewers reliever needed one more out to finish the inning, but gave up five consecutive singles to lose the lead.

The Brewers thought they should have been out of the inning after Wong's infield chopper.

"I was standing right there, and I thought he was out," Kintzler said. "But from his (Foster's) angle — it's a short hop — it's a tough call from his angle. I have a better angle. If you slow it down on replay, you have to really slow it down. It's a tough play. From his angle, it's tough."

Pinch-hitter Daniel Descalso then singled and pinch-hitter Matt Adams singled to tie it at 5. Matt Carpenter hit the next pitch from Kintzler for another single to score Descalso.

Beltran singled, and Freese then hit the first pitch from Burke Badenhop for a double to make it 8-5.

The Brewers had two runners on in the ninth but Scooter Gennett grounded out to end the game.

Norichika Aoki hit his seventh homer for Milwaukee.

St. Louis starter Shelby Miller allowed two runs on five hits and four walks while striking out eight in 5 1-3 innings.

Milwaukee starter Marco Estrada allowed four runs on eight hits and a walk while striking out four in six innings.

Jay's two-run homer off Estrada in the sixth snapped a 2-2 tie. It was his seventh homer this year and second in two days after hitting a three-run shot in St. Louis' 6-1 win over the Chicago Cubs on Sunday.

Estrada said he threw a curveball — a pitch he didn't want to throw — to Jay.

"It's not frustrating to give up runs, it's going to happen, but it's frustrating that I threw pitches I didn't want to throw," he said. "I second-guessed myself and I got beat really bad on the one to Jay. I threw a pitch I didn't want to throw. There was no conviction behind it. I made the pitch and I got hurt."

Beltran snapped an 0-for-7 skid with his 21st home run in the first. He had three hits.

NOTES: Brewers CF Carlos Gomez remained out of the starting lineup after spraining his right knee on Thursday night. Manager Ron Roenicke said he could play during the Cardinals series. ... Brewers 1B Juan Francisco struck out four times for the second consecutive game.

Monday, 19 August 2013 23:45
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ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) -- Albert Pujols finally agreed he should wait till next year.

Pujols will miss the rest of the season to rest his injured left foot, the Los Angeles Angels announced Monday.

The $240 million slugger gave up his hope to play again next month when the team's medical staff and front office advised him to avoid rushing back to the lineup late in the Angels' dismal season. Pujols partially tore his left plantar fascia last month, and only recently got his foot out of a walking boot.

While sitting out the past three weeks, Pujols repeatedly said he hoped to return at some point in September, even if the Angels remained hopelessly out of contention. He eventually acknowledged the plan made sense only as a salve to his pride.

"It's not an easy decision, as competitive as I am," Pujols said at his locker before the Angels opened a series against Cleveland. "But I also understand that we (need) to look beyond the season."

The three-time NL MVP hasn't played since July 26, when he partially tore his troublesome plantar fascia while running in Oakland. Pujols had been rehabilitating the injury with hopes of playing in September, but the struggling Angels' inability to get into playoff contention made that plan increasingly pointless.

Pujols, who has 492 career homers and 1,498 RBIs, consulted with owner Arte Moreno and general manager Jerry Dipoto before agreeing to shut himself down for the season. Moreno still owes Pujols $212 million over the next eight years in the third-biggest contract in major league history.

"It was a decision of the organization, Arte and Jerry, because I don't make a decision here," said Pujols, who had career lows of 17 homers and 64 RBIs this year. "I put my uniform on and get ready to play. They said, `This is what's best for the organization in the long run,' and they came and brought it to me. And I just told them, `Whatever you guys want to do, I'm all for it.' It's definitely hard, as I want to be out there, but I also understand that I can't be selfish and put myself out there."

The injury has hindered Pujols all season, forcing the first baseman to be a designated hitter for 65 of his career-low 99 games. Pujols will finish with fewer than 30 homers for the first time in his remarkable 13-season career, along with career lows in batting average (.258), on-base percentage (.330) and slugging percentage (.437).

Pujols also had more than 150 hits in each of his first 12 seasons, ending the third-longest streak in modern history.

Those numbers aren't exactly encouraging for a player who will be 34 years old in January - in fact, they're a bit frightening. The Angels are determined to give Pujols every chance to get into ideal health for the spring.

"The doctors think it's the best course of action," manager Mike Scioscia said. "For Albert, everything would have to have been perfectly aligned for him to come back and play. I think by trying to get to that level, maybe there were some things that would have been at risk in setting the healing process back. I think that it's a decision that everyone can be at peace with and get everyone ready for next year."

Pujols has been diligent in his rehabilitation while still hoping to play this season. He even did 45 minutes of cardiovascular work Monday before announcing he was done for the year, and Scioscia is confident Pujols will be in top form by February when he reports to spring training in Tempe, Ariz.

It's certain to be a long offseason for the Angels, all but certain to miss the playoffs for the fourth straight season despite their lavish payroll and sky-high expectations. Los Angeles has lost 23 of 34 heading into its series with the Indians, and most of Pujols' teammates have been similarly disappointing.

Josh Hamilton, who got a five-year deal worth $125 million from Moreno, began the week batting a career-worst .230 with 19 homers, 60 RBIs and career lows in slugging percentage (.425) and on-base percentage (.285). The Angels' starting rotation has one of the majors' highest ERAs, while their bullpen is one of the majors' worst - as is their team defense.

With everything going wrong for the Angels this summer, Pujols decided to try to make things right in 2014.

"Just look at it," Pujols said. "Unless in two weeks something happens and we're only two or three games out ... is it worth it to come back and put yourself in a situation where you take that risk? Or just wait six or seven months and get yourself ready for spring training? That's the decision we all came to."

Monday, 19 August 2013 23:43
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FULTON, Mo. (AP) - A central Missouri nuclear power plant is back on line slightly more than three weeks after a small fire.

Ameren Missouri said Monday its Callaway Energy Center near Fulton has resumed operation.

The Callaway County reactor supplies about 20 percent of the electricity Ameren sells to its 1.2 million customers. Other Ameren plants made up for the lost power while the nuclear plant was offline.

The reactor shut down automatically the night of July 26 when power cables that connect the plant to the electric grid shorted, causing the small fire.

Ameren said the arc was caused by a ventilation louver that dislodged and moved close to the cables. The utility says inspections showed no need to replace major equipment.

Monday, 19 August 2013 17:15
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