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ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson wants to add drones to his crime-fighting arsenal.

The Post-Dispatch reports that Dotson wrote a letter this spring to the Federal Aviation Administration making the case for unmanned aerial vehicles. He says that it's crucial to look at new technologies to keep officers and the public safe and to apprehend criminals.

The letter was a preliminary step toward seeking approval for unmanned — and unarmed — flight.

The assent of Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce is required, and she also wrote to the FAA to offer "enthusiastic support."

Dotson says he would seek donations and grants to pay for the drones. They cost from $60,000 to $300,000 each. While pricey, they're still cheaper and safer than helicopters.

Privacy advocates have raised concerns.

Sunday, 23 June 2013 09:06
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CALGARY, Alberta (AP) — Flooding has devastated much of southern Alberta, killing three people and prompting authorities to evacuate the western Canadian city of Calgary's entire downtown -- an estimated 75,000 people.

Inside the city's hockey arena, the waters reached as high as the 10th row. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper called the flooding "stunning." Harper, a Calgary resident, said he never imagined there would be a flood of this magnitude in this part of Canada.

Overflowing rivers washed out roads and bridges, soaked homes, knocked out power and turned streets into dirt-brown waterways around southern Alberta.

Royal Canadian Mounted Police Sgt. Patricia Neely told reporters two of the three dead were recovered.

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DEL NORTE, Colo. (AP) — A wildfire fueled by wind and dead trees has brought dread to the 400 evacuated residents of a popular mountain tourist enclave in Colorado.

Fire crews with tankers and hoses at the ready stood guard in hopes of saving South Fork. The unpredictable fire is making that an uncertain prospect.

Dozens of fire crews were positioned around neighborhoods in the town, working to remove propane tanks and wood piles that could help ignite homes.

Authorities said the 47-square-mile fire was a few miles southwest of town last night and had been advancing at a rate of about a mile an hour.

Meantime, a third fire sparked to the West, raising concerns it would move toward the town of Creede, which has about 300 residents.

And to the east, in south-central Colorado, nine structures and four outbuildings have been lost in a wildfire that forced the evacuation of about two dozen residents and more than 170 Boy Scouts since Wednesday.

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MONTICELLO, Ill. (AP) — The roster is growing of counties where prosecutors won't charge people with breaking the state's law banning concealed weapons.

The Decatur Herald and Review reports that Piatt County State's Attorney Dana Rhoades says she is through prosecuting because a federal court has deemed the state's law unconstitutional. And in Macon County, the paper reports that State's Attorney Jay Scott says people with valid concealed carry permits from another state will be allowed to have concealed weapons in the county.

Prosecutors in other counties, including Madison, Peoria, Randolph, Tazewell and White counties have already said they won't enforce the law. It's a clear signal of the growing impatience with Governor Pat Quinn, who has not yet signed a concealed carry bill that state lawmakers approved last month.

Saturday, 22 June 2013 08:37
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