The National Weather service is trying to determine if storm damage in parts of St. Clair County Thursday evening was caused by straight line winds or a small tornado.
The county Emergency Management Agency reports that the worst damage was in Marissa, Illinois, about 40 southeast of St. Louis. That's where there were several unconfirmed reports of a tornado touching down about 7:00 p.m.
Marissa resident Alice Steinheimer was still shaking when she spoke with Fox 2 News after the storm knocked down several trees on her property. She said it was a frightening evening. "It was scary, believe me," she said. "I thought we was havin' a tornado. And I don't like them tornadoes."
Steinheimer said the tree damage is overwhelming. "Oh my God, it's something," she said. "I don't know how I'm going to get this mess cleaned up."
Several car and homes were also damaged in the Marissa area.
Former KMOV-TV news anchor Larry Conners is asking the Missouri Commission on Human Rights and the EEOC to look into his firing. Conners has filed formal discrimination complaints against his bosses at the CBS affiliate.
Conners alleges that he was treated differently after a 2010 complaint about discrepancies in pay between himself and then co-anchor Vickie Newton. Conners says his on-air assignments were reduced and he was offered only a 16 month contract, while less experienced employees were given prime assignments and three year contracts.
Conners says station management also directed him to read an inaccurate statement on air regarding his recent problems with the IRS. His Facebook comments about those problems led to his eventual dismissal from KMOV.
NOGALES, Mexico (AP) - A U.S. woman in a Mexico prison on a drug-smuggling charge has been released.
Yanira Maldonado walked out of the jail late Thursday night, after court officials reviewed security footage that showed her and her husband boarding a bus in Mexico with only blankets, bottles of water and her purse in hand.
Maldonado hugged her husband Gary and was greeted by well-wishers after she left the lockup and officials closed the jail doors behind her.
Maldonado was arrested by the Mexican military last week after they found nearly 12 pounds (5.4 kilograms) of pot under her seat on the commercial bus traveling from Mexico to Arizona.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn, a manufacturers' association and representatives from the oil and gas industry are praising a measure to regulate high-volume oil and gas drilling in Illinois.
The House overwhelmingly approved the plan Thursday.
The bill outlines rules that energy companies would have to follow during hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking."
The executive vice president of the Illinois Oil and Gas Association says efforts on the compromise bill were "monumental. The head of the Illinois Manufacturing Association says it'll create jobs.
Ann Alexander is a senior attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council who helped craft the regulations. She says it's good to see Illinois moving forward with public protections.
Opponents worry it would cause air and water pollution and deplete water resources.