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   Police say the victims' 18 year old son is among the four suspects arrested in the deaths of a St. Francois County couple whose home burned Monday morning.  

   The bodies of 50 year old Stanley Halter and his 46 year old wife, Tammy were found after firefighters extinguished the pre-dawn blaze at the couples rural Park Hills home.  Police say an autopsy indicated that Stanley and Tammy Halter had been murdered.  

   Four people are now in custody, including 18 year old Dallas Halter, the couple's son.  Also in custody are 19 year old William Carrico, 19 year old Adam Moore and 24 year old Maxwell Lee.  All four were arrested on Wednesday at different locations in and around Ironton County.

   Police haven't released a possible motive for the killings.

Published in Local News

   A metro-east school district is trying to determine if one of its teachers helped students cheat on state achievement tests last year.  The Belleville News-Democrat reports that Highland Community Unit School District 5 has launched an internal investigation this week.  

   Superintendent Michael Sutton tells the paper they're investigating allegations from some students that point toward "testing irregularity" during administration of the Illinois Standard Achievement Test last school year (2012-13). The teacher under investigation isn't being identified.  

   The district's findings will be submitted to the state Board of Education which will make a final determination.

Published in Local News
Monday, 10 February 2014 02:22

Woman found dead in rental van identified

  Metro-east authorities aren't sure how a woman found slumped over the wheel of a rental van in a store parking lot actually died.  

   The Madison County Coroner's Office has identified the victim as 42 year old Frances M. Ragan of East Alton.  The coroner's officer reportst that an initial autopsy found no signs of violence or trauma. Further testing, including toxicology tests, will be performed.  

   An employee of the Dollar General store in the 400 block of Broadway in South Roxana had discovered the woman Saturday morning and called police.  

   Investigators are asking anyone who spoke to Frances Ragan over the past several days to contact them.

Published in Local News

   The University of Missouri will hire outside, independent legal counsel to investigate the school's handling of matters related to former Mizzou student Sasha Menu Courey.  The swimmer committed suicide in 2011, 16 months after claiming she'd been raped by members of the Missouri football team.  

   The University of Missouri Board of Curators voted Wednesday night to approve the recommendation of University President Tim Wolfe, to hire an independent investigator.  The board has not yet chosen a firm, but stipulated that it must have independence from the university.  

   The board wants the inquiry completed in time for the board's next meeting in Rolla on April 11th.

Published in Local News
   The St. Louis Major Case Squad is looking for a person of interest in the death of a Swansea, Illinois man.
   Police say a friend had called and asked them to check on 61 year old David Daughtrey.  Police arrived at Daughtrey's home in the 200 block of Mimosa Avenue and found him dead inside.  Investigators aren't calling his death a homicide, but say it is "suspicious."  
   Daughtrey's adult son, Jarad Daughtrey also lived in the home.  Police are calling him a "person of interest" in his father's death.  Police believe he may be driving his father's black, black Chrysler Town and Country van, with handicapped/military tags and Illinois plate number W280371.
   Anyone with information is asked to call the Major Case Squad at (618) 234-3291.
Published in Local News

   Doctors are still trying to determine what caused three young children to become sick inside their Hazelwood home.  

   Authorities say the children's babysitter called 9-1-1 Thursday afternoon when she had trouble waking the children, ages two, three and four.  Firefighters pulled the children from the home on Tamma Lane and rushed them to DePaul Hospital.  

   Just what made them sick is still a mystery.  Firefighters checked the home for carbon monoxide leaks, but found none.  Initial toxicology tests also gave no clues.  

   The children were later airlifted to Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital for more extensive testing. Hazelwood police say they're being told the children are expected to recover.  

Published in Local News

   Police are digging for evidence at the home of an elderly woman who was found frozen to death in her driveway last weekend.  Glen Carbon police say their investigation isn't related to the death of 83 year old Mary Kampwerth.  

   Illinois State Police and local officials say they're acting on a tip regarding some type of criminal activity, but won't comment on what the crime was or who may be involved.  

   Investigators using heavy equipment have checked 90-percent of the property, focusing a lot of attention on a pond behind the home.    

   The search of the home and property along Illinois Rte. 159 halted late Tuesday night because of cold and darkness, but investigators say it will resume Wednesday morning.

 

Published in Local News

   St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson is doing something he's never done before.  He's calling for an FBI investigation of an officer-involved shooting.  

   In April 2013, 25 year old Cary Ball was shot to death by police after he fled a traffic stop.  The officers say Ball had pointed his gun at them.  A police investigation concluded last month that the shooting was justified.  

   Ball's family told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that they don't believe he would have aimed a gun at police.  They've filed a wrongful-death suit.  

   Chief Dotson told the paper that he's asked for the FBI probe to make certain his department got it right, and not because of any allegations against the officers involved.

Published in Local News

   The NTSB and FAA are investigating a plane crash in Puerto Rico that killed a St. Louis native.

   Monday night, 28 year old Steven Gullberg II and his co-pilot were killed when the cargo plane they were flying crashed along Puerto Rico's north coast.  Authorities say the plane had been en route from the Dominican Republic when it descended rapidly over the mountains.  

   Gullberg was a Hazlewood Central High School graduate.  

   For the past three months Gullberg had worked for Fort Lauderdale based IBC Airways.  Gullberg's family says he had expressed concerns about problems with the maintenance of the company's planes, even questioning their safety.  

Published in Local News

   Suspended Ferguson-Florissant Superintendent Art McCoy says he's still not sure why the school board placed him on administrative leave.  McCoy spoke with the press and about 50 supporters at Shalom Church in Berkeley Tuesday afternoon.  

   McCoy says he learned from media reports, and not the school board that there was a concern about the reporting of attendance numbers in August of 2012.  

   He says someone four-levels below superintendent actually reports the attendance data.  "My expectation for my staff is to review the data and make it accurate," he said.  "That's my only involvement, my only conversations about it.  No conversations with the board, and no knowing of them even having an issue with it." 

   McCoy says both he and his attorney have asked for a meeting with the board.  But Board President Paul Morris issued a statement saying they've received no such requests since placing McCoy on leave November 6th. 

   The backlash over Dr. McCoy's suspension may not be fully felt until the next school board election.  

   Arthelda Busch, chairwoman of the district's Citizens' Taskforce on Excellence in Education stood by McCoy Tuesday afternoon as he spoke to the press and supporters in Berkeley.  

   McCoy told the crowd that he's never actually been told why the school board voted 6-1 November 6th to place him on administrative leave.  Busch says that's one reason she's calling on Board President Paul Morris to step down.

   "Mr. Morris' past affiliations with the district and the board's current decisions have created huge concerns and distrust among the community at large," Busch said.

   In his statement, Morris said an investigation into several accusations against McCoy is underway and he hopes to resolve the situation soon.

 
Published in Local News
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