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Colin Jeffery

Colin Jeffery

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A lawmaker pushing legislation to stiffen sentences for gun crimes called off action on the bill Tuesday.

Ryan Keith is a spokesman for Rep. Mike Zalewski of Riverside. He says Zalewski is still meeting with opponents of the bill with an eye toward compromise. It was scheduled for a committee hearing Tuesday.

The measure would require a 3-year prison sentence for illegally packing a loaded gun. Felons and gang members could get 10 years in prison.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has made it a legislative priority because of rampant gun violence in Chicago.

But the National Rifle Association is worried that law-abiding gun owners who are in the wrong place at the wrong time could get socked with a three-year sentence.

 

Missouri announces new lethal injection drug

Tuesday, 22 October 2013 14:16 Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Department of Corrections is switching to a new lethal injection drug, less than two weeks after Gov. Jay Nixon halted executions until a replacement for propofol was found.

 

   The corrections department says in a news release Tuesday that it will use pentobarbital. The Death Penalty Information Center says 13 states use the drug for executions.

 

   The department says the execution of Joseph Franklin on Nov. 20 is still on. Franklin killed Gerald Gordon outside a St. Louis-area synagogue in 1977.

 

   Propofol is the most widely used anesthetic. Nixon on Oct. 11 halted the execution of convicted killer Allen Nicklasson, scheduled for Oct. 23, in part because the European Union was weighing export limits on propofol if it was used in an execution. Most propofol is made in Europe.

Judge strikes down Missouri laws on cellphone towers

Tuesday, 22 October 2013 13:47 Published in Local News

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri judge has struck down a pair of new laws that had limited the ability of cities and counties to regulate cellphone towers.

Cole County Circuit Judge Patricia Joyce ruled that lawmakers violated procedural requirements of the state constitution when passing the bills earlier this year.

She said the bills' title of "relating to telecommunications" did not encompass everything in the bills. She noted that one bill also contained provisions related to railroad crossings and utility rights-of-way. Another bill contained provisions related to cable TV services, which she said are not legally the same as telecommunications.

Joyce also said lawmakers had changed the bills' original purpose.

Gov. Jay Nixon and legislative leaders had touted the legislation as a way to encourage expansion of high-speed Internet and wireless phone service.

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