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Susan Smith-Harmon

Susan Smith-Harmon

   The Wentzville Fire Protection District board won't say what's behind it, but four senior officers are no longer with the department.  Three of them, including Fire Chief Randy Bornhop, had been placed on leave three months ago.  

   The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Bornhop has now resigned.  Assistant Chief Robb Watkins has been fired.   Fire Marshal Joseph Heitkamp is on indefinite unpaid leave.  And a fourth official, Fire Inspector Chris Newbold has also been laid off.  

   The leadership of the fire district has been in limbo since May when Bornhop, Watkins and Heitkamp were first placed on paid administrative leave.  

   St. Louis residents are speaking out about a proposed city-wide ban on sagging pants.  More than 50 people showed up to Long Middle School Tuesday night to talk about Aldermanic Bill 117.  It was the second such forum hosted by the bill's sponsor, Alderwoman Marlene Davis.

   Davis had originally proposed fines of $100-500, but after hearing from citizens, she's now looking at alternatives.

   "There needs to be some consequences, maybe community service, something like that," Davis said.  "And we have a system in place that maybe we could use, called the Neighborhood Accountability Board."  

   Davis says about 70 percent of the people attending two public forums seem to approve of the ban.  She'll now present their comments to the city's public safety department. 

Syrian opposition claims 'poisonous gas' attack

Wednesday, 21 August 2013 01:42 Published in National News

   BEIRUT (AP) - Two Syrian pro-opposition groups are claiming that government forces carried out a "poisonous gas" attack near the capital Damascus, leaving dozens of people dead.

   The two groups quote activists as saying that regime forces fired "rockets with poisonous gas heads" in the attack on Wednesday.

   The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights says the shelling was intense and hit the eastern suburbs of Zamalka, Arbeen and Ein Tarma.

   It says "tens of people" were killed. The Local Coordination Committees said hundreds of people were killed or injured in the shelling. Such different figures are common in the immediate aftermaths of attacks in Syria.

   There was no government comment on the claims and the reports could not be independently confirmed.

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