The trial of a St. Louis priest accused of molesting a teenage girl, under the age of 17 last year, is set to begin tomorrow in Pike County. Fr. Joseph Jiang faces charges stemming from four incidents in the Summer of 2012. The 31 year old Jiang is a native of China and was ordained a priest at the St. Louis Cathedral Basilica in May of 2010. Prior to his ordination, he served as a deacon at the Cathedral. In addition to felony endangerment of a child, Jiang faces a witness tampering charge for allegedly leaving the victim's parents a $20-thousand check in exchange for not reporting the incidents. A civil lawsuit claims that St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson asked the parents to give the check to him, but they had already turned it over to prosecutors.
A smash and grab burglary in Olivette has police seeking a Lexus SUV. Timekeepers Jewelry and Clock Shop on Olive Boulevard sits less than 50 yards from the Olivette Police Station, but that didn't stop thieves from smashing a truck through the front of the store. An Olivette police officer at the station heard the alarm bells sound around 5:00 a.m. and went to investigate. He spotted a stolen Dodge Ram pickup that had smashed through the front glass of the store and he a light-colored SUV that was fleeing the scene. Police chased the SUV on northbound 170 to Natural Bridge where the chase was abandoned due to a high rate of speed. An employee of the store says glass showcases, clocks and music boxes were among the inventory left smashed and broken.
Gasoline prices declined in St. Louis again last week. According to GasBuddy.com's Sunday survey of nearly one-thousand gas outlets in St. Louis, a gallon of regular has fallen 3.4 cents per gallon in the past seven days, averaging $3.15 per gallon. This compares with the national average that has fallen 5.8 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.43 per gallon of regular gas. Prices in St. Louis yesterday were over 40 cents (40.4) per gallon lower than the same day one year ago and over 47 cents ( 47.4) per gallon lower than a month ago. The national average has decreased 18.8 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 36.6 cents per gallon lower than this day one year ago.