Amid recent controversies, St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley could be facing off against a new challenger in 2014. The St. Louis Beacon reports that County Council member Steve Stenger, a Democrat from Affton, may announce his intentions to run against Dooley as early as tomorrow. Stenger is expected to be backed by area labor leaders and possibly St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Robert McCulloch, who said he would not endorse Dooley for reelection. Dooley's administration has come under fire as of late for an embezzlement scheme committed by a top health department administrator and for the FBI's investigation into questions surrounding the bidding process for contracts in the building of the county's crime lab.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - A Springfield zookeeper will be laid to rest near St. Louis on Tuesday.
The funeral for 62-year-old John Bradford will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Dietrich-Mothershead Funeral Home in De Soto, southwest of St. Louis. A visitation will be held at the funeral home from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday.
Bradford died Friday when he was hit by an elephant at the Dickerson Park Zoo. The city has said Bradford and other zookeepers were following procedures when the elephant, name Patience, suddenly moved toward Bradford, crushing him.
Bradford worked at the zoo for 30 years.
Zoo officials say the elephant will not be euthanized and no disciplinary action will be taken.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Coal producer Peabody Energy Corp. says it will pay hundreds of millions of dollars to settle a drawn-out legal dispute over health-care and pension benefits for thousands of retirees of bankrupt Peabody spinoff Patriot Coal Corp. The St. Louis-based companies and the United Mine Workers of America union announced the deal late Wednesday and say it will be submitted for consideration to a St. Louis federal bankruptcy judge overseeing Patriot's bankruptcy. As part of the deal, Peabody will pay $310 million over four years to fund the health and pension benefits to settle all claims by Patriot and the miners' union. Peabody also will provide about $140 million in letters of credit to Patriot, which expects to emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy by the end of this year.