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Susan Smith-Harmon

Susan Smith-Harmon

St. Louis braces for first snow of season

Thursday, 05 December 2013 03:43 Published in Local News

   St. Louis is bracing for the first winter storm of the season.  Snow shovels and rock salt are hot items at local hardware stores.  Shoppers are also hitting the milk, egg and bread aisles at local grocery stores.  

   Ameren has opend it's Missouri's Emergency Operations Center to prepare for severe weather that is expected to affect the bi-state area.  Ameren employees who respond to outages have been asked to come to work on Thursday with their bags packed.  As the weather develops, Ameren officials say crews will be deployed to the hardest hit areas. 

   Crews from MoDOT, IDOT and local governments are already working to keep area roadways safe.  St. Louis Streets director Todd Waelterman told Fox 2 News that city crews began Wednesday night pre-treating streets with 70,000 gallons of brine.
 
   "Now, we're going to get a big bang out of our pre-treat," Waelterman said.  "So when this does start coming down during the evening rush, we should be ahead of it."
 
   The National Weather Service is predicting one to four inches of snowfall in the city of St. Louis by Friday evening.\
 
 

Car bomb hits Yemen's Defense Ministry, killing 15

Thursday, 05 December 2013 03:38 Published in National News

   ADEN, Yemen (AP) - Military and hospital officials say a suicide bomber had detonated his explosives-laden car at Yemen's Defense Ministry, killing 15 soldiers and wounding at least 40.

   They said as many as 12 gunmen also have been killed in a firefight between troops and a carload of attackers who arrived minutes after the Thursday morning blast, apparently in a bid to take over the complex in downtown Sanaa, Yemen's capital.

   They said the gunmen were armed with assault rifles, hand grenades and rocket-propelled grenades.

   There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which bore the hallmarks of al-Qaida, whose chapter in Yemen is considered among the world's most active.

   The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to journalists.

Rockefeller Center Christmas tree lights up

Thursday, 05 December 2013 03:29 Published in National News

   NEW YORK (AP) — With a flick of the switch, a 76-foot Norway Spruce officially became the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree after it was illuminated for the first time this holiday season in a ceremony that's been held since 1933.

   Mayor Michael Bloomberg turned on the lights just before 9 p.m. Wednesday, setting off a dazzling 45,000 multi-colored LED lights and a 9 ½ foot wide Swarovski star that topped the 12 ton tree.

   Adam Connery, 41, and his wife Kristy Connery, 37, from Tyngsborough, Mass., watched the ceremony on their first vacation to New York City.

   "It's gorgeous, it's enormous," said Kristy Connery of the massive tree towering above the hundreds of thousands of people who gathered to watch the ceremony. "Christmas is my favorite time of the year."

   The holiday event in midtown Manhattan also was watched by millions on television. The tree will be on display until Jan. 7, after which it'll be milled into lumber for Habitat for Humanity.

   Artists such as Mary J. Blige, the Goo Goo Dolls, Jewel, Mariah Carey and Leona Lewis performed.

   Lamar Lakins, 37, a housekeeper from Queens, brought his wife, mother, 10 year old daughter Shanel, and newborn son to watch the performances and see the tree lighting.

   He and Shanel danced together in the plaza during a performance of "Jingle Bells."

   "I just love this," he said of the gathering. "It's just people out enjoying themselves. I'm definitely a fan of the holiday season."

   The approximately 75 year old tree made the 70 mile trip to New York City on a tractor-trailer from its home in Shelton, Conn., last month.

   Danbury, Conn., resident Mary Hynes, 60, declared the show to be "outstanding."

   "The excitement of the crowd, the brilliance of the lights. It was great," she said.

   "Today Show" personalities Matt Lauer, Al Roker, Savannah Guthrie and Natalie Morales co-hosted "Christmas in Rockefeller Center," which aired on NBC.

   They dedicated the broadcast to James Lovell, 58, a married father of four and a sound and lighting expert who worked on the tree. Lovell was one of four people killed when a Metro-North commuter train derailed in the Bronx on Sunday. He was on his way to work on the tree when the accident occurred.

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