Click for St. Louis, Missouri Forecast

// a href = ./ // St Louis News, Weather, Sports, The Big 550 AM, St Louis Traffic, Breaking News in St Louis

 
 
 
Susan Smith-Harmon

Susan Smith-Harmon

   Ameren's sale of five Illinois coal-fired power plants to Dynegy, Inc. will likely close next month.  That after the Illinois Pollution Control board on Thursday granted Dynegy permission to defer the installation of multi-million dollar pollution controls for five years.  

   Ameren had agreed to the improvements years ago, but said approval of the environmental variance was a condition of the sale.  

   In a 3-1 vote, state regulators decided that forcing Dynegy to install the soot scrubbers immediately would "impose an arbitrary and unreasonable hardship."  

George Zimmerman released from jail

Wednesday, 20 November 2013 04:22 Published in National News

   SANFORD, Fla. (AP) — George Zimmerman is once again a free man after an arrest on criminal charges — but his freedom carries conditions.

   The former neighborhood watch volunteer who was acquitted in the fatal shooting of unarmed black teen Trayvon Martin earlier this year was released from jail Tuesday pending arraignment on the latest charges against him: aggravated assault, battery and criminal mischief.

   Zimmerman was released on the condition that he wear an electronic monitor, keep his distance from guns, and stay away from the girlfriend who accused him of trying to choke her and then a week later pointing a shotgun at her. His bond was set at $9,000.

   Zimmerman's arrest is the latest of several brushes he has had with the law following his acquittal in Martin's death, a case that drew worldwide attention as it sparked nationwide debates about race and self-defense laws.

   The choking accusation was disclosed for the first time by a prosecutor at Zimmerman's first appearance Tuesday before a judge. Zimmerman's girlfriend, Samantha Scheibe, feared for her life because Zimmerman mentioned suicide and said he "had nothing to lose," according to Assistant State Attorney Lymary Munoz.

   After the hearing, Zimmerman's public defenders said he did not appear to be suicidal and expressed confidence he would be acquitted of any wrongdoing.

   "He doesn't appear to be a danger to himself or a danger to anybody else," said public defender Daniel Megaro.

   Zimmerman, 30, wore gray jail garments and handcuffs during the hearing and spoke only when answering yes or no to the judge.

   Judge Frederic Schott ordered him to stay away from Scheibe's house, wear a monitoring device and refrain from contact with her. He was forbidden from possessing guns or ammunition or traveling outside Florida.

   Zimmerman has been charged with aggravated assault, a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison. He also has been charged with battery and criminal mischief, both misdemeanors. An arraignment was set for Jan. 7.

   Judge Schott said Zimmerman's previous brushes with the law were not a factor in the conditions he imposed, but he did cite the new allegation of choking as a reason for the bond amount.

   Earlier this year, Zimmerman was acquitted of all charges in the February 2012 fatal shooting of teenager Trayvon Martin. The Justice Department has been investigating whether to file civil rights charges against Zimmerman related to that case. A department spokesman said Tuesday that it would announce its decision soon.

   Zimmerman revealed in an affidavit for hiring public defenders that he has at least $2 million in debts and no income. He said he had less than $150 in cash on hand.

   Public defender Jeff Dowdy said Zimmerman's family has been supporting him financially.

   "I would think it would be difficult for George Zimmerman to get a job in central Florida," he said.

   Zimmerman has previously used a website to raise money for his legal and living expenses, including $95,000 spent on bail in the Trayvon Martin case. The site also says tens of thousands of dollars were spent on living expenses and security.

   In this latest scuffle, both Zimmerman and his girlfriend called 911 Monday and provided dueling descriptions to dispatchers about the argument at the home she rented where Zimmerman was also staying.

   Scheibe accused him in the emergency call of pointing a gun at her, smashing a coffee table and then pushing her outside. Zimmerman also called dispatchers, denied pointing a gun at her and blamed her for the broken table.

   The girlfriend told deputies the ordeal started with a verbal argument and that she asked Zimmerman to leave the house. Her account in the arrest report says he began packing his belongings, including a shotgun and an assault rifle. She says she began putting his things in the living room and outside the house, and he became upset.

   At that point, the report said, he took the shotgun out of its case.

   Zimmerman told his girlfriend to leave and smashed a pair of her sunglasses as she walked toward the front door, the report said. Scheibe told deputies he pushed her out of the house when she got close to the door.

   In his call to 911, Zimmerman said he never pulled a gun on his girlfriend and that it was she who smashed a table. He also told the dispatcher that Scheibe was pregnant with their child and that she had decided she would raise the child on her own. When Zimmerman started to leave, "she got mad," he said.

   Seminole County Chief Deputy Dennis Lemma said at a news conference that Scheibe was not pregnant. He also said Zimmerman was compliant and unarmed when deputies came to the house.

   On Tuesday, Dowdy said he could not confirm whether the girlfriend was pregnant.

   The arrest Monday was the latest legal problem for Zimmerman since he was acquitted last summer of criminal charges in the fatal shooting of Martin. Zimmerman has said he shot the 17-year-old to defend himself during a fight in February 2012 inside a gated community in Sanford, just outside Orlando.

   Relatives of Martin accused Zimmerman of racially profiling the teen and instigating a fight. Zimmerman identifies himself as Hispanic.

   In September, just two months after his acquittal, Zimmerman was accused by his estranged wife of smashing an iPad during an argument at the home they had shared. Shellie Zimmerman initially told a dispatcher her husband had a gun, though she later said he was not armed.

   No charges were ever filed because of a lack of evidence. The dispute occurred days after Shellie Zimmerman filed divorce papers. George Zimmerman was served the papers while in custody on the latest charges, said Shellie Zimmerman's lawyer, Kelly Sims.

   In 2005, he had to take anger-management courses after he was accused of attacking an undercover officer who was trying to arrest Zimmerman's friend.

   Later that year, Zimmerman's former fiancee filed for a restraining order against him, alleging domestic violence. Zimmerman responded by requesting a restraining order against her. Both requests were granted, and no criminal charges were filed.

   Since his acquittal, Zimmerman has also been pulled over three times for traffic stops.

Albuquerque voters reject late-term abortion ban

Wednesday, 20 November 2013 04:19 Published in National News

   ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — In a closely watched, first-of-its kind municipal election, voters in New Mexico's largest city have soundly defeated a ban on late-term abortions.

   Voters on Tuesday rejected the measure 55 percent to 45 percent following an emotional and graphic campaign that brought in national groups and hundreds of thousands of dollars in advertising. The campaign included protests that compared abortion to the Holocaust and displayed pictures of aborted fetuses.

   A coalition of groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union of New Mexico and Planned Parenthood, called the results a huge victory for Albuquerque women and families.

   "Albuquerque families sent a powerful message today_they do not want the government interfering in their private medical decisions," Micaela Cadena with the Respect ABQ Women campaign said in a statement. "Dangerous, unconstitutional laws like the one we rejected today have no place in Albuquerque, no place in New Mexico, no place anywhere in our nation."

   NARAL Pro-Choice America President Ilyse Hogue said, "We hope today's resounding defeat of this abortion ban sends a clear message to the extreme forces around the country now trying to impose their agenda on cities around this country. "

   Activists on both sides of the issue said it was the first municipal ballot measure on the matter, which usually is debated at the state and federal level. Abortion opponents had hoped that a victory in Albuquerque would create momentum in their long-running fight to ban abortion.

   Father Frank Pavone, national director of the New York-based Priests for Life, said Tuesday night that anti-abortion activists should not be discouraged.

   "It is a brilliant strategy and we will see to it that this effort is introduced in other cities and states," he said in a statement. "The fact is, of course, that children have in fact been saved through this effort, simply because we have raised the issue of fetal pain, which does not even cross the minds of many abortionists."

   Much of the campaign focused on the debate over when and whether fetuses can feel pain.

   Albuquerque became the focus of the latest anti-abortion campaign because it is home to Southwestern Women's Options, one of just a handful of clinics in the country that perform late-term abortions. The proposal would have banned abortions after 20 weeks except to save the mother's life.

   A leader of the initiative, Tara Shaver, said her group gathered signatures to put the issue to voters after failing to make headway in the Democrat-controlled Legislature.

   Asked if other cities with late-term abortion clinics might be targeted in the future, Shaver said, "We are encouraging people to see what can be done at the city level. ... We are starting to get calls from people asking us how to do what we have done."

   Police were stationed near polling places Tuesday as protesters from both sides tried to persuade voters who were lining up before the polls closed. One school reported an hour wait.

   Michelle Halfacre said she cast her ballot in favor of the proposal, which would ban abortions after 20 weeks except to save the mother's life.

   "I had an abortion when I was young, and I regret it," Halfacre said. "I don't believe in it."

   But Jonathan Cottrell, a crisis hotline volunteer, said he voted against the proposal because he believes it marks the beginning of a "slippery slope to ban abortion in general."

   "I feel that women have the right to choose what to do to their body," Cottrell said.

Latest News

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
Prev Next
VIETNAM RELEASES DENGUE-BLOCKING MOSQUITO

VIETNAM RELEASES DENGUE-BLOCKING MOSQUITO

TRI NGUYEN ISLAND, Vietnam (AP) -- Nguyen Thi Yen rolls up the sleeves of her white lab coat and delicately slips her arms into a box covered by a sheath of mesh netting. Immedi...

GOLDEN YEARS SHORTER, SICKER IN SOUTHERN STATES

GOLDEN YEARS SHORTER, SICKER IN SOUTHERN STATES

ATLANTA (AP) -- If you're 65 and living in Hawaii, here's some good news: Odds are you'll live another 21 years. And for all but five of those years, you'll likely be in pretty goo...

HONG KONG REPORTS 2ND H7N9 BIRD FLU CASE

HONG KONG REPORTS 2ND H7N9 BIRD FLU CASE

HONG KONG (AP) -- Hong Kong reported its second human case of H7N9 bird flu just days after the first, raising fears that the virus is spreading beyond mainland China. The H...

WHO: THIRD OF WOMEN SUFFER DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

WHO: THIRD OF WOMEN SUFFER DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

LONDON (AP) -- About a third of women worldwide have been physically or sexually assaulted by a former or current partner, according to the first major review of violence against w...

REDISTRICTING MIGHT SHORTEN WAIT FOR A NEW LIVER

REDISTRICTING MIGHT SHORTEN WAIT FOR A NEW LIVER

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Where you live can affect your chances of getting a liver transplant, and your risk of dying while waiting. The nation's transplant network says it's time to mak...

Centralizing organ removal may benefit transplants

Centralizing organ removal may benefit transplants

   Transplant medicine could be on the cusp of a new way to accomplish a critical task -- efficiently getting the organ from the donor and into the recipient. &nbs...

FDA FINDS FUNGUS IN DRUGS FROM TENNESSEE PHARMACY

FDA FINDS FUNGUS IN DRUGS FROM TENNESSEE PHARMACY

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Federal health officials say they have found bacteria and fungus in drug vials from a Tennessee specialty pharmacy that recalled all of its injectable medicines ...

STUDY: TOBACCO CONTROL HAS SAVED MILLIONS OF LIVES

STUDY: TOBACCO CONTROL HAS SAVED MILLIONS OF LIVES

CHICAGO (AP) -- Anti-smoking measures have saved roughly 8 million U.S. lives since a landmark 1964 report linking smoking and disease, a study estimates, yet the nation's top d...

© 2013 KTRS All Rights Reserved