WASHINGTON (AP) — The mother of a Newtown, Conn., shooting victim is making a deeply personal plea from the White House for all Americans to take action on gun violence.
Francine Wheeler's 6-year-old son, Ben, was killed inside Sandy Hook Elementary School. She's stepping in for President Barack Obama to deliver the president's weekly radio and Internet address. She is the first person to deliver the address other than Obama or Vice President Joe Biden since the two took office in 2009.
Wheeler says thousands of families are drowning in her family's grief and asks for help to do something, in her words, "before our tragedy becomes your tragedy."
In the Republican address, congresswoman Jackie Walorski of Indiana criticizes Obama's budget blueprint as a blank check for more spending and debt.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Officials say a state employee was fired after an investigation found he had taken sexually explicit photos and a video of himself at work and emailed inappropriate images.
The Illinois Executive Ethics Commission reported Friday that the Illinois Department on Aging fired John Hastings in December. Hastings was responsible for authoring computer code and inputting data for agency programs.
An executive inspector general's investigation found 225 pornographic images on his state computer. There were 13 explicit images and a video of a man identified as Hastings.
The heavily redacted report indicates Hastings took at least some of the photos at work and sent an inappropriate image to a female co-worker.
The report says Hastings acknowledged the wrongdoing. A phone number could not be located for him
A jury has recommended life in prison for the 20-year-old St Louis man who was convicted for his part in the death of Vietnamese man during a 2011 knockout game attack.
20-year-old Elex Murphy has been found guilty of second-degree murder, first-degree assault and two counts of armed criminal action for the attack on 72-year-old Hoang Hguyen and his 59-year-old wife.
The morning attack happened last April in the 3800 block of S. Spring. Police said the Nguyens were attacked as they walked home after shopping at a nearby grocery market.
The victims were punched and kicked repeatedly by a group of young adults. The elderly man fell to the ground after being beaten and suffered a severe head injury. He died at a local hospital a short time later.
The teens ran when a car approached.
Days later, Elex Murphy was arrested and charged. No other teens have been arrested.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - A Missouri man has been sentenced to two years of probation for aiming a laser pointer at a police helicopter.
Michael Brandon Smith, formerly of O'Fallon, was also ordered Thursday to perform 40 hours of community service during sentencing in U.S. District Court.
The incident happened May 18, 2012. A Metro St. Louis Air Support Police helicopter was responding to a burglary report at a St. Charles County school when the aircraft was struck several times by a green laser beam.
Federal prosecutors say that when the beam struck the glass of the helicopter the vision of the pilot and a second person in the chopper was impacted, and the helicopter had to pull away from the search.
Smith pleaded guilty in November.
Police have identified the elderly woman who died after being hit by another driver who was fleeing police.
The incident began when officers saw two suspects driving a stolen vehicle in South St. Louis near Grand and Osage. During the traffic stop, the suspect--an 18 year-old man--threw his car into reverse and almost hit the police officer. He then sped off, but hit a car with three passengers, including 87-year-old Virginia Bedrosian. Bedrosian was taken to the hospital where she died later Tuesday night.
The suspect was caught after a short foot chase and his passenger was taken into custody as well.
The standoff that started earlier today in Troy, Missouri, has come to a peaceful resolution.
A woman locked herself in a home after allegedly stabbing a man around 4 AM. Officers tried to talk the woman out of her house and KSDK reports that she was taken into custody around 10:30.
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - A man convicted of killing a sports editor in Columbia in 2001 is asking Gov. Jay Nixon for a pardon.
Ryan Ferguson is serving a 40-year prison sentence for murder and robbery in the November 2001 death of Kent Heitholt, a sports editor for the Columbia Daily Tribune.
Ferguson has always maintained his innocence and is also seeking a new trial. Co-defendant Charles Erickson is serving a 25-year prison sentence.
Ferguson's attorney, Kathleen Zellner, says her client is innocent and she is gathering new evidence against another possible suspect.
Nixon's spokesman, Scott Holste, says the governor has never granted a criminal pardon.
The Daily Tribune reports Missouri's Board of Probation and Parole will investigate the case and submit a report to Nixon.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Authorities have arrested two men suspected of shooting a St. Louis man after he answered a Craigslist ad about a car.
Officers arrested the men Thursday, one day after the shooting happened.
The victim saw an ad for a used car on Craigslist and went to the city's north side to look at it. Police say two men approached his car as he pulled up to the home. One of the men began firing shots into the victim's vehicle.
The victim was able to drive to an auto parts store to get help. He was shot several times. Two people who were in the car with him weren't injured.
Police Chief Sam Dotson urged people "to always use caution when conducting business online."
A St. Louis man faces charges because he doesn't handle rejection well.
Police say Ronald Burns approached a woman in a South St.. Louis store and asked for her number. When she said no, Burns allegedly followed her out of the store and robbed her at gunpoint. Burns now faces several charges in connection to the incident.
A man was found shot in South County this afternoon.
Police say the man was found around 12:30 on Old English Road near the River Des Peres. The victim was taken to the hospital in unknown condition.