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CHESTER, Ill. (AP) - A spokesman for the Illinois Department of Corrections says the lockdown at Illinois' largest maximum security prison will remain in effect through this week.
 
   Tom Shaer says Monday that the lockdown at Menard Correctional Center southeast of St. Louis won't be lifted until an investigation is finished. The lockdown started on Friday following the discovery of a cache of crude weapons and homemade alcohol.
 
   Specifically officials found more than a dozen weapons along with gallons of homemade alcohol and juice and sugar used to make liquor.
   Officials have said IDOC is working to determine how the inmates managed to hoard the items.
 
   Authorities say there is no indication any weapons have been used recently at the prison or that inmates were drinking homemade liquor.
Published in Local News
Wednesday, 26 March 2014 23:53

UPDATE: Missing Chesterfield man found safe

   An 85 year oldChesterfield man who was the subject of an Endangered SILVER Advisory is safe. Chesterfield police say Walter Zorica was found alive and well early this morning.  
   Police had issued the advisory late yesterday after Zorica seemed to disappear while driving from Chesterfield to O'Fallon, Missouri.  There's no word on where Zorica had been since leaving Chesterfield around 2 p.m.
   Relatives have been concerned because Zorica, who's diabetic, had missed several doses of medication.
 
 
 
Published in Local News
KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Bad weather suspended the search Tuesday for any remains of a Malaysian jetliner as China demanded information a day after Malaysia's leader said the heartbreaking conclusion was that Flight 370 had crashed in the southern Indian Ocean with no survivors.
 
Planes and ships have been crisscrossing a remote area of ocean 2,500 kilometers (1,550 miles) southwest of Australia, but the search was called off because of waves up to 4 meters (12 feet), high winds and heavy rain.
 
The suspension comes after a somber announcement late Monday by Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak saying the plane had crashed in the sea, but which also left unanswered many troubling questions about why the Boeing 777, which was en route to Beijing on March 8 when it disappeared, was so far off-course.
 
It also unleashed a storm of sorrow and anger among the families of the jet's 239 passengers and crew — two-thirds of them Chinese.
 
China responded Tuesday by demanding that Malaysia turn over the satellite data used to conclude that the jet had gone down in the southern Indian Ocean.
 
Given that 153 of the passengers aboard Flight 370 were Chinese, the incident was a highly emotional one for Beijing. Family members of the missing passengers have complained bitterly about a lack of reliable information and some say they are not being told the whole truth.
 
Deputy Foreign Minister Xie Hangsheng told Malaysia's ambassador to Beijing that China wanted to know exactly what led Najib to announce that the plane had been lost, a statement on the ministry's website said.
 
"We demand the Malaysian side to make clear the specific basis on which they come to this judgment," Xie was quoted as telling Iskandar Bin Sarudin during their meeting late Monday.
 
There was no immediate response from Malaysia.
 
The families planned to march on the Malaysian Embassy on Tuesday, and dozens of police were already outside the embassy compound.
 
Najib, clad in a black suit, read a brief statement on what he called an unparalleled study of the jet's last-known signals to a satellite. That analysis showed that the missing plane veered "to a remote location, far from any possible landing sites."
 
"It is therefore with deep sadness and regret that I must inform you that, according to this new data, Flight MH370 ended in the southern Indian Ocean," he said.
 
He did not directly address the fate of those aboard, but in a separate message sent to some of the relatives of the passengers, Malaysia Airlines said that "we have to assume beyond any reasonable doubt that MH370 has been lost and that none of those on board survived."
 
The conclusions were based on a more-thorough analysis of the brief signals the plane sent every hour to a satellite belonging to Inmarsat, a British company, even after other communication systems on the jetliner shut down for unknown reasons.
 
The pings did not include any location information. But Inmarsat and British aviation officials used "a type of analysis never before used in an investigation of this sort" to zero in on the plane's last direction, as it reached the end of its fuel, Najib said.
 
In a statement, Inmarsat said the company used "detailed analysis and modelling" of transmissions from the Malaysia Airlines jet and other known flights to describe "the likely direction of flight of MH370."
 
Najib gave no indication of exactly where in the Indian Ocean the plane was last heard from.
 
Australian Transport Minister Warren Truss said that under international agreements governing air travel "Malaysia needs to take control" and decide how to proceed.
 
High waves, gale-force winds and low-hanging clouds forced the multinational search to be suspended for 24 hours Tuesday, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority said in a statement.
 
Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said he had spoken to Najib to offer help with the ongoing search and investigation.
 
"What up until now has been a search, moves into a recovery and investigation phase," Abbott said. "I have offered Malaysia, as the country legally responsible for this, every assistance and cooperation from Australia."
 
Abbott also said Australia would waive visa fees for relatives of the passengers and crew on Flight 370 who wanted to come to Australia.
 
Some of the relatives who gathered to hear Najib met the news with shrieks and uncontrolled sobs. Others collapsed into the arms of loved ones.
 
"My son! My son!" cried a woman in a group of about 50 gathered at a hotel near Beijing's airport, before falling to her knees. Minutes later, medical teams carried one elderly man out of the conference room on a stretcher, his face covered by a jacket.
 
Other relatives in Beijing went before cameras to criticize the Malaysian officials who "have concealed, delayed and hid the truth" about what happened to the plane. About two-thirds of the passengers on board were Chinese.
 
"If the 154 of our loved ones lose their lives, then Malaysia Airlines, the government of Malaysia and the military are really the executors of our loved ones," said a spokesman for the group who, like many Chinese, would give only his surname, Jiang. China includes one Taiwanese national in its total of Chinese on the flight.
 
Najib's announcement did nothing to answer why the plane disappeared shortly after takeoff. More specifically, it sheds no light on investigators' questions about possible mechanical or electrical failure, hijacking, sabotage, terrorism or issues related to the mental health of the pilots or someone else on board.
 
And it is not clear if the latest information can provide an exact location or just a rough estimate of where the jet crashed into the sea.
 
But several countries had already been moving specialized equipment into the area to prepare for a possible search for the plane and its black boxes, the common name for the cockpit voice and data recorders.
 
And there is a race against the clock to find any trace of the plane that could lead them to the location of the black boxes, whose battery-powered "pinger" could stop sending signals within two weeks. The batteries are designed to last at least a month and can last longer.
 
An Australian navy support vessel, the Ocean Shield, was expected to arrive in several days in the search zone, a defense official said. The ship is equipped with acoustic detection equipment that can search for the black boxes. Without them, it would be virtually impossible for investigators to say definitively what happened to the plane.
 
"We've got to get lucky," said John Goglia, a former member of the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board. "It's a race to get to the area in time to catch the black box pinger while it's still working."
 
The U.S. Pacific Command said before Najib's announcement that it was sending a black box locator in case a debris field is located.
 
The Towed Pinger Locator, which is pulled behind a vessel at slow speeds, has highly sensitive listening capability that can hear the black box pinger down to a depth of about 20,000 feet (6,100 meters), Cmdr. Chris Budde, a U.S. 7th Fleet operations officer, said in a statement. He called it "a prudent effort to pre-position equipment and trained personnel closer to the search area."
 
The U.S. Navy has also sent an unmanned underwater vehicle to Perth that could be used if debris is located, said Rear Adm. John Kirby, a Pentagon spokesman. The Bluefin-21, expected to arrive in Perth on Wednesday, has side-scanning sonar and what is called a "multi-beam echo sounder" that can be used to take a closer look at objects under water, he added. It can operate at a depth of 4,500 meters (14,700 feet).
 
The search for the wreckage and the plane's recorders could take years because the ocean can extend to up to 7,000 meters (23,000 feet) deep in that part of the ocean. It took two years to find the black box from an Air France jet that went down in the Atlantic Ocean on a flight from Rio de Janeiro to Paris in 2009, and searchers knew within days where the crash site was.
Published in National News
   KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) - An Australian search and rescue official says that planes have been sent to check on two objects possibly related to the missing Malaysia Airlines flight that were spotted on satellite imagery in the Indian Ocean about 2,500 kilometers (1,550 miles) southwest of Perth.
 
 
 
 But John Young of the Australian Maritime Safety Authority cautioned Friday against expectations that this may help solve the mystery of the plane that went missing with 239 people on board nearly two weeks ago.
   Young told reporters, "We have been in this business of doing search and rescue and using sat images before and they do not always turn out to be related to the search even if they look good, so we will hold our views on that until they are sited close-up."
Published in National News

   It looks like the search for a missing Jefferson County man is over after a body was found near Barnhart Monday afternoon.

   Sheriff Glenn Boyer says the body of a white man was discovered at about 4:30 p.m. in a drainage ditch near Catlin Drive and Old State Road M.  Jefferson County investigators aren't releasing the identity of the man, but family members say it is Dale Leija.  

   The 36 year old had last been seen leaving a Barnhart convenience store on March 9th.  

   Police say there are no obvious signs of foul play, but the investigation is ongoing.

Published in Local News
   KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia (AP) — Australia took the lead Monday in searching for the missing Boeing 777 over the southern Indian Ocean as Malaysia requested radar data and search planes to help in the unprecedented hunt through a vast swath of Asia stretching northwest into Kazakhstan.
   Investigators say the Malaysia Airlines jet carrying 239 people was deliberately diverted and its communications equipment switched off shortly after takeoff during an overnight flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing on March 8. Suspicion has fallen on anyone aboard the plane with aviation experience, particularly the pilot and co-pilot.
   Malaysian police confiscated a flight simulator from the pilot's home Saturday and also visited the home of the co-pilot, in what Malaysia's police chief Khalid Abu Bakar later said was the first police visits to those homes. The government issued a statement Monday contradicting that account by saying that police first visited the pilots' home on March 9, the day after the flight.
   Malaysia's government in the meantime was sending out diplomatic cables to all countries in the search area, seeking their help with the search, as well as to ask for any radar data that might help narrow the task.
   The search initially focused on seas on either side of peninsular Malaysia, in the South China Sea and the Strait of Malacca.
   Over the weekend, however, Malaysia's Prime Minister Najib Razak announced that investigators determined that a satellite picked up a faint signal from the aircraft about 7 ½ hours after takeoff. That meant the plane would have been somewhere on a vast arc stretching from Kazakhstan down to the southern reaches of the Indian Ocean.
   Had the plane gone northwest toward Kazakhstan, it would have crossed over countries with busy airspace, and some experts believe the person in control of the aircraft would more likely have chosen to go south. However, authorities are not ruling out the northern corridor and are eager for radar data that might confirm or rule out that path.
   Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott told parliament that he agreed to take the lead scouring the southern Indian Ocean for the "ill-fated aircraft" during a conversation Monday with Malaysia's leader.
   "Australia will do its duty in this matter," Abbott told parliament. "We will do our duty to the families of the 230 people on that aircraft who are still absolutely devastated by their absence, and who are still profoundly, profoundly saddened by this as yet unfathomed mystery."
   Australia already has had two AP-3C Orion aircraft involved in the search, one of them looking north and west of the remote Cocos Islands. The southern Indian Ocean is the world's third-deepest and one of the most remote stretches of water in the world, with little radar coverage.
   The northern search corridor crosses through countries including China, India and Pakistan — all of which have indicated they have seen no sign of the plane so far.
   An official with the Chinese civil aviation authority said the missing plane did not enter Chinese airspace, but the Chinese Defense Ministry and Foreign Ministry didn't immediately respond to questions on radar information.
   Indonesian officials have said the plane did not cross their territory, based on radar data. Air force spokesman Rear Mar. Hadi Tjahjanto said Monday his country's search efforts were focusing on waters west of Sumatra in the Indian Ocean.
Published in National News
   NEW YORK (AP) — Rescue workers are using back hoes and a bulldozer to search for any victims still buried after an explosion demolished two Manhattan buildings. Meanwhile, questions are swirling about the gas leak that triggered the blast and whether complaints about gas odors had been ignored.
   The explosion Wednesday morning killed at least six people and injured more than 60, with searchers still trying to locate others. At the site on Park Avenue and 116th Street, thermal imaging cameras are being used to identify heat spots — bodies or pockets of fire.
   City officials say searches of the street are complete and no victims have been found there. Workers initially were hampered from fully accessing the building space because of a sinkhole caused by a subsurface water main break.
Published in National News

Police say the search of a property in Glen Carbon, Illinois turned up no evidence of a crime.

 

Investigators from state and local police had been searching the home for the last two days. Officers first arrived at the home on Saturday. They found the body of 83-year-old Mary Kampwerth in the driveway--she had died from exposure. Police say they received a tip that unrelated criminal activity may have taken place on the property, but they found nothing.

 

Glen Carbon Police Chief John Lakin said the search is now complete.

Published in Local News
Thursday, 14 November 2013 14:09

Police search for suspect in Caseyville

A metro-east school was placed on lockdown as a precaution as police search for a suspect.

Fox 2 reports that shots were fired at a business near Caseyville Elementary School around 12:30 PM. The search was centered around Highway 157 near Caseyville. The school was locked down only as a precaution.

More details as they are available right here.

Published in Local News

   The search for a missing a 7 year old Effingham County, Illinois girl will continue overnight.  

   Authorities and hundreds of volunteers have been looking for Willow Long since she disappeared from her Watson, Illinois home on Sunday.  The Effingham County Sheriff's Department has sent the volunteers home for the night so that an Illinois State Police Flare Plane, which detects heat, won't pick up false readings during the overnight search.  

   Willow is about four-feet tall and weighs just 46 pounds. She has shoulder-length red hair and was wearing a long purple t-shirt as a nightgown. Willow's mother says she checked on the kids Sunday morning before taking a nap. When she woke up, Willow was gone.

   The Effingham County Sheriff's Department is coordinating the search and investigation. Anyone with information is asked to contact authorities at 217-342-2101.

 

 

Published in Local News
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