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Just weeks after calling on the Air Force to remove a Lieutenant General from command, Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill released a statement Wednesday regarding the retirement of that officer.
McCaskill says the decision by Lieutenant General Craig Franklin to step away from the Air Force is the right one, adding, "His handling of sexual assault cases is the best possible illustration of why civilian review, elimination of commanders’ ability to overturn convictions, and so many other protections are included in our recent defense bill.”  
Franklin’s response to a sexual assault case at Aviano Air Base in Italy led to criticism and scrutiny of how such cases are handled by the military.
McCaskill introduced legislation—which has since been passed into law—that curtailed the authority of military commanders to dismiss jury convictions against sex offenders.
Other reforms designed to curb sexual assaults in the military include:
*  Requiring civilian review if a commander declines to prosecute a case 
*  Assigning victims their own independent legal counsel to protect their rights 
*  Mandating dishonorable discharge for anyone convicted of sexual assault 
*  Criminalizing retaliation against victims who report a sexual assault 
*  Eliminating the statute of limitations in rape and sexual assault cases
 
Wednesday, 08 January 2014 10:26
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   Don't play with boiling hot water.  That's the message from officials at St. Louis Children's hospital after two children were treated Tuesday for facial burns.  

   Hospital spokeswoman Abby Wuellner told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the pair had been injured when they threw a pot of boiling water into the air outside to see if it would turn to ice crystals or snow before hitting the ground.  

   The paper reports that interest in the at-home experiment has peaked since video of a Wisconsin weatherman doing it on Monday went viral.

Wednesday, 08 January 2014 04:16
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   A Lincoln County woman is facing misdemeanor charges for lying to police about where she found a stray dog.

   On December 27th, Jessica Dudding took a yellow Labrador she'd found in Lincoln County to Wentzville and told police she'd found the dog on Wentzville Parkway.  Lincoln County has no animal shelters.  

   Wentzville police took the lost dog to the city shelter.  

   The dog's owner had to pay 250-dollars in shelter fees and a 50-dollar fine for letting his dog roam loose in Wentzville.  So Dudding told police where she really found the dog, so his owner wouldn't be fined.  And that's when police charged her with a crime.  

   Wentzville Police Major Paul West told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that they had to charge her because "you don't get to lie to the police."  

   West says the judge could dismiss the charges when Dudding goes to court January 21st.  

   The dog's owner has said he'll pay any fine assessed against Dudding.

Wednesday, 08 January 2014 04:14
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   JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - It's opening day at the Missouri Capitol, where lawmakers are gathering for the start of their annual session.
   The session that begins at noon Wednesday will officially be known as the Second Regular Session of the 97th General Assembly. It will run through May 16.
   The agenda will be topped by an effort for the second straight year to cut income taxes, and proposals to revamp a Missouri law allowing students in unaccredited districts to transfer to other nearby schools.
   For the first time in a while, lawmakers also will be operating under different revenue projections than Gov. Jay Nixon. Those financial differences could be magnified when the Democratic governor outlines his budget proposals Jan. 21.
   Republicans outnumber Democrats 108-52 in the House and 24-9 in the Senate.
 
Wednesday, 08 January 2014 04:11
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   A small patch of forest in St. Louis County could be a big part of understanding global climate change.  

   In November, the 60-acre plot at Washington University's Tyson Research Center near Eureka was named a Smithsonian Institution Global Earth Observatory.  The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the land between Lone Elk and West Tyson County Parks is now part of a network of 52 other forest plots scattered around the world being used to study climate change and biodiversity.  

   In part, the Smithsonian project is examining both how climate change affects forests and how forests affect climate change.  

   The Tyson plot is expected to provide a lot of information because scientists have been monitoring it since the 1980s and have collected data covering two of Missouri's worst droughts, 1988 and 2012.  The latter was the worst on record.

Wednesday, 08 January 2014 03:12
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   PEORIA, Ill. (AP) - Former players for the St. Louis Blues and Chicago Blackhawks will play a charity hockey game to benefit victims of November's deadly tornadoes.
   The game will be Jan. 15 at the Peoria Civic Center. The money will go to the Salvation Army Tornado Relief Fund. Tickets are $10. The game is being called "Skate Strong." A special pre-game ceremony is planned.
   The Peoria Journal Star reports that tentative Chicago Blackhawks alumni who will play include Denis Savard, Dave Mackey, Reggie Kerr, Murray Bannerman, Reid Simpson, Denis Cyr, Cliff Koroll and Grant Mulvey. Former St. Louis Blues players include Kelly Chase, Reed Low, Jeff Brown, Terry Yake, Gino Cavallini, John Wensink, Alex Brooks and Steve Martins.
   About two dozen tornadoes struck Illinois on Nov. 17, killing seven.
 
Wednesday, 08 January 2014 02:36
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   The fate of former St. Louis Mayor Freeman Bosley, Jr. will be in the hands of a three member state disciplinary panel.  The Missouri office that oversees lawyers has refused a plea agreement regarding Bosley's mishandling of client funds.  
   The former mayor admitted in court last month to charges that he failed to keep adequate records, combined personal and client funds and even used client funds to pay personal expenses.  
   Alan Pratzel of the Missouri Supreme Court's Office of Chief Disciplinary Counsel told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that documents Bosley filed to clear up a settlement dispute were "insufficient."  So today, Bosley and state prosecutors must submit punishment recommendations to the panel which will decide his fate.
   Punishment can range from a reprimand up to disbarment.
   Bosley served one term as mayor of St. Louis in the mid 1990s.
 
Wednesday, 08 January 2014 02:08
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No time line for repairs after a water pipe ruptured at a north county elementary school.
A sprinkler head burst at Johnson-Wabash Elementary School due to subzero temperatures. Two-thirds of the school sustained water damage from the break. District administrators notified families of students at the school and officials are still trying to determine where classes will be held until repairs are done.
The school was closed Tuesday due to frigid conditions.
Tuesday, 07 January 2014 17:31
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The Humane Society of Missouri is taking care of 50 animals that were taken from a Franklin County Home.
 
Sheriff's Deputies found the animals while responding to a home where a woman had fallen. The Humane Society will care for the cats, rabbits, and birds until the woman can take care of the animals on her own.
 
Tuesday, 07 January 2014 17:28
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A collision between and Amtrak train and semi truck in Kirkwood this afternoon.

 

Police say the semi was hit by the train at the intersection of Scott and Leffingwell. No reports of any injuries at this time.

 

Police still do not know what caused the semi to be on the tracks in front of the train.

Tuesday, 07 January 2014 16:59
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