Authorities in Pulaski county have identified the mother who is presumed to have died in flash flooding this week.
Sheriff Ron Long says that 4-year-old Elyjah Lee died after the car he was in was swept off the road on Tuesday. His mother, 23-year-old Jessica Lee was not with the car when emergency crews arrived.
The search for Jessica continues, but authorities assume she is now dead.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - A new state report shows the number of Illinois children killed by abuse or neglect over the past year likely will be the state's most in a quarter century.
The report released Thursday by the Illinois Department of Children & Family Services showed 94 of the 223 deaths investigated during the latest fiscal year that ended June 30 involved credible evidence of abuse or neglect.
With 45 cases still being investigated and awaiting an official ruling, the number of abuse-related deaths appears likely to surpass the state's previous high of 102 in the 1989 fiscal year.
Explanations for the latest increase remain elusive.
But DCFS spokesman Dave Clarkin says the numbers underscore the importance of citizens proactively reporting suspected abuse or neglect before it proves fatal.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - A southwest Missouri woman is dead after another round of torrential downpours caused flash flooding.
McDonald County emergency management director Greg Sweeten says the woman died early Thursday when her car was swept off Missouri Route 90 near the town of Jane, Mo. Sweeten says normally-dry Brush Creek came up suddenly.
The National Weather Service says parts of southwest Missouri got 10 inches of rain overnight. The town of Hollister was especially hard hit, with about 100 buildings damaged. More than two dozen people had to be rescued from homes, mostly mobile homes, in Hollister, which is near Branson in Taney County.
The weather service says more heavy rain is likely for southern Missouri in the coming days.
The St. Louis-based Humane Society's Disaster Response Team arrived in Waynesville Wednesday with a trailer that can temporarily house up to 100 animals.
As of last night, there were 35 dogs, 10 cats and a rabbit owned by people displaced by flooding. The Humane Society also agreed to take 15 adoptable dogs from the Waynesville shelter, opening space to temporarily house pets owned by those affected by flooding.
The stray dogs will be brought to St. Louis and made available for adoption.
SAUGET, Ill. (AP) - Illinois and federal agencies are assessing pollution on 380 acres in three southwestern Illinois suburbs.
Workers are also trying to determine whether companies that once owned the properties should pay the tens of millions of dollars in cleanup costs.
The Belleville News-Democrat says the 11 sites in Sauget, Cahokia and East St. Louis were used for decades for waste disposal.
Federal efforts to clean parts of the properties have been ongoing since at least 1995. The land is being proposed for a national priorities cleanup list, which may draw federal money.
Tom Heavisides works with the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. He says officials have been addressing human health risks involving the sites. And the state says the pollution may be responsible for deformed animals and fish kills.
475 new students from the Normandy school district are attending classes some 20 miles from their school they used to attend.
The new students began boarding buses as early as 6 a.m. today. The transfers are the result of a Missouri Supreme Court ruling five weeks ago that allowed students in unaccredited districts to transfer to better performing schools.
Sheri Wilson has two daughters currently at Francis Howell Central High and tells KTRS News, "My girls are open-hearted and they don't see this as any different as any other child transferring in from any other school so they're looking forward to it."
All but one bus made it on time after going to the wrong high school. Students were taken to Francis Howell High instead of Francis Howell Central High and arrived 40 minutes late.
HOLLISTER, Mo. (AP) - Flash flooding is prompting water rescues and damage to buildings in southwest Missouri.
Flash flooding was reported in southern Barry and Stone counties, including Roaring River State Park, after an estimated 6 inches of rain fell early Thursday.
Western Taney County Fire Chief Chris Berndt told KYTV rescue workers have evacuated three areas along Turkey Creek, where waters washed one or two mobile homes downstream. Berndt says several businesses and homes in Hollister have water damage.
The Southern Stone County Fire Protection District reports it has evacuated 22 people from a campground near Blue Eye. Campgrounds in Roaring River State Park in Barry County also are being evacuated. No injuries have been reported.
Interstate 44 near Jerome reopened Thursday. More than 40 roads, mostly in central Missouri, are closed.
A study by a North Carolina think tank concludes that a state-wide smoking ban would not harm Missouri bars and restaurants.
While several local governments bar indoor smoking in public, there's no state-wide ban. Opponents to a ban often argue that it would reduce revenue and employment at bars and restaurants.
Researchers with RTI used sales and tobacco tax data from 216 cities and counties in 8 states over 11 years. They projected that seven of the states, including Missouri, would have no economic impact, and West Virginia would actually see an employment boost.
The study was funded by the CDC.
Illinois already bars smoking in bars and restaurants.
ST. CHARLES, Mo. (AP) - A wave of school transfers spurred by a recent Missouri Supreme Court ruling is opening old wounds and reviving difficult conversations in St. Louis about race, class and equal access to public education.
Nearly 2,600 students from the unaccredited Normandy and Riverview Gardens districts are leaving for better-performing schools in other districts, with the two troubled districts required to pay an estimated $30 million to accommodate the moves. School leaders say it's only a matter of time before they go bankrupt.
Parents, politicians and community leaders in some outlying districts say they worry the newcomers will bring increased delinquency, larger class sizes and lower test scores. Much of the outrage was on display last month at public school board meeting of the Francis Howell district, which begins classes on Thursday.
The Spirit of St. Louis Boulevard bridge over Interstate 64/US 40 is open again. The highway overpass reopened Wednesday evening.
MoDOT had closed the bridge in July so that crews could raise it to allow more clearance for high profile vehicles traveling on I-64.
The ramp from Spirit to eastbound I-64 has also reopened.