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   There's more trouble for the much-delayed Loop Trolley project.  A federal lawsuit filed Tuesday aims to derail the $43 million dollar project on the grounds that the transportation development district set up to fund it is unconstitutional.  

   The lawsuit claims that giving nonresident property owners votes based on acreage owned violates the 14th Amendment's Equal Protection Clause.  Residents were given a single vote.  

   Construction of the streetcar line between the University City Library and the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park is already more than a year behind schedule and the Federal Transit Administration has warned that the area could lose the $22 million "urban circulator" grant it was awarded in 2010.  Developers say that would doom the project.

   The suit names the Loop Trolley Transportation Development District, the Loop Trolley Company, the Metro Transit Agency, the cities of St. Louis and University City, St. Louis County and the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission.

 

Thursday, 31 October 2013 03:33
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A St. Louis man is in custody and facing charges for making a terrorist threat.

The Post-Dispatch reports that Robert Metzinger posted the threats on his Twitter accounts. Police say the tweets implied that Metzinger was going to use a pressure cooker as an explosive device, similar to the devices used in the Boston Marathon bombings, in or around Busch Stadium. Metzinger posted bail and has been released.

His next court appearance is scheduled for late November.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013 17:22
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Thursday's release of "report cards" on school performance will show a drop in the percentage of students passing the Illinois Standards Achievement test last school year.

But that doesn't mean teaching or student performance has actually fallen. Rather, the decline in scores is a result of the state board of education's decision to toughen the grading scale for grade schools so it matches that used by high schools.

This year, only 62 of 863 districts achieved growth benchmarks set under federal No Child Left Behind law, down from 152 last year.

But if the old scoring method were still in use, more students would actually have made gains.

The change is part of the state's preparation to adopt more rigorous learning standards in the 2014-2015 school year.

 

Wednesday, 30 October 2013 16:21
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LEXINGTON, Mo. (AP) - Funeral services have been announced for former Missouri congressman Ike Skelton.

The Walker-Nadler-Fuller Funeral Home says visitation is scheduled from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday in Grondyke Hall at Wentworth Military Academy in Lexington.

Skelton's funeral will be held at 2 p.m. Monday at Wikoff Hall, also on the Wentworth campus. A burial service with military rites is to occur at the Machpelah Cemetery in Lexington.

Skelton died this past Monday of complications from pneumonia at a hospital in Virginia. He was 81.

Skelton served in the U.S. House for 34 years before losing re-election in 2010. He never served in the military but was chairman of the House Armed Services Committee and a staunch advocate for the armed forces.

 

Wednesday, 30 October 2013 14:45
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A massive pile up on Interstate 70 in downtown St. Louis today involved more than a dozen cars, but miraculously, no one was seriously hurt.

Shortly after 5 AM there were two separate accidents in the depressed section of the highway. The accidents involved several cars and a semi truck. Emergency crews were forced to shut down a section of the interstate to clear the wreckage. Police have not released an official cause of the crash.

But the roads were wet and there was fog in the area so those conditions could have played a role.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013 13:26
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A grocery chain is closing one North St. Louis location and opening a new one. On Friday, Aldo will open a new store at 702 N Kingshighway. That will replace the location just blocks away on Page that closed Tuesday.

The store is opening after a ribbon cutting at 8:45 Friday morning. 

The newest location's hours will be Monday-Saturday, 9 a.m. -9 p.m., and Sunday, 9 a.m. - 8 p.m.

 

Wednesday, 30 October 2013 13:22
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 BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - A convicted killer will make his case for a new trial he says he deserves because the presiding judge faces federal heroin charges and may have been impaired during the trial.

Jurors found 55-year-old Gregory Muse guilty in March of first-degree murder, after a trial overseen by then-St. Clair County Circuit Judge Michael Cook.

Cook was arrested two months later on charges of possessing heroin and a having a gun while on controlled substances. He has resigned and pleaded not guilty.

Muse faces sentencing Wednesday. But he's asked for a new trial, alleging Cook appeared to slur his words during the trial.

Cook's attorney isn't discussing that.

Questions about Cook already have prompted another judge to grant a new murder trial for another man convicted during proceedings overseen by Cook.

 

Wednesday, 30 October 2013 13:20
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A 20-year-old woman remains in critical condition after she was shot in the chest sitting outside a north St. Louis home early this morning.

The woman was sitting with two friends at a house near Fountain Park around 2:30 this morning, when an unknown suspect started shooting. The woman was hit, one of her friends pulled out a gun and shot back.

Police say it does not appear that the victim was the gunman's intended target. Homicide detectives have taken over the investigation.

Wednesday, 30 October 2013 13:05
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The Missouri Supreme Court issued a decision yesterday denying the long-term, same-sex partner of a Missouri Highway patrolman survivor pension benefits.  

Cpl. Dennis Engelhard died on Christmas Day in 2009 when he was struck by a vehicle while investigating a traffic accident on Interstate 44 in Eureka.

Missouri offers a payment to the surviving spouse of a Highway Patrol officer killed in the line of duty.

But the statute governing survivor benefits defines marriage as between a man and woman. Missouri also has a prohibition on same-sex marriage in the state Constitution.

Engelhard's partner, Kelly Glossip, did not receive the benefit and argued that the state violated the equal-protection clause of the state constitution.

The Supreme Court, in a 5-2 ruling, concluded Glossip is ineligible for survivor benefits because the two were not married — not because Glossip is gay.

The ruling states that the fact the two could not be married in Missouri is not relevant. 

Wednesday, 30 October 2013 08:02
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   The Illinois State Police are assisting in an investigation after an Alton police officer shot a suspect Tuesday, critically wounding him.  The Officer had been responding to a call for shots fired in the area of McClure and Harriett Street when he encountered the suspect.  

   Alton Police Chief Jake Simmons say an officer fired on the man when he drew a weapon after being ordered to the ground.  

   "The initial investigation disclosed that the gun the suspect drew was an airsoft-type handgun," he aid.  "The handgun looks identical to a Glock semi-automatic handgun carried by law enforcement."

   Chief Simmons says it's a tragic incident any time a law officer has to discharge a weapon.  The officer involved is on routine administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

 
Wednesday, 30 October 2013 04:38
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