EFFINGHAM, Ill. (AP) - Family and friends will say their formal goodbyes to a 7 year old southern Illinois girl who authorities allege was stabbed to death by her uncle.
Services for Willow Long of the tiny village of Watson in Effingham County are scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday at Effingham High School, followed by private burial.
Twenty-two year old Justin DeRyke was charged last Wednesday with first-degree murder in Willow's death.
Prosecutors say he told investigators he killed his niece to end her suffering after she accidentally fell onto a brush pile and pierced her neck with a stick near the family's home.
DeRyke is being held on $5 million bond and hiring an attorney. He's set to appear again in court Thursday.
BETHALTO, Ill. (AP) - A metro-east village is paying tribute to a hometown Marine who died in 2010 of complications from injuries sustained in Afghanistan.
The Alton Telegraph reports that seven signs honoring Lance Cpl. Kenneth Corzine have been erected at each road entrance to Bethalto.
Corzine was 23 when he died on Christmas Eve of 2010, 19 days after being injured by a roadside bomb that exploded, costing him both legs.
Corzine grew up in Bethalto and was assigned to 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force out of Camp Pendleton, Calif.
Bethalto is in Madison County, northeast of St. Louis.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis County man has been charged with threatening violence at his 10-year high school reunion.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that 28-year-old Andrew Middleton was charged Friday with making a terroristic threat. Bail was set at $25,000 cash. No attorney is listed for him in online court records.
Middleton is accused of posting several threatening status updates to his Facebook page and a Facebook page created to promote the reunion. Court documents say the reunion had been scheduled for Saturday night but was canceled because of the threats.
Middleton allowed police to search his apartment, and officers found five loaded firearms, a variety of ammunition and a 12-inch knife. Middleton said he was drunk and wrote the comments only "to get a rise out of people."
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A rodeo clown has performed for the first time since a controversial State Fair rodeo act that mocked President Barack Obama.
The Jefferson City News-Tribune reports that rodeo clown Tuffy Gessling hammed it up for the crowd during a pro bull riding event Friday in Jefferson County.
Beforehand, Gessling said everything has been very overwhelming and that he's surprised people took offense to the politically themed skit. It featured another clown wearing an Obama mask, while Gessling made comments — including "We're gonna stomp Obama" — to the crowd.
Gessling says the skit had been performed before, and that several past presidents' faces were placed in similar scenarios. Gessling had other shows scheduled between his State Fair and Jefferson City appearances, but they were canceled.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — Top Missouri Republicans are looking for ways to ensure greater party loyalty after a supermajority in the GOP-led House recently failed to enact an income tax cut.
Meeting Saturday in Kansas City, the Missouri Republican State Committee proposed a new requirement for candidates registering to run as Republicans. They would be asked to sign a statement saying: "I have read, understand and fundamentally support the platform of the Missouri Republican Party."
Supporters of the measure noted that tax cuts ought to be a central Republican philosophy.
Fifteen Republican House members defected from party leaders this week to help sustain Democratic Governor Jay Nixon's veto of an income tax cut. Some echoed his concerns about the effect on education funding.
The GOP committee took no action Saturday on the proposed policy.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A board member of the group that owns the Edward Jones Dome has quit over what he calls another group's failure to share financial records
Bruce Sommer is a former city alderman who later ran the convention center for 25 years. The Convention and Visitor's Commission operates the football stadium that's home to the St. Louis Rams, while Sommer sat on the board of the St. Louis Regional Convention and Sports Complex Authority.
The Post-Dispatch reports that Sommer said convention executives wanted the board to help pay $2 million in legal fees as it tries to negotiate a new lease with the Rams.
Sommer said he resigned after his requests for more detailed budget documents went unfulfilled. The convention commission eventually paid the fees on its own.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis prosecutors have dropped murder charges against a 31-year-old man in a 2009 double slaying in a Schnucks grocery store parking lot.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that first-degree murder charges against Jimmy Love-El were dismissed on Tuesday before his expected trial.
He was accused of killing 23-year-old Dwone Curry and 22-year-old Archie White during a drug deal outside the Schnucks store at 3441 Union Boulevard.
Love-El was accused of shooting each man in the head and taking their cellphones and drugs before fleeing in a car with a friend.
A spokeswoman for the St. Louis Circuit Attorney's Office declined to discuss the decision.
A 2011 trial of Love-E ended in a mistrial when a judge said the defendant's condition after a jailhouse fight could prejudice the jury.
There is an emergency water conservation order for residents in the cities of St. Peters and St. Charles.
Officials say there is a large water main break in the secondary supply line from St. Louis city. Crews are already on the scene making repairs. Customers in St. Peters and St. Charles are asked to use water only for essential needs until the situation is resolved.
Activities that should be discontinued include watering the lawn, washing cars, and other outside uses.
Police are expressing frustration after victims of a Thursday night shooting are not cooperating with investigators.
Police say a 29-year-old man started arguing with a 40-year-old man over motorcycle parts. The 40-year-old man left and returned a shot time later with a gun. That is when officers believe the suspect started shooting. The 29-year-old man and a second person ran from the scene. One of the men was shot, the other was uninjured.
Police say neither of the men is cooperating with police.
SIKESTON, Mo. (AP) - A southeast Missouri man is charged in the shooting death of his wife.
Sikeston police say in a news release that Stevie C. Lott was charged Thursday after his wife was found dead in their home.
Lott faces charges of second-degree murder, armed criminal action, being a felon in possession of a firearm, endangering the welfare of a child and leaving the scene of a shooting.
Capt. Jim McMillen says police found the body of 26-year-old Nyketia Lott with a gunshot wound to the head after being called to the home early Thursday. The Southeast Missourian reports that no one else was in the home when police arrived.
Stevie Lott was found and arrested about two hours after his wife's body was found.