The St. Louis Art Fair kicks off Friday night in downtown Clayton. It's the 20th anniversary of the event, featuring art and artists from around the country. The fair received over 1,400 submissions this year from artists hoping to set up a booth. A jury trimmed that number down to 150, bringing the total number of artists on display to 181. Keep an eye out for the KTRS booth in front of Starbucks and come say hello to your favorite KTRS personalities.
ART FAIR SCHEDULE:
Friday: 5-10 p.m. Saturday: 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Sunday 11 a.m.-5 p.m.
Seventeen East St. Louis firefighters will lose their jobs at the end of the month. The Belleville News-Democrat reports that City Manager Deletra Hudson sent a letter to the firefighters saying the city "has been forced to make some difficult financial decisions to meet its budgetary obligations."
The firefighters had been hired with federal grant money. When the grant ran out in March, East St. Louis Mayor Alvin Parks said the city found some extra money to keep the firefighters on the job until the end of September.
Parks told the paper that he expects eight of the laid off firefighters to be called back when the new city budget kicks in January 1st.
East St. Louis currently employs 54 firefighters.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - Precipitation has been below average this summer in Illinois.
Climatologist Jim Angel of the Illinois State Water Survey in Champaign says statewide average precipitation for June, July and August was just less than 10 inches. He says that's nearly 2 inches below average.
Data show June's rainfall was above average, but rainfall during both July and August were below average. However, Angel says this year is an improvement over last summer. That's when precipitation was just less than 7 inches or nearly 5 inches below average.
The summer's statewide average temperature has been 72.5 degrees. That's about 1 degree below average.
Brett Hull is returning to the St. Louis Blues.
The deal is not yet completed, but the St. Louis Post-Dispatch is citing unnamed sources as saying that it's expected to be wrapped up soon. And an announcement is expected early next week.
According to multiple sources the 49 year old will be named to a vice president position with the Blues and focus primarily on the business side of the organization.
Hull left the Blues as a free agent in 1998 to sign with Dallas, where he's also served as an executive in the front office.
The Blues retired Hull's No. 16 in December 2006. He was inducted into the Hockey Hall of Fame in 2009.
WAYNESVILLE, Mo. (AP) - The water has gone down but the need for volunteers to clean up damaged homes remains high in a south-central Missouri county swamped by last month's floods.
The Pulaski County town of Waynesville was among the hardest hit amid several days of heavy rain in early August.
Isabel Lambert is the volunteer coordinator for the county's Community Organizations Active in Disaster, or COAD. COADs are public-private partnerships that respond to disasters.
Lambert said Thursday that more than 230 homes in the Waynesville still have mold, ruined drywall and other problems. She's seeking volunteers to gather at 9 a.m. Friday and Saturday and again Wednesday through Saturday for the next two weeks at Waynesville City Park to help with cleanup.
For more information, send email to the Pulaski County COAD: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 573-337-2286.
A main throughway in north St. Louis was closed for hours today as crews dealt with a road collapse.
It appears that a fire line broke a water pipe under the road near the intersection of North Broadway and North Market. The broken pipe opened up a hole in the street that is about 80 feet long, 10 feet wife, and 8 feet deep.
North Broadway has been reopened, but the southbound lanes remain closed.
DEXTER, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri man who says he had sexual contact with as many 300 people since being diagnosed with HIV has pleaded not guilty to infecting another man with the virus.
David Mangum entered the plea Thursday. Stoddard County prosecutor Russell Oliver says more potential victims have come forward since Mangum was charged last week with recklessly infecting another with HIV, which carries a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Oliver says additional charges are expected. Mangum's attorney didn't return messages.
Court documents allege Mangum told detectives in Dexter, a small town in southeast Missouri, that he had unprotected sex with as many as 300 partners since he was diagnosed a decade ago. As many as 60 of those contacts allegedly occurred after he moved to Missouri from Dallas in 2011.
St. Louis - AP - A 50-year-old St. Charles man is retiring early after winning a $5 million lottery prize.
The Missouri Lottery said Thursday that Bill Graham is the first player to uncover the top prize on the "$5 Million Jackpot" scratch-off game. Graham, a sales representative, was between appointments on Aug. 27 when he purchased the ticket at a ZX station in St. Louis.
Graham says he plans to take it easy for the rest of his life.
The "$5 Million Jackpot" is a $20 game that began Aug. 5. Two additional $5 million prizes remain in play, along with other prizes ranging in value up to $100,000.
MINDENMINES, Mo. (AP) - A homely bird with a rather unappetizing diet will get its due when a southwest Missouri state park celebrates International Vulture Awareness Day.
The Carthage Press reports the staff at Prairie State Park in western Barton County has planned several activities for Saturday's observance, most of them aimed at children.
Vulture Awareness Day was started by bird conservation groups in England and South Africa. It's now observed by zoos, wildlife centers and other organizations around the world.
Prairie State Park specialist Dana Hoisington says vultures help keep the environment healthy by feasting on dead animals that other carnivores are unable to eat.
Along with vulture-related projects, park employees hope to attract a real vulture or two Saturday by placing a ripe carcass a careful distance from the visitors' center.
CHICAGO (AP) - The president of the Illinois Chamber of Commerce is retiring next year.
Chamber chairman Ray Drake says Douglas Whitley announced his retirement plans at the chamber board's quarterly meeting on Thursday. Whitley has had the position for 12 years and says he will leave the chamber in June. Whitley is 63.
Drake says the chamber's board will embark on a nationwide search to replace Whitley. Drake says Whitley has given the board enough time to find a new president and prepare before next year's election for Illinois governor.