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You can add several St. Louis area malls to the list of retailers participating in the trend known as "holiday creep".

West County Center, Chesterfield Mall, South County Center, Mid Rivers Mall and St. Clair Square will open doors at 8 p.m. Thanksgiving day. J.C. Penney and Macy's announced earlier this week their plans to open at the same time.

A spokesman for CBL, who operates the area malls, said that stores will have the option of opening at 8 p.m. or midnight, but all stores will be open at 5 a.m. for Black Friday shopping.

Friday, 18 October 2013 16:14
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Jefferson County Sheriff's deputies caught up with a pair of unsuccessful robbers.

Joshua Benton and Patrick Rubach face first-degree robbery charges for crimes at a Circle K Convenience store in High Ridge and Steak n Shake in Fenton. Deputies say that they received a call from Benton to report that Rubach, who is his roommate, committed the crimes. After an investigation, authorities discovered that both men were involved in the crimes.

At both the Circle K and Steak n Shake, deputies say the men pulled a gun on employees and demanded money. And at both places, the men left with no money. The pair are held on a quarter-million dollar bond. 

Friday, 18 October 2013 15:27
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois Supreme Court is invalidating a two-year-old Illinois law charging taxes on certain Internet sales.

The justices ruled 6-1 in an opinion released Friday to invalidate the so-called "Amazon tax."

The ruling determined that the law violates a pre-emptive federal decree prohibiting "discriminatory taxes on electronic commerce."

Lawmakers created the Internet tax in 2011 on out-of-state electronic retailers. The law claimed those merchants maintained a presence in the state through a website link.

In other words, if a blogger referred customers to a company by encouraging clicking on a site-based advertisement, that was "presence" in Illinois. That obligated the seller to collect sales tax.

Justice Lloyd Karmeier dissented, saying the law doesn't impose any new taxes.

Friday, 18 October 2013 13:04
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Fans interested in avoiding the traffic jams before and after the National League Championship Series Game 6 tonight (and Game 7 if necessary tomorrow) are encouraged to take public transit.

Metro will have additional staffing to monitor MetroLink platforms and assist crowds and will provide extra service before and after the game.

Free Park-Ride lots are located next to many of the MetroLink stations in Illinois and Missouri making it convenient to take MetroLink to the Stadium Station or to another nearby station in downtown.

Fans who want to know which MetroLink Park-Ride lot is the closest to their home or work can check out www.metrostlouis.org to use the Trip Planner feature. 

 

Friday, 18 October 2013 10:10
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The recent reports about several child abduction attempts in the St. Louis area is emphasizing the need for increased awareness about how to make your kids safer.

Marc Klass, who founded the Klass Kids Foundation in honor of his daughter Polly, is in St. Louis to host a 5k run in Kirkwood tomorrow. But he also wants to remind people that young children aren't the only targets in the world of human trafficking.

Klass says we are finding out that the United States is " a demand country" for human trafficking, adding "We're really supplying a lot of our own demand with our own teenage girls."

The Klass Kids 5k and Family Fun Run is tomorrow morning at 7:30 at Kirkwood Park.

People can register on site and children can be fingerprinted and photographed for free from 8:30 until noon.

Friday, 18 October 2013 08:08
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   LOS ANGELES (AP) - Porn publisher Larry Flynt says he doesn't want to see the man whose gunshots paralyzed him 35 years ago put to death for his crimes.

   In an essay published Thursday in The Hollywood Reporter, Flynt says that while he'd love to take pliers and a pair of wire cutters to Joseph Paul Franklin, he doesn't believe in the death penalty.

   The Hustler magazine publisher says keeping Franklin locked in a tiny prison cell for the rest of his life is a greater punishment.

   Franklin has been in prison since 1980 for a string of shootings that left five people dead and others wounded.

   He is scheduled to be executed November 20th in Missouri.

   Franklin targeted blacks, Jews and people like Flynt, who he believed promoted interracial relations.

Friday, 18 October 2013 04:27
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   MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) - Mayors from cities along the Mississippi River are calling on Congress to increase funding for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for infrastructure improvements and dredging projects that keep commerce flowing on the waterway.

   Leaders of the Mississippi River Cities and Towns Initiative and the Delta Regional Authority addressed media Thursday after meeting in Memphis to discuss the Mississippi River economy.

   River ports have dealt with flooding and drought since 2011, causing water levels to reach near-record highs and hazardous lows in a span of months.

   Mayor Larry Brown of Natchez, Mississippi said the Corps does all it can to maintain river commerce, but it does not get enough congressional funding to deal with dredging and infrastructure problems. Some ports relied on local funding for dredging projects in recent years.

 

Friday, 18 October 2013 04:19
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   NAPERVILLE, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois Hospital Association has issued a report on efforts to improve care by reducing the number of patients who get infections in the hospital and other conditions.

   The report is based on the achievements of 200 hospitals and health systems in Illinois. The report finds that those hospitals reduced the number of falls, pressure ulcers, infections and other harmful events from 2011 to 2012. The estimated cost savings amount to more than $18 million.

   Hospital association president Maryjane Wurth says the group's Innovations in Care and Quality provides innovative programs, resources and tools to help member hospitals with their efforts to improve.

   Not all the news was rosy. The report finds preventable hospital re-admissions remained at about 14 percent from 2011 to 2012.

 
Friday, 18 October 2013 03:40
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   EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) - The beating death of Cahokia man whose body was found in an Illinois state park has been ruled a homicide due to blunt force trauma.

   The Telegraph in Alton reports that a Madison County coroner's inquest made the ruling Wednesday. The victim was 20 year old Dakota Jones. Three fishermen found his body in Aug. 11 in the water near a boat launch ramp at Horseshoe Lake State Park.

   Coroner Steve Nonn testified to the coroner's jury that Jones had evidence of severe head injury and his body "appeared to have been thrown."

   A man paroled after prison time for killing an elderly woman in 1989 is accused in the death. Forty-one year old Scott Thompson of Centreville is charged with first-degree murder.

 
Friday, 18 October 2013 03:18
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   Three men who admit conspiring with ex-Madison County Treasurer Fred Bathon to rig property tax auctions are free as they await sentencing.  

   John Vassen, Scott McLean and Barratt Rochman each pleaded guilty in federal court Thursday to violating the Sherman Anti-trust Act.  The three men orchestrated a multi-year "pay-for-play" scam that cheated more than 10,000 property owners out of about $2 million in excessive interest and penalty payments.  

   Bathon had pleaded guilty in February to rigging tax lien auctions between 2005 and 2008 to benefit his political donors.

   U.S. Magistrate Judge Stephen Williams set the sentencing hearing for Vassen, McLean and Rochman for Feb. 21.

Friday, 18 October 2013 03:14
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