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Homeless advocate Reverend Larry Rice is back, this time hoping to reestablish Integrity Village at same site that was condemned by the city last year. The city shut down the homeless camp at Vandeventer and I-44 in May of last year, citing public health concerns and no occupancy permits as reasons for condemnation. Rice and three others were arrested that night after refusing to vacate the property. A prayer tent is expected to be pitched Tuesday after a recent court ruling said Rice can once again practice religion on the property. 

Tuesday, 10 September 2013 09:13
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   A group home for people with eating disorders is getting the go ahead in Town and Country.  

   The Board of Aldermen Monday night unanimously approved a conditional use permit for a McCallum Place residential treatment center in a single-family home the 13,400 block of Conway Road.  

   The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the city had little say over the plan because it met with conditions set by state law.  

   The home, which sits alone on 18 acres near Maryville University, would serve up to eight people.  The paper reports that other than some striped parking spaces, there would be no changes to the site.

   McCallum Place operates other eating disorder treatment facilities in Webster Groves and Kirkwood.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013 03:35
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   Two metro-east teachers are among the finalists for Illinois Teacher of the Year.

   Sina Rowe is a kindergarten to third grade special education teacher at Goshen Elementary School in Edwardsville.  Donna Whitaker teaches seventh grade Science at West Junior High School in Belleville.  

   They're among 11 finalists named Monday by state education officials.  The winner will be announced at an October banquet in Normal.

   Other finalists: John Bierbaum at Normal Community West High School in Normal, Mark Buesing at Libertyville High School in Libertyville, Amanda Dearmond at DuQuoin Middle School in DuQuoin, William Fritz at Adlai Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire, DeLores Mannes at Parker Junior High School in Flossmoor, Kerry (Fran) Meyers at Brimfield Grade School in Brimfield, Pam Reilly at Woodbury Elementary School in Sandwich, Aaron Sitze at Oregon High School in Oregon and Amy Walsh at Tioga School in Bensenville.

 
Tuesday, 10 September 2013 03:15
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   CHICAGO (AP) - Riverboat casinos in Illinois want to remain open for business around the clock.

   The Illinois Casino Gaming Association is asking state regulators for the okay to operate 24 hours a day. Currently, no casinos are open more than 22 hours.

   The Illinois Gaming Board has scheduled a public hearing for Sept. 19 in Chicago to consider the request.

   Tom Swoik is executive director of the casino gaming association, which represents most of the state's casinos. He says video gaming already is available around the clock at places such as truck stops.

   Swoik says 24-hour operations would raise revenue for the casinos and the state and create jobs.

   Opponents say extending casino hours create more problems for compulsive gamblers, who would never have to leave the casino.

 
Tuesday, 10 September 2013 02:10
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   CHICAGO (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn claims Illinois has added 80,000 jobs through foreign firms since he took office, but some economists say he can't take all the credit.

   The Chicago Democrat released new jobs figures while in Japan for a conference with other governors and business executives. He returns on Tuesday.

   Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity spokeswoman Sandra Jones says Quinn's figures come from a report from Dun & Bradstreet Credibility Corp. That's a New Jersey-based credit reporting service for businesses. The figures are from 2009's end to earlier this year.

   University of Illinois economist Fred Giertz says the increase is possible, but much of it is automatic. He says international companies want to do business in Illinois and some will whether an elected official pushes it or not.

 

Tuesday, 10 September 2013 02:01
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   A nonprofit agency that had wanted to build a youth group home in Brentwood is already looking for sites in neighboring communities after the Board of Aldermen voted down the project Monday night.  The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Mayor Patrick Kelly had tried to win support for the Boys Hope Girls Hope home before the thumbs down vote on a zoning change and land use permit.  

   The group had wanted to demolish adjacent homes in the 8800 block of  Madge Avenue -- one vacant , the other a rental -- and build residence halls for 20 boys and girls along with offices for the nonprofit's 14 employees.

  Boys Hope Girls Hope helps academically capable and motivated children-in-need to meet their full potential by providing value-centered, family-like homes, opportunities and education through college.  More information about the non-profit group can be found on their website.  

Tuesday, 10 September 2013 01:24
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   The body of a fisherman who fell into the Missouri River in Franklin County Sunday has been recovered.  Highway Patrol Sergeant Chris Patton says the body of 40 year old Scott Shockley was found about two miles from where he had entered the river.

   Authorities say Shockley fell into the water near Berger, Missouri about 8:30 Sunday morning after becoming tangled in his trout line.  

   One of his two sons dove in to help, but Shockley was pulled away by the river's swift current.

   Officials say Shockley had been spending the weekend on the river camping and fishing with family and friends.

 

Tuesday, 10 September 2013 01:14
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Two men are accused of shooting and killing a man outside of an East St. Louis nightclub.

Police say Dameon Floore and Torcus Boone killed Kenneth Richards in the parking lot of Denese's Place. Floore is in police custody and held on $9,000,000 bail.

Boone remains at large and is reportedly in the metro east. Police say Boone should be considered armed and dangerous.

Anyone with information about their location should call the Illinois State Police at 618-346-3990 or Crime Stoppers at 866-371-TIPS (8477).

Monday, 09 September 2013 16:32
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ST. LOUIS (AP) - Two former top St. Louis parks officials face December federal sentencing now that they've admitted stealing nearly half a million dollars from the city since 2005.

Thomas "Dan" Stritzel, the city's 43-year-old chief park ranger, and the deputy parks commissioner, 55-year-old Joseph Vacca, each pleaded guilty to three counts of mail fraud involving the theft of roughly $465,000.

A May indictment alleged that from January 2005 through the end of last year, Stritzel and Vacca used false or inflated invoices to funnel the pilfered city funds through sham companies. Prosecutors say they spent the money on vehicles, paying off credit card debt, and other expenses.

They each face up to 20 years in prison and $250,000 in fines on each count.

Court records show Vacca filed for bankruptcy in 2009.

 

Monday, 09 September 2013 14:16
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich says officials violated state law by requiring driver's license clerks to make electronic copies of applicants' personal documents.

Schweich released an analysis Monday concluding the Department of Revenue broke state law by implementing the policy last December without publishing a formal rule change.

That policy ended in July as a result of a bill passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor. But Schweich had been asked in April by senators to look into the policy.

The auditor's office says the document scanning policy did not technically violate a separate state law prohibiting Missouri from amending its procedures to comply with the federal Real ID proof-of-identity law. But had the department published a rule, Schweich said it would have violated the anti-Real ID law.

 

Monday, 09 September 2013 14:10
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