CHICAGO (AP) - A government study finds the suicide rate among middle-aged Illinois residents is increasing, but not by as much as the national rate for the same age group.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the report Thursday. The agency provided state numbers to The Associated Press.
Between 1999 and 2010, the suicide rate in Illinois among those ages 35 to 64 climbed nearly 19 percent. The rate rose from 11 suicides per 100,000 people to 13 suicides per 100,000.
The national suicide rate for the same age group rose by 28 percent.
Health officials say new strategies for suicide prevention should address issues middle-aged Americans are likely to face. Those issues include financial challenges, caregiver responsibilities for children and aging parents, and health problems.
A 34-year-old man faces several charges after prosecutors say he tried to rape a Bridgeton woman before violently attacking her with a hammer.
Police say on April 21 Daniel Lee broke into the woman's home to steal coins. Lee found the home owner then allegedly tried to rape her and started to viciously beat her with the hammer. During the arrest, police say Lee also tried to grab an officer's gun.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri senator blocked a vote on a bill that would base some state funding for Missouri public universities on performance standards and career placement.
Republican Sen. Kurt Schaefer, of Columbia, blocked the Senate vote Thursday. He says the Legislature should spend more time studying the effects of the proposed higher education funding formula before voting. Lawmakers have until fiscal year 2015 to put the formula in place.
Under the legislation, 10 percent of state funding to universities would be tied to whether a school meets performance and career placement goals.
Currently, the state allots money to higher education institutions based largely upon how much colleges and universities received in the past and how much Missouri has available for the future.
We now know the identity of a 13-year-old boy who was shot and killed in Granite City Wednesday night.
Clayton Veninga was sitting on the porch of his home when a group of people started shooting. Witnesses say the teen started running for help when he collapsed--he was pronounced dead a short time later.
Police are not certain if Veninga was the intended target and are asking for anyone who has information to call the CrimeStoppers at 866-371-TIPS.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is proposing using $86 million in next year's budget for work at the state mental hospital, state Capitol and state parks.
Nixon said Thursday an improving budget situation could allow for the "strategic one-time investments." The governor is proposing $13 million for the planning and design of a new facility at the Fulton State Hospital, $28 million for structural repairs to the state Capitol and $45 million for improvements at state parks.
The announcement came shortly after Nixon's budget office announced that state revenues through April are up 11.2 percent for fiscal year.
In addition, Nixon announced Thursday he is releasing $29.6 million that he blocked when the budget took effect last summer. The money will go to various programs, including health and education initiatives.
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - Some favorite leisure time activities in Missouri could become high school sports.
The Missouri State High School Activities Association announced Thursday that member schools voted to allow schools to sponsor teams in bass fishing, chess, bowling and target shooting, beginning next year.
The association says it could eventually hold state championships in the events. First, at least 50 schools in at least three of the state's eight districts would have to have teams in the sports. Then member schools would decide whether to add the state championships
The Springfield News-Leader reports if the championships are approved, they would be added to the next two-year cycle.
Schools also voted to allow softball championships in the fall or spring. And track and field will add a fifth class next spring.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Senate has passed a bill that would allow designated school personnel to carry concealed weapons in school buildings.
The Senate voted 26-6 Thursday to pass the measure. It now heads back to the House for further consideration.
The bill would allow school employees to voluntary become "protection officers" if they have a valid concealed weapons permit and undergo training for the position.
The legislation would also lower the minimum age required to obtain a concealed weapons permit from 21 to 19. It would also allow firearms of less than 16 inches to be openly carried even in municipalities that have ordinances against it.
A man convicted for his role in a deadly version of the Knockout Game has been sentenced to 55 years in prison. 20-year-old Elex Murphy was found guilty last month of killing an elderly immigrant and injuring his wife while the two were walking home from a grocery store in Dutchtown. Prosecutors said Murphy and a group of friends approached the couple near Chippewa and Spring Streets, when Murphy punched 72-year-old Hoang Nguyen in the face. He later died from his injuries.
Chess players and fans from around the world are gathering in St. Louis for the chess circuit's biggest event of the year.
For the fifth year in a row, the US and US Women's Chess Championships are being held at the The Chess Club and Scholastic Center of Saint Louis at 4657 Maryland Avenue in the Central West End.
Fox Sports Midwest will broadcast the action over a live stream. If you plan on checking out the action in person, tickets to the tournament are $10 per round.
One of the biggest names in the tournament this year is one of the smallest people. 12-year-old Sam Sevian from California is the current, reigning, under-12 world champion. Sevian was extended a wildcard invitation to play in the tournament.
Club spokesman Mike Wilmering says chess is putting St. Louis on the map.
"St. Louis really has become recognized as the chess epicenter internationally," Wilmering said. "I think more people are starting to open up their eyes and realize we have a really great thing here in St. Louis."
Opening ceremonies kick off tonight at 6:00pm. Play continues through May 13.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster says more than $600,000 has been recovered for the Missouri Medicaid program as part of a national settlement against the drug-maker Amgen Inc.
Amgen agreed last month to pay $24.9 million to resolve claims it gave kickbacks to increase sales of its anemia drug Aranesp. Missouri was among several states that accused Amgen of a scheme aimed at inducing nursing home professionals to dispense Aranesp over competing drugs. Missouri's share is $603,493.
Aranesp is one of Amgen's biggest-selling drugs, though sales have fallen sharply since 2007 because of a series of safety problems and restrictions on its use.
In December, Amgen agreed to pay $762 million to resolve federal litigation accusing it of marketing Aranesp for unapproved uses.