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The suspect in a fatal carjacking has pleaded guilty to killing an 85-year-old grandmother.

21-year-old DaQuan Barnes will get a 60-year-sentence for the murder instead of life in prison under an agreement with prosecutors.

Prosecutors say Barnes and two accomplices, identified as 39-year-old LaTosha Cunningham and 30-year-old DeMarcus Barnes, waited for Yoko Cullen outside of a Collinsville bingo hall in May of 2011. Barnes force her into the trunk of her car, drove to east St. Louis, and set the vehicle on fire.

Investigators say Cullen was alive as the vehicle burned. 

 

 

 

Wednesday, 04 September 2013 16:38
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The $50 million renovation of the Illinois Capitol building includes three copper-covered wooden doorways that cost $669,608.

State officials released the price tag for the doors Wednesday in response to media inquiries more than a week ago. They had first said the cost could not be itemized.

Capitol architect J. Richard Alsop III says materials and fabrication made up $535,808 of the cost and installation and engineering make up the rest.

Alsop says the doors give the building a "desired and appropriate historical fabric." A spokesman for House Speaker Michael Madigan explained the cost by noting that the building is a national landmark.

The $50 million project is being paid for with construction bonds. It includes replacement of heating and air-conditioning and bringing the building up to current safety codes.

 

Wednesday, 04 September 2013 15:40
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The St. Louis-based food chain, Lion's Choice is being sold, but keeping its roots in St. Louis.

The owner and co-founder of the chain, Marvin Gibbs, is selling the chain's parent company to a private equity group headquartered in St. Louis. The Post-Dispatch reports that Mark Disper, who was the chain's first franchisee is the new CEO. Disper hopes to add as many as 15 new locations to the existing 23 in the metro area.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Wednesday, 04 September 2013 15:28
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Drivers headed to the Cardinals games this weekend should be aware of some closures on I-64.

MoDOT will be closing lanes on 64 at the Poplar Street Bridge starting Friday night. Crews will reopen lanes for one hour before and after the Cardinals games to accommodate the additional traffic. Fans headed to the Rams game on Sunday will also be dealing with closures.

The closures are all part of the project to replace the driving surface on the Poplar Street Bridge.

Here is the work MoDOT is planning for this weekend in St. Louis City:

  • Friday, September 6, crews will be closing two left lanes on westbound I-64 at the Poplar Street Bridge starting at 8 p.m.  At 12:01 Saturday, crews will close the left two lanes on eastbound I-64. At least one through lane on I-64 will remain open in both directions on the bridge and in the city. All lanes will reopen before 5 a.m. Monday.
  • Saturday, September 7, crews will close the ramp from eastbound I-70 to the Poplar Street Bridge at 12:01 a.m. Crews will reopen the ramp before the end of the Cardinal games on Saturday and Sunday. They will close the ramp one hour after the end of the Cardinal games on each day. The ramp will reopen before 5 a.m. Monday.
  • Saturday, September 7, crews will be shifting traffic on eastbound I-64 between Kingshighway and Boyle. Crews will close the two left lanes at 12:01 a.m. Saturday morning. Crews will have at least two eastbound lanes open an hour before the start of Saturday’s game. Once the game starts, crews will close lanes again.  All lanes are projected to be reopened by 5 a.m. Sunday. When the lanes reopen all three through lanes of traffic will be shifted to the right.

 

Wednesday, 04 September 2013 15:26
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One of the largest employers in Missouri is creating even more jobs.

AT&T plans to fill more than 185 positions in the state. They are looking to fill part-time and full-time positions across retail and business sales and U-Verse technicians. AT&T has made massive investments in Missouri's networks--nearly a quarter-of-a-billion dollars in the first half of this year.

The company employees nearly 11,000 people throughout the state.

 

Wednesday, 04 September 2013 15:22
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has no plans to call a special legislative session to craft a new version of a bill cutting income taxes.

Nixon spokesman Scott Holste said Wednesday that trying to put together a new bill at the last moment would be an irresponsible approach to a complex issue.

Nixon vetoed a bill earlier this year that would cut income taxes. Lawmakers are to convene Sept. 11 to consider overriding that veto.

Republican House member T.J. Berry, of Kearney, was the sponsor of that bill. He had asked Nixon to call a special session to begin the same day as the veto session. Berry says lawmakers could correct problems Nixon noted in the legislation.

Holste says Nixon is willing to work on the issue during the 2014 session.

 

Wednesday, 04 September 2013 15:20
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FRANKFORD, Mo. (AP) - A 45-year-old suburban St. Louis man accused of shooting his adult son to death told a northeast Missouri deputy that "he had no other choice."

Michael Lee Phillips of St. John is charged with second-degree murder and armed criminal action after the shooting death of 22-year-old Jeff Chisholm in rural Pike County last Saturday night.

The Quincy Herald-Whig reports that Phillips said he first fired a warning shot that didn't dissuade his son from advancing as they fought.

A probable cause statement says witnesses reported Chisholm arguing with his girlfriend and then his mother as she tried to prevent her son from driving after he had been drinking.

Phillips was scheduled to appear in court Wednesday morning. Online court records do not list an attorney on his behalf.

Wednesday, 04 September 2013 13:19
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Panhandlers are suing Illinois' capital city for allegedly violating their First Amendment rights to free speech by stopping them from asking for money.

The suit filed this week in federal court in Springfield says police wrongly tell panhandlers it's illegal to panhandle. If they don't leave an area, the suit says the panhandlers are sometimes arrested.

The lawsuit cites one plaintiff as making less than $25 a day panhandling with a sign reading, "Please Help Out Any Way U Can." It claims the 52-year-old has been arrested for panhandling.

Similar lawsuits have been filed across Illinois, including in Chicago.

The Springfield suit seeks unspecified damages and asks that a city law prohibiting "vocal appeals" for "immediate donations" be declared unconstitutional.

Springfield's city spokesman didn't immediately return messages seeking comment.

Wednesday, 04 September 2013 13:16
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ST. CHARLES, Ill. (AP) - Three courthouses in Kane County are open again after being evacuated due to bomb threats.

The Kane County Sheriff's Office says on its Twitter account that the courthouses were reopened Wednesday afternoon and "no suspicious items were found." Lt. Pat Gengler is with the Kane County Sheriff's Office. He says officers were investigating "a series of bomb threats" made against the three separate courthouses.

The facilities evacuated Wednesday morning include the Kane County Judicial Center in St. Charles and the Elgin Branch Court in Elgin. Also the Kane Branch Court and Kane County Clerk's office, which are in the same building in St. Charles.

Wednesday, 04 September 2013 13:14
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A strip club in East St. Louis could be facing harsh penalties after a fatal shooting over the weekend.

Police say 20-year-old Kenneth Richards was shot and killed in the parking lot of Denese's Place late Saturday night. The club has had its liquor license suspended until the results of a hearing that takes place Wednesday at 2:30 PM. Officials say the hearing could result in more penalties.

Police meanwhile continue their search for an SUV involved in the shooting. The vehicle is described as a white GMC Yukon or Suburban. Anyone with information is asked to  call Crimestoppers at (866) 371-TIPS (8477).

Wednesday, 04 September 2013 13:08
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