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ST. LOUIS (AP) - The Missouri Supreme Court's decision to move ahead with two executions this year is being questioned by some death penalty observers and opponents.

The state High Court on Wednesday set execution dates for condemned killers Allen Nicklasson and Joseph Franklin.

Missouri plans to become the first-ever state to use the anesthetic propofol for lethal injection. Propofol was used in the death of pop star Michael Jackson.

States are scrambling because makers of drugs previously used in executions now prohibit their use.

Executions have been on hold in Missouri since the court declined last August to set dates for six inmates.

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster applauded the court's decision. But Death Penalty Information Center executive director Richard Dieter says using propofol will essentially be "an experiment with a human subject."

 

Thursday, 15 August 2013 14:14
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It is National Check the Chip Day. That's not chocolate chips or potato chips. It's microchips!

Those little silicon chips implanted in pets greatly increase the chance of finding your furry friend if it's lost or stolen. But a microchip only works if it's registration information is accurate.

Call in the Humane Society of Missouri and their Animal Medical Center of Mid-America. They are offering free chip checks for you pet and a discount on having a chip inserted. Microchips usually cost $42 but through Saturday, you pay only $25.

The Humane Society asks that you make an appointment for that, but if you just want a check of an existing chip they offer free walk-in visits.  For more information call 314-951-1534.

 

Thursday, 15 August 2013 13:15
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As first In a letter leaked to KTRS News, St. Louis County Police Chief Tim Fitch is telling County Executive Charlie Dooley to back off his investigation into the contract award process.

In today's letter, Fitch accuses county COO Gatry Earles of requesting information from the police that had been shared with the FBI. Fitch says this request for confidential information is "at the very least unethical and unprofessional". Fitch ends the letter by asking Dooley to instruct his staff to not have contact with employees regarding this matter.

The issue came to light after the Post-Dispatch revealed that one of Dooley's political appointees, Gregory Sansone, created a company that won the lucrative contract shortly after his appointment. Chief Fitch contacted the FBI to investigate the matter. Dooley was frustrated that Fitch involved the FBI in the matter before giving his office a chance to investigate.

 

Thursday, 15 August 2013 13:01
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A second outlet mall in Chesterfield Valley is a week away from opening its doors. Work is nearly complete on St. Louis Premium Outlets, located on the south side of Interstate 64/40 just east of Daniel Boone Bridge. Saks Fifth Avenue Off 5th will serve as the anchor for the mall, which will include 90 other designer and name-brand stores. The opening of St. Louis Premium Outlets comes on the heels of Chesterfield's other new mall opening, Taubman Prestige Outlets, which saw over 125,000 shoppers on its first weekend earlier this month. 

Thursday, 15 August 2013 09:16
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ST. LOUIS (AP) - St. Louis police are searching for a gunman who killed a man and wounded two others at a home where three young children were inside.

 

   The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/14OdamT ) reports that the attack happened late Wednesday night. Police are searching for a 25-year-old suspect. A motive hasn't been released but police say the gunman was related to at least one of the adults in the home.

 

   Police say the man forced his way into the home and shot a 27-year-old man in the head and chest, shot a 25-year-old man in the cheek, and pistol-whipped a 23-year-old woman.

 

   Children ages 3, 5 and 7 were in the home; it wasn't clear if they saw the attack.

 

   The second shooting victim was in critical but stable condition.

Thursday, 15 August 2013 09:15
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   EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) - A southwestern Illinois man faces up to 15 years in federal prison now that he's admitted to paying undercover investigators $1,500 in hopes of having sex with a seven year old girl.

   The Belleville News-Democrat reports that 65 year old David Driskill of Carrollton has pleaded guilty in East St. Louis to commercial sex trafficking. Sentencing is scheduled for Oct. 7.

   Authorities say Driskill sent text messages in May to a woman, offering to pay $3,000 if she could arrange for to have sex with a child between 7 and 11 years old. The woman instead notified authorities and cooperated with them.

   Driskill was arrested days later at a Jerseyville apartment after paying an undercover federal investigator $1,500 for the supposed sexual encounter with a girl.

 

Thursday, 15 August 2013 03:12
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   Call it the tale of two hearings.  

   Missouri Senate and House committees each held hearings Wednesday on the state's Medicaid program.  Each focused on different perspectives.  

   At the House hearing in St. Louis, most testified in favor of expanding Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act.  But at the Senate hearing in Jefferson City, the stress was on the need to overhaul the system first -- by finding ways to reduce costs and improve care.  

   The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Missouri's 8.5-billion dollar Medicaid program currently serves 875-thousand low-income seniors, people with disabilities, and families with children.  Expansion would add about 260-thousand low-income, working people.

Thursday, 15 August 2013 02:45
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   Two Missouri death row inmates now know when they're slated to die.  The state's high court on Wednesday set execution dates for long-serving inmates Allen Nicklasson and Joseph Franklin.  

   Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster last month had asked the court to move forward with their sentences.  

   The court didn't explain why it decided to set the dates.  Executions in Missouri have been on hold since 2012 when a federal court challenge was raised over the use of the drug propofol in executions in the state.   

   Nicklasson's execution is set for October 23rd and Franklin's is November 20th.

   Nicklasson was convicted of the 1994 killing of Excelsior Springs businessman Richard Drummond, who stopped to help when a car used by Nicklasson and two others broke down on Interstate 70 in Callaway County.  Another man in the car, Dennis Skillicorn, was executed in 2009.

   Franklin was convicted of the 1977 sniper shooting of Gerald Gordon as a crowd dispersed from a bar mitzvah at the Brith Sholom Kneseth Israel Congregation in Richmond Heights. Two others were wounded.

 

Thursday, 15 August 2013 01:07
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   Sunset Hills aldermen are expected to give final approval at their next meeting to a measure that will allow bow hunters to hunt deer inside the city limits.  

   The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that aldermen gave initial approval this week to a plan aimed at controlling the rising deer population.  

   Under the plan, bow hunters would need a valid hunting license and an insurance policy or indemnity bond worth at least two-million dollars.  They'd have to hunt from a 10 foot high deer stand and only on parcels of one acre or larger.  

   Officials will host a forum next Tuesday evening at 7 (Aug. 20) at City Hall to answer residents' questions.

Thursday, 15 August 2013 00:43
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West Nile has remained out of the public discussion for much of the summer. Health officials tell KTRS News, the threat is not over.

"I'm happy that we're half way into August and--knock on wood--we haven't had any person get sick with West Nile Virus," says Drew Hane, manager of Vector Control in St. Louis County.

He says that despite below average temperatures it is still plenty warm for the mosquito population to grow. The increase in precipitation from this year compared to last has caused the mosquito population to explode. This presents a unique problem, "If it was 4% of mosquitoes last year and we've got twice as much population and it's still 4%, you're now twice as likely to run into those 4% of mosquitoes because there are so many out there."

Hane says the best protection is still an insect repellent with deet or picaridin.

 

Wednesday, 14 August 2013 17:59
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