An Arnold grandmother is headed to prison for being drunk when she caused an accident that killed her granddaughter.
Theresa Fortner will spend 12 and-a-half years in prison. Fortner was driving her 20-month-old granddaughter on Interstate 55 when she crashed into a street sign, a house, a tree and a fence. The car's black box showed she was traveling nearly 70 miles an hour and never applied the brakes before the accident.
Fortner's blood alcohol content was almost triple the legal limit.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - The driver of a van that overturned along an Illinois freeway, killing five passengers, has told investigators he recalls little of the moments leading to the wreck.
The Associated Press obtained an Illinois State Police report on the crash through a Freedom of Information Act request. According to the report, Malcolm Purnell said he's unsure if he fell asleep just before the May 20 crash on Interstate 70 during a coast-to-coast drive.
He said he doesn't remember much beyond that the vehicle's occupants were laughing moments earlier.
Purnell was among six occupants injured in the crash near Vandalia. They were returning east from a California ministry gathering.
Purnell was cited for improper lane usage and driving with a suspended license.
Messages left with his Philadelphia attorney weren't returned.
With the 4th of July in sight, new details are emerging about Fair St. Louis and the VP Parade downtown. The 136th annual VP Parade steps off from a new location and time this year. The parade starts at 9:30 Thursday morning from the newly renovated Central Library. From there, it heads north on Tucker, east down Washington Avenue, south on 4th street, then East on Market, where it wraps up at City Garden. Approximately 30 floats and 12 marching bands will take part in the parade. As for the musical acts, Trace Atkins takes the stage on the 4th, Bret Michaels on the 5th, and the Counting Crows wrap things up on the 6th.
A child was thrown from a car during a serious accident this afternoon.
Police say an officer saw a driver speeding on Broadway towards the River City Casino. The officer tried to pull the suspect over, but the driver increased speed and ran several traffic lights. At the intersection of Broadway and Marceau the suspect slammed into several cars. Two adults suffered minor injuries and a 4-year-old child was ejected from a vehicle. The child is in critical condition.
Crews remain at the scene.
Friends and family of the teen found dead in a Columbia, Illinois house yesterday, held a prayer service last hour.
17-year-old Erin Schneider was found dead during the investigation into a missing person report. The Major Case Squad has taken over the investigation and say an autopsy is planned for today. Investigators hope exam will shed light on what killed Schneider.
No arrests have been made in the case.
An autopsy will be performed later today on a teenage girl whose body was found in a Columbia home Thursday.
Major Case Squad Deputy Commander Thomas Coppotelli says police have identified the victim as 17 year old Erin Schneider of Columbia. Schneider's body was discovered by Columbia Police in a home in the 200 block of Riebeling. Schneider had been reported missing earlier in the day.
Columbia Police Chief won't speculate as to how Schneider died, saying an autopsy will be performed later today.
The major case squad is investigating another crime scene in connection with the teen's death, but has not identified that location.
Police say there have been no arrests, but police say they are questioning two people.
Grief counselors will be on hand Friday morning at Columbia High School. Students, teachers and friends of the victim can speak with counselors starting at 9 a.m.
There will also be a non-denominational prayer service Friday at noon at Immaculate Conception Church on Quarry Rd. in Columbia for Erin Schnieder.
Mosquitoes carrying the West Nile virus are in the metro area.
The Madison County Health Department announced that a mosquito batch collected from just outside Granite City, Illinois tested positive for the virus. Officials say the best way to avoid West Nile is to practice the "Three R's".
- REDUCE exposure - avoid being outdoors when mosquitoes are most active, especially between dusk and dawn.
- Make sure doors and windows have tight-fitting screens. Repair or replace screens that have tears or other openings. Try to keep doors and windows shut, especially at night.
- Eliminate all sources of standing water where mosquitoes can breed, including flowerpots, wading pools, old tires and any other receptacles. Change water in bird baths weekly.
- REPEL - when outdoors, wear shoes and socks, long pants and a long-sleeved shirt, and apply insect repellent that contains DEET, picaridin, oil of lemon eucalyptus or IR 3535, according to label instructions. Consult a physician before using repellents on infants.
- REPORT - In communities where there are organized mosquito control programs, contact your municipal government to report areas of stagnant water in roadside ditches, flooded yards and similar locations that may produce mosquitoes.
Last year 290 Illinois residents were infected with the virus and 12 died.
Additional information about West Nile virus can be found on the Illinois Department of Public Health’s Web site at www.idph.state.il.us/envhealth/wnv.htm or contact Madison County Health Department at (618) 296-6079 or visit our website at http://www.madisonchd.org/west-nile-virus-vector-surveillance.shtml
CHICAGO (AP) - Members of a bipartisan panel tasked with coming up with a plan to address Illinois' pension crisis don't all agree with Gov. Pat Quinn's July 9 deadline to report back with a solution.
Democratic Sen. Kwame Raoul says it could take longer than that. He spoke to reporters Thursday before the panel's first public hearing. He says another hearing will take place next week.
The 10-member panel was formed after a special session this month. Both chambers remain divided and the group has been charged with finding compromise.
Republican Sen. Mat Murphy says July 9 is a reasonable target.
Six Democrats and four Republicans are on the committee.
Illinois has the worst state pension shortfall nationwide, largely due to lawmakers skipping or shorting payments to public-employee retirement funds.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - St. Louis lags behind many other metropolitan areas in attracting immigrants. A new effort is underway to change that.
The St. Louis Mosaic Project was formally launched Thursday. The ambitious goal is to make the St. Louis region the fastest-growing metropolitan area in the U.S. for immigration growth by 2020.
St. Louis is the nation's 19th largest metropolitan area but immigrants make up just 4.5 percent of the region's population, which ranks 43rd.
The St. Louis Mosaic Project hopes to draw more immigrants through several outreach efforts, including a website that will offer 10 links for people of different nationalities
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A judge has spared members of Gov. Jay Nixon's administration from testifying before a Missouri House panel investigating state driver's license procedures.
Cole County Circuit Judge Dan Green issued a preliminary order Thursday blocking the committee from proceeding with the subpoenas. The order did not elaborate on why.
An attorney representing the Nixon administration employees had argued the subpoenas imposed an unreasonable burden by providing too little notice and taking the employees away from important work. He also asserted there was no legal authority for the subpoenas.
The committee is looking into whether state officials tried to implement provisions of the Real ID Act, despite a state law forbidding compliance with the federal proof-of-identity law.
House Speaker Tim Jones issued the subpoenas. He suggested Nixon is trying to hide something.
PERRYVILLE, Mo. (AP) - Two men face sentencing in September after pleading guilty to a counterfeit credit card scheme in southeast Missouri.
The Southeast Missourian reports that 33-year-old Faisal Elmi of Alexandria, Va., and 26-year-old Mamadou Sall of Cheverly, Md., pleaded guilty Monday.
Police say they discovered in November that the two men and a third suspect used fraudulent cards to buy cigarettes, fuel and more than $1,000 worth of other merchandise at several Perryville businesses.
Police say a search of the suspects' motel room found a laptop computer connected to a stripe-card reader and writer and more than 100 counterfeit credit cards using numbers of legitimate customers.
The third suspect, 43-year-old Lisa Paige of Alexandria, goes to trial in August.