Several schools just north of Alton, Illinois were placed on lockdown today.
Officials with the Southwestern Community School District #9 sent a letter to parents last night telling them that they discovered a possible threat to students. There was an increased police presence at several schools and backpacks, large bags, and coats were not allowed on the campuses today.
Schools that saw heightened security included Southwestern Middle School, Southwestern High School, Brighton North Elementary, Brighton West Elementary, Medora Elementary and Shipman Elementary.
A Hazelwood woman in in custody after allegedly violently beating her 14-year-old daughter this week.
Police say Harmony Camden and her daughter were arguing on Monday when Camden his her daughter in the face and ear, then kicked her and stomped on her back.
KMOV reports the girl was taken to the hospital where doctors found blood in the teen's urine. Camden faces charges of child abuse.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - With time running out on the legislative session, The Missouri Bar and state lawmakers are acknowledging that an overhaul of the state's criminal laws won't cross the finish line.
But that group pledged on Wednesday to push for the criminal code revision next year when lawmakers have more time.
The measure is the product of a Missouri Bar committee charged with updating the criminal code for the first time since 1979. It would create new classes of felonies and misdemeanors and give judges more flexibility in sentencing.
Democratic Sen. Jolie Justus, of Kansas City, is one of the overhaul's sponsors. She says time ran out to pass the 1,000-page bill this year.
Missouri lawmakers end their annual session at 6 p.m. Friday.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Two St. Louis officials are facing federal charges that they stole nearly a half million dollars in city funds over the past eight years.
A federal grand jury indicted 43-year-old Thomas "Dan" Stritzel, the city's chief park ranger, and 55-year-old deputy parks commissioner Joseph Vacca.
The indictment released Thursday accuses each man of three mail-fraud counts, alleging they men used various schemes to spend the stolen money on vehicle leases, credit card bills and other expenses.
A message was left Thursday with Stritzel's attorney, Scott Rosenblum. Online court records don't show whether Vacca has legal counsel, and he doesn't have a listed telephone number.
Maggie Crane, a spokeswoman for Mayor Francis Slay, says the two defendants are being placed on forced, unpaid leave, pending disciplinary proceedings.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri lawmakers have given final approval to legislation replenishing an insolvent state fund for disabled workers and changing the way people get compensation for job-related illnesses.
The bill sent to the governor Thursday marks a compromise among some business groups and attorneys who represent injured workers.
The bill temporarily doubles the surcharge paid by businesses to finance a depleted state fund for disabled workers who suffer additional job-related injuries. Payments from the Second Injury Fund have been delayed to more than 1,000 people because of a shortfall.
The legislation also places occupational diseases under the umbrella of the workers' compensation system and provides enhanced payments for people suffering from asbestos-induced cancer. Recent court rulings had allowed claims for job-related illnesses to be pursed in the courts.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois concealed carry legislation that requires special permission to have a gun in Chicago is scheduled for a Senate committee vote.
The Senate Executive Committee will hear Sen. Kwame Raoul's proposal to comply with a federal appeals court ruling. The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in December that Illinois' ban on concealed carry is unconstitutional and gave lawmakers until June 9 to rectify the problem.
Raoul's measure would allow gun owners to apply to the Illinois State Police for a permit. They would need training and to clear a background check.
But those wanting to carry a gun in Chicago would also need permission from city police. The National Rifle Association opposes such an "endorsement."
UPDATED at 5:23 PM:
The man responsible for a four-hour standoff in Belleville this morning, is now facing charges.
The incident started when Dougford Butler allegedly attacked a woman from a previous relationship. He then drove off. Officers found that car outside a home and determined Butler was holed up in the house.
Around 11:30, Butler peacefully surrendered to police.
He is now charged with one count of home invasion and held on a half-million dollar bond.
Overall, crime is down in the first quarter of 2013, according to new stats from the St. Louis Metropolitan Police. Except for one St. Louis neighborhood. The Dutchtown neighborhood leads the way in many of the major crime categories. Dutchtown is bounded by Chippewa, Walsh, Compton and Gus(Teen). St. Louis Police Chief Dotson told the board of police commissioners yesterday that homicides are down by 10% across the city compared to last year over the first quarter. 30 murders have been reported so far this year compared to 33 last year. Gun-related aggravated assaults are also down significantly. Meanwhile, the number of rapes are on the rise, however the FBI recently expanded the definition of rape, and if that definition was in place last year, those rape numbers would actually be down.
UPDATE: Traffic moving along I-270
A massive accident along I-270 had traffic slowed to a crawl this morning. If you're sitting in traffic along I-270 in north county--you will be there for at least another hour. The Illinois Department of Transportation says it won't be cleared until 10:20 or 10:30.
A massive accident involving three tractor trailers along I-270 has traffic at a standstill in the eastbound lanes of I-270 into Illinois on the Canal Bridge.
The cab of one of the trucks separated and was crushed. We are told none of the drivers were hurt.
CAHOKIA, Ill. (AP) - Police say a suspect running from authorities jumped from a highway ramp leading to a Mississippi River bridge into St. Louis. The man survived and is hospitalized.
The Belleville News-Democrat reports that investigators in Cahokia, Ill., just southeast of St. Louis, were conducting a sweep Wednesday for fugitives and illegal drugs and guns when the man sped away from police trying to stop his car.
The suspect then crashed on an on-ramp of the Poplar Street Bridge and tried to flee on foot before leaping over a guardrail.
Police say he survived the fall and attempted to hide after he landed but was arrested.
His name and medical status were not immediately available Thursday.