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The former fire chief of two districts is headed to prison after admitting to fraud, tax evasion, and stealing nearly $600,000 from his departments.

Eric Hinson will spend 35 months in federal prison and repay over $600,000. Hinson used fire district credit cards to pay for family vacations to Hawaii and Florida and business checks to pay for personal expenses. The investigation into the spending revealed he altered the fire department's books to cover up his theft.

 

Thursday, 13 June 2013 14:32
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The Caseyville police chief facing misconduct charges, is dead from an apparent self-inflicted gun shot wound.

J.D. Roth was found on the back patio of his Fairview Heights home Thursday. Roth was under investigation for allegedly letting his girlfriend off for a felony drunk driving charge. Investigators also alleged that he used a pickup that was seized during a drug bust for personal reasons.

The Caseyville Mayor George Chance fired Roth in March. Roth had been chief for 10 years.

Thursday, 13 June 2013 13:42
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Organizers say that because of the Boston Marathon bombings tighter security will be in place at a St. Louis race.

Helen Chestnut--executive director for the Susan G Komen race for the cure tells KTRS News nearly 40-thousand people are expected for this Saturday's race. Police do not plan to search backpacks but Chestnut offers this advice, "You bring a backpack keep it with you. There are the see-through backpacks that are good too. But the main thing is to keep...your personal items with you."

Noticeable extra security measures include bomb-detection dogs, security cameras and uniformed officers. St. Louis Police Chief Sam Dotson also asks participants to report anyone who looks suspicious. The race kicks off around 7:30 Saturday morning. 

Thursday, 13 June 2013 13:35
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Workers are back at it on the Blanchette Bridge today for the first time since a contractor died earlier this week.

51-year-old Patrick Bray was killed after a large drum fell on him on Monday. The accident delayed work on 70 at the Fifth Street exit.

MoDOT says that work will start Monday night and run through July 8. Crews will close one lane of westbound 70 while the resurface the Fifth Street Bridge.

Drivers are advised to use alternate routes while the additional closures are in effect.

 

Thursday, 13 June 2013 13:27
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A list of the most sinful cities in America names St. Louis as the true Sin City.

Real estate blog Movoto compiled the list using the Seven Deadly Sins.

The sin scores were compiled using the following metrics:

Strip clubs per capita (Lust)

Cosmetic surgeons per capita (Pride)

Violent crime per year per 1,000 residents (Wrath)

Theft per year per 1,000 residents (Envy)

Percentage of disposable income given to charity each year (Greed)

Percentage of obese residents (Gluttony)

Percentage of physically inactive residents (Sloth)

St. Louis finished in the top three of three sins, Wrath, Envy, and Sloth.

Surprisingly, Las Vegas was listed as the 10th most sinful city.

 

Thursday, 13 June 2013 12:22
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ST. LOUIS (AP) - Prospects of a strike involving union workers at Patriot Coal Corp. are intensifying after a bankruptcy judge signed off on the company's push to abandon its labor agreement with the miners.

Bargaining between the United Mine Workers of America and St. Louis-based Patriot has taken a break, with the company empowered by the judge's May 29 ruling.

That decision allows Patriot to make deep cuts to benefits for thousands of retirees, while also altering its labor deal involving existing employees.

The union and the company say they are negotiating in good faith, though the union says what's on the table right now may be sent to the membership for consideration of whether a strike is in order.

Patriot counters that a walkout could force it to liquidate.

 

Thursday, 13 June 2013 12:21
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ST. CHARLES, Mo. (AP) - A former massage therapist in St. Charles faces sentencing Aug. 8 after admitting that he secretly videotaped clients.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that 39-year-old Kirk Jackson pleaded guilty Wednesday to 14 counts of felony invasion of privacy. He was charged last year after a woman at the clinic for a massage discovered what she thought was a video camera hidden under a tissue box cover.

That led to an undercover operation. Authorities found about 140 videos they say were taken of women in the restroom, tanning beds and massage therapy rooms.

Jackson is facing similar charges in St. Louis city and county.

 
Thursday, 13 June 2013 12:17
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Administrators of the school district in Cahokia, Illinois plan to close two schools in an effort to spare education programs and teaching jobs.

The board is looking to close an early childhood center and the freshman academy. The freshmen will be merged in with students at the regular high school.

 

Thursday, 13 June 2013 11:10
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GODFREY, Ill. (AP) - A southwestern Illinois prosecutor says a boy bitten by a pet monkey during a dog event will undergo precautionary rabies vaccinations rather than having the primate euthanized to see if it's infected with the disease.

Madison County State's Attorney Tom Gibbons tells The (Alton) Telegraph that the decision involving the 6-year-old boy came after the prosecutor's office consulted with the child's parents.

The monkey named Nina has been in quarantine since it bit the boy June 2 when the child tried to pet the java macaque during a yearly "Bark in the Park" event in Godfrey. 

No charges have been filed, and Gibbons' office is trying to determine who legally owns the monkey.

Dr. David Hall with Madison County's animal-control office says his agency was seeking advice from the Illinois Department of Agriculture.

   

Thursday, 13 June 2013 09:16
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Gannett Co., the owner of USA TODAY and other newspaper and television properties, including KSDK-TV, across the USA and United Kingdom, announced Thursday that it is entering into a definitive merger agreement with Belo Corp., catapulting Gannett into the nation's fourth-largest owner of major network affiliates reaching nearly a third of U.S. households.

Belo owns and operates 20 TV stations -nine in the top 25 markets - and their associated websites.

The acquisition nearly doubles Gannett's current broadcast portfolio from 23 to 43 stations, including stations to be serviced by Gannett through shared services or similar sharing arrangements.

Gannett will acquire all outstanding shares of Belo for $13.75 per share in cash, or approximately $1.5 billion, plus assume $715 million in existing debt for an enterprise value of approximately $2.2 billion. The transaction, which has been unanimously approved by the boards of directors of both companies, represents a 28.1% premium to the closing price of Belo common stock on June 12, 2013.

President and Chief Executive Officer Gracia Martore of Gannett, said, "We are thrilled to bring together two highly respected media companies with rich histories of award-winning journalism, operational excellence and strong brand leadership."

Belo's President and Chief Executive Officer Dunia Shive said, "This is an outstanding and financially compelling transaction for our shareholders. It is also a testament to the tremendous value our employees have created over Belo's long history and to the strength of our brand in the media industry."

Headquartered in McLean, Virginia, Gannett engages more than 100 million people every month through its network of broadcast, digital, mobile and publishing properties. In addition to USA TODAY, Gannett owns regional newspapers such as the Detroit Free Press and The Courier-Journal in Louisville, Ky.

Shares (GCI) in Gannett closed down 1.59% on Wednesday but have soared to $19.85 from $12.50 in July as the company has aggressively pursued efforts to diversity its business model.

Gannett earned $104.6 million, or 44 cents per share, in the January-March period. That was up from $68.2 million, or 28 cents per share, a year earlier. Revenue grew 1.6% to $1.24 billion from $1.22 billion.

 

Thursday, 13 June 2013 07:39
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