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CHICAGO (AP) — Five small airports in Illinois are among dozens nationwide that will lose their air traffic control towers under budget cuts that have hit the Federal Aviation Administration.

The agency announced Friday that it will begin closing 149 air traffic facilities starting April 7.

The affected Illinois towers are at St. Louis Regional Airport in East Alton, Central Illinois Regional Airport at Bloomington-Normal, Decatur Airport, Southern Illinois Airport in Carbondale and Waukegan Regional Airport near Chicago.

All of the affected airports will remain open. Under long-established procedures, pilots will be left to coordinate takeoffs and landings among themselves over a shared radio frequency without help from controllers.

The FAA is being forced to trim $637 million for the rest of the fiscal year under the federal cuts known as sequestration.
Friday, 22 March 2013 17:23
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ST. LOUIS (AP) — A Missouri statute requiring both parties to sign a marriage license in the presence of a county recorder of deeds has been deemed unconstitutional when the prospective bride or groom is incarcerated.

U.S. District Judge Fernando Gaitan Jr. in Kansas City, Mo., issued the ruling Thursday in a lawsuit brought by five women engaged to Missouri inmates.

Because betrothed inmates can't make it to the recorder's office, marriage license applications involving inmates typically are brought into a prison. The lawsuit claimed that Cole County's recorder had been allowed inside prisons for 17 years, but was denied entry in August and unable to bring marriage licenses to several prisoners. The reason: He declined to list his Social Security number on a form.

The weddings scheduled for Sept. 24 were called off.
Friday, 22 March 2013 15:51
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BERKELEY, Mo. (AP) — Researchers from Washington University have joined the effort to find the grave of an unidentified child who was decapitated three decades ago.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that a research associate and three graduate students at Washington University on Thursday began helping to locate the child's misplaced grave.

Funeral director Calvin Whitaker has been trying to find the remains of the child known as "Little Jane Doe" or "Hope." Her body isn't in the grave site listed for her in Washington Park Cemetery.

Abby Stylianou, a computer science and engineering researcher, plans to compare photographs of the child's burial with aerial images and hopes to have results that could help locate the remains, which could then be examined using new DNA tests to possibly identify the child.
Friday, 22 March 2013 15:40
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri judge has granted reduced bail for the former head of the failed Moberly sweetener plant.

Bruce Cole will need to post $10,000 in cash or secure a $100,000 bond to be released from the Randolph County jail. If released, he could return to his California home and remain under house arrest.

Cole, 65, was being held on a $500,000 bond on claims he perpetrated a massive fraud by persuading Moberly to issue $39 million in bonds to fund an artificial sweetener facility that collapsed financially before construction finished.

Cole faces one theft charge and four counts of securities fraud related to the industrial development bonds issued by Moberly.

The judge granted another motion Friday to reveal what deals the state made with witnesses testifying against Cole.
Friday, 22 March 2013 15:23
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri Department of Transportation has issued a travel advisory for the weekend because of anticipated snowfalls of up to 3 inches per hour that could make driving nearly impossible at times.

Rain is expected to turn to snow Saturday afternoon across the state, posing a risk for travelers because of the rate of snowfall and lack of visibility. The storm is expected to continue until about noon Sunday in the western part of Missouri and taper off across the state throughout the day.

MoDOT spokesman Dan Niec says the storm will be just as challenging as two in late February that each dropped a foot of snow on the region.

He says the Transportation Department posts road conditions on its website, www.modot.org, which is updated continuously as conditions change.
Friday, 22 March 2013 15:20
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CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) — A St. Louis County teenager has been sentenced to 49 years in prison for a drive-by shooting that mistakenly killed the twin brother of the intended target.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that 19-year-old Justin Lewis of Ferguson was convicted last month of second-degree murder. He was sentenced Friday in the 2010 death of 18-year-old Dorione Thomas of Florissant.

Thomas was shot to death while parked with his girlfriend in Kinloch. Police say it was a case of mistaken identity because Thomas' identical twin was the one actually being targeted in a gang feud.

Lewis was the driver of the vehicle used in the shooting. The shooter, Kevin McDavis, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder in 2011 and is serving life in prison.
Friday, 22 March 2013 15:19
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Rams Cornerback Trumaine Johnson seems to have gotten himself in a bit of trouble.

A TV station in Montana is reporting that Johnson was arrested early this morning on a misdemeanor DUI charge. The Rams say they will issue a press release later today.
Friday, 22 March 2013 15:18
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The all-clear has been given after a toy gun prompted a lock-down of a Granite City school this morning. Around 8:30, a school bus driver called police about a man carrying a gun through a field behind Worthen Elementary School. After an investigation by Granite City police, they determined the gun was fake and no real threat was present. Police say a parent was walking behind the school back to his house with the toy guns after he noticed his two children had brought them to school. The school district has been notified about the incident and they are contacting parents. No criminal charges were filed.
Friday, 22 March 2013 10:46
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State Auditor Tom Schweich has released the audits of the Missouri House and the Missouri Senate today. Both bodies of government received a rating of "Good." However, the audit shows the House failed to issue proper documentation after the theft of three laptops and two printers worth about $5,000. The audit also shows the Senate solicited contributions from lobbyists to pay "various questionable costs" including retirement dinners and retirement gifts totaling about $8,500.
Friday, 22 March 2013 10:15
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Clayton Rd remains closed at Skinker as police investigate a person hit by a vehicle in the 600 block of South Skinker.
Friday, 22 March 2013 08:54
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