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KIRKSVILLE, Mo. (AP) - A hearing for a northeast Missouri man charged with killing and dismembering his neighbor was delayed when the defendant could not attend the proceeding. The hearing for 49-year-old Paul R. Potter of Kirksville was continued Thursday until April 12. Potter faces first-degree murder and other charges in the January death of 74-year-old Willis Edward Meredith. Prosecutors say Potter stabbed Meredith, dismembered his body and set fires to conceal the crime. He also allegedly threw the victim's arms at witnesses shortly before he was arrested. The Kirksville Daily Express reports (http://bit.ly/10gMZRF ) prosecutors wanted Potter to attend the hearing. But his attorney, Kevin Locke, said Potter was not in condition to make an unplanned appearance at the hearing and the judge agreed to continue it.
Friday, 08 March 2013 09:18
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Travelers will be able to fly Southwest Airlines out of Branson starting tomorrow.

Southwest plans to offer one daily flight each to Chicago, Dallas and Houston.

Airport officials say Southwest will add a second daily flight to Chicago starting in June.
Friday, 08 March 2013 08:56
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CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri jury has convicted a man of playing a role in the 2011 killing of a man whose burned body was found near a trash bin in neighboring Illinois.

A St. Louis County jury deliberated about three hours Wednesday before finding 41-year-old Ernest Smith guilty of second-degree murder and armed criminal action. A co-defendant, 19-year-old Marquan Prete, has pleaded not guilty and awaits trial.

Authorities allege Smith lured 30-year-old Christopher Scott of Normandy to his house after suspecting him in a previous break-in. After an argument, investigators believe Prete tackled Scott and held him down before Smith shot him twice.

Scott's burned body was later found dumped in Madison, Ill.

Prete's attorney has acknowledged his client was present during the killing but says he took no part in it.
Friday, 08 March 2013 08:22
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WOOD RIVER, Ill. (AP) - Authorities in Wood River, Illinois say they've identified the body of a suspected heroin overdose victim as that of a 28-year-old man.

The (Alton) Telegraph reports that Kenneth Harris Jr.'s body was found Tuesday in a car parked in a bay of a car wash in Wood River.

Deputy Police Chief Mickey Sabolo says the investigation points to a heroin overdose as the cause of the man's death, and no foul play is suspected. Authorities say drug paraphernalia was found next to the victim, who Sabolo says appeared to have died alone.

An autopsy was conducted Tuesday, but results weren't released. Authorities are awaiting results of toxicology tests.
Friday, 08 March 2013 08:16
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A former metro-east police chief will spend 18-months on probation and lose his right to carry a badge after pleading guilty to official misconduct.

Former New Athens Chief Dallas Hill admitted taking an Apple iPod and iPad from the department's evidence locker for personal use.

St. Clair County Prosecutor Brandon Kelly says it's the kind of crime officials hate to see. "You never want to have to do anything like this. You never want to have to prosecute a police officer, because they're part of our team."

Though the 27-year-old Hill won't report to a probation officer, the felony conviction bars him from being a police officer and carrying a gun.
Friday, 08 March 2013 07:52
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Maplewood police are looking for the man who stole a pickup truck from the Maplewood Commons Shopping Center, and then assaulted the truck's owner when he tried to get it back.

Police say the victim had just finished shopping when he returned to his truck around noon Thursday to find someone driving off with it.

Maplewood Police Detective Matt Nibor says the truck's owner chased after him, jumping into the bed of the pickup. "The truck then started traveling at a high rate of speed down Hanley Road and then entered onto Highway 40 eastbound."

Detective Nibor says the victim broke out a window on the truck and the suspect pulled over. Then the suspect threw the victim out of the truck bed, beat him and left him along the roadside.

The victim is expected to recover.

Police are looking for the suspect and the stolen 1992 GMC Seirra with Missouri plates reading 1HN-375. The truck is maroon, with a darker maroon hood, white front fenders and a broken rear window.

The suspect is described as a light skin African American Male in his early 20s. He is about 5’7″ and weighs about 150 lbs. He was last seen wearing a black t-shirt and blue jeans.

Anyone with information call the Maplewood Police Department at 314-646-3621.
Friday, 08 March 2013 02:52
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Railroad officials say the man struck and killed by an Amtrak train in Pacific Wednesday night had been cutting across the tracks when the accident happened. Police say 20 year -old Zachary Brady was walking home from his job at a fast-food restaurant when Amtrak's Missouri River Runner train struck and killed him.

Police say this is the fourth serious accident along the Union Pacific line near the Fourth Street crossing in the last eight years -- two others were also fatal.

An Amtrak official told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that most accidents involving pedestrians could be avoided if people wouldn't trespass on railroad tracks. Trespasser fatalities have become the leading cause of railroad deaths.
Friday, 08 March 2013 02:29
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Police are looking for three suspects after a promising young boxer was shot and killed outside a University City nightclub around midnight Wednesday night.

The victim, 20 year old Preston Freeman was a north county native who'd been living and training in Salinas, California.

Police say Freeman had been involved in an altercation inside the Escalade Bar and Grill in the 7800 block of Olive before it spilled onto the parking lot. Investigators say Freeman was shot in the chest during a hail of gunfire. His friends drove him to the hospital where he later died.

Three black men were seen fleeing in a maroon Chevy Impala East on Olive. Anyone with information is urged to call University City police at 314-725-2211 ext. 8010 or Crime Stoppers at 866-371-TIPS.
Friday, 08 March 2013 01:47
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Evening rush will be slowed in one direction on the Jefferson Barracks Bridge.

MoDOT has closed one lane of Westbound I-255 on the bridge for urgent repairs. Crews are working to repair a bridge joint. Drivers are encouraged to find alternate routes.

Work should be finished in time for the Friday morning rush.
Thursday, 07 March 2013 15:54
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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - The state Department of Employment Security says Illinois unemployment rose to 9 percent in January.

That was up from 8.7 percent in December and back to almost the 9.1 percent rate of January 2012.

Department Director Jay Rowell blamed the uneven recovery the state has experienced since the recession.

The number of unemployed people in the state rose by 4 percent to 594,800. The state added a relatively small 7,100 jobs in January.

The biggest job losses were among companies in the trade, transportation and utilities sector where the state lost a net 5,500 jobs in January. Government agencies also shed a net 1,500 jobs. Educational and health services employers added 5,500 jobs.

The U.S. unemployment rate was 7.9 percent in January. That was slightly higher than December.
Thursday, 07 March 2013 15:40
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