BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - A southwestern Illinois woman faces up to 60 years in prison after being convicted of playing a role in the 2011 carjacking and slaying of a bingo-playing grandmother.
The Belleville News-Democrat reports a St. Clair County Circuit judge found 39-year-old Belleville resident LaTosha Cunningham guilty of murder.
A co-defendant, 21-year-old DaQuan Barnes, has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder related to the death of 85-year-old Yoko Cullen. He awaits sentencing Oct. 30.
Authorities allege that Barnes, Cunningham and another man staked out waited for Cullen outside a Collinsville bingo hall where one of them knew she played, then stopped her from driving away.
Authorities say Cullen was forced into her trunk and driven to East St. Louis, where her car was set on fire while she was inside.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - A downtown St. Louis bridge referred to by locals using its geographic designation has been renamed for a prominent area politician.
What locals call the Poplar Street Bridge was technically known as the Bernard F. Dickmann Bridge after a former St. Louis mayor. But the bridge spanning the Mississippi River and connecting St. Louis to Illinois will now be officially known as the Congressman William L. Clay Sr. Bridge.
Clay is a former Democratic congressman and civil rights leader who was Missouri's first black congressman and spent more than three decades in the U.S. House of Representatives.
He attended a Monday morning dedication ceremony along with Mayor Francis Slay, Gov. Jay Nixon and Rep. William Lacy Clay Jr., the honoree's son.
Civilian employees, who were furloughed from Scott Air Force Base last week, are back at work. Scott spokeswoman Karen Petitt says the 35-hundred affected workers were notified Sunday that they should be back on the job today.
The decision came after Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel this weekend ordered 350,000 military personnel, furloughed by the federal government's shutdown, back on the job. Those workers at Scott represent about two-thirds of the installation's non-military staff of 13,000 employees. Scott Air Force Base is one of the region's largest employers.
Monday marks the beginning of Home Fire Prevention Week and the Amercian Red Cross is reminding everyone that the biggest disaster threat to American families isn’t floods, or tornadoes, it’s fire.
The Red Cross says it responds to a disaster every eight minutes and nearly all of these are home fires. The Greater St. Louis Region responded to more than 1,300 fires last year. Fortunately, most home fires can be prevented.
Homeowners should check for items that can be hazardous such as candles and space heaters and keep items that can catch on fire at least three feet away from anything that gets hot, such as sources of heat or stoves.
Here are some other easy, but important steps that can be taken to keep your home safe.
* Never smoke in bed.
* Turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to sleep.
* Smoke alarms save lives. Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of the home and outside each sleeping area. Because smoke rises, put the alarms on the ceiling or high on a wall.
* Test the smoke alarms regularly. Install new batteries every year.
* Make a plan. The Red Cross recommends that households develop a fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year with everyone who lives in the home. People should know two ways to escape from every room and designate a safe place to meet outside the home.
Police in Florissant are asking for help in finding a 14 year old girl they regard as missing, but also say could have run away, so they need more information before they can issue an Amber Alert. Dominique Cherry-Jones has been missing since Wednesday. She was last seen with a female friend wearing all black and carrying a blue bag. Cherry never showed up for classes at McClure High School something her family says is completely out of character. Her mom, Sheri told Fox2 News, “I’m not sure if she’s being held against her will, but I just want her back home. She has always had big goals and big dreams and big ambitions and never did this before.” Relatives say they believe the teen is in danger.
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) - New research by the U.S. Geological Society suggests that while the New Madrid Seismic Zone hasn't produced a major earthquake in more than 200 years, the risk remains.
The Southeast Missourian reports that scientists used new technology to develop high-resolution imagery of the seismic zone centered around New Madrid, Mo. The imagery allows for more detailed mapping, showing weak rocks in the zone that are found at deeper depths in the Earth's mantle compared to surrounding areas.
Findings were published recently in the Earth and Planetary Science Letters journal.
University of Memphis earthquake expert Charles Langston says at least 200 earthquakes occur in the seismic zone every year, but most are very small. He believes there's a good chance of a damaging quake in the next 50 years.
A U.S. Congressman and the Mayor of St. Louis will both go before the Board of Aldermen this week in hopes of forwarding the long-stalled Northside Regeneration Project.
Aldermen are considering a bill that would tweak developer Paul McKee's nearly $400 million tax increment financing package to account for delays suffered while the city fought a lawsuit against it.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the fate of the project's TIF is unclear.
Congressman William Lacy Clay and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay will speak in favor the 1,500 acre project. But only one of the five aldermen whose wards make up the project area just north of downtown, 5th Ward Alderwoman Tammika Hubbard, clearly supports Northside.
And one, Alderman Freeman Bosley Senior, has threatened to block the bill if there isn't more community input in the project and better protections for current homeowners.
Finally, St. Louis is topping a national list everyone wants to head. The Lundberg Survey of fuel prices reports that the Gateway City has lowest gasoline prices in the nation.
The survey released Sunday put the price at the pump in St. Louis at $3.01 per gallon.
The survey indicates that the average U.S. price of a gallon of gasoline has dropped 14 cents over the past two weeks to $3.38. Diesel was down 4 cents at $3.92 gallon.
San Francisco has the highest prices at $3.88 per gallon for regular unleaded.
URBANA, Ill. (AP) - The growing number of professors at the University of Illinois who don't have tenure want somebody besides their students to listen to them.
The Champaign News-Gazette reports adjunct faculty, instructors, lecturers and others who don't have tenure are hoping the school will take steps that would give them more job stability. Some are even assessing the need for a faculty union in Urbana.
Tenured faculty say their non-tenured colleagues deserve a stronger voice in what happens on campus.
Administrators in the school's provost office have been reviewing issues that are specific to non-tenured instructors. A spokeswoman says the goal is to have some policies in place sometime during this academic year.
A nine year old south city boy is dead. His twin brother is in very critical condition after a accident at a hotel pool near downtown St. Louis Saturday afternoon.
Police say Laron Snelson was unresponsive when he was pulled from the indoor pool at the Pear Tree Inn on Market Street. Civilians began CPR right away, but the little boy died anyway.
His twin brother, Derron Snelson was also pulled from the indoor pool. He's listed in critical and unstable condition at Cardinal Glennon Children's Hospital.
Investigators are still trying to determine what led to the drowning. The boys' mother and 14 year old brother were reportedly on the scene.
The Pear Tree Inn is a Drury Hotel property.