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   EDWARDSVILLE, Ill. (AP) - Illinois State Police say an East St. Louis man used a safety vest and hardhat bearing a construction firm's name in a ruse to steal galvanized steel posts from the state Transportation Department.
   Soloman Craighead is being held in the Madison County Jail in lieu of $50,000 bond on a felony theft charge.
   Authorities say the 61 year old Craighead took 400 posts between Jan. 4 and Sunday from a construction zone on Interstate 270 near Granite City.
   State Police Master Sgt. Mark Doiron says it is believed Craighead sold the posts, used to secure guard rails, to a scrapyard.
   Craighead was arrested Sunday as he and a woman was loading posts into a pickup truck. Police say the woman was released for lack of evidence to charge her with a crime.
 
Wednesday, 26 February 2014 03:26
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   BONNE TERRE, Mo. (AP) — A Missouri inmate was executed early Wednesday for abducting, raping and killing a Kansas City teenager as she waited for her school bus in 1989, marking the state's fourth lethal injection in as many months.
   Michael Taylor, 47, was pronounced dead shortly after midnight. Federal courts and the governor had refused last-minute appeals from his attorneys, who argued that the execution drug purchased from a compounding pharmacy could have caused Taylor inhuman pain and suffering.
   Taylor offered no final statement. He mouthed silent words to his parents, two clergymen and two other relatives who witnessed his death. As the process began, he took two deep breaths before closing his eyes for the last time. There were no obvious signs of distress.
   His victim, 15-year-old Ann Harrison, was in her driveway — carrying her school books, flute and purse — when she was abducted by Taylor and Roderick Nunley. The men pulled her into their stolen car, took her to a home, then raped and fatally stabbed the girl as she pleaded for her life.
   Nunley also was sentenced to death and is awaiting execution.
   In their appeals, Taylor's attorneys questioned Missouri's use of an unnamed compounding pharmacy to provide the execution drug, pentobarbital. They also cited concerns about the state executing inmates before appeals were complete and argued that Taylor's original trial attorney was so overworked that she encouraged him to plead guilty.
   After using a three-drug execution method for years, Missouri switched late last year to pentobarbital. The same drug was used in three previous Missouri executions, and state officials said none of the inmates showed outward signs of distress.
   Still, attorneys for Taylor said using a drug from a compounding pharmacy, which unlike large pharmaceutical companies are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, runs the risk of causing pain and suffering during the execution process.
   The Oklahoma-based compounding pharmacy Apothecary Shoppe agreed last week that it wouldn't supply the pentobarbital for Taylor's execution, which left Missouri to find a new supplier. But Attorney General Chris Koster's office disclosed that a new provider had been found. Koster refused to name the pharmacy, citing the state's execution protocol that allows for the manufacturer to remain anonymous.
   Taylor's attorneys said use of the drug without naming the compounding pharmacy could cause the inmate pain and suffering because no one could check if the operation was legitimate and had not been accused of any violations.
   Pete Edlund doesn't want to hear it. The retired Kansas City police detective led the investigation into the teenager's death.
   "Cruel and unusual punishment would be if we killed them the same way they killed Annie Harrison," Edlund said. "Get a damn rope, string them up, put them in the gas chamber. Whatever it takes."
   Ann stepped out of her home the morning of March 22, 1989, to wait in her driveway for her school bus.
   Authorities said Nunley and Taylor, then in their early 20s, drove past in a car they had stolen after a night of binging on crack cocaine. One of the men jumped out of the car and grabbed Ann, forcing her into the vehicle. Both claimed the other did it.
   The men drove to the home of Nunley's mother. Ann was forced into the basement and raped — DNA testing linked Taylor to the crime. Afraid she would be able to identify them, the men used kitchen knives to stab the girl 10 times, including in her throat and torso, as she begged for her life.
   She offered money if they would let her live. She died about 30 minutes later, according to the medical examiner.
   The stolen car was then driven to a nearby neighborhood and abandoned, with Ann's body in the trunk. She was found the next day. But the crime went unsolved for about six months until a $10,000 reward led to a tip, and Taylor and Nunley were both arrested, Edlund said. Both pleaded guilty and were sentenced to death.
   The case left even veteran officers traumatized, Edlund said.
   "She just turned 15," the retired detective said. "It was a tragedy all the way around. This was an innocent child."
 
Wednesday, 26 February 2014 00:30
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St. Louis, MO (KTRS) - St. Louis Police are increasing their use of technology to keep an eye on revelers at Mardi Gras this year.

 

The department will be installing cameras to monitor the crowds at The Grand Parade and the Fat Tuesday parade. Police say the cameras will act as an additional layer of security. Uniformed and plainclothes officers will be patrolling the area and looking for underage drinking.

 

The Grand Parade is Saturday and the Fat Tuesday Parade is Tuesday the 4th. More information on parade routes and times can be found here.

Tuesday, 25 February 2014 16:20
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - An Illinois House Committee says the state will have $34.5 billion to spend in the upcoming fiscal year.
   Lawmakers approved a resolution for 2015 spending on Tuesday.
   Marion Democrat John Bradley is the chairman of the Revenue and Finance Committee. He says the number factors in the January 2015 expiration of the state's temporary income tax increase. The current Illinois budget has $35.6 billion in revenue.
 
   Bradley says budgeters will be cautious and prudent this spring.
 
   Lawmakers face an anticipated $3 billion budget hole that comes from the expiration of the tax increase as well as about $1.3 billion in increased costs to required programs and services.
   The measure now heads to the full House.
 
   The House will negotiate the budget with the Senate, which also approves revenue amounts.
 
Tuesday, 25 February 2014 15:13
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A Chicago violence-prevention program ordered by Gov. Pat Quinn was so poorly put together that auditors questioned 40 percent of the expenditures turned in by contractors.
 
   The Neighborhood Recovery Initiative announced by Quinn in August 2010 spent $55 million in the first two years that were examined by Auditor General William Holland. His report was released Tuesday.
   The effort was run by the now-defunct Illinois Violence Prevention Authority. But the agency relied on recommendations from Chicago aldermen when choosing community agencies to run the programs. Those agencies charged $4.4 million, but poor record-keeping led auditors to question $1.8 million of that spending.
   The Illinois Criminal Justice Information Authority took over the Violence Prevention Authority last year. A spokeswoman says the program has been revamped with much tighter grant rules.
Tuesday, 25 February 2014 14:45
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St. Louis, MO (KTRS) - Madison County law enforcement is trying to get the word out to local businesses on how to deal with some of the new gun laws in the state of Illinois.  
 
States Attorney Tom Gibbons and Chief Deputy Sheriff Brad Wells were on hand at the Edwardsville/Glen Carbon Chamber of Commerce meeting Teusday morning to discuss questions and concerns over the new conceal carry law that was passed last summer.  
 
The major topics covered at the meeting included how businesses handle the concealed carry law, what to do should those businesses want to prohibit its customers or employees from carrying concealed weapons, safe harbors for gun owners, and what to do in the event of a shooting incident.
 
On July 9th, Illinois became the last state in the country to allow carrying concealed firearms in public.  Registration for the conceal carry licenses have been going on since January.
 
Tuesday, 25 February 2014 13:48
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri House panel has endorsed legislation that would move the state's presidential primary to March 15.
 
The primary is currently scheduled for February but sponsoring Rep. Tony Dugger says keeping that date could cause Missouri to lose delegates at the 2016 national party conventions.
 
Dugger, a Hartville Republican, says moving the date would avoid a repeat of 2012, when the state held a non-binding presidential primary. Faced with losing delegates, state Republican officials decided that year to select convention representatives with a caucus system held after the election.
 
National party rules allow only certain states to hold contests before the March 15 date.
 
The House Elections Committee voted 10-0 on Tuesday to adopt the legislation. It now heads to the Rules Committee.
Tuesday, 25 February 2014 12:37
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Former Republican Sen. Kit Bond is citing problems with the federal health care law as a reason to embrace one of its key provisions by expanding Medicaid coverage.
 
Bond was part of panel discussion Tuesday about Medicaid hosted by the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The former longtime U.S. senator has been hired by the chamber to lobby Republican state lawmakers who have repeatedly defeated a Medicaid expansion.
 
He said Medicaid expansion would draw additional federal dollars, thus helping to offset federal funding cuts due to hit hospitals that treat uninsured patients.
 
Bond said Medicaid expansion can be paired with "reforms" that model the program on the private sector and require participants to pay more out of pocket.
 
Some Republican lawmakers have cited concerns about its long-term costs.
Tuesday, 25 February 2014 12:20
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ST. LOUIS (AP) - Missouri corrections officials say they will use a lethal drug provided by a new supplier in the state's fourth execution in four months.
 
Convicted killer Michael Taylor is scheduled to die at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday. Several court appeals have been filed seeking to spare his life, and Gov. Jay Nixon is weighing a clemency request.
 
Taylor's attorneys are questioning Missouri's use of the new, unnamed compounding pharmacy to provide the pentobarbital for his execution. They also allege that the state executes men before appeals are complete, and say Taylor's trial attorney was ineffective.
 
Taylor and Roderick Nunley were convicted of abducting 15-year-old Ann Harrison as she waited for a Kansas City school bus in 1989, then raping and killing her. Nunley is also on death row.
Tuesday, 25 February 2014 11:43
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