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Improved emergency medical treatment and faster service for southwestern Illinois residents and workers are the goals of a $2.3 million emergency room expansion project now underway at Touchette Regional Hospital.

Touchette’s 24-hour emergency services will remain open during construction which is to be completed by mid-2014.

The project will add seven, private ER treatment rooms, plus a larger triage area for quicker patient evaluation. There will also be a new decontamination unit equipped to manage medical issues related to industrial accidents or natural disasters.  

Project funding is through the Hospital Capital Investment Program of the Illinois Department of Public Health. 

Tuesday, 04 February 2014 11:28
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Tuesday, 04 February 2014 09:59
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Parents in Mascoutah are breathing a sigh of relief. Police in the Illinois community had additional officers at the high school Tuesday morning after a 15 year old student, who lives on Scott Air Force Base, made references in text messages to killing everyone he knows, and then killing people at school.
There was no reference of weapons mentioned in the texts.  Police Chief Bruce Fleshren says the student was texting his girlfriend Monday night when the threats were made.
Police received information from Mascoutah High School Principal Sandy Jouglard saying she was getting phone calls because there was supposedly information on Facebook about the threats.   
Officers began investigating and eventually got to the source. Chief Fleshren says contact was made with the juvenile and his parents and there was no indication that any threats could be carried out.  It will be determined by the school if the student returns, and the investigation will be reviewed by the State’s Attorney’s Office after all reports are completed for any possible charges.
The school later released a “robo-call” to advise parents of the situation and that students should attend classes. 
 
Tuesday, 04 February 2014 09:45
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Tuesday, 04 February 2014 08:07
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   There may be an up side to the cold winter St. Louis area residents are enduring this year.  Entomologist Chris Hartley tells Fox 2 News the extreme cold now could mean fewer insect pests come spring.  
   Hartley works at the Missouri Botanical Garden's Sophia M. Sachs Butterfly House at Faust Park. He says some species of flies and ticks have moved north into Missouri because of the mild winters over the past several years. 
   "By creeping north like that, they're entering ranges where they normally wouldn't have been," Hartley said.  "And they are susceptible to maybe getting froze (sic) back some." 
   Hartley says the deep freeze won't affect the mosquito population, since those pests hibernate.  
   He also says it may not be quite cold enough to put a dent in the population of the Emerald Ash Borer, like it probably has in Minnesota.  But, Hartley says, we won't know until spring.
 
Tuesday, 04 February 2014 03:36
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   Snow plow crews in the City of St. Louis are changing their strategy for clearing the roads during this storm.
   One of the chief complaints with the last big winter storm was that plows clearing main thoroughfares had created snow mounds that blocked the streets leading into residential areas.  
   Not this time.  City Streets Director Todd Waelterman tells Fox 2 News that after the plows pass by, a second crew will hit the area.  "We'll go in with a two-man crew and we'll actually scoop those out and push that snow to the side to try to eliminate the extra snow we've created there," he said.
   As to whether the side streets themselves will be plowed, Waelterman says he's still reviewing his department's overall policies for handling residential streets.
Tuesday, 04 February 2014 01:59
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   The winter storm that's expected to blow through Missouri is already causing some schools to cancel classes for Tuesday.  That includes the University of Missouri main campus in Columbia.  

   Monday evening, University officials announced the "full closure of the MU campus."  Only university employees who are "situationally critical" should report for work.  

   Forecasters are predicting up to 8-inches of snowfall in the Columbia, Missouri area.  Gary Ward, interim vice chancellor for administrative services says university officials were concerned because students, faculty and staff would be traveling to and from campus during the heaviest snowfall.  

   Ward says university administrators will decide by 8:00 p.m. Tuesday whether its safe enough to reopen on Wedensday.

 

Tuesday, 04 February 2014 01:02
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Missouri Department of Transportation officials are advising Missourians to stay home during tomorrow's storm and have issued a "no travel advisory".

 

In a release, MoDOT says that once the storm arrives, travel will quickly become dangerous. A MoDOT engineer says that once the snow starts falling, it will be easier for plows to clear roads if there are fewer vehicles on the streets. This storm is expected to shape up much like heavy snow that fell last year.

 

MoDOT officials say the problems on roads were compounded last year when employers sent workers home early--the additional cars slowed traffic in many areas to a standstill.

Monday, 03 February 2014 17:29
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Supporters of an unaccredited St. Louis area school district are making their case to Missouri lawmakers for a $5 million infusion to avoid shutting down.
 
The Normandy School District is in jeopardy of running out of money in April and is seeking state help to remain open for the rest of the school years.
 
District officials came to the Missouri Capitol on Monday along with by a high school senior, parent, teacher and other community leaders. They pleaded with members of the Senate Appropriations Committee to include $5 million in a supplemental state budget bill.
 
Normandy is running short on money because state law requires unaccredited districts to pay for students who chose to transfer to other nearby public school systems.
Monday, 03 February 2014 17:15
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Around two dozen homeowners were evacuated from their houses after a gas leak was discovered.

 

Just before 9 AM crews were called to the 3400 block of Macklind Avenue. The crews were unable to shut off gas to the house where the leak was located. As a precaution, more than 20 other homes were evacuated. 

Monday, 03 February 2014 15:48
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