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Colin Jeffery

Colin Jeffery

Illinois prison remains on lockdown amid search

Monday, 07 April 2014 15:53 Published in Local News
CHESTER, Ill. (AP) - A spokesman for the Illinois Department of Corrections says the lockdown at Illinois' largest maximum security prison will remain in effect through this week.
 
   Tom Shaer says Monday that the lockdown at Menard Correctional Center southeast of St. Louis won't be lifted until an investigation is finished. The lockdown started on Friday following the discovery of a cache of crude weapons and homemade alcohol.
 
   Specifically officials found more than a dozen weapons along with gallons of homemade alcohol and juice and sugar used to make liquor.
   Officials have said IDOC is working to determine how the inmates managed to hoard the items.
 
   Authorities say there is no indication any weapons have been used recently at the prison or that inmates were drinking homemade liquor.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri senators are going forward with a two-prong funding plan for public schools that bases their state aid on the strength of the economy.
 
A Senate panel agreed Monday to the basic approach of the House school funding plan but tweaked its specific dollar amounts.
 
The House plan would add $122 million to Missouri's $3.1 billion in basic aid for school districts. But it would authorize an increase of up to $278 million if revenues meet Gov. Jay Nixon's more optimistic projections.
 
The Senate Appropriations Committee decided to provide a minimum $115 million increase, leaving a larger portion of the potential $278 million increase dependent upon improved revenue collections.
 
Senators typically change the House budget plan. Negotiators from the two chambers must work out their differences by early May.
 

   The St. Francois County Sheriff's Office is now investigating Monday's fatal fire near Park Hills as a double homicide.

   Firefighters arrived about 4:30 a.m. to find the home on Halter Lane fully involved.  Authorities say flames were too intense to try to attempt a rescue.  

  Firefighters later found the body 50 year old Stanley Halter on a back porch and that of 46 year old Tammy Halter in the kitchen.  The couples children were not home at the time of the fire.  

   Authorities aren't releasing the couples cause of death, only saying that the autopsies gave them reasonable cause to pursue a homicide investigation.

   Park Hills is about 65 miles south of St. Louis.

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