A man and his dog are dead after a house fire in St. Ann.
Firefighters found the 54 year-old man on the floor of his bedroom. Officials say the fire began in a chair in the living room--a place where relatives say he often smoked. Investigators believe the fire could have been started by a dropped cigarette. The Post-Dispatch reports that relatives say the man may have been overcome by smoke while he searched for his dog.
BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - A former St. Clair County circuit judge charged with heroin possession and a weapons violation presided over more than 1,700 felony cases.
The Belleville New-Democrat reports that Michael Cook's tenure included eight bench trials and 24 jury trials. Cook resigned after he was charged in May.
Officials are re-examining the cases Cook handled. A judge granted a new trial to one convicted murderer whose case he oversaw, and another has demanded a retrial. Hearings are scheduled for both next week.
Of the 1,705 felony cases Cook handled, 1,102 resulted in guilty pleas. Three of the bench trials ended in guilty verdicts. Twenty of the jury trials ended in guilty verdicts.
Cook has pleaded not guilty. He has agreed to have his law license suspended and sought drug treatment.
SPARKS, Nev. (AP) - Police say it was a student who opened fire at a Nevada middle school today, killing a staff member who was trying to protect other children.
The suspected gunman also is dead, but authorities say no shots were fired by law enforcement, though more than 150 officers responded.
The shooting erupted outside Sparks Middle School shortly before classes began this morning. Two other students were critically injured in the incident. They were both taken to a nearby hospital, where one is out of surgery. Police say the other as doing well.
Students from the middle school and next door elementary school were evacuated to the nearby high school, and classes were canceled. At the evacuation center, parents walked with their arms around their children, some of whom were in tears.
The city of Sparks lies just east of Reno.