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.