ST. LOUIS (AP) - A Missouri man has been sentenced to two years of probation for aiming a laser pointer at a police helicopter.
Michael Brandon Smith, formerly of O'Fallon, was also ordered Thursday to perform 40 hours of community service during sentencing in U.S. District Court.
The incident happened May 18, 2012. A Metro St. Louis Air Support Police helicopter was responding to a burglary report at a St. Charles County school when the aircraft was struck several times by a green laser beam.
Federal prosecutors say that when the beam struck the glass of the helicopter the vision of the pilot and a second person in the chopper was impacted, and the helicopter had to pull away from the search.
Smith pleaded guilty in November.
Missouri State Treasurer Clint Zweifel will be joining Hazelwood's Mayor Matthew Robinson to assess tornado damage this afternoon.
The politician grew up in Florissant and graduated from Hazelwood West High School.
They will be joined by Missouri Governor Jay Nixon who first did an aerial assessment of hard hit Sullivan in Franklin County this (Thursday) morning
The Governor declared a state of emergency in Missouri and also activated the State Emergency Operations Plan, which allow state agencies to coordinate directly with local jurisdictions to provide emergency services.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The head of the Missouri State Highway Patrol says his agency provided a list of 163,000 Missouri residents with concealed gun permits to federal authorities. But he says federal investigators never used the information.
Patrol Superintendent Col. Ron Replogle testified Thursday before a Senate committee that has raised concerns about a database on driver's license applicants kept by the Missouri Department of Revenue.
Replogle says the patrol twice got a list of concealed gun permit holders from the Revenue Department and shared it with a fraud investigator at the federal Social Security Administration. But Replogle says the federal investigator was unable to read the information stored on the discs and ultimately destroyed them.
Replogle told senators the patrol should not have released the whole list.
WASHINGTON (AP) - Gun control supporters have won the first Senate showdown over restricting firearms, rejecting an effort by conservatives to derail a package of gun curbs before debate could even begin.
The 68-31 vote gave an initial burst of momentum to efforts by President Barack Obama and lawmakers, mostly Democrats, to impose gun restrictions following the December carnage at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn.
Gun control supporters needed 60 votes to block the conservatives.
The legislation would subject more firearms buyers to federal background checks, strengthen laws against illicit gun trafficking and increase school safety aid. Advocates say the measures would make it harder for criminals and the mentally ill to get weapons.
Opponents say the restrictions would violate the Constitution's right to bear arms and would be ignored by criminals.