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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois House has approved legislation that would impose tougher punishment on anyone convicted of using social media to plan or incite a mob attack.

The bill passed the Senate last month. The 102-6 House vote now sends the measure to Gov. Pat Quinn.

Lawmakers said the legislation is in response to recent incidents in Chicago in which groups of young people descended on Michigan Avenue and other locations to rob or attack people.

Police say the suspects used text messaging and social media such as Twitter to organize and publicize the attacks.

The bill would allow a judge to impose an extended sentence if someone used electronic communication in a mob action.

Rep. Christian Mitchell is a Chicago Democrat. He says the legislation will make communities throughout Illinois safer.

 
Friday, 10 May 2013 11:06
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The building that used to house federal records is on the auction block.

The feds are selling the 440,000 square foot former federal records center at 111 W. Winnebago Street in St. Louis.

Bids are competitive and the General Services Administrator says interested bidders will have to provide a $45,000 registration deposit to register for the sale and to bid on the property, which will be applied to the sale price. Most of the square footage is warehouse space, with some office space. Registered guests can tour the building 10 a.m., Monday, May 20.

Since 1961, the facility served as a records storage facility for the National Archives and Records Administration most recently. The records center relocated to a new facility at 1 Archives Drive, St. Louis, in 2011.

The public can find more information about this auction by contacting Laura McGinnis at (817) 307-1943 or laura.mcginnis@gsa.gov and by visiting RealEstateSales.gov orPropertyDisposal.gsa.gov.

 
Friday, 10 May 2013 10:11
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   Officials at an eastern Missouri jail say a detainee used a blanket to hang himself.

   The Park Hills Daily Journal reports that 71-year-old Earl Tripp of Fredericktown died Wednesday afternoon at the Madison County Jail in Fredericktown. A jailer found Tripp in his cell, hanging without a pulse. No other inmates were in the cell.

   Sheriff Bobby Spain says Tripp was not considered a suicide risk. He was being held on several sodomy counts.

   The Missouri State Highway Patrol is investigating. An autopsy is planned.

 

 
Friday, 10 May 2013 09:36
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A man now faces four murder charges in connection to the fire in southern Illinois that left four children dead.

Police say 33-year-old Derrick Twardoski is responsible for the fatal blaze. The fire broke out just before 2 this morning in Percy.

The victims were identified as 12-year-old Ethan Owen, and his siblings 9-year-old Kailey, and 5-year-old twins Brandon and Landon. Their parents and cousin survived.

Percy is a village in a rural area with a popaulation of about 1,000 people. It is about 60 miles southeast of St. Louis.

Friday, 10 May 2013 08:35
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