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GRANITE CITY, Ill. (AP) - Authorities in southwestern Illinois' Granite City say they've arrested a suspect in the shooting death of a 13-year-old boy.

Granite City Police Maj. Jeff Connor says he believes Clayton Veninga's death Wednesday night was not accidental, though he didn't elaborate on the possible motive or what led police to the suspect.

Connor said he expected to seek charges Friday against the suspect, who Connor said was an acquaintance of the victim and is old enough to be prosecuted as an adult.

Connor has said the boy was sitting on a friend's porch when he was shot. He died later at a hospital.

 

Friday, 03 May 2013 11:34
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The parents of a young man who committed suicide four years ago want to hold the St. Louis Archdiocese accountable, so they're suing.

KTRS' Vicki Pimentel report the lawsuit claims an alleged sexual assault of the then 13 year old boy at a seminary camp led to a deep depression and ultimately his suicide at age 21.

The suit names the Archdiocese, Archbishop Robert Carlson and defrocked priest Bryan Kuchar as defendants. David Clohessy of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests says the Archdiocese has protected priests like Kuchar for too long. "We think it's irresponsible of church officials to recruit, educate, ordain, hire, train, transfer, shield and protect predator priests and then suddenly cut them loose when the legal and public relations heat becomes too hot."

Kuchar has been at the center of investigations before. He was convicted in 2003 of second degree sodomy of a 14 year old boy.  

Friday, 03 May 2013 11:19
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Some 300 gallons of crude oil has spilled into the Mississippi River in Alton this morning after a vessel ran into a fleeting area near Alton, causing barges to break away.

The U.S. Coast Guard said it happened just before one this morning. 14 barges, two dry docks and two workplats broke away. The Captain of the Port closed the river from mile marker 194 to 198 after the accident. All barges, flts and dry-docks were secured and the river reopened at 2:13 a.m. Friday.

The Coast Guard is checking for any environmental damage by inspecting facilities, barges and the shoreline.

Friday, 03 May 2013 10:58
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WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. employers added 165,000 jobs in April, and hiring was much stronger in the previous two months than the government first estimated. The job increases reduced the unemployment rate from 7.6 percent to a four-year low of 7.5 percent.

The report Friday from the Labor Department was a reassuring sign that the U.S. job market is improving despite higher taxes and government spending cuts that took effect this year.

The government revised up its estimate of job gains in February and March by a combined 114,000. It now says employers added 332,000 jobs in February and 138,000 in March. The economy has created an average of 208,000 jobs a month from November through April — above the 138,000 added in the previous six months.

"This is a good report," said John Silvia, chief economist at Wells Fargo. "There's a lot of strength... It's good for the economy. It's good for people's income."

The stronger job growth suggests that the federal budget cutting "does not mean recession," Silvia said. "It does not mean a dramatic slowdown."

Stock prices soared when trading began on Wall Street at 9:30 a.m. Eastern time. The Dow was up 155 points in early trading.

The unemployment rate has fallen 0.4 percentage point since the start of the year, though it remains high. The Federal Reserve has said it plans to keep short-term interest rates at record lows at least until unemployment falls to 6.5 percent.

The hiring last month was broad-based. The only sectors of the economy that cut jobs were construction and government.

Some higher-paying sectors added workers. Professional and technical services, which includes accounting, engineering and architecture, added 23,000 jobs. Education and health services added 44,000.

But some of the bigger job gains were in lower-paying fields, such as hotels and restaurants, which added 45,000 jobs, and retail, which added 29,000. Temporary help firms gained 31,000 positions.

The job growth is occurring while the U.S. economy is growing modestly but steadily. It expanded at a 2.5 percent annual rate in the January-March quarter, fueled by the strongest consumer spending in two years.

The global economy, by contrast, is slowing. The European Union warned Friday, for example, that the 17 countries that use the euro currency will shrink by a collective 0.4 percent this year. And unemployment across the eurozone is expected to hit an average of 12.2 percent. In Greece and Spain, it's forecast to reach 27 percent.

Both Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and European Central Bank President Mario Draghi have suggested that governments need to focus on stimulating growth and not just on spending cuts and deficit reduction.

In April, more Americans said they had part-time jobs even though they wanted full-time work. That figure rose 278,000 to 7.9 million, reversing a steep drop the previous month.

Some economists worry that restaurants, retail chains and other companies are hiring more part-time workers in preparation for the implementation of health care reform. Companies with more than 50 full-time employees in 2013 will be required to provide health insurance to their full-time staff next year.

The revisions to the March and February figures were unusually large. Retailers, restaurants and hotels added 48,000 more jobs in February than previously reported. They accounted for three-quarters of that month's revision.

The government revises each month's job totals twice in the following two months. The revisions occur because many companies in the survey submit their responses late.

The average workweek for private-sector employees declined 0.2 hour to 34.4 hours, but average hourly earnings rose 4 cents to $23.87. In the past year, wages have risen faster than inflation.

The number of people who have been unemployed for more than six months dropped 258,000 to 4.4 million. Over the past year, the number of long-term unemployed has declined by 687,000.

A fire overnight at the Labor Department's headquarters shut down the building for most employees. Members of the news media were allowed in for the release of the jobs report.
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