MANCHESTER, Ill. (AP) - An effort is under way to raise money for the burial of five people shot to death this week in the small central Illinois town of Manchester.
A spokeswoman for Peoples Bank & Trust says a fund has been set up by a friend of Rita Luark, the mother of one of the victims and the grandmother of the two young boys who died, because Luark cannot afford burial costs.
The boys, their parents and their great grandmother were found dead in their home Wednesday. Later that day, the suspected gunman was shot and killed after he shot at police.
Spokeswoman Lorie Doolin says the fund has been set up in the bank's branch in nearby White Hall. For more information, the bank suggests people visit their website, www.bankpbt.com .
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A federal appeals court has upheld a Missouri law banning protests within 300 feet of funerals but has struck down a broader law that could have kept protesters even further away.
The decision Friday by a panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals stems from a challenge to a pair of 2006 Missouri laws enacted after protests of military members' funerals by a Kansas-based church that denounces homosexuality.
The appeals court said a Missouri law barring protests "in front of or about any location at which a funeral is held" violates First Amendment free speech rights because it creates a buffer zone of an undetermined size. It upheld a separate law setting the 300-foot buffer around funerals but said it cannot apply to funeral processions.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - George Jones, the peerless, hard-living country singer who recorded dozens of hits about good times and regrets and peaked with the heartbreaking classic "He Stopped Loving Her Today," has died. He was 81.
Publicist Kirt Webster says Jones died Friday at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville after being hospitalized with fever and irregular blood pressure.
Known for his clenched, precise baritone, Jones had No. 1 songs in five separate decades, 1950s to 1990s, and was idolized not just by fellow country singers, but by Frank Sinatra, Pete Townshend, Elvis Costello, James Taylor and countless others.
In a career that lasted more than 50 years, "Possum" recorded more than 150 albums and became the champion and symbol of traditional country music, a well-lined link to his hero, Hank Williams.