Logan County, IL – Law enforcement officials in a farming town in Logan County, Ill., are urging residents to lock their doors and be cautious as they search for a suspect in a quintuple homicide.
Logan County sheriffs responding to a 911 call of shots fired in the community of Beason found the bodies of 46-year-old Raymond Gee, his 39-year-old wife Ruth, and their children, who ranged in age from 11 to 16. A 3-year-old girl who survived is at a hospital in Peoria, Ill.
Jefferson City, MO – Missouri's attorney general has signed a letter defending the reputation and work of a fired aide to former Gov. Matt Blunt.
Scott Eckersley was fired in September 2007; he sued in January 2008, claiming he'd been fired after warning the administration it was not property retaining e-mail messages. Blunt has repeatedly said Eckersley was fired for legitimate reasons.
Jefferson City, MO – Negotiations for a potential pay hike have begun between the Missouri Governor's office and the labor union that represents about 7,000 state workers.
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), is proposing a six percent annual pay raise for the next three years, along with a fee for non-union workers covered by union-negotiated contracts.
Granite City, Ill. – Crews are on the scene of a train derailment in Granite City.
No one was injured when at least a half dozen cars of the Norfolk Southern train derailed late Monday. Several of the cars contain propane and ended up in a ditch, although none of them are said to be leaking or posing a public danger.
Pontoon Road is closed in both directions, and several businesses are closed.
Belleville, Ill. – The Belleville Township School Board in has expelled two students accused of attacking another student on a school bus last week.
The incident was captured by a security camera on the bus and received widespread attention.
Board president Curt Highsmith said expelling kids is regrettable, but he wanted to send the message that such behavior is intolerable. The expulsions were the most severe punishments the school board could hand out.
Peoria, Ill – Customers in Illinois who get their natural gas service from Ameren will pay less to heat their homes this winter.
The St. Louis-based utility said Monday that lower demand triggered by the global recession could reduce heating bills by 26 percent. A company vice president, Scott Glaeser, said Ameren also hedged most of its supply to avoid having to adjust rates every time the market changes.
East St. Louis, Ill – Officials in East St. Louis have rejected plans to close a budget gap by laying off firefighters.
The city must close a $2.9 million deficit by December 31. A plan from Mayor Alvin Parks would have laid off 11 firefighters and closed a firehouse. But the city's Financial Advisory Authority rejected that suggestion.
Jefferson City, MO – Governor Jay Nixon has issued an executive order creating a partnership between state government and faith-based groups to aid Missourians hit by natural disasters or terrorist attacks.
The partnership includes two federal agencies, 16 state agencies, and 16 private, religious and charitable groups who would all work together to respond to a major disaster.