St. Charles, Missouri – Police closed about one mile of Highway 94 in St. Charles yesterday afternoon as anti-war protesters marched from Dusable Park to a Boeing plant.
Between 250 and 300 protesters carried cardboard coffins as they participated in a mock funeral procession. 43-year-old Derek Hildreth was one of 14 who was eventually arrested by police and charged with obstructing traffic as he blocked the Boeing gate.
Jefferson City, Mo. – Authorities say more people are registering as sex offenders because a new Missouri state law eliminates a loophole in the old one.
The Missouri Highway Patrol maintains a statewide database of offenders. It has grown by almost 600 in the past year. The loophole that was eliminated allowed sex offenders to skip out on registering if they never left their home counties.
Patrol fingerprint services supervisor Tammy Byrd says names on the state list increased from 8,174 to 8,715 in the past year.
Springfield, Ill. – The Illinois House yesterday voted to raise the smoking age to 19. It's not illegal for minors to smoke tobacco, just to buy it. The measure would raise that buying age to 19; with the exception of those 18-year olds in the military.
The House voted 80-to-32 in favor of the legislation. Chicago Democrat John Fritchey says the change would save lives by keeping some teenagers from smoking.
The Illinois Senate will next consider the measure.
St. Louis, Mo. – A Wood River, Ill. man Thursday pleaded guilty to making false terrorist threats against the Super Bowl, Gateway Arch, Busch Stadium, and Fair St. Louis.
Henry Hersman faces prison time; he said in court yesterday he was in a fight with a former business partner. He said he lied to the FBI that the man was plotting to crash airplanes into the landmarks.
Hersman will be sentenced June 6th in federal court in St. Louis. He remains in custody.