Morning headlines: Friday, November 18, 2011
Services set for Tyler Dasher
Services are set for early next week for a 13-month-old suburban St. Louis boy who authorities say was fatally beaten by his mother.
A St. Louis County judge on Thursday entered a not guilty plea on behalf of 20-year-old Shelby Dasher of Affton, a day after she was charged with second-degree murder in the death of son Tyler. Dasher on Tuesday reported the boy missing from his crib, but the boy's body was found a few hours later in a field near the family's home. Prosecutors say Dasher confessed to striking the boy out of frustration over his crying.
Mo. House committee wrapping up review of state's disaster response
Committee members met Thursday and discussed several possible issues for inclusion in their report, but did not agree on a final version. Topics included use of a state reserve fund, taxes and prevailing wage requirements for post-disaster construction. Speaker Pro Tem Shane Schoeller, a Republican from Willard, chairs the special committee. Schoeller says he hopes to complete a final report by the last week of November or the first week of December.
Missouri has faced numerous natural disasters this year, including tornadoes in Joplin, St. Louis and Sedalia, flooding along the Missouri and Mississippi rivers and the February blizzard.
Ill. pension costs expected to go up more than expected
The Chicago Tribune reports that retirement system analysts first thought the state would have to budget $422 million more for pensions next year. After more study, the analysts now predict the state will have to spend almost $1 billion more.
While state leaders say the new figure is more accurate, that means rising pension costs will likely eat up all of the $1 billion increase in income the state is expecting. After years of state government skimping on pension contributions, the projected shortfall in all of the state's pension funds for public workers is $85 billion.