Morning headlines: Monday, July 23, 2012 | St. Louis Public Radio

Morning headlines: Monday, July 23, 2012

Jul 23, 2012

Missouri bishops urge voters to approve proposed public prayer amendment

The proposed amendment will appear on Missouri's Aug. 7 statewide ballot. It asserts the right in Missouri to pray in public places as long as doing so does not disturb the peace. It also says that students may express their religious beliefs and cannot be compelled to participate in assignments that violate those beliefs. 

Catholic bishops say people of faith need assurance they will be able to express their religious beliefs in public without threats that they conform to changing societal norms.

Opponents say the measure is not necessary because faith can be freely practiced in the state already. And they argue that the measure would do more harm than good for public schools because the measure does not specify what can constitute a “religious belief.”

Obama nominates Missouri native to lead National Guard Bureau

President Barack Obama has nominated a Missouri native to serve as the next chief of the National Guard Bureau. Army Lt. Gen. Frank Grass currently serves as deputy commander of U.S. Northern Command. He began his career by enlisting in the Missouri Army National Guard in 1969 at Jefferson Barracks in St. Louis. 

As head of the National Guard Bureau, Grass will be the senior uniformed officer responsible for all policies and programs affecting the Army and Air National Guard. His appointment still needs confirmation from the U.S. Senate.

Boy dead following accidental shooting

Authorities in southern Illinois are investigating the death of a 10-year-old boy who was accidentally shot by his 7-year-old sister.

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Department says Christian Clark of Granite City was killed in a recreational vehicle in a wooded area in the community of Dix. Officials with the sheriff's office say the RV is used for hunting and is owned by the boy's grandfather. That's where the girl found the gun and accidentally fired it Saturday. The sheriff' office says an autopsy was performed Sunday.

Authorities say they don't suspect any foul play but an investigation continues.

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