Morning round-up
9:31 am
Mon June 20, 2011

Morning headlines: Monday, June 20, 2011

St. Louis Industrial Fire Forces Evacuations Near Hampton

Updated 4:35 p.m. - All three firefighters were released from the hospital around noon.

A five-alarm fire in the 2100 block of Clifton at Chemisphere Corp., a solvent distributor, was reported at about 2:30 this morning, and was under control by 6 a.m.

St. Louis Fire Captain Dan Sutter said a few minor injuries were reported .

 "We've had three injuries reported from the scene during the incident," said Sutter at around 6 a.m. "All three firefighters are reportedly in good condition at this time. They're at the hospital being evaluated."

The fire forced the evacuation of nearly 500 residents in the surrounding blocks and Interstate 44 was shutdown in both directions from Laclede Station Road to Kingshighway.

The cause of the fire is under investigation.

According to Study, Wrongful Convictions Cost Ill Taxpayers Millions

A new investigation finds that the wrongful convictions of 85 people cost Illinois taxpayers $214 million since 1976. The investigation by the Chicago-based Better Government Association and the Center on Wrongful Convictions found the bulk of the cost - $156 million - was settlements and judgments paid to those exonerated.

The groups predict costs will continue to rise because 16 civil lawsuits filed by exonerated individuals still need to be settled or go to trial. Their study included cases of murder, sexual assault, attempted murder and armed robbery where the person was exonerated after 1989 when DNA was used in Illinois. Exoneration included people acquitted after a retrial and those who had their charges dismissed or were given a gubernatorial pardon.

CDC Confirms Cases of Deadly Fungus in Joplin

A federal agency says there are now 12 confirmed cases of a rare, deadly fungus in Joplin after a tornado hit the southwest Missouri city.

A team of investigators from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control has been investigating reports of the mucormycosis fungus. At least three tornado survivors who were hospitalized with the infection have died, but authorities said it was unclear what role the fungus played in their deaths because they suffered from other serious ailments.

The CDC has been trying to determine if there are risk factors associated with the people who have contracted the rare fungus.