Morning headlines: Snow in the forecast, "fake cocaine" on the rise in Mo., St. Charles City Council bans funeral protests, Rams hire fired Broncos coach

Jan 19, 2011
  • The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for the St. Louis region from 6 p.m. this evening to 6 p.m. Thursday evening. Snow is expected to develop over northeast and central Missouri by early this evening, then spread east and south overnight into Thursday morning. The heaviest snowfall is forecast to fall along the Interstate 70 corridor, where 4-to-6 inches of snow is expected.
  • The use of so-called "fake cocaine" may be on the rise in Missouri. The Missouri Poison Center at Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center received 12 calls through mid-January about people abusing the chemicals, compared to eight calls in all of last year. The powders are sold as bath salts but contain stimulants that can cause rapid heart rates, seizures and hallucinations.
  • Despite the likelihood of a lawsuit, the St. Charles City Council has voted to ban protests at funerals. The City Council voted Tuesday night to allow protests during visitations and street and highway processions. But protests will be banned within 300 feet of funeral and burial sites between an hour before and an hour after an observance. The St. Louis Post-dispatch reports that the law is similar to one passed by St. Louis County, which is scheduled to take effect Feb. 7. The county has been sued by the American Civil Liberties Union and Westboro Baptist Church, a Topeka-based group that protests at military funerals. A federal court hearing was held Tuesday in St. Louis on church members' request for a temporary injunction on the county ordinance.
  • The St. Louis Rams hired former  Denver Broncos coach Josh McDaniels as their offensive coordinator. The Broncos fired McDaniels with four games to go in the regular season. The Rams announced the hire on its Twitter feed yesterday. McDaniels replaces Pat Shurmur who was hired as the Cleveland Browns head coach earlier this month. Coach Steve Spagnuolo called McDaniels one of the top offensive minds in the NFL.