A funeral is scheduled for Thursday for a soldier from Ste. Genevieve who died in Afghanistan. 25 year-old Sgt. Michael J. Beckerman was assigned to the 101st Airborne at Fort Campbell in Kentucky. The army says he died Dec. 31 in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of wound suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvsed explosive device. Beckerman arrived at Fort Campbell in January 2010. He joined the Army in September 2004. Local media is reporting that he left behind a young daughter. His wife, Margaretta, is also in the armed forces.
Rock and roll legend Chuck Berry is back home in St. Louis after falling ill during a performance in Chicago on Saturday. News reports in Chicago say the 84-year-old rocker was about an hour into a concert when he slumped over the keyboards. He reportedly tried to return to the stage about 15 minutes later, was escorted off again, then returned to do his "duck walk." His agent says he was suffering from exhaustion, and refused medical treatment.
A new audit is sharply critical of the amount of overtime worked by employees at the state Department of Mental Health. The review by outgoing state auditor Susan Montee found that in 2009, the department paid out about $48 million in overtime, with some employees at the state habilitation centers receiving overtime payments that exceeded their paychecks. The department says it's now limiting overtime limits and will evaluate whether it is cheaper to higher new employees.
The proposal was one of several announced today that Senate leaders say will improve education in Missouri. Republican David Pearce of Warrensburg says combining the two will have benefits beyond cost savings.