Morning headlines: Wednesday, April 20, 2011 | St. Louis Public Radio

Morning headlines: Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Apr 20, 2011

Severe Weather Hits Missouri

Tornados swept through eastern Missouri yesterday, damaging homes and yanking down power lines. No injuries were reported.

The Pike County Sheriff's Department says the storm hit the Bowling Green area late yesterday afternoon, and that three tornadoes were seen in the county in a 45-minute period. Some homes in the Clarksville area had roof damage, and barns and outbuildings in rural Pike County also were damaged.

The Bollinger County Sheriff's Department in southeast Missouri said a rural home was reported damaged, but it was unclear if there were injuries.

Tornados were also reported on the ground near the Jefferson-St. Louis County line. Hail pelted Busch Stadium, where the Cardinals' game was delayed. Lambert Airport in St. Louis was closed for a time last night.

Koster Supports Nixon's New Prop B Plan

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster is supporting a new plan to rewrite a voter-approved dog-breeding law. Koster said Tuesday that he backs a deal struck by Gov. Jay Nixon's administration and several state-based agricultural and animal welfare groups. If their plan becomes law, Koster pledged to open a toll-free hotline and devote a full-time attorney to handle complaints about breeders.

Legislators already have passed a bill that would repeal and replace much of a dog-breeding law approved by voters last November. The latest plan - which also would need legislative approval - would give breeders more time to comply with new housing requirements for dogs. Both plans would repeal the possibility of jail time for first-time offenders and instead give the attorney general the power to pursue civil penalties.

Busch IV to Settle Wrongful-Death Suit

Former Anheuser-Busch CEO August Busch IV has agreed to pay $1.5 million to settle a wrongful-death lawsuit over his girlfriend's accidental drug overdose at his suburban St. Louis home. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the settlement will be reviewed by a judge in Cape Girardeau County, where the lawsuit was filed by Adrienne Martin's ex-husband.

The 27-year-old woman died in December of what an autopsy concluded was an accidental overdose of oxycodone. The St. Louis County prosecutor has said no criminal charges will be filed. Dr. Kevin Martin filed the lawsuit on behalf of his 8-year-old son with Adrienne Martin.

A lawyer for Busch told the Post-Dispatch on Tuesday the settlement was not an admission of negligence but a decision by Busch to help Adrienne Martin's child.

Female Dominated Jury to Decide Coleman's Fate

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, after six days of questioning Perry County residents, prosecutors and defense attorneys have finalized a jury of 10 women and two men in the trial of Christopher Coleman.

The 34-year-old is accused of strangling his wife and two sons in their Columbia, Illinois home in May of 2009. The prosecution plans to seek the death penalty.

The Post-Dispatch reports the jury will be sent home until opening statements on Monday.