Morning headlines: Wednesday, November 16, 2011 | St. Louis Public Radio

Morning headlines: Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Nov 16, 2011

One person in custody in connection to 1-year-old Tyler Dasher's murder

St. Louis County police detectives have taken one person into custody in connection to the death of 1-year-old Tyler Dasher. The death has been ruled a homicide. St. Louis County spokesman Rick Eckhard says the person has not yet been formally booked or processed.

Tyler was reported missing at around 11 a. m from the Affton home he shared with his mother, 20-year-old Shelby Dasher, and his grandmother. Shelby Dasher told police she had put Tyler to bed at around 10:30 p. m Monday night, then overslept and discovered him gone from his crib when she awoke Tuesday morning.

The little boy’s body was found at around 3:30 p. m near a county cemetery about a mile from the Dasher home. A cause of death has not been released.

Police say no further information about the arrest will be released until the prosecuting attorney reviews the investigation.

Public speaks out about proposed park closings and layoffs in STL County

The St. Louis County Council chambers were filled to capacity Tuesday night at a public hearing on the proposed 2012 budget. County Executive Charlie Dooley has proposed closing 23 parks and laying off 175 county employees, among other cost-saving measures.

More than 90 people signed up to speak, many of them suggesting the move would cost the county in the long run.

Paula Sewell is the president of the Wildwood Horse Owners & Acreage Association.

"All those properties that abut or within riding distance of any of the 20 parks you're talking about people pay a premium to live there, so if you close them down their property value decrease and so does your ability to collect taxes," said Sewell.

Before the public hearing began six of the seven council members present declared their opposition to closing parks or laying off employees. Executive Dooley said he believes a solution can be found but that it "won't be pleasant."

Koster wants to Mo. to expand mandatory reporting

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster wants lawmakers to consider expanding the mandatory reporting of sexual abuse of a child. Missouri law currently requires teachers, clergy and members of certain other professions to report child sex abuse to law enforcement.

Koster said Tuesday he wants the Legislature to consider extending the mandatory reporting requirement to all citizens. The attorney general says the sex abuse scandal at Pennsylvania State University points up differences in laws around the country on the obligation to notify law enforcement. Koster said that as of April 2010, laws in 18 states require all citizens to report suspected abuse or neglect of children.