Yokeia Smith's aunts Gayle Jones (at left) and Martenia Jones, along with cousin Dawn Triplett (at far right), addressing the media Sept. 2 regarding Smith's case. Smith is charged with shooting two of her children to death with a shotgun.
Credit (Photo Courtesy St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department)
25-year-old Yokeia Smith faced two counts of first-degree murder for the shotgun shooting deaths of her four-year-old daughter and five-year-old son in East St. Louis on August 31. She was jailed in St. Louis on separate crimes.
Credit (Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)
Yokeia Smith's aunts Gayle Jones (at left) and Martenia Jones, along with cousin Dawn Triplett (at far right), addressing the media regarding Smith's case.
Illinois' board of education says a former top federal prosecutor will head a probe it has launched into spending by East St. Louis' cash-strapped public school system.
Friday's announcement of the probe comes as the 7,500-student district is under state control and beset by questions about its paying millions on consultants and conventions.
The state board says the probe will be headed by A. Courtney Cox, southern Illinois' former U.S. attorney. His firm will be paid up to $100,000 a year to do the investigation, at the district's expense.
East St. Louis is weighing whether to appeal a federal jury's verdict in favor of two former city officials who claimed they were fired because they spoke out about racial discrimination in the city's hiring process.
The Belleville News-Democrat reports that jurors in Benton deliberated about four hours before ruling Wednesday in favor of former police and fire commissioners Della Murphy and Wyatt Frazer.
A yearly effort by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to clean up discarded tires is underway in the Metro East.
Front loaders were hard at work at a city-owned lot in East St. Louis Wednesday afternoon dropping tires into tractor trailers. The contractors, which will haul away the old tires to be reused, are funded with a fee that customers pay on new tires.