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St. Francois County

Lead blocks produced by the Doe Run Company.
The Doe Run Company

In a settlement announced Wednesday, the U.S. Department of Justice, Environmental Protection Agency and the state of Missouri ordered metal and mining company Doe Run Resources Corporation to clean up lead contamination in more than 4,000 residential properties in St. Francois County.

The work is estimated to cost a total of $111 million. Of that, the Environmental Protection Agency will contribute about $31 million. The company will remove lead contamination in the Big River Mine Tailings Superfund Site, an area added to the EPA's National Priorities List in 1992. It's part of Missouri's "Old Lead Belt," one of the largest lead mining districts in the world.

Adrian Clark | Flickr

Less than a year after purchasing the facility, BJC HealthCare is closing the doors of its former competitor in Farmington.

The 126-bed hospital, which was called the Mineral Area Regional Medical Center before its acquisition by BJC, is scheduled to cease operations at 7 a.m. on Tuesday. The facility will close completely no later than January 31, according to hospital officials in Farmington. 

Morning headlines: Friday, March 18, 2011

Mar 18, 2011
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

  • The Missouri Senate has approved legislation requiring people convicted of sexual assault to complete a state treatment program before they qualify for probation or parole. The treatment program aims to prevent future sexual assaults. Currently, convicts can complete the program after they are granted early release. The bill would also forbid people convicted of sex crimes against children from living within 1,000 feet of any residence, business or church that claims to be a child care facility. Currently, the 1,000-foot rule only applies to some child care centers that meet a specific definition. The bill now goes to the House.

  • St. Louis police say a woman was fatally shot after being hit by a stray bullet while she was driving in North St. Louis.  The 39-year-old victim died at the scene of the shooting shortly before 10 p.m. Thursday. Police have not released her identity. The woman, reportedly, was talking on a cell phone with her fiance when several shots were fired. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that investigators suspect she was shot in the head by crossfire. Her sport utility vehicle then swerved into oncoming lanes and hit at least one parked car. There was no immediate word on any arrests.

  • An eastern Missouri sheriff's office wants to hear from anyone who might have received unsolicited and sexually explicit text messages on a cell phone. The Park Hills Daily Journal reports that one person has been identified and taken into custody after several people complained to the St. Francois County sheriff about getting the photographs. The images are described as extremely graphic photos of a sexually explicit nature. The sheriff's department says the suspect sent photographs to random cell phone numbers from last October until Wednesday of this week, sometimes following up with text messages. The sheriff says it doesn't appear that children were targeted but that some youngsters likely received the messages because of the large number sent out.