University of Missouri Curators have scheduled a virtual meeting this morning to discuss a likely tuition increase at the four-campus system. The video teleconference comes in advance of a late January meeting in Columbia where the curators are expected to approve the system's first tuition increase in three years. School officials have said they hope to keep the increase below 10 percent. Tuition for the coming academic year is typically set in the spring. But university leaders want an early start because Missouri law requires a waiver from the state to raise tuition beyond the Consumer Price Index inflation rate. Students who live in Missouri and take a standard 15 credit course load pay $3,684 in tuition each semester. A 9 percent increase would translate into a $332 boost per semester.
St. Louis police are investigating the accidental shooting of a three-year-old boy. Police say the toddler was critically wounded when he accidentally shot himself in the head. St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the boy underwent surgery Thursday afternoon at St. Louis Children's Hospital. Police believe the boy was with his mother and an infant sibling at their north St. Louis home when he somehow got his hands on a loaded gun. They say he accidentally shot himself and was found lying on a bed. The mother ran to get the father at the neighbor's house and they raced the toddler to the hospital, flagging down paramedics on the way. The toddler remains in critical condition.
The Belleville News Democrat is reporting that lawyers for Christopher Coleman are asking for a delay in the February 15 trial to allow Illinois Governor Pat Quinn to make a decision on a bill that would abolish the death penalty in the state. Coleman is accused of killing his wife and sons in their Columbia, Ill. home in May 2009. He faces a possible death sentence if convicted.
St. Louis police are investigating after a You Tube video surfaced showing a city officer beating a man with his nightstick. The officer is on administrative duty pending the completion of the department's investigation. The video was shot at a convenience store, through an uninvolved vehicle's window. The convenience store owner says the off-duty officer was working security when a young man came in and caused a disturbance. He says the video doesn't show the man grabbing at the officer's ankles and that he believes the officer did nothing wrong. You Tube removed the video Tuesday afternoon.
Illinois legislators will begin the process to redraw the state's political lines in the spring. On Tuesday, lawmakers passed changes to the redistricting process, making public input mandatory. If the governor signs the measure, four public hearing will be required by law. There, voters can tell legislators what they want the map to look like before one is drafted. However, critics say the hearing should also be mandatory after a proposed new legislative map is released. Woodstock Democratic Representative Jack Franks says the reforms aren't a panacea to the politically charged process. The changes will also provide increased protections for monitories, ensuring that districts are drawn so minority voters aren't split into too many districts.
The U.S. Army's chief of staff is pledging to get financial help from Congress for soldiers and families affected by last week's tornado at Missouri Fort Leonard Wood. General George Casey Jr. toured the sprawling southern Missouri post on Tuesday, four days after an EF-3tornado destroyed about 30 homes and left more than 60 others needing repairs. Thousands of people were off the post when the tornado struck on New Year's Eve. Casey noted that only a few people were injured. He said most people at the post had a 15-minute warning through sirens and a public address system. He also praised the support from neighboring communities that have donated thousands of items of food, clothing, toys and bedding.
According to the Associated Press, police said in a statement Tuesday that while the circumstances are not yet known, the video is disturbing. Police say they have not yet identified the officer, but he will be placed on administrative duty once identified, until the investigation is complete.
Every day, train cars and semi trucks leave St. Louis stacked high with pallets of bricks. They head south to cities like New Orleans, to be reused in new construction.
But those bricks leave at a cost to the city—they’re often stolen from buildings the city owns, damaging both the government’s investment and city’s historic heritage. Mandi Rice takes us to one of those neighborhoods, and asks what the city government is doing to curb the problem.
UPDATED 4:10 Dec. 15, 2010 with comments from Richard Callahan and sentencing:
In court on Wednesday, prosecutors revealed that Shade stopped cooperating last January. They found out about it as they were preparing to take Gregory P. Shepard, the manager at St. Louis Metropolitan Towing, to trial. It was Shade's testimony that helped indict and convict Shepard.
St. Louis is back on top, but it's not a list city residents are proud to headline. For the first time since 2004, St. Louis again tops CQ Press' crime ranking list, earning our fair city the unwanted title of "Most Dangerous." CQ Press uses publicly available FBI crime data to make its list, but how crime data gets reported and collected across the nation, is a complicated issue. We tried to break it down a bit on today's St. Louis on the Air.
One of the young men, a 16-year-old, was treated for minor wounds before being taken to the Juvenile Building. A 23-year-old man was arrested while police were investigating the robberies. The incident began around 10:50 Wednesday night, when two men held up a driver attempting to make a pizza delivery in the 4600 block of Michigan. They escaped in a getaway car parked in a nearby alley and driven by a third suspect.
Even before the polls close today, state Auditor Susan Montee -- a Democrat with no serious primary opposition -- will be on the streets with St. Louis Police Chief Dan Isom and Mayor Francis Slay to visit "National Night Out" events around the city to highlight anti-crime and anti-drug efforts.