At a community forum in north St. Louis County Monday night, elected officials, law enforcement and educators discussed ways to curb youth violence. In short, speakers said tackling the problem will require a collective effort and include everything from affordable housing to job creation.
Even though the root causes of violence are often complex, Lt. Colonial Ken Gregory of the St. Louis County Police said fostering healthy families is where the solution starts.
“We don’t have that working for us then we have nothing,” Gregory said.
Author and psychologist Steven Pinker argues that violence is on the decline. In, "The Better Angels of Our Nature,” Pinker says despite ongoing news about war, terrorism, and other crimes, violence is declining. Pinker also examines why people are pulled toward violence and debunks myths about violence.
Host Don Marsh talks with Steven Pinker about his book and thought provoking studies and analysis. Pinker spoke recently at the St. Louis County Library.
Amanda Vinicky contributed reporting from Springfield.
The director of the Illinois Dept. of Natural Resources says his department will do all it can to keep the state's parks open after the failure of a $2 increase in license plate fees that would have provided a funding stream the the DNR.
But Marc Miller says he can't rule anything out, because the department has seen its budget slashed by 50 percent over the last decade.
East St. Louis nightclubs and other local businesses are bankrolling extra weekend police patrols after a series of violent crimes.
Mayor Alvin Parks Jr. says the city needs more officers on the street but cannot afford them on its own.
“This is taking already existing officers and paying them to work this special detail," Parks said. "A detail that will be about six officers downtown and another two in the rest of the city where there might be late night activity.”
Police on Wednesday did an about-face and said the Reliable Funeral Home shootings may not be gang related, despite previous public statements from Chief Dan Isom."The Chief initially said at the scene that he thought it may be the result of feuding between two gangs but further investigation has not been able to support that," said Erica Van Ross, a spokeswoman for the deparment. "After learning that the parties may have initially become involved in an argument at the funeral, this appears to be, at this point at least, stemming from a personal dispute."
Police say two people are dead after a gang-related shooting outside a St. Louis funeral home while a service was being held inside.
Two other people were injured in the shooting about noon Tuesday at Reliable Funeral Home.