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Morning headlines: Paraquad founder Max Starkloff dies, East St. Louis Police reject offer, Coleman lawyers seek to prevent expert testimony

Max Starkloff, founder and president of Paraquad Inc. died at his St. Louis home Monday. He was 73. (Flickr Creative Commons, mosaferroads)
  • Funeral arrangements are pending for Max Starkloff, a longtime advocate for the disabled in the St. Louis area. Friends told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he had recently developed the flu. Starkloff was a quadriplegic since age 21, when he was injured in an automobile accident. He founded Paraquad Inc. and led crusades that convinced St. Louis to install wheelchair temps on sidewalks and lifts on buses. He also persuaded business leaders to improve accessibility and builders to construct barrier-free housing. Starkloff was 73. He is survived by his wife, a son and a daughter.
  • The Belleville News-Democrat reports that East St. Louis police have rejected a plan that would have averted 19 layoffs. The police union voted overwhelmingly Monday to reject proposals by the city because it would have deeply cut into the officers' compensation. The city wanted the union to accept a nearly $2 an hour wage cut and one unpaid furlough day per two-week pay period. A representative for the Fraternal Order of Police Union Lodge 126 said the city's proposals would equate to $1 million in concessions from the union. The City Council was supposed to vote on the layoffs last week, but it did not have a quorum and the meeting was canceled. The council is scheduled to meet Thursday to vote on the layoffs.
  • According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, lawyers for Christopher Coleman are trying to prevent prosecutors from calling an expert to testify on the time his wife, Sheri and two sons died. 33 year-old Coleman is being held without bail in the strangulation of the three who were found dead in May 2009 in their Columbia, IL home. Celebrity pathologist Dr. Michael Baden reviewed the case for prosecutors and determined Sheri and the children were killed before 3 a.m. Coleman told police that his family was still alive when he left for a gym at 5:45 a.m. In a defense motion filed last week, Coleman's defense team noted that time of death is difficult to determine precisely. Coleman's trial is set for next year.

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