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Morning headlines: Thursday, December 15, 2011


Blagojevich "ripe candidate" for prison drug rehab according to report

A probation report says ousted Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich may be a "ripe candidate" for a drug treatment program in prison. That's according to defense attorney Sheldon Sorosky, who says he doesn't know what Blagojevich said to a probation officer to lead to that conclusion.

Judge James Zagel has agreed to recommend Blagojevich for a drug treatment program when he starts his   14-year prison sentence for corruption in March.

Sorosky tells the Chicago Sun-Times  that there's documentation Blagojevich has a history of drug abuse, but he didn't elaborate. No one has revealed why Blagojevich would be eligible for the drug program. 

The request could be a move to cut time off his sentence. Prisoners in the program are eligible for up to a year in reduced time.

Mo. lawmakers drafting proposals to let suburban school district operate unaccredited schools in KC

Missouri lawmakers are drafting proposals to let suburban school districts enter contracts to operate soon-to-be unaccredited schools in Kansas City. The legislation also would create a central clearinghouse where families from the unaccredited St. Louis and nearby Riverview Gardens districts could find spots for a child in a charter, suburban or even a private or parochial school.

Senate Republican Jane Cunningham, of St. Louis County, says legislative staff are drafting a bill for the upcoming session. The proposals are an attempt to deal with changes resulting from a 2010 Missouri Supreme Court decision. The court ruled that students living in unaccredited districts are legally entitled to free transfers and that accredited schools must take them.

Hundreds attend memorial for trooper

Hundreds of law enforcement officers from as far away as Texas attended Wednesday's memorial for a Missouri Highway Patrol officer.

Trooper Fred Guthrie Junior disappeared August first in northwest Missouri flood waters near the Missouri River. Despite months of searching, he remains missing. The body of his K-9 was found the day after they were presumed drowned.

Guthrie is believed to be the only fatality in the state from the Missouri River Flooding of 2011. His uniform and other personal effects, along with the cremated remains of K-9 partner are being buried in Knob Noster, Mo.          

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