(AP) – State News Stories

| October 23, 2013
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Power plant ash hits part of Springfield

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — A power plant malfunction has caused fly-ash to billow over part of Springfield.

City Utilities spokesman Joel Alexander says the ash is normally captured in a scrubber system. But the malfunction allowed the ash to be emitted through the top of a stack at the John Twitty Energy Center and into the atmosphere.

The Springfield News-Leader reports that the emission lasted nearly 40 minutes, leaving cars and houses coated with ash. Alexander says the equipment was repaired, and the power plant is operating normally again.

The malfunction was reported to the Department of Natural Resources. Alexander says the utility continues to investigate. The amount of fly-ash that was released hasn’t yet been determined.

The utility is offering free car washes to people whose vehicles were parked in affected areas.

SCHOOL TRANSFERS

Riverview Gardens proposes cuts

BELLEFONTAINE NEIGHBORS, Mo. (AP) — The troubled Riverview Gardens School District in suburban St. Louis is proposing budget cuts to offset at least some of the $15 million in costs associated with the school transfer program.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that district officials on Tuesday outlined cuts of up to $3 million that would avoid laying off teachers. The district would freeze 15 unfilled positions and not replace others who leave.

The plan also cuts the professional development budget, modifies the bus contract and finds savings in areas such as technology and facilities.

Riverview Gardens and the nearby Normandy school districts are cutting their budgets because both are unaccredited. A Missouri Supreme Court ruling this summer allows students in unaccredited districts to transfer — at the districts’ cost for tuition and transportation.

STOMPING DEATH

Charges upgraded to murder after Mo. man dies

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — A suspect jailed in the assault of Springfield man now faces a murder charge after an autopsy confirmed the alleged victim died from his injuries.

The Springfield News-Leader reports that 35-year-old Edward Andresen had a first-degree assault charge elevated to second-degree murder on Tuesday. His attorney, Bryan Delleville, didn’t immediately return a phone call.

Police found 40-year-old James Belvin unconscious in the early morning hours of Aug. 1 about 11 blocks from his home. Police said he had severe facial and head injuries and a brain bleed.

The probable cause statement says witnesses saw Andresen repeatedly kick, punch and stomp Belvin’s head. A week later, Belvin died.

Assistant Prosecutor Russell Dempsey says he was waiting on Belvin’s autopsy to confirm a cause of death before amending the charge.

GANG LEADER

Reputed Calif. prison gang leader caught in Mo.

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A reputed prison gang leader who was on probation in California has been captured in Missouri.

Forty-five-year-old Albert “Spanky” Amaya is jailed in Missouri’s Pettis County while awaiting extradition. No attorney is listed for him in online Missouri court records.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Amaya was sentenced to 25 years to life in state prison in 2008 after he was convicted of extortion, his third felony conviction. But he was released in June after a voter-approved measure allowed “three strikes” inmates to seek re-sentencing.

The San Bernardino County district attorney’s office placed him on GPS monitoring while seeking to send him back to prison. Authorities allege he was a crew chief for the Mexican Mafia prison gang and fled after cutting the GPS device.

POLICE BOARD-SPENCE

Spence drops bid for St. Louis County police board

CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) — Former Republican gubernatorial nominee Dave Spence has dropped out of consideration for a seat on the five-member St. Louis County Board of Police Commissioners, citing the stringent screening process recently enacted by the County Council.

Spence said in a letter released Tuesday by County Executive Charlie Dooley’s office that he has no problem submitting to background checks, but he worries that the council cannot safeguard his business and personal information.

Dooley says the process, enacted by the council after an FBI investigation of former police board chairman Gregory Sansone, leaves financial records of nominees open to scrutiny through Missouri’s open records law.

The board is currently meeting with just two members — short of a quorum.

Spence ran unsuccessfully for governor in 2012, losing to incumbent Democrat Jay Nixon.

METROLINK-ACCIDENT

Downed power lines strike MetroLink train

ST. LOUIS (AP) — About 50 passengers of a light rail train in suburban St. Louis are uninjured after an overhead power line fell on top of the train.

It happened Wednesday morning near a MetroLink station on the University of Missouri-St. Louis campus. The passengers were stuck on the train for about an hour before being safely evacuated.

MetroLink service was shut down between Wellston and the North Hanley station until power was restored. Passengers in that area were taking a bus.

LINDBERGH PLANE-AIRPORT

Lindbergh plane back at Lambert Airport

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A small airplane once owned by Charles Lindbergh is now back on display at Lambert Airport in St. Louis.

Officials from the Missouri History Museum on Sunday spent nine hours installing the 1934 D-127 Monocoupe aircraft, which once again hangs over the C Concourse checkpoint in Terminal 1.

The museum also installed a new interactive history kiosk near the plane that displays the history of Lambert and Lindbergh.

The plane was removed in March 2011 as part of terminal renovations. It was originally installed at Lambert in 1979. Lambert officials say that over the years, the plane accumulated dust and other airborne pollutants that made it necessary for a conservation effort to make sure the plane was preserved.

FAIR ST LOUIS

Gateway Arch renovations relocate St. Louis fair

ST. LOUIS (AP) — The $380 million Gateway Arch renovation project means a popular St. Louis summer fair must temporarily find a new home.

Fair St. Louis is scheduled over three days starting on the Fourth of July. Mayor Francis Slay plans to announce the fair’s new home Wednesday night at the St. Louis Art Museum.

KMOV-TV reports that St. Louis parks director Gary Bess says he expect the fair to be at Forest Park next year, with Art Hill as its central point. Officials in Slay’s office would not confirm the move.

DEER DISEASE

Mo. officials: Help prevent deer disease spread

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri’s firearms deer season takes place next month, and conservation officials are asking hunters to help prevent the spread of chronic wasting disease.

The disease is deadly to deer, but there is no evidence it can affect humans. Deer can be affected through exposure to soil containing abnormal proteins that are called prions. The prions can get into soil when infected deer decompose on the surface.

The Conservation Department says hunters should avoid cutting through the spine, brain or bones. If hunters must move a whole carcass, they should send the non-edible parts to state-approved landfills for proper burial.

MIKE SHANNON-HONOR

School names stadium for Cardinals’ Shannon

ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis Cardinals radio broadcaster Mike Shannon is being honored at the Catholic high school where he starred more than 50 years ago.

The former Cardinals third baseman was a three-sport star in the mid-1950s at Christian Brothers College High School as well as Missouri prep player of the year in football and basketball. His father, three sons and three grandsons are also CBC graduates.

The private school is raising money toward a new Mike Shannon Stadium at Cadet Park.

The 74-year-old announcer recently had heart surgery and limited his broadcast duties to Cardinals home games during the National League Championship Series.

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Category: News, State News