IBERIA, Mo. (AP) — A central Missouri woman has pleaded guilty to killing her seven-month-old son by setting his blanket on fire. Christina White entered the plea yesterday to second-degree murder, arson and endangering the welfare of a child. Prosecutors say White set fire to a blanket wrapped around her son in July 2007.

O’FALLON, Mo. (AP) — Three eastern Missouri baby sitters are accused of sexually abusing three young girls and authorities fear there may be other victims. Several charges were filed yesterday against Rebecca Russell, John Thomas III and Billy Joe Bunch Jr. Police say the victims are a 3-year-old, a 5-year-old and a 7-month-old.

FLORISSANT, Mo. (AP) — A Florissant police officer who suffered a spinal cord injury when he was shot by a suspect is likely permanently paralyzed from the waist down. The family of Officer Mike Vernon was told by doctors the paralysis is probably permanent. He was shot three times on Monday when a burglary suspect ambushed him.

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) — Engineering professors from the University of Missouri are headed to Iraq to help train their counterparts in that nation. The school has received a federal grant to work with professors at Iraq’s University of Technology. The Missouri contingent will work on course development in the Iraqi school’s industrial engineering program.

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — Republicans from across Missouri are holding their state convention this weekend in Springfield. The agenda includes selecting 25 delegates to go to the Republican National Convention. Missouri Democrats are holding their state convention on June 9th.

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A longtime Missouri Department of Corrections employee is taking the helm of the St. Louis city jail, at least for now. Mayor Francis Slay appointed Dale Glass as acting corrections commissioner yesterday. He replaces Gene Stubblefield, who has been removed but not officially fired.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Swimming beaches at two Missouri state parks will remain shut down while the parks undergo construction and repairs. Last year’s flooding along the Missouri River caused extensive damage at Lewis and Clark State Park near St. Joseph. The park’s day-use areas have reopened, but the Missouri Department of Natural Resources says the campground and swimming beach are still closed.

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — An economic survey index of Missouri and eight other Midwestern and Plains states fell last month. Economists say businesses are still benefiting from healthy farm income and exports, but growth “is softening as a result of the stronger dollar.