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After Years Collecting Dust, Missouri's Untested Rape Kits Are Getting Sorted Out

Missouri has more than 10,000 untested rape kits sitting on shelves in police departments and hospital —some have been there for decades — but the state is finally set to have a full inventory of those kits by the end of the month. Once the inventory is complete, Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s office can move forward with creating an electronic database to not only keep track of the untested kits, but to help prosecute rapists and provide justice for victims.

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Gordon Sondland, U.S. ambassador to the European Union, is speaking to Congress behind closed doors on Thursday as part of the House's impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

In his prepared remarks, the former businessman says: "as we go through this process, I understand that some people may have their own specific agendas: some may want me to say things to protect the President at all costs; some may want me to provide damning facts to support the other side. But none of that matters to me. ... Simply put, I am NOT here to push an agenda. I am here to tell the truth."

BELLEVILLE — Illinois’ slow but steady population decline could jeopardize the home rule status some Metro East cities enjoy.

Home rule grants cities broad taxing and regulatory powers, making it easier to quickly tackle local issues and fund projects and services. Status is automatically granted to any Illinois city with more than 25,000 residents. Towns can also achieve home rule through a referendum, like Fairview Heights did. 

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BELLEVILLE — Illinois’ slow but steady population decline could jeopardize the home rule status some Metro East cities enjoy.

Home rule grants cities broad taxing and regulatory powers, making it easier to quickly tackle local issues and fund projects and services. Status is automatically granted to any Illinois city with more than 25,000 residents. Towns can also achieve home rule through a referendum, like Fairview Heights did. 

On Chess: Not Particularly Beautiful

47 minutes ago

"Not Particularly Beautiful" is a chessboard I created with Daniel Meirom, in homage to women players who endure backlashes as they find new power, inspired by the chess queen.

The queen was once the weakest force on the board, only able to move one square diagonally. Games were long and tedious, as it was much harder to checkmate without the chief executioner.

From cries of heartbreak to a call for the prosecution of men who pay for sex with girls, Kansas lawmakers said the story of Hope Zeferjohn, a teen victim of sex-trafficking who was prosecuted for sex crimes, focuses a harsh light on a state system that is supposed to protect children.

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October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. DR. NICOLE NELSON, Columbia Surgical Associates, tells us about some of the warning signs in both women and men, and what happens if an abnormality is discovered. The good news? Breast cancer (that's diagnosed early) isn't the death sentence it used to be. Dr. Nelson says the five-year survival rate among all-comers is actually 90%. October 17, 2019

This week on Discover Nature, watch for American white pelicans flying south for the winter.

 

The white pelican is a large waterbird – often growing to more than five feet long, with a wingspan of up to nine feet.  

 

White pelicans migrate through Missouri in spring and fall between their summer breeding grounds in the northwest, and their winter territories to the south. Many more of them migrate through western Missouri than the eastern half of the state. 

 

Parking at Columbia Mall Could Be Getting Harder

32 minutes ago

The Columbia City Council is considering a proposed amendment which would restructure the mall’s planning and development plan. The amendment involves the subdividing the lot near where the previous Sears store was located and reducing the minimum required parking spaces that the mall must keep. This amendment is part of the early stages of the Dillard’s retail store’s planned expansion into the Sears wing of the mall. Project Engineer for Cochran Engineering, Ryan Gates, said that the proposed amendment does not currently contain any plans for construction.

A former Missouri State Highway Patrol captain who led the policing effort during Ferguson protests is joining the St. Louis prosecutor's office.

Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner introduced Ron Johnson Wednesday as law enforcement liaison, a contracted position that will pay $50,000 for one year. Gardner says Johnson will work toward better "communication and collaboration" with city police, the FBI and other agencies.