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Security on Metro transit to increase following shooting of MetroBus driver

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Security on Metro transit to increase following shooting of MetroBus driver

ST. LOUIS – Officials from the region’s largest transit system, Bi-State Development, are beefing up security for bus drivers and riders after a MetroBus driver was shot Friday evening. The driver has remained in the hospital in critical condition since the incident.

MetroBus is adding private security patrols to select routes and working with law enforcement to boost police presence.

The Major Case Squad of Greater St. Louis is investigating the shooting that caused the bus driver to crash into a utility pole. The incident happened just after 7 p.m. Friday at the 3400 block of Lucas and Hunt Road. 

The driver, whose name has not been released, was hit in the upper body. There were several passengers on the bus at the time. They were not injured from the gunshot, which they said was a single gunshot from outside the bus.

While the driver remains in hospital, a vigil was held Sunday. More than 20 people gathered to pray for their co-worker and friend.

President and CEO of Bi-State Development Taulby Roach said the Metro Transit System will continue to invest in operator shields, cameras, and radios to increase security.

Police ask anyone with information on the shooting who wishes to remain anonymous to call 866-731-TIPS. Anyone with information could be eligible for a CrimeStoppers reward of up to $5,000.

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Missouri Attorney General starts filing lawsuits against schools with mask mandates

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Missouri Attorney General starts filing lawsuits against schools with mask mandates

ST. LOUIS–Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt followed through Friday on a pledge made earlier this week to file suit against school districts that he says are illegally issuing mask mandates, beginning with the Francis Howell School District in St. Charles County. By the end of the day, a total of thirty six districts across the state were taken to court.

“School districts have never been given the authority by the legislature to enact public health orders like mask mandates or quarantine orders – the recent Cole County judgment just further affirms that fact. The decision to mask children in school should rest solely with parents and families. Last month, I informed a number of school districts that their decision to continue to enforce mask mandates is illegal and must be stopped immediately. Some school districts dropped their mask mandates and quarantine orders, but others continue to defy the law,” Schmitt said in a news release earlier this week. “It’s far past time that the power to make health decisions concerning children be pried from the hands of bureaucrats and put back into the hands of parents and families, and I will take school district after school district to court to achieve that goal.”

The Francis Howell School district returned from the winter break without a mask mandate, but reinstated it five days later after soaring sick rates in district schools. The Board of Education extended it for another two weeks on Thursday.

In a statement, the district said:

As we’ve said all along, we have consulted with our legal counsel and are confident that our Board of Education has the authority to establish mask requirements and other mitigation measures. The Attorney General is not elected to make decisions for Francis Howell students and staff. That responsibility lies with our locally elected school board members, and the mitigation measures they have enacted helped keep our schools open for in-person learning, which we know is important for our students and families.

Our community and especially our elected officials should be celebrating and supporting schools during this challenging time, not suing them. The lawsuit filed by Schmitt is a waste of taxpayer money – on both sides. The claims are tenuous at best and this unnecessary lawsuit represents another attack on public education in Missouri. This latest action by AG Schmitt is disheartening, unfounded and frankly, shameful.

Before noon, lawsuits had also been filed against the Fort Zumwalt and city of St. Charles districts in St. Charles County, St. Louis Public Schools, the Rockwood and Brentwood school districts in St. Louis County the Columbia Public Schools and the Park Hills School district. In a tweet from his personal account, Schmitt, a candidate for the U.S. Senate, said the suits were among dozens being filed.

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Mikaela Shiffrin leads 17-member U.S. ski team nominated for Olympics

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Mikaela Shiffrin leads 17-member U.S. ski team nominated for Olympics

PARK CITY, Utah — Two-time Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin leads the 17-member list for the U.S. Alpine skiing team nominated Friday for the Beijing Winter Games.

There are nine first-time Olympians on the roster, which still awaits confirmation from the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee.

Shiffrin heads to her third Olympics. She already owns three medals, including a gold in slalom in 2014 and in giant slalom in 2018.

Other Americans who previously made Olympic teams and are back are Breezy Johnson, Tricia Mangan, Jackie Wiles, Bryce Bennett, Ryan Cochran-Siegle, Tommy Ford and Travis Ganong.

The first-timers are Keely Cashman, Katie Hensien, AJ Hurt, Mo Lebel, Paula Moltzan, Nina O’Brien, Bella Wright, River Radamus and Luke Winters.

The Alpine schedule in Beijing starts Feb. 6 with the men’s downhill, followed by the women’s giant slalom on Feb. 7.

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Ravens part ways with defensive coordinator Don ‘Wink’ Martindale

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Ravens part ways with defensive coordinator Don ‘Wink’ Martindale

The Ravens announced Friday night that they’ve parted ways with defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale.

Martindale, a beloved coach among players and one of the NFL’s most aggressive play-callers, had served under coach John Harbaugh in Baltimore since 2012. After coaching the team’s linebackers for six years, he took over as defensive coordinator for Dean Pees in 2018.

From 2018 to 2020, the Ravens had one of the NFL’s most successful defenses, ranking in the top 10 in efficiency each year under Martindale, according to Football Outsiders. This year, however, injuries and inconsistency in their well-regarded secondary led to a precipitous fall; they finished 28th overall in DVOA, their lowest ranking since the franchise’s first year in Baltimore.

“After several productive conversations, Don and I have agreed to move forward in separate directions,” Harbaugh said in a statement. “We have had a great run on defense, and I am very proud of what has been accomplished and the work he has done.

“Don has been a major contributor to the success of our defense since 2012, and especially since he became defensive coordinator four years ago. He has done a great job. Now it is time to pursue other opportunities. Sometimes the moment comes, and it’s the right time.”

This story will be updated.

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