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Morning headlines: Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Illinois Supreme Court.
The Illinois Supreme Court.

Illinois Supreme Court to announce new policy allowing cameras in trial courts

The new policy would allow cameras in trial courts on an experimental and limited basis.

Spokesman Joe Tybor says the court will make its announcement today.

Illinois has allowed cameras to be present during Supreme Court and Appellate Court hearings since 1983. At the time of that decision, the court continued the ban during trials because of fair trial concerns. Tybor said Monday the new rules for cameras will be on a limited and experimental basis to determine whether media access and fair trials can co-exist.

Broadcasters have long advocated the use of cameras and tape recorders during criminal trials in Illinois, pointing to the public's right to know.  Illinois is one 14 states that currently don't allow cameras during criminal trials.

Two Mo. Republicans propose  requiring Mo. governor and lieutenant governor run on same ticket

Sen. John Lamping, of St. Louis County, has proposed an amendment to the state Constitution requiring anyone running for governor to pick a running mate before the party primaries. A constitutional amendment by Sen. Jason Crowell, of Cape Girardeau, would let candidates for governor name their running mates after the primaries.

Crowell and Lamping outlined their proposals Monday to a Senate committee. Both would take effect beginning with the 2016 elections if they pass the Legislature and win approval on a statewide ballot.

Committee chairman Kevin Engler, of Farmington, said the panel will choose one of the proposals to endorse in the next few weeks.

Joplin hospital to be demolished this weekend

Perhaps the most well-known and obvious reminder of the tornado that devastated Joplin in May is about to come down. Demolition work will begin Sunday at St. John's Mercy Hospital in Joplin, the hospital that was virtually destroyed in the May 22 tornado that killed 161 people in the southwest Missouri community.

St. John's Mercy president Gary Pulsipher says taking down the hospital is another step in the recovery process for Joplin.

Implosion is not an option because of old lead mines beneath the ground. So crews will use a wrecking ball to tear down the hospital's west tower. Specialized grappling equipment will reach up 15 stories to pull down the east tower.

Demolition work is expected to take six weeks.


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