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Morning headlines: Thursday, September 20, 2012

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Three people killed on Grand Bridge following early morning police chase

The Grand Bridge was closed for several hours early Thursday morning as the result of a vehicle crash that left three people dead and another person critically injured.

The crash happened as the car was fleeing police.

Police say the occupants of the Nissan Maxima were believed to be involved in a series of shootings  late Wednesday and early Thursday. Officers spotted the Nissan about 2:45 a.m. and police say they saw one of the occupants holding a weapon. A chase began and the driver lost control at the bridge, sliding into decorative concrete planters and a light pole. The car was split in half.

The names of the victims have not been released. They were all in their 20s.

St. Louis city health director criticized for smoking ban exception

The St. Louis city health director is taking heat from a doctor who tracks smoking laws over a decision to allow smoking at a large health and social club. An exception to the city's indoor smoking ban allows for smoking inside the Missouri Athletic Club.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Dr. Michael Siegel of Boston University's School of Public Health says St. Louis is the only city in the country to allow an exception for one business.

City health director Pam Walker made the decision to grant the exemption for the MAC.

Ill. abortion law to be reviewed by state Supreme Court

A never-enforced law requiring minors to notify their parents before getting an abortion is about to be reviewed by the Illinois Supreme Court. Oral arguments in the case are scheduled for Thursday.

The law was passed in 1995, but legal challenges have kept it from ever going into effect. It requires parents to be notified two days before a minor gets an abortion. Girls could bypass that by going to a judge.

Supporters argue that it's important for parents to be informed and help guide minors about such a big decision. But critics say the law would put some girls in danger by notifying abusive parents. They maintain there's no good reason for the state to interfere in a personal decision.