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African children’s choir inspiring St. Louis

ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI)– The world-renowned Watoto Children`s Choir from Africa is performing in the St. Louis area this week.  Choir members are orphans.  Their parents have been lost to AIDS, poverty or violence.  The choir is part of a Christian ministry and is performing at several area churches.

Tuesday`s performance was at the St. Louis Dream Center in north St. Louis.   The choir uses traditional African song and dance to bring awareness to the plight of African children.  The performances are also an opportunity for the choir to profess their faith.

“While we share the love of Jesus with people, we encourage them even if you are in a desolate situation, God can still turn it around for good,” said Phillip Mugerwa, team leader.

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Cahokia shooting takes life of 21-year-old

CAHOKIA, IL (KTVI) – The St. Clair County Coroner Rick Stone identified a 21 year old killed in Cahokia Monday night as Rahmahjae Rodgers.  He was fatally wounded  while on Delores Street in the Bruce Place Subdivision off Route 157.

Cahokia police report family members took the young man to Touchette Regional Hospital in Centreville before officers were able to reach the shooting scene in the 2000 block of Delores.  He was pronounced dead at the hospital.

Cahokia detectives were interviewing people  much of Tuesday and unavailable to discuss the case.

However they ask anyone with information about the shooting to call the Cahokia Police at 618-337-9505 or Crimestoppers at 1-866-371-TIPS.

Peach crop in Illinois may have been damaged by harsh winter

(KTVI) – Things are not looking “peachy” for the local peach crop this year. Although the weather is warmer now, it may be a little too late to save all the peaches in Illinois.

Farm bureau officials say the harsh winter weather may have destroyed some of the crop. So you may not see as much of the fruit at area markets in the coming weeks.

Old Casino Queen maybe used to haul cargo

(KTVI) – The old ‘Casino Queen’ getting a new lease in life. The boat may be used as a cargo barge.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch is reporting the old ‘Casino Queen’ is now heading to Kentucky.

It’s new owner may use it to transport large stacks of shipping containers.

The vessel housed gambling on the East St. Louis Riverfront from 1992 through 2007.

Band In The Box: Watoto African Children’s Choir

(KTVI) – The Watoto African Children’s Choir helps children who have lost one or both parents to HIV/AIDS or war. Director Phillip Mugerwa explained to Tim Ezell how to children are touring the US for six months and meeting so many nice people.

Watoto African Children’s Choir
Tuesday, April 22
St. Louis Dream Center
4324 Margaretta Ave
St Louis, MO 63115

Wednesday, April 23
Faith Family Church
704 North Green Mount Rd
Shiloh, IL 62221

Thursday, April 24
Our Lady of Lourdes
1014 Madison Ave
Washington, MO 63090

Find out more: http://www.watoto.com/the-choir/see-the-choir

Staffing, other issues plague East St. Louis firefighters

EAST ST. LOUIS, IL (KTVI) – East St. Louis firefighters fought a challenging fire early Monday morning.  The fire destroyed an apartment building, leaving several families homeless.

Firefighters did the best they could, but feel they would have had a better chance at saving the building if they had more manpower.  They’re understaffed by about five firefighters, and the engine house closest to this apartment fire is currently closed.

But it wasn’t just manpower that plagued the attempt to fight this apartment building fire.  Firefighters complained of a fire hydrant that was rusted over, and couldn’t be easily accessed.

East St. Louis Fire Captain Brandon Walls says, “The trucks have 1,000 gallons, so they at least have something to work with, but in a fire this big, you want to have a backup water supply to maintain the efforts.”