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updated: 5/21/2014 3:53 PM

East St. Louis schools dismiss early after thefts

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Associated Press

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. -- Officials at four East St. Louis schools where thieves stole parts of air conditioners this month have sent students home early because of heat.

District 189 spokeswoman Beth Shepperd told the Belleville News-Democrat that more dismissals were possible. She says thieves stole copper and other parts from air conditioners at the four schools. That means the air conditioning isn't working.

So students were sent home Tuesday around 12:30 p.m. as the heat rose in classrooms. Outdoor temperatures in the area were in the 80s with high humidity.

Shepperd says the school will be watching temperatures and the heat index again Wednesday and the rest of the week with potential dismissals in mind.

She says the repairs will cost about $100,000.

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