Shortly after 5 o'clock Wednesday morning, the sidewalk around the Ambassador Entertainment Center in North St. Louis County had the feel of people waiting in line for concert tickets or baseball tickets. Well, there were tickets involved but not those kind.
People (some who started lining up at 3am before doors opened at 7am) who'd earned traffic tickets or been busted for minor theft or drug possession and for whatever reason hadn't paid their debt to society, received in essense a "get out of jail free" card. Actually it was more of an "avoid jail card" and it wasn't free.
They came with cash to pay off their fines and get rid of those warrants against them. One young man told me he had ten... another said 17 in four years. Wow. They finally decided they were tired of worrying about getting pulled over for a traffic violation and then being hauled to jail because of the warrants. Now that they've settled, there's a major load off their minds.
Amnesty Day continues until 7pm Wednesday at the Ambassador Entertainment Center at 9800 Halls Ferry Boulevard.
There's one more opportunity Saturday, Augusts 13th at St. Louis Community College at Forest Park in the gym. That's at 5600 Oakland Avenue.
The Amnesty Project is offered through Better Family Life as part of their Family Week festivities.
Mark Schnyder is a reporter at KMOV-TV. He will read the comments left on this story.