St. Louis Public Radio

Rural Businesses See High Costs, Slow Internet Speeds

Gary Smith has worked at the grain elevator at Okaw Farmer’s Co-op in Lovington, Illinois, for 40 years. On his desk sit two computer screens, where he tracks corn and soybean prices online at the Chicago Board of Trade. As he explained, trade moves fast: “Just bam bam bam, and within a few seconds it could change a nickel or a dime against your favor.”

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This composite photo taken on April 10, 2018, shows the planned new site of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. McKee owned nearly 60 percent of the land in the 97-acre site.
File Photo | Brent Jones | St. Louis Public Radio

A St. Louis circuit judge Monday afternoon denied a motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by the City of St. Louis aimed at showing it has clear title to land slated for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency’s new $1.75 billion facility.

The city filed the suit against the Bank of Washington on July 27, seeking “quiet title,” which requests the judge to make a judgment that declares one party the clear holder of a property’s title.

Andrew Hurley is the historian for the five-year project “The Missouri Transect: Climate, Plants and the Community.”
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

The Great Flood of ’93 took a severe toll on St. Louis as an unprecedented weather phenomenon. But St. Louis is no stranger to floods, tornadoes, heat waves, ice storms and more.

Amid dealing with the effects of these events, St. Louisans should be aware that climate change has the potential to increase the frequency of them as well.

The Donald Danforth Plant Science Center
Donald Danforth Plant Science Center

More than 400 researchers, entrepreneurs and investors are expected to attend Ag Innovation Showcase this week, the 10th year it’s been hosted by the Donald Danforth Plant Science Center.

The three-day event has been described as part research conference, part Shark Tank competition, where startups pitch the latest technology to improve crop yields that are safe for farmers, consumers and the environment.

Rici Hoffarth | St. Louis Public Radio

A federal appeals court ruled Monday that Missouri can’t prevent any political action committee from donating to another political action committee.

The decision from the 8th District Court of Appeals could make it permanently more difficult to track the true source of donations to PACs — entities that have become much more powerful since the passage of campaign donation limits.

St. Clair County State's Attorney Brendan Kelly
Jason Rosenbaum I St. Louis Public Radio

Brendan Kelly, the Democratic candidate in the 12th Congressional District, talked extensively with St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum about his decision to enter the highly-competitive congressional contest.

Kelly is squaring off against Congressman Mike Bost, who became one of the first Republicans to represent the 12th District in generations when he captured the seat in 2014. The Bost-Kelly contest is expected to be one of the most competitive congressional races in the nation this year.

Missouri Capitol
Marshall Griffin | St. Louis Public Radio

State lawmakers return to the Missouri Capitol on Monday for a special session designed to pass two pieces of legislation vetoed by Gov. Mike Parson.

And Wednesday they’re scheduled to hold their annual veto session, which may be relatively short and quiet.

Onlookers watch as Air Force One lands at St. Louis Lambert International Airport in March 2018.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo I St. Louis Public Radio

There’s one person who will affect Missouri’s U.S. Senate race more than a pointed attack ad or dumptrucks full of money: President Donald Trump.

Both U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill and Attorney General Josh Hawley believe he’ll make an impact in their nationally-watched contest.

The question, though, is who will benefit?

Conservationists say the population of Monarch butterflies has been declining since the late 1990s.
Courtesy of Missouri Department of Conservation

Missouri conservationists will hold a festival Saturday at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Weldon Spring Site in St. Charles to ask gardeners to help boost the declining population of Monarch butterflies.

Researchers say the population of the iconic butterflies has declined by 80 percent since the late 1990s, largely due to the loss of their habitats. 

Weldon Spring, which is best known as a federally managed nuclear waste site, now has a thriving native prairie garden that attracts Monarchs, said Bob Lee of Missourians for Monarchs, which is organizing the Monarch Madness festival.

Stan Shoun, president of Ranken Technical College, guides Gov. Mike Parson, St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson and Kansas City, Missouri Mayor Sly James through the school on Sept. 7, 2018.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri Gov. Mike Parson pledged Friday to work with St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson and Kansas City Mayor Sly James to boost workforce development and infrastructure.

“These cities are critical to the state of Missouri,” Parson told the St. Louis Board of Aldermen Friday, one of nine stops he made on a tour of the city Friday. “What you do here matters. We’re not going to agree on some things, but I will tell you this. If we will be open-minded with one another, there will be many, many things that we will agree on that will be the best thing in the world for the state of Missouri.”

Brian Cohen (at left), the founder of LouFest, and St. Louis Public Radio’s Holly Edgell discussed the cancelation of this weekend’s festival.
Evie Hemphill | St. Louis Public Radio

Like so many St. Louisans this week, LouFest founder Brian Cohen was surprised and saddened to learn that the major St. Louis music festival set for this weekend had been canceled.

“It’s a sad day for sure, for a lot of people,” he told St. Louis on the Air host Don Marsh. “I didn’t necessarily see it going down this way – it certainly was a shock to me, and we’ll just have to see if we can find some answers as to why it all happened this way.”

Cohen, who in 2016 sold his stake in the company that organizes the festival, didn’t speculate about possible financial mismanagement or poor decisions that may have led to this year’s issues. But he acknowledged that the music industry is a difficult one where it’s easy to run into trouble.

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St. Louis on the Air

Wednesday: James Comey

Former FBI Director James Comey will join host Don Marsh.