St. Louis – The city of St. Louis has seen a big drop in the infection rates of two common sexually transmitted diseases.
Between 2007 and 2008, Chlamydia rates dropped about two percent, and gonorrhea rates fell almost 27 percent. That was enough to push St. Louis from the top spot in infection rates for both the diseases, which it had held for several years. There were 1,225 cases of Chlamydia per 100,000 residents, and 174 cases of gonorrhea per 100,000 residents.
Jefferson City, Mo. – Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is bucking the trend by keeping lawmakers at home instead of at the Capitol for a special session.
Since 1965, only Republican Gov. John Ashcroft has not called a special session during his first year as governor. Nixon, a Democrat, had considered a special session for a construction bonding package. The governor's office instead is planning to seek support from lawmakers when the Legislature comes back in January.
Chicago – Gov. Pat Quinn and U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin are trying to build support for a proposal to sell a prison in rural northwestern Illinois to the federal government to house Guantanamo Bay detainees.
Federal officials are expected to visit the maximum security Thomson Correctional Center today. The prison is about 150 miles west of Chicago.
Both Quinn and Durbin say the possibility of selling the prison to the federal government is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to help create about 3,000 jobs.
Jefferson City, Mo. – The Missouri Advisory Council on Historic Preservation is hoping to get seven sites across the state added to the National Register of Historic Places.
Three of the sites are in St. Louis: The Federal Cold Storage Buildings, the Wellston Loop Commercial Historic District, and a boundary increase for the already-listed Central Carondelet Historic District.
Architectural historian Michael Allen spoke on behalf of Wellston Loop.
St. Louis – New research shows that many of the recent small earthquakes along the New Madrid fault may not be signs that the "next big one" is coming.
Researchers at Northwestern University and the University of Missouri believe those quakes are more likely aftershocks from the major quakes, all measuring more than 8 on the Richter Scale, that occurred when the fault ruptured violently in 1811 and 1812. The New Madrid fault stretches 150 miles southwest from the Missouri Bootheel.
St. Louis, MO – Despite the economic downturn, the United Way of Greater St. Louis has met its fundraising goal for the 2009 campaign.
The agency took in more than $67 million in gifts and pledges, surpassing its goal by about $600,000. It has lowered its goals in recent years to cope with the crumbling economy, said campaign chairman Hugh Grant, the president and CEO of Monsanto. But paradoxically, he said, the downturn may have helped the agency reach its goal this year.