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St. Louis Public Radio News
10:13 am
Thu September 3, 2009

Former natural resources official takes blame for delayed lake bacteria report

Jefferson City, Mo. – A former Missouri Department of Natural Resources official is taking the blame for withholding a report that showed high bacteria levels at Lake of the Ozarks.

Joe Bindbeutel says he made the decision in May to delay release of the report that showed high levels of E. coli in the lake.

The former deputy director at the DNR says he didn't issue the report because he first wanted to know what was causing the bacteria problem and have a plan in place to deal with it.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
10:11 am
Thu September 3, 2009

Auditor reviews Missouri agriculture department after alleged grain scams

Jefferson City, Mo. – State Auditor Susan Montee is reviewing the Missouri Department of Agriculture after two alleged grain fraud schemes cost farmers tens of millions of dollars.

Montee said Wednesday her audit will focus on the department's Grain Regulatory Services program. Agriculture officials requested the audit, which will include recommendations that could help spot fraud sooner and help farmers recover financial losses.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
6:04 pm
Wed September 2, 2009

USPS reduces possible post office closures in St. Louis

St. Louis – The US Postal Service has sharply reduced the number of post offices in St. Louis that could be closed to eliminate the service's $7 billion deficit.

Thirty-eight St. Louis-area branches were on an original list of 677 nationwide the post office released in July. On Wednesday, the USPS reduced that to nine in St. Louis and 413 nationwide.

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Science
8:45 am
Wed September 2, 2009

St. Louis businesses prepare for swine flu

Local businesses like Schnucks are making plans for dealing with a potential swine flu outbreak.
KWMU

St. Louis, MO –

The check-out lines at a Schnucks grocery store in the St. Louis suburb of Ladue are staffed with cashiers and moving smoothly on a sunny summer afternoon. However, the lines could be moving slower this fall if health officials' concerns for a severe swine flu outbreak are realized and many workers call in sick. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently urged businesses to plan for what they will do if large numbers of employees can't make it to work.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
6:18 am
Wed September 2, 2009

Health care advocates rally at Mo. Capitol

Advocates for revamping America's health care system rally at the Mo. State Capitol in Jefferson City.
Marshall Griffin, KWMU

Jefferson City, MO – Supporters of creating a government-run health care program rallied today outside the State Capitol in Jefferson City.

More than 150 people gathered on the Capitol's south lawn, and demanded that lawmakers in Washington reform the nation's health care system so that it covers everybody.

They sang songs and shouted slogans, while several speakers told the crowd that health care is a right, not a privilege.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
6:02 pm
Tue September 1, 2009

Mo. Supreme Court upholds school funding formula

Mo. Supreme Court Building.
Marshall Griffin, KWMU

Jefferson City, MO – The Missouri Supreme Court has ruled that the state's public schools are sufficiently funded.

Nearly half of Missouri's school districts had sued the state. They argued that the funding formula adopted by lawmakers in 2005 did not provide enough money for public schools, and that those funds were not fairly distributed.

But the state's High Court unanimously rejected those arguments.

House Budget Chairman Allen Icet (R, Wildwood) is pleased with the ruling.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
4:37 pm
Tue September 1, 2009

Area unemployment rate unchanged

St. Louis, MO – The unemployment rate for the metropolitan St. Louis area - and that includes the Metro East -- remained the same in July.

The 9.9 percent jobless rate was identical to June's. Unfortunately, it's the highest rate in years and almost 3 percent higher than July of 2008. The national jobless rate was 9.4 percent.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that 43,900 jobs were lost in the region over the past year. The largest losses were in the manufacturing sector.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
10:54 am
Tue September 1, 2009

Can producers meet ethanol demand?

Matt Sepic/KWMU

St. Louis, MO –
Kai Ryssdal: You remember ethanol? Not too long ago it was the way this country was going to wean itself off imported crude. In 2007 Congress set hard targets for how much ethanol refiners would have to blend in with their gasoline. And it was a lot too -- 11 billion gallons this year, nearly 13 billion next year.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
10:12 am
Tue September 1, 2009

United switches to regional jets in St. Louis

St. Louis – United Airlines will begin only flying small jets out of Lambert Airport in St. Louis.

The airline will make the switch Wednesday because it has been having a hard time filling all the seats on large planes here.

Service will be provided by regional carriers, who will bring in new employees. That means about 60 United employees will have to relocate, retire or find a different job.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
8:28 am
Tue September 1, 2009

Illinois sales taxes rise

Springfield, Ill. – Today, Illinois shoppers will start paying more for toiletries, candy, soft drinks and liquor. Lawmakers increased the state's sales tax to pay for a statewide construction program.

Most candy had carried a 1 percent sales tax, but it now will be taxed at 6.25 percent. And it'll be the same for shampoos and toothpaste. Bottled drinks with added sweetener or flavoring, such as iced tea, will be taxed like soda.

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