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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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St. Louis Public Radio News
6:27 am
Tue September 1, 2009

Drug czar launches anti-meth ad campaign

Some of the anti-meth print ads funded by the federal Office of National Drug Control Policy
KWMU photo/Rachel Lippmann

St. Louis – Missouri is one of 16 states that will be part of a blitz of federally-funded advertising against methamphetamine.

The nation's drug czar, Gil Kerlikowske joined law enforcement officials in St. Louis Tuesday to unveil the latest anti-meth campaign. Radio and television ads will air in Missouri and 15 other states with high rates of methamphetamine production, while print and Internet-based ads will run in all states.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
5:58 pm
Mon August 31, 2009

Cyberbullying conviction thrown out

Los Angeles, CA – A judge has finalized his decision to throw out convictions of a Missouri mother for her role in a MySpace hoax directed at a 13-year-old neighbor girl who ended up committing suicide.

Los Angeles federal Judge George Wu said in his written ruling that the case was never a legal test of crimes involving "cyberbullying."

He said prosecutors brought charges against Lori Drew under the Federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Statute which does not involve cyberbullying.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
5:46 pm
Mon August 31, 2009

State Rep. Storch expresses interest in vacant Senate seat

State Rep. Rachel Storch

St. Louis – Democratic State Representative Rachel Storch has officially announced she'd like to move over to the state Senate.

Storch, along with state House colleagues T.D. El-Amin and Jamilah Nasheed, and a committeeman from the 28th Ward, Joe Keaveny, are interested in the Senate seat vacated last week by Jeff Smith, who resigned after pleading guilty to two federal obstruction of justice charges.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
5:09 pm
Mon August 31, 2009

Tourism industry leaders want cut reversed

Jefferson City, MO – Tourism interests in Missouri want Governor Jay Nixon to reverse cuts made to the state's Division of Tourism.

Among the recent budget cuts approved by the governor was a $7 million cut to the Tourism Division.

Gary Figgins, past President of the Missouri Travel Council, called on the Nixon Administration to reconsider.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
9:45 am
Mon August 31, 2009

Illinois alcohol taxes to rise Tuesday

Chicago – Taxes on liquor are set to go up Tuesday in Illinois, but how much more you pay in taxes depends on the alcohol content of your booze.

The rate goes up more for the hard stuff than beer or alcoholic cider. Still, many owners of small liquor stores are unhappy about the tax increase during a recession. Peter Vas owns Vas Foremost Liquors in Chicago's Logan Square neighborhood.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
9:39 am
Mon August 31, 2009

Judge makes Drew's acquittal official

Lori Drew

Los Angeles – A federal judge in Los Angeles has made his acquittal of Lori Drew official.

In November, a jury convicted the suburban St. Louis woman of three misdemeanor computer crimes.

She was accused of participating in an internet bullying scheme on the My Space social networking site that lead to the suicide of 13-year-old Megan Meier.

Last month, Judge George Wu said Drew's conviction was constitutionally questionable, and would make a criminal of anyone who's ever violated a website's terms of service.

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