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St. Louis Public Radio News
9:30 am
Wed January 28, 2009

Illinois Senate hears FBI wiretap tapes of Blagojevich

Springfield, Ill. – The Senate impeachment trial of Governor Rod Blagojevich resumes Wednesday.

On Tuesday, the senators weighing Blagojevich's political fate listened to the governor's own voice captured on a secret recording, and they heard an FBI agent testify that government wiretaps caught statements pointing to one corrupt scheme after another.

Next they'll hear accusations that Blagojevich unconstitutionally defied the Legislature, evaded state hiring laws and wasted tax dollars.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
9:07 am
Wed January 28, 2009

Street crews get most area roads clear

St. Louis, MO – Streets departments across the St. Louis region say they're mostly caught up after a two-day snowstorm dumped six inches of snow on area roads.

Crews from St. Louis city, county and the Missouri Department of Transportation are still working 12-hour shifts to finish the last of the plowing. But most main routes are just wet, and the secondary streets are getting cleared.

MoDOT spokeswoman Kara Price says motorists still need to drive carefully.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
8:55 am
Wed January 28, 2009

Blagojevich to appear at impeachment trial

(UPI photo/Bill Greenblatt)\">

Springfield, IL – Governor Rod Blagojevich has decided to address the Illinois State Senate on Thursday, what could be the final day of his impeachment trial. Senate president John Cullterton, a Chicago Democrat, made the announcement before the trial's prosecutor called his last witness.

"I've been informed that the governor would like to come here tomorrow and ask leave of us to file an appearance," Cullerton said.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
8:52 am
Wed January 28, 2009

Nixon freezes MOHELA construction program

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Jefferson City, MO – The MOHELA college construction program, one of former Governor Matt Blunt's top priorities, has been frozen by Jay Nixon, Missouri's new Governor.

Nixon has suspended work indefinitely on a $31 million cancer center at the University of Missouri - Columbia and on various other projects. They're funded by profits from the state's student loan authority, but the economic downturn has resulted in delays in payments.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
8:32 am
Wed January 28, 2009

Report finds that special tax districts do not spur growth or create tax revenue

St. Louis, MO – A report issued on Wednesday has found that development funded through tax increment financing, or special taxing districts, may be a net loss for the St. Louis region.

An interim report by the East-West Gateway Council of Governments found that some $2.5 billion in development occurring in those special taxing districts from 1990 to 2007 did not create corresponding growth in tax revenue.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
7:50 am
Wed January 28, 2009

Nixon seeks state job cuts, more health care

Gov. Jay Nixon greets members of the Missouri House before delivering his first State of the State address. (UPI Photo/Bill Greenblatt)

St. Louis – Governor Jay Nixon delivered his first State of the State Address to the Missouri General Assembly Tuesday night.

He focused on the need to cut the budget while also helping working families, college students and Missourians who don't have health insurance.

KWMU's Marshall Griffin reports.

Listen to the entire speech along with the Republican response from Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder here.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
7:30 am
Wed January 28, 2009

Winter storm hits southern Missouri hardest

St. Louis – The snow is expected to taper off today, but several inches fell overnight in the St. Louis area. Most schools are closed again, as is the University of Missouri St. Louis.

The freeways are passable, but slow-going. Many streets and highway ramps have not been plowed.

The winter storm was a factor in five weather-related traffic fatalities and more than 45,000 power outages in Missouri Tuesday.

The storm generally spared northern Missouri. Central parts of the state were hit hard, but southern Missouri took the brunt.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
3:47 am
Wed January 28, 2009

Mo. Chief Justice delivers State of the Judiciary Address

Chief Justice Laura Denvir Stith

Jefferson City, MO – One day after Governor Jay Nixon gave his State of the State Address, Missouri Supreme Court Chief Justice Laura Denvir Stith delivered her State of the Judiciary Address.

In her speech, Stith implored lawmakers to address the lack of public defenders in Missouri, which she described as a crisis.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
12:11 am
Wed January 28, 2009

McCaskill calls for overhaul of military drug, alcohol treatment programs

St. Louis – U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill said she wants the military to overhaul drug and alcohol abuse treatment programs throughout the armed forces.

The Missouri Democrat said the programs are plagued by understaffing, mismanagement and a lack of anonymity. She said a whistleblower at Fort Leonard Wood brought the problems to her attention last year.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
9:19 am
Tue January 27, 2009

Lawmakers consider life without parole for some violent sex offenders

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Jefferson City, MO – A bill in the Missouri Senate would put some violent sex offenders away for life.

Currently, someone who forcibly rapes or sodomizes a child that's eleven years old or younger gets life in prison, but is eligible for parole after serving 30 years.

The new measure would give prosecutors the option of pursuing life without parole.

Kerry Messer of the Missouri Family Network testified in favor of the bill at a Senate hearing Monday night.

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