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St. Louis Public Radio News
10:25 am
Mon January 26, 2009

Forest Park Forever switches focus to maintenance

A rendering of Government Hill in Forest Park. Forest Park Forever directed the restoration of several sites in the park, including Government Hill

St. Louis, MO – Forest Park Forever has approved a new strategic plan that directs the private group's energy toward maintaining the park it helped renovate.

The group approved the new strategic plan on Monday. It will focus on, among other things, finding a sustainable source of funding to maintain the 1300 acre park, which costs about $15 million to run. The city and Forest Park Forever raise about $10 million a year.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
9:18 am
Mon January 26, 2009

After drop in fuel prices, ethanol advocates regroup in St. Louis

St. Louis – Following a difficult year for the ethanol industry, advocates for the corn-based fuel are gathering in St. Louis for a two-day meeting.

Interest in ethanol rises when gas prices surge. But when prices at the pump dropped last year, so did interest in the biofuel.

In addition, tightening credit markets put some ethanol producers out of business or severely damaged their stock value.

Michelle Kautz with the National Ethanol Vehicle Coalition says the future is brighter

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St. Louis Public Radio News
9:12 am
Mon January 26, 2009

Blagojevich on media blitz as impeachment trial begins

Springfield, Ill. – Today Illinois state senators begin the impeachment trial that could remove Gov. Rod Blagojevich from office.

But the Democratic governor is refusing to take part in the proceedings. Blagojevich said the rules are so biased that he cannot possibly get a fair hearing.

Instead of attending his trial in Springfield, Blagojevich traveled to New York for a media blitz.

He told the Today Show he thinks "the fix is in" and he accused lawmakers of deciding "essentially to do a hanging without even a fair trial."

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St. Louis Public Radio News
7:49 am
Mon January 26, 2009

Missouri creates Midwest-China Trade Commission

U.S. Senator Kit Bond and Chinese Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong
Bill Greenblatt (UPI)\">\">

St. Louis, MO – Regional business leaders and politicians remain optimistic about creating a Midwest air hub in St. Louis to promote international trade with China

Chinese Ambassador Zhou Wenzhong was in St. Louis for the second time in less than a year on Monday.

Ambassador Zhou says the recent creation of the so-called "Midwest-China Hub Commission" assures that the concept is more than "just talk."

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St. Louis Public Radio News
3:05 am
Mon January 26, 2009

St. Louis would have role in 2016 games

Chicago 2016 CEO Pat Ryan
(UPI photo/Bill Greenblatt)

St. Louis, MO – The committee spearheading Chicago's bid for the 2016 Summer Games says the St. Louis metropolitan area has a role to play in a successful event.

Chicago 2016 chairman and CEO Pat Ryan was in St. Louis Monday to update regional leaders on the progress of the city's bid. The committee is looking at several Midwestern cities to serve as training bases for national teams, and St. Louis is also a possible location for preliminary Olympic soccer rounds.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
10:26 am
Fri January 23, 2009

Arnold schools closed as police search for gunman

Arnold, Mo. – Two Jefferson County schools were closed Friday as police search for a gunman who fired shots at an officer Thursday night.

The shooting happened around 10.30 p.m. near a park as Arnold police were trying to arrest the man.

Police say he fired several shots, narrowly missing an officer. One bullet hit a patrol car.

Classes were called off at Fox Middle and Fox High schools because police closed roads in the area.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
10:24 am
Fri January 23, 2009

Blagojevich may sue to stop impeachment trial, compares arrest to Pearl Harbor attack

Chicago – A lawyer for Rod Blagojevich says the Illinois governor may ask the courts to block his impeachment trial in the state Senate.

Attorney Samuel Adam said a lawsuit challenging what he called "completely unfair" Senate trial rules is being prepared and could be filed within days, pending a final decision on whether to move forward.

Blagojevich's trial is set to begin Monday.

The governor said he has no intention of mounting a defense unless the trial rules are changed to allow his defense witnesses.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
5:43 am
Fri January 23, 2009

Missouri's jobless rate hits 25-year high

Jefferson City, MO – Missouri's unemployment rate is now the highest it's been in 25 years.

The state's jobless rate for December 2008 is at 7.3 percent, up half a point from November.

And the state last month lost an average of 1,600 non-farming jobs.

John Fougere is spokesman for the Missouri Department of Economic Development.

"The conditions in Missouri kind of mirror the national outlook, and that is that the economy in Missouri is still struggling, as it is across the country," Fougere said.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
3:09 am
Fri January 23, 2009

Prefab home designer bucks a downward trend

Rocio Romero's LV-model house near Perryville, Mo. SLIDESHOW (photo: Matt Sepic, KWMU)

Perryville, Mo. – It's not often that the terms "prefabricated home" and "modern architecture" are heard together. But a young architect in Missouri has spent a decade figuring out how to bring low prices to the realm of high design.

And Rocio Romero's homes with their corrugated metal walls, huge windows and strong horizontal lines are selling despite a dismal housing market.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
3:07 am
Fri January 23, 2009

Police increase patrols, I-DOT considers barriers on MLK & McKinley Bridges

Thirteen people have died in accidents on the King Bridge since 1998. (photo: Matt Sepic)

East St. Louis, Ill. – Police in the Metro East are increasing patrols on the McKinley and Martin Luther King Bridges in an effort to eliminate fatal accidents.

Both spans are narrow. Three people were killed in separate accidents on the King bridge last year. There have been two fatal crashes on the McKinley since it reopened in 2007.

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