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St. Louis Public Radio News
8:22 am
Wed January 7, 2009

Unemployment rises again in Missouri

St. Louis – Missouri ’s unemployment rate for November jumped to 6.7 percent.

In the St. Louis area, which includes the Metro East, that figure is slightly higher at 7.3 percent.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says nearly 103, 786 people in the St. Louis area are seeking work but cannot find it.

Both figures represent a significant jump from November 2007.

Much more detail is available from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
7:54 am
Wed January 7, 2009

2009 Mo. legislative session begins

(File photo)

Jefferson City, MO – The 2009 Missouri legislative session is underway.

Despite economic hard times, House and Senate leaders began the session by pledging to work together to hammer out a workable budget, spur the economy and help working families.

New House Speaker Ron Richard (R, Joplin) told lawmakers they need to rise to the challenge of doing more with less.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
7:12 am
Wed January 7, 2009

DESE Commissioner Kent King dies

D. Kent King, 1943-2009
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Jefferson City, MO – Dr. Kent King, Commissioner of the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE), has died.

He passed away today at his home in Rolla following a lengthy fight with brain cancer.

King's tenure was not without controversy, as he had recommended the state takeover of the St. Louis School District nearly two years ago.

State Representative Jamilah Nasheed (D, St. Louis) says despite that, King was a fair-minded man.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
1:56 am
Wed January 7, 2009

Seat belt use jumps in South County following patrol

St. Louis, MO – The St. Louis County Police say they are pleased with the results of a November patrol that looked for people not wearing their seatbelts.

County officers saturated a stretch of Tesson Ferry Road for the last two weeks on the month to publicize a new ordinance that allows drivers to be pulled over simply for not wearing their seat belt. Officers wrote about 900 tickets under the new law in those two weeks.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
9:39 am
Tue January 6, 2009

Blagojevich impeachment panel may finish work before getting FBI tapes

Blagojevich (UPI file photo/Bill Greenblatt)

Chicago – Attorneys said Monday that the Illinois House impeachment panel weighing evidence against Rod Blagojevich may finish its work before getting any tapes of the governor made secretly by the FBI.

The impeachment panel is racing to complete its job, possibly by the end of this week.

But the efforts of federal prosecutors to give the panel some of the FBI tapes are facing a potential obstacle course in court that could take up several weeks.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
9:37 am
Tue January 6, 2009

Ice slows morning commute

St. Louis – Freezing rain caused widespread traffic problems and forced numerous road closings Tuesday morning.

Many of the accidents and spinouts happened on bridges and overpasses.

For a time, police closed an Interstate 70 flyover ramp in Maryland Heights where several vehicles were unable to move on the slick pavement.

Illinois State Police say they handled 29 crashes in the Metro East.

Two involved drivers sliding into stopped squad cars that had their emergency lights on.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
9:21 am
Tue January 6, 2009

Lawmakers to consider helping Ameren with nuclear plant expansion

Jefferson City, Mo. – Missouri's largest electric utility is considering building a second nuclear reactor in central Missouri, and that means lawmakers will be considering how to pay for it when their new session starts Wednesday.

The issue focuses on billions of dollars of economic development and a law approved overwhelmingly by voters in 1976 that bars investor-owned utilities from adding the cost of new a plant to electric bills until the facility is operating.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
6:35 am
Tue January 6, 2009

Mo. revenues down slightly for Dec. 2008

Jefferson City, MO – Missouri's tax revenues are continuing to decline, but the decline appears to be slowing.

Revenues were down by a mere 0.2 percent through December.

For the year, sales and use tax collections were down by nearly four percent, but for the month of December, they rose 19 percent, due likely to annual holiday shopping.

Individual income tax collections rose by five percent for the year, from more than $2.5 billion to $2.6 billion.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
6:06 am
Tue January 6, 2009

Nixon chooses St. Louisan to head department of economic development

Greenblatt (UPI)

University City, MO – Missouri Governor-elect Jay Nixon has chosen a St. Louis lawyer to head the state's department of economic development.

Linda Martinez is a partner at the high-powered Bryan Cave law firm where she worked with clients such as BJC-Healthcare and the St. Louis Blues Hockey team.

Nixon says her success working on both public and private development projects more than qualifies her for the job.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
5:16 am
Tue January 6, 2009

Local supporters of Israel speak out in solidarity

Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder speaks at a pro-Israel press conference in St. Louis on Tuesday.
St. Louis Public Radio file photo

St. Louis, MO – While clashes in the Middle East continue, Israel's supporters in Missouri are speaking out in solidarity.

Several current and former Missouri lawmakers who gathered at the Jewish Federation of St. Louis today said that Israel has a right to defend itself against attacks from the militant group Hamas. Former U.S. Senator Jim Talent says rockets from Gaza into Israel should be considered terrorism.

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