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St. Louis Public Radio News
11:02 am
Thu March 6, 2003

Ill. Lawmakers Consider Taxpayer-Funded Judicial Races

Springfield, Ill. – Taxpayers would be asked to pay for Illinois Supreme Court political campaigns under legislation approved Wednesday by a state Senate committee.

The measure would create a voluntary check-off system to let taxpayers donate. Candidates for the Supreme Court would get $750,000 to run their campaigns.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
10:41 am
Thu March 6, 2003

Russ Carnahan Leaning Toward U.S. House Race

Jefferson City, MO – Another Carnahan is strongly considering
a run for federal office.

Democrat Russ Carnahan says he is leaning toward running for the congressional seat held by fellow Democrat Dick Gephardt.

Gephardt is passing up a re-election bid next year to run for president.

Carnahan says he expects to announce a decision within the next few weeks. He's the son of former US Senator Jean Carnahan and the late Governor Mel Carnahan.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
9:46 am
Thu March 6, 2003

Illinois House Committee Votes to Abolish Death Penalty

(Reuters file photo)

Springfield, IL – An Illinois House committee Thursday approved legislation that would ban executions in the state.

The bill, which now goes to the floor for a vote by the full House, was approved by the Judiciary Committee after dramatic testimony from men who were sentenced to die for crimes they said they did not commit.

Three years ago, then-Governor George Ryan halted executions in Illinois after 13 men on death row were found to have been wrongly convicted.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
4:54 pm
Wed March 5, 2003

Has Ford Set Closing Date on Hazelwood Plant?

St. Louis, MO – Ford Motor Company and Missouri officials are downplaying a newspaper report that the automaker plans to close its Hazelwood assembly plant in August 2005 and move production of two SUV's to Louisville.

A Ford spokesman says no fixed date has been set for the closure, aside from that move coming by mid-decade. And Missouri congressman Dick Gephardt says a state task force is still working to change Ford's mind.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
4:25 pm
Wed March 5, 2003

School Board Candidates Meet at First Forum

St. Louis, Mo. – Eight candidates vying for two seats on the St. Louis school board met at a city high school Tuesday night to answer questions from the public.

The candidates fielded questions ranging from enhancing student achievement to financial management. Each of the eight agreed the district is responsible for addressing its students' social problems and echoed the need for community partnerships.

Candidate Antonio French wants to see the district shift 35% of its non-instructional budget back into the classroom.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
3:47 pm
Wed March 5, 2003

Southtown Gets Federal Funding Boost

St. Louis, MO – St. Louis mayor Francis Slay says a federal grant to revitalize a once thriving retail area in south St. Louis is a positive step forward.

Slay joined Missouri Congressman Richard Gephardt at the former Famous Barr site at Kingshighway and Chippewa Wednesday, where Gephardt announced an $810,000 economic development grant for the site. Slay says redeveloping the Southtown area is a major priority for the city.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
3:46 pm
Wed March 5, 2003

Ladue Residents Discuss Coyote Sightings

Ladue, Mo. – Residents of the St. Louis County suburb of Ladue met Tuesday night to find out if they should worry about recent sightings of coyotes.

There have been a couple of cases of coyotes attacking small pets in the western suburbs lately. But Daryl Damron, with the Missouri Department of Conservation, says coyotes do not pose much of a risk to residents or their property.

"Not all coyotes attack dogs, but some will do that in a territorial-type dispute," Damron says.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
2:37 pm
Wed March 5, 2003

Female Sexual Predator Wins Appeal

St. Louis, MO – The only woman Missouri classifies a violent sexual predator won a court ruling Tuesday, but Angela Coffel is still confined in a mental hospital.

The Missouri Court of Appeals today ordered that Angela Coffel be freed from a Department of Mental Health facility in Farmington. She is the only woman the state considers a violent sexual predator and one of only a handful in the country.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
1:23 pm
Wed March 5, 2003

American Airlines Pilot Arrested After Alleged Threats

Omaha, Nebraska – An American Airlines pilot is arrested for
allegedly making a threat while passing through an Omaha security checkpoint.

The 8:15 am flight to St. Louis was delayed about 90 minutes, then took off with 112 passengers.

Omaha prosecutor Marty Conboy says it appeared the pilot and a federal airport security agent had an argument, and the pilot referred to an ax on board the plane that could be used to chop the agent's head off.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
12:23 pm
Wed March 5, 2003

Ald. Long Ousted from Office; 10 of 11 Incumbents Win

St. Louis, Mo. – Voters outsted St. Louis City Alderwoman Melinda Long from office Tuesday in an overwhelming recall vote.

With 100% precincts reporting, unofficial totals from the city's Election Board show 63% of voters said "yes" to recalling Long. Her 21st Ward is in north St. Louis city; roughly from Lexington to I-70 sorth to north, and from Shreve to Vandeventer west to east.

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