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St. Louis Public Radio News
3:54 pm
Fri February 14, 2003

Blagojevich Orders Cuts to Higher Ed Higher Ups

Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich
(file photo)

Springfield, Ill – Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich wants the state's nine public universities to give him a plan next month on how to reduce administrative costs.

He told the State Board of Higher Education yesterday to find ways to save money through joint purchases or cooperative ventures.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
3:35 pm
Fri February 14, 2003

Police, School Officials Meet About Auto Fatals

St. Louis, MO – St. Louis County Police officials met with teachers, administrators and students from three South County school districts today about recent, deadly automobile accidents. Several teenagers have died in recent months in accidents involving reckless driving. Some of the topics discussed today included mandatory driver's education, increasing penalties for young driver's traffic infractions and educating parents to avoid purchasing or allowing their children to drive sports cars.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
2:46 pm
Fri February 14, 2003

Internet Adoption Service Head Arrested

Maple Valley, Wa. – A former San Diego woman, accused of running a fraudulent Internet adoption service, has been arrested in Washington state on multiple counts of wire fraud.

Her clients included a Missouri mother of twins adopted twice over the Internet, a case that became international news.

FBI agents arrested Tina Johnson Thursday at her home in the Seattle suburb of Maple Valley, Washington. Two children were found in the home and placed in protective care.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
10:32 am
Fri February 14, 2003

School Board Election Extra Important This Year

St. Louis, Mo. –

The St. Louis public school system is entering an historic phase of its existence. For the first time in recent memory, a majority of seats on the school board are up for election.

The district will also begin the search for a new superintendent after the end of the current school year. Many in St. Louis view this shift at the top as a prime opportunity to enhance academics and improve the institutional culture of the district.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
9:54 am
Fri February 14, 2003

Most Tamaroa, Ill. Residents Allowed to Return

About 20 cars on the Canadian National freight train derailed Sunday.
(State of Illinois Photo)

Tamaroa, Ill. – Most of Tamaroa's residents have been allowed to go home. About 800 people who were evacuated got the word last night.

A train derailed in the southern Illinois town Sunday, spilling hazardous chemicals. There are still about 20 people who live closest to the crash site who are still evacuees.

Thursday, crews removed a tanker that had been carrying flammable vinyl chloride. Officials also set up air, soil, and water monitors to make sure residents are not in any danger.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
4:18 pm
Thu February 13, 2003

Army Corps of Engineers Sued

St. Louis, MO – A long-running dispute over the Missouri River is going to court.

Thursday a coalition of environmental groups filed suit against the Army Corps of Engineers and the Fish and Wildlife Service. The coalition claims the Corps' dam operations violate several federal environmental laws and jeopardize a number of endangered species.

But Corps spokesman Paul Johnston insists they are complying with all appropriate laws, though he says a judge's ruling might clarify which laws the agency must obey.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
1:39 pm
Thu February 13, 2003

New Audit Criticizes School Board Spending

St. Louis, MO – Audits of the St. Louis school district's finances call the district's spending and record-keeping into question.

The audits suggest that the district cannot account for thousands of dollars, has poor controls of finances and has risked federal grant money by hiring unqualified teachers.

One report found that $7,600 from two cash withdrawals last year at one school have been unaccounted for. The bookkeeper who made those transactions has since resigned.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
11:25 am
Thu February 13, 2003

New Convention Hotel Ready to Open

The new Renaissance Grand Hotel will open Saturday.
(KWMU staff photo)

St. Louis, MO – An historic hotel in downtown St. Louis will re-open this Saturday.

Workers are putting the final touches on the 918-room Renaissance Grand Hotel part of a $265-million project across from the America's Center Convention Complex.

Marketing Director Traci Russell says the hotel will make St. Louis more competitive as a convention destination.

The building was completely renovated to preserve the original architecture.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
10:43 am
Thu February 13, 2003

Holden, Lawmakers Closer on This Year's Budget Gap

Mo. Gov. Bob Holden
(KWMU File Photo)

Jefferson City, MO – Republican legislative leaders and
Democratic Governor Holden are whittling away at Missouri's budget short-fall.

However, funding cuts still seem likely for public schools.

The leaders remain $82 million shy of covering a projected $350 million short-fall for the fiscal year ending June 30th.

Unless lawmakers come up with more money next week, Holden says he'll have to cut funding for public school districts and state colleges beginning in March.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
9:48 am
Thu February 13, 2003

Boeing Gains $20M Contract for St. Louis

Boeing also makes the F/A 18 'Super Hornet' in St. Louis.
(Reuters File Photo)

St. Louis, Mo – The U.S. Navy has awarded Boeing's St. Louis operations with a $20 million contract.

The money will help a Boeing division based in St. Louis as it develops a version of a 737 jet that could potentially
replace certain aircraft currently in use.

The money is not a final selection of the aircraft. It's intended to provide funds for the next phase of development.

Boeing spokewoman Kathleen Cook says it's an indication the Navy is pleased with what the company has accomplished so far.

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