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St. Louis Public Radio News
11:40 am
Thu February 6, 2003

Holden announces $60 million in budget cuts

Missouri Gov. Bob Holden
(KWMU File Photo)

Jefferson City, MO – Continued budget troubles have forced another round of cuts to state government.

Governor Holden says he has ordered $60 million of cuts to state agencies. The savings will come from leaving vacant positions open and reducing expenses for travel, equipment and professional contracts.

Budget director Linda Luebbering says the cuts will force agencies to operate on bare essentials. It also means almost no new state employees will be hired through the June 30 end of the fiscal year.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
10:53 am
Thu February 6, 2003

Slay Asks for Audit of Election Board's Cell Phones

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay
(KWMU File Photo)

St. Louis, MO – St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay is taking the Board of Election Commissioners to task for unauthorized cell phone use.

He's refusing to pay part of the board's phone bill until a state audit is performed.

Slay says bad record keeping hampered an investigation by Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce.

Slay says Joyce has concluded laws were broken, but that Joyce does not know who to charge because the Election Board recrods are "a mess."

The Mayor says the unauthorized calls totaled around $35,000.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
9:33 am
Thu February 6, 2003

MO-DOT Reopens All of Blanchette Bridge

MO-DOT crews had two lanes closed to repair cracks under the bridge.
(MO-DOT Photo)

St. Louis, Mo. – The two lanes on the eastbound Blanchette Bridge that were closed this week are now open. The Missouri Department of Transportation closed the lanes when it found cracks on a support beam under the bridge.

The agency is also stepping up efforts to reinspect all bridges over the Missouri and Mississippi rivers to look for damage, possibly the result of the fluctuating temperatures in recent weeks.

The agency is adding an inspection team in hopes of looking over its 36 major river bridges within three months.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
4:35 pm
Wed February 5, 2003

Two Lanes Closed on Blanchette Bridge

(MO-DOT Photo)

St. Louis, MO – MO-DOT says commuters should consider avoiding the Blanchette Bridge. Two lanes on the eastbound bridge will be closed for several weeks because crews Tuesday found five cracks on the structure.

But MO-DOT's Mike Fitzpatrick says the bridge is safe. "If it wasn't safe, they'd have closed the whole bridge," Fitzpatrick said.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
3:31 pm
Wed February 5, 2003

St. Charles Voters Approve Convention Center

St. Charles, Mo. – Voters in the City of Saint Charles have approved a new convention center by a wide margin.

The advisory referendum passed 60%-40% in a special election yesterday, and awaits the city council's approval.

"It's been a really long fight," said Council President Kevin Riggs.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
1:10 pm
Wed February 5, 2003

Missouri Executes Kenneth Kenley

(Reuters file photo)

Potosi, Mo. – The state of Missouri executed its first prisoner of the year last night. Kenneth Kenley was sentenced to die after killing a man in a Poplar Bluff tavern in 1984.

Department of Corrections spokesman Tim Kniest said Kenley died at 12:03 a.m., two minutes after the first of three injections were administered at the Potosi Correctional Center.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
1:02 pm
Wed February 5, 2003

Missouri Roads Among Worst in Nation

Washington, D.C. – A new study ranks Missouri's roads the second worst in the nation.

Results of the Surface Transportation Policy Project show that more than 87 percent of the state's roads are in bad shape. Urban and suburban roads fared worse.

The study says Missouri spends $155 million dollars year repairing roads each year. That breaks down to $20,218 per mile.

The only state with worse roads than Missouri is Hawaii. Nearly 90 percent of that state's roads are in less than good condition.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
12:53 pm
Wed February 5, 2003

St. Louis Police Join LEADS Online

St. Louis, Mo. – The St. Louis Police Department is now using a computer database to track stolen property.

The city is joining 44 other area law enforcement agencies in using LEADS Online, an Internet tool that lets police search pawn shop records for missing items.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
11:44 am
Wed February 5, 2003

CEO says American Airlines Important to City

St. Louis – American Airlines CEO Don Carty says despite financial hardships, the company still values keeping St. Louis as one of its three hubs.

Speaking in St. Louis Wednesday, Carty said the airline is asking pilots, flight attendants and other employees for $1.8 billion in wage and benefit reductions and changes in contractual work rules.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
10:11 am
Wed February 5, 2003

Lawmaker Hopes to Close 'No Call' Loophole

Jefferson City, Mo. – A Missouri State Representative from St. Louis County is trying to close the loopholes in Missouri's so-called "no call law."

Currently, businesses that are federally regulated or based out of a home are exempt from the legislation and can make unsolicited telephone calls.

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