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St. Louis Public Radio News
1:04 pm
Fri July 4, 2003

Eads Bridge Was Engineering Marvel of its Day

The Eads Bridge is once again open for business.
(KWMU Staff Photo)

St. Louis, MO –

The Eads Bridge in downtown St. Louis officially reopened its top deck Friday morning, 129 years to the day after the structure was first dedicated.

The span was closed 11 years ago for repairs.

KWMU's Matt Sepic walked out on the bridge with Bob Archibald, the president of the Missouri Historical Society, to talk about the Eads' unique place in St. Louis history.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
11:59 am
Fri July 4, 2003

Blagojevich Signs Most of State Budget into Law

Springfield, ILL – Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich signed most of the state budget into law on Thursday. He used his veto powers to cut $222 million dollars from the spending plan, which he says hopes erase a $5 billion dollar deficit.

The new cuts eliminate all captains in the state's Corrections Department; take $48 million dollars away from the Secretary of State's office; and erase cost-of-living raises for lawmakers, judges and other officials. They will stand unless lawmakers override those cuts.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
10:40 am
Fri July 4, 2003

Eads Bridge Reopens on 129th Anniversary

U.S. Senator Kit Bond, Missouri Governor Bob Holden and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay at the Eads Bridge rededication Friday.
(KWMU staff)

St. Louis – 129 years to the day after it was first dedicated, the Eads Bridge is now open again.

The top deck closed for repairs in 1991, and reopened to bicycles and pedestrians Friday.

Marching bands and cyclists met dignitaries from Missouri and Illinois on the state line halfway across the bridge for the rededication.

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay says the structure's reopening is a proud moment for the region.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
4:11 pm
Thu July 3, 2003

Police Say Jeff. City Shooter Faced Firing

Jefferson City, MO – Witnesses to Tuesday night's shooting at a Jefferson City factory say Jonathon Russell calmly smoked a cigarette and drank a soda before walking to his workstation and firing at co-workers.

Three workers died; Johnson then later killed himself. Jefferson city Police Capt. Jim Johnsen suggested a possible motive Wednesday: "I understand they work on some merit or demerit system and he may have been approaching the point where demerits would require his being laid off."

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St. Louis Public Radio News
2:49 pm
Thu July 3, 2003

National Right-to-Life Conference Begins in St. Louis

St. Louis – The National Right-to-Life Committee is bringing a patriotic tone to their 31st annual convention, which started Thursday in St. Louis.

"The theme this year is 'I am an American,'" said Wanda Franz, NRLC president. "It refers to the fact that the rights and privileges that we as Americans have should be extended to every class of American including our unborn children."

National Right-to-Life has long sought a reversal of Roe Versus Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
2:08 pm
Thu July 3, 2003

Illinois Man Sentenced for False Terrorist Threats

St. Louis, Mo – A Wood River, Ill. man was sentenced Wednesday to 14 months in prison for making false terrorist reports.

Henry Hersman was accused of telling the FBI his former business partner planned to crash airplanes into the Super Bowl, Fair St. Louis, the Gateway Arch, and a Cardinals baseball game.

Hersman, 43, reportedly later told authorities he was fighting with the business partner and wanted to cause him trouble.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
1:28 pm
Thu July 3, 2003

IL Proposal Would Open More Land to ATV's

(Photo courtesy All Terrain Vehicle Association)

Carbondale, Ill. –

Legislation currently on Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich's desk would open land owned by the state to some All Terrain Vehicle, or ATV, use.

Supporters say it would be good for the economy in rural parts of the state. Opponents say it would hurt natural areas and shatter the peace and quiet. Illinois Public Radio's Maria Hickey prepared this report.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
12:17 pm
Thu July 3, 2003

Fireworks from MO Company Kill Four in Florida

Bonita Springs, Fl. – An explosion in Florida that killed four and injured two people Wednesday involved fireworks from a Jefferson County, Mo. company.

The explosion happened while workers were unloading a tractor-trailer full of fireworks for a Fourth of July celebration on Florida's Gulf coast. The cargo was from Sunset Fireworks of Dittmer, Mo. That's about 40 miles southwest of St. Louis, along Route 30.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
11:34 am
Thu July 3, 2003

Holden Vetoes Concealed Carry Bill

St. Louis – Missouri Governor Bob Holden traveled to Webster Groves Thursday to veto the bill that would have allowed Missourians to carry concealed weapons.

At Blackburn Park Holden said 70 percent of St. Louis County residents who voted in 1999 said "no" to a similar proposal.

"You and I clearly agree that putting more guns in peoples hands does not reduce crime," Holden said. "Research to the contrary has all been repudiated by respected criminal justice scholars."

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St. Louis Public Radio News
10:25 am
Thu July 3, 2003

Mid-America Airport Officials Woo Boeing for 7E7

Mid-America Airport
(KWMU File Photo)

Mascoutah, ILL. – MidAmerica Airport in St. Clair County has joined the growing list of facilities vying to be the home of Boeing's new 7E7 Dreamliner. The production line for the new passenger jet is expected to create between 800 and 1,200 jobs.

St. Clair County Director of Economic Development Terry Beach says at least three other Illinois communities have submitted competing bids. Outside of Illinois, about two dozen states are submitting proposals to the Chicago-based aerospace company.

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