Amy Hancock's first words after surgery to restore her voice were "thank you." The 26-year-old Hancock had surgery last month at Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis, where tissue was removed from her arm and fashioned into a talking tube. On Monday, Hancock spoke her first words using her new voice.
St. Louis – When tobacco giant Philip Morris was handed a $10-billion judgment in a class- action lawsuit this year, it happened in a Madison County, Illinois, courtroom. It's a popular jurisdiction for lawyers filing class-action lawsuits.
KWMU's Matt Sepic reports for NPR that now some groups are criticizing the county for being a "plaintiff's paradise."
Jefferson City, MO – The Missouri Supreme Court says St. Louis residents won't vote on a student bill of rights. The high court says the issue should have been decided four years ago.
Today's unanimous decision says a state law allowing a vote specifically set a March 15th, 1999, deadline.
Under the proposed student bill of rights, voters would have decided whether to allow students to attend public schools closest to their homes, or choose to enroll in any other public school in the St. Louis district.
St. Louis – Researchers at Saint Louis University began human testing of a new anthrax vaccine Tuesday.
They hope the new drug will be easier to administer and have fewer side effects than the old vaccine, which has been in use for about 50 years. People who receive the current vaccine often get a fever, pain and swelling along with the injection.
Dr. Geoffrey Gorse is the study's principal investigator. He says the testing is safe, and includes about 25 St. Louis-area volunteers.
Venice, Ill. – The McKinley Bridge that connects Venice, Ill. to North St. Louis could reopen in three years.
Monday, Metro East officials announced a plan to buy the bridge from the city of Venice, and repay bondholders more than $4 million of debt. Madison and St. Clair Counties, along with the State of Illinois, will pay off the bonds.
Illinois Department of Transportation engineer Marie Lamie says the state can now take bids for repair work, which will result in major changes for bridge users.
St. Louis, MO – When inspectors discovered cracks in one of the Blanchette Bridge's main support beams earlier this year, crews put a temporary fix in place. Starting June 16, they'll install a permanent repair.
Chris Sutton with the Missouri Department of Transportation says instead of removing the cracked beam, workers will cover the cracks with steel plates and add extra beams.
"Their vehicles will be underneath the bridge. Drivers probably won't notice they're there," Sutton says.
St. Louis, MO – The cafeteria began serving food again Sunday, nine days after the hospital voluntarily shut it down. Local health officials gave the kitchen a clean bill of health. Also on Sunday, the hospital said about 90 people there tested positive for the bacterial illness. Of those, 73 are Children's Hospital workers. Fifteen of those sickened were visitors, and two were patients. The outbreak's source remains unclear.