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St. Louis Public Radio News
1:53 pm
Tue February 24, 2004

Ballot Crowded for St. Louis County Executive

St. Louis – It appears there will be a crowded field of candidates for St. Louis County Executive this fall.

Tuesday was the first day that candidates could file for the primary ballot in August. Three Republicans -- county councilman Kurt Odenwald, Fenton Mayor Dennis Hancock and civic activist Ed Golterman -- filed their candidacy papers.

Several others, including former County Executive Gene McNary, are expected to seek the Republican nomination, as well.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
12:36 pm
Tue February 24, 2004

Candidates in Missouri Start Filing

Bob Holden, Claire McCaskill, and Matt Blunt are running for Missouri Governor.

Jefferson City, MO – Candidates for statewide and legislative races in Missouri began filing to be on the ballot this morning.

The Secretary of State's office in Jefferson City is handling forms for candidates of statewide (including Governor and U.S. Senator) and legislative (State Representative or State Senator) races.

Candidates who file today (Tuesday) will draw numbers to determine ballot placement. (The lower the number the higher up on the ballot)

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St. Louis Public Radio News
12:00 pm
Tue February 24, 2004

Rare Squirrel Added to Illinois' Endangered List

It is now illegal to kill this critter in Illinois (photo from Chicago Wilderness Magazine)

Springfield, Ill. – Illinois has added the rare Franklin's ground squirrel to its list of threatened species.

The action by the Illinois Endangered Species Protection Board makes it illegal to kill the grayish-brown mammal.

Board president Dan Gooch says there's evidence that the squirrel's population is dwindling and it could become extinct if something isn't done.

The Franklin's ground squirrel is also known as the "whistle pig" because of the distinctive trill it makes.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
11:54 am
Tue February 24, 2004

Rice, Federal Officials Tour Abram Building

(file)

St. Louis – St. Louis homeless advocate Larry Rice Tuesday made his case to federal officials for a downtown homeless shelter at the Abram Federal Building.

Rice toured the facility with staff from two federal agencies, who must decide whether his plan is feasible.

Rice says he showed the officials he's ready and able to use the building.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
9:17 am
Tue February 24, 2004

Ryan Refused to Testify Before Grand Jury

(file)

Chicago – A government letter indicates former Illinois Governor George Ryan refused to testify before a federal grand jury
investigating corruption in state government.

Ryan's lawyers made the letter public by including it in pretrial motions filed Monday in federal court.

The letter says that Ryan asserted his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination when he was subpoenaed.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
9:05 am
Tue February 24, 2004

Corps Considers Plans for Mississippi River

(file)

St. Louis – The future uses of the Mississippi River were the focus of a conference Tuesday in St. Louis.

The Army Corps of Engineers is studying several alternatives for the river, which include rebuilding the lock system and raising shipping fees to reduce congestion.

But some environmentalists say the Corps is overestimating navigation needs. The Sierra Club's Mark Beorkrem says it's reminiscent of the scandal in which the Corps was accused of inflating its data to justify spending.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
4:48 pm
Mon February 23, 2004

Report Recommends Tougher High School Courses

Jefferson City, MO – Missouri higher education officials are
calling for high schools to offer tougher courses to better prepare students for college or the work force.

Department of Higher Education Commissioner Quentin Wilson says the agency has started work on new recommendations for core classes that high schools should offer.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
3:41 pm
Mon February 23, 2004

Rice to Pitch Downtown Homeless Shelter to Feds

St. Louis – The Rev. Larry Rice is trying to convince federal Health and Human Services officials to let him turn the 280,000 square foot Abram Federal Building in downtown St. Louis into a homeless shelter.

The federal officials met with city officials Monday and will tour the building with Rice Tuesday.

Rice says the number of homeless women and children in the area is growing, and the Abram building is an ideal place for them.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
3:32 pm
Mon February 23, 2004

Gibbons Says MO Tax Credits Are Out Of Control

Jefferson City, MO – The state of Missouri now offers about 50 different tax credits designed to encourage economic development or public service. But there's no way to make sure that recipients of the credits are
using them legitimately.

The state provides no funding to pay for tax credit auditors. Tax credit recipients aren't required to prove that the money from the credits brought about results.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
2:59 pm
Mon February 23, 2004

Brown Sisters Speak In St. Louis

(file)

St. Louis, MO – Linda Brown Thompson and Cheryl Brown Henderson are the daughters of the late Rev. Oliver Brown, the lead plaintiff in the case of Brown vs. the Board of Education, the 1954 Supreme Court decision that struck down public school segregation.

Thompson said the prospect of having their children walk great distances to all-black schools angered many families:

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