Chicago, Ill. – Illinois has become the first state to ban the herbal supplment ephedra. Governor Rod Blagojevich signed the ban into law on Sunday; it takes effect immediately.
The supplement is popular among athletes who see it as a diet drug. But it has also been blamed on more than 100 deaths in the U.S., including the death of a high school football player in central Illinois last year.
St. Louis, Mo. – Special Memorial Day events included a service at Jefferson Barracks to honor those who died in service to the United States. The Air Force Band of Mid America and the St. Louis Gateway singers performed.
US Senator Jim Talent of Missouri took part in a Memorial Day ceremony at the Warren County Courthouse. He says it's important to remember those who gave their lives for the country.
Jefferson City, MO – Democrats are taking to the airwaves this week with campaign-style commercials about Missouri's state budget.
The ads will tout Governor Holden's views of what could happen to basic state services because of budget cuts from the Republican-controlled Legislature.
The aim is to put pressure on lawmakers before they return to Jefferson City in one week to start a special legislative session. The governor called the session to ask lawmakers to consider raising some taxes to help prevent some deep cuts.
Springfield, Ill. – Legislation to change the Board of Trustees at Southern Illinois University is moving through the Illinois General Assembly.
The measure from Collinsville Democrat Jay Hoffman would require three board members either be graduates of SIU-Carbondale or come from that area, and three board members be SIU-Edwardsville alums or live near that campus in the Metro-East.
St. Louis, Mo. – Eight people have been reported killed on Missouri roads and highways so far this Memorial Day holiday weekend.
The latest victim, early today, was identified as 50-year-old Shelley Sherman, from the Oklahoma City suburb of Del City. The Highway Patrol says Sherman's mini-van crossed the Interstate 44 median near Waynesville hit a guardrail and an embankment, then overturned.
Pulaski County officials say Sherman was dead at the scene. The driver's 27-year-old son, Steven, was injured.
Jefferson City, MO – Missouri Governor Bob Holden Friday morning called lawmakers back for a special session June 2. The legislature will consider tax increases aimed at avoiding deeper cuts in the next budget.
The Democratic leader also announced $80 million in immediate budget cuts because state revenues are still slumping.
Holden's announcements Friday capped a week of daily news conferences. He has said he will veto the Republican legislature's spending plans for public schools, colleges, health and social services.