St. Louis, MO – The Saint Louis Symphony has now raised $30 million towards a $40 million goal to meet a challenge grant.
The drive is a response to the Taylor family, which has pledged 40 million dollars if the Symphony could raise that same amount by Dec. 31, 2004.
"Raising $30 million is a big step toward our goal," the symphony's director of Development, Faith Maddy, said in a statement. "But raising the remaining $10 million will be the toughest challenge yet.
Chicago, ILL. – Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich says he's still a firm supporter of the death penalty, but he doesn't plan to lift a moratorium on executions "anytime soon."
The governor told the Chicago Tribune that executions in Illinois will remain halted until he is certain no mistakes will be made. He adds the expected passage of death penalty reforms currently in the state legislature will not be enough to lift the ban.
Blagojevich says the current proposals "make a lot of sense," but don't go far enough.
St. Louis, Mo. – In response to lackluster attendance last year, Fair St. Louis Executive director Rich Meyers says the Fair listened to suggestions from the public, including expanding to the Illinois side of the river.
This summer the fair will include both the Archgrounds and the Casino Queen's property in East St. Louis.
St. Louis, MO – Missouri economic development officials say Pentagon spending on the Iraq war is giving a boost to the state's economy.
The defense industry plays a large role in Missouri's economy, and Department of Economic Development Director Joe Driskill says companies like Boeing are benefiting.
"These companies have received about 820 million dollars in new or modified defense contracts. and over a half a billion of that amount will be spent here in Missouri directly on products produced here."
On an 1874 trip to St. Louis, Charles Dickens called the Mississippi River "an enormous ditch," and "a breeding place of fever and death." St. Louisans have always had a love-hate relationship with their river.