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St. Louis Public Radio News
1:45 pm
Wed March 26, 2003

IL Senators Pass Tax Credits, Popcorn Legislation

Springfield, Ill. – The Illinois Senate passed a number of pieces of legislation Tuesday that range from keeping a tax credit for the working poor on the books to taking some drivers off the road.

EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT

Senators voted 45-0 to continue a tax break for the working poor. The state's earned income tax credit applies to people who qualify for the federal version of the credit. Illinoisans get to reduce their state tax by five-percent of their federal tax credit.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
12:09 pm
Wed March 26, 2003

Deadline Approaches for School Prayer Requirement

Jefferson City, Mo. – The deadline is approaching for schools across the country to verify that their policies don't prevent constitutionally protected prayer.

It's one of the lesser-known requirements of the federal No Child Left Behind Act. Schools that don't verify could lose federal money.

At latest check, all but six of the state's 550 public school districts have complied with the requirement, saying they are not infringing on the rights of students and teachers to pray.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
11:37 am
Wed March 26, 2003

St. Louis Officials Address Predatory Lending

St. Louis, MO –

A growing number of Americans are buying or refinancing their homes with subprime loans. Most subprime loans are given for valid reasons. But others involve discriminatory practices, and are referred to as predatory loans. As the nation prepares to mark the 35th anniversary of the Fair Housing Act next month, KWMU's Kevin Lavery looks at the issue in the St. Louis region.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
10:58 am
Wed March 26, 2003

Former IL Governor Joins Lobby Effort for Philip-Morris

Springfield, Ill. – Former Illinois governor Jim Thompson is leading the push for lawmakers to help a major tobacco company.

A Madison County judge ruled last week that Philip Morris must pay billions in damages for portraying light cigarettes as a safer alternative than the regular kind. In order to appeal the ruling, the company must put $12 billion dollars in a so-called appeal bond, which is says is not possible.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
10:11 am
Wed March 26, 2003

AA Pilots Balk at Suggestion of More Furloughs

(File Photo)

St. Louis, MO – The union representing American Airlines pilots is calling a proposal by the airline to layoff up to 1,000 additional pilots bad faith negotiations.

The Allied Pilots Association has already agreed to give American $660-million in wage concessions to help the airline avoid bankruptcy.

American Airlines says the additional jobs were over and above what we needed to operate the airline in January 2003 and were already accounted for" before American asked the APA for the concessions.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
9:32 am
Wed March 26, 2003

Area Muslims, Arab-Americans Get Safety Kits

St. Louis, Mo. – Muslims and Arab-Americans in St. Louis and nationwide may soon get a safety kit.

The Council on American-Islamic Relations is distributing the packs, which contain advice about what to do if they're threatened or the victim of a hate crime. It also offers suggestions on how to strengthen relationships with schools, police, and community groups.

The council started the kits after crime increased against people perceived as Middle Eastern just before the invasion of Iraq began.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
4:29 pm
Tue March 25, 2003

Two Arrested in Hindu Temple Fire-Bombings

The Hindu Temple of St. Louis, loaced on Weidman Rd.
(File Photo)

St. Louis, Mo – Police have arrested two 17-year olds in connection with two recent firebombings at the Hindu Temple of St. Louis.

Paul Laird and Nathaniel Conner both live in Ballwin, near the temple. They were arrested this weekend in Arkansas and face arson and weapons charges.

Police say the boys were just bored and that the crime was probably not race-related. But the FBI says the youths may still face hate crime charges.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
4:23 pm
Tue March 25, 2003

Metro Criticized For Too Few Minority Contractors

St. Louis, MO – Minority contractors in St. Louis say not enough minority-owned firms are being hired for the Metrolink extension project.

This month Metro, formerly Bi-State, awarded a $74.8 million contract to McCarthy Construction for the first leg of the rail line. Metro wants 20 percent of the work to go to minority-owned subcontractors.

Eddie Hasan of the MoKan Contractors Association says McCarthy is only achieving 9 percent.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
3:14 pm
Tue March 25, 2003

Needles Proposal Passes IL Senate

Springfield, Ill. – A deeply divided Illinois Senate is backing the idea of fighting HIV by making it easier for drug users to get clean needles.

The Senate Monday voted to let people buy needles without a prescription. The measure would let adults buy up to 20 needles at a time.

The pharmacist who sells the needles would have to provide information about using them safely and about getting treatment for
addiction.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
2:47 pm
Tue March 25, 2003

Three Arrested at Monsanto Protest

St. Louis, Mo. – Three protestors were arrested Monday morning outside the headquarters of Monsanto in St. Louis.

The, along with about 75 other protestors, were speaking against the use of the company's "Roundup" herbicide to eradicate drug crops in Colombia, South America.

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