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St. Louis Public Radio News
3:45 pm
Wed March 19, 2003

Zero Hour Arrives

Washington, D.C. – Area congressional representatives are weighing in on the issue of war with Iraq.

Democrat William Lacy Clay of St. Louis says that he's still opposed to the conflict. He says it will harm diplomatic relations with long-time allies and put American servicemen and women in harm's way unnecessarily.

However, Republican U.S. Senator Jim Talent of Missouri says a peaceful resolution is no longer an option because Saddam Hussein is a "murderous despot with nuclear ambitions."

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St. Louis Public Radio News
3:35 pm
Wed March 19, 2003

House Sends Vague Budget Plan to Senate

Jefferson City, MO – The Missouri House has sent an $18.5 billion budget to the Senate.

And for the first time in state history the proposal gives almost no direction on how to spend the money.

Critics say majority Republicans are passing the buck on spending cuts. They say the House chose to let either senators or government bureaucrats decide where to cut.

But Republicans say their innovative approach sets spending limits without new taxes.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
3:31 pm
Wed March 19, 2003

Bank Assumes Ownership of St. Louis Union Station

St. Louis, MO – An Illinois bank will begin foreclosure on St. Louis Union Station Wednesday. The owners can't pay the mortgage, so they're giving ownership of the renovated landmark in downtown to Regency Savings Bank.

Union station officials say the public won't notice any changes. They cite the down economy and more competition with newer malls for their tough fiscal times.

The owners weren't able to get new financing to replace the Regency loan, which became due and payable in October 2001. Regency is based in Oak Park, Ill.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
3:13 pm
Wed March 19, 2003

St. Louis Community College Tuition Might Rise

St. Louis Community College at Forest Park
(file photo)

St. Louis, Mo. – The Post-Dispatch reports the Board of Trustees at St. Louis Community College will consider increasing tuition Thursday night.

The 17% increase would mean the current rate of $56 per credit hour would rise to $64 this fall, and $70 by fall 2005.

About 27,500 people attend the college's three campuses, located at Forest Park, Florisant Valley, and Meramac.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
2:13 pm
Wed March 19, 2003

Former Priest & Counselor Convicted in Child Porno Case

St. Louis, MO – A former Roman Catholic priest and grade school counselor has been convicted in St. Louis after being caught with child pornography.

James Beine faces up to five years in prison. He was dismissed from the priesthood in 1977 over allegations of sexual abuse. He later got a job as a school counselor

Last year, Beine resigned that job after he was charged with exposing himself to three boys in a restroom in the school where he worked. That case is separate and will be heard in a St. Louis Circuit Court.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
11:57 am
Wed March 19, 2003

Mo. House Gives First Approval to New Budget

(KWMU file photo)

Jefferson City, Mo. – The Missouri House Tuesday night gave initial approval to a non-traditional budget. The plan sends lump sums to each department for the next fiscal year; but elected lawmakers don't determine which programs get cut under the plan. That decision is left up to department directors.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
9:03 am
Wed March 19, 2003

Mo. State Sen. Wants Income Tax Hike for Schools

Jefferson City, Mo. – A St. Louis area lawmaker wants voters to decide whether to raise income taxes. State Senator Maida Coleman's proposal would raise $2 billion dollars to help pay for better schools and instruction.

The plan would sell $500 million in bonds every three years over a 12-year span. The proposed income tax would more than pay off the bonds, with the balance going toward school programs.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
9:03 am
Wed March 19, 2003

Former Ryan Aide, Campaign Found Guilty of Corruption

Chicago, IL – A federal court jury has found a top aide to former Governor George Ryan guilty on all counts of corruption charges stemming from the eight years Ryan was Illinois secretary of state.

Forty-five-year-old Scott Fawell is the top official to be convicted thus far in a five-year federal investigation. He was chief of staff to Ryan in the secretary of state's office and his campaign manager in 1998.

The jury also found Ryan's campaign committee guilty on all counts.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
4:11 pm
Tue March 18, 2003

Major Rawlings Stockholder Sells Shares

St. Louis, MO – A major stockholder in the St. Louis sporting goods company Rawlings has sold almost a million shares.

A recent regulatory filing shows Daniel Gilbert got more than $7 million in the sale. He went from owning 15% of Rawlings to just over 3%.

There's no explanation stated for the sale. Gilbert wanted to buy Rawlings last year before the company agreed to be bought by California-based K2, Inc.

Gilbert still holds 270-thousand shares in Rawlings, based in the St. Louis suburb of Fenton.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
2:48 pm
Tue March 18, 2003

Legislature Passes Supplemental Spending Bill

(KWMU file photo)

Jefferson City, MO – The Missouri Legislature has given final approval to a bill spending an additional $275 million this year.

The annual supplemental spending bill comes on top of the state's nearly $19 billion budget for the fiscal year ending June 30th.

Most of the additional money would go for growth in the state Medicaid program for the poor, elderly and disabled. More than two-thirds of the money comes from the federal government -- not state taxes.

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