Belleville, IL – A task force in Belleville has come up with a plan to address an impending shortage of Catholic priests.
The Belleville News-Democrat reports the recommendation is for the city's eight churches to be grouped into three clusters, so priests could work more than one church. The ultimate goal is to reduce the number of priests serving Belleville from ten to six.
Bishop Wilton Gregory is expected to make a final decision in January.
St. Louis, MO – Heading into the busy holiday traveling season, gas prices in the St. Louis area are lower than a month ago but higher than a year ago.
AAA Motor Club reports the average price for a gallon of gas in the St. Louis metro area is $1.29. That's $0.19 lower than the average price a month ago, but at this time last year gas prices averaged just $1.06.
Gas in the Metro-East costs slightly more, averaging $1.37.
Edwardsville, Illinois – The first order of business for the new Madison County state's attorney will be making sure his old cases are handled by a special prosecutor.
William Mudge moved into the state's attorney's office in Edwardsville today, leaving his work as a defense lawyer. He replaces William Haine who resigned to prepare for his first term as a state Senator.
Mudge will serve out the remainder of Haine's term. He says he plans to run for election in November 2004.
Jefferson City, MO – Approximately 635,450 Laclede Gas customers in the St. Louis area will pay higher gas bills to heat their homes this winter. The rates reviewed and accepted by the Missouri Public Service Commission go up as of Tuesday. A typical residential heating customer will likely pay about $21.63 more for heat from November to March.
The Vienna Choir Boys is one of the oldest and most famous musical institutions in the world. Its roots go back to 1498, when it was founded by Emperor Maximilian I. On November 21, the choir gave a concert at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Louis. KWMU's Kevin Lavery caught up with the choir halfway through its North American tour.
Kirkwood, MO – Residents of suburban Kirkwood might soon have to pay more if they have more garbage.
The city has hired a Cincinnati company to study the possibility of a pay-as-you-throw policy, where householders would pay for trash based on what they throw out.
R.W. Beck Incorporated will study the best and most economical way for the city to reduce its solid-waste management costs. The city is paying Beck $40,000 and an additional $15,00 for each one-day meeting the city requests.
St. Louis, MO – A new report shows the St. Louis region fares poorly in many socioeconomic areas when compared with other metropolitan areas. The East-West Gateway Coordinating Council report finds the region's slow job and population growth lags behind many cities that compete with St. Louis for residents. The council's Blair Forlaw notes that disparity between blacks and whites in terms of housing opportunity and infant mortality continues to be a significant problem.