St. Louis, MO – The city of St. Louis, local governments in St. Louis County and citizen volunteers are joining the state of Missouri to combat the spread of West Nile Virus.
A number of groups are cleaning up illegally dumped tires where disease-carrying mosquitoes often breed.
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources will fund the program through a 50-cent fee on new tires. DNR's Roger Randolph also says the old tires the state collects serve a useful purpose as an energy source.
Washington, DC – Southeast Missouri Congresswoman Jo Ann Emerson says waterways would be more susceptible to terrorism if the Bush administration shifts dollars away from lock and dam improvements.
The Corps of Engineers' budget was the topic of an appropriations committee meeting in Washington Wednesday.
At issue is a proposal to pay for routine maintenance and operations with money from a different account that's supposed to pay just for major construction to upgrade ports, locks, and dams, and not regular operating costs.
Springfield, ILL. – Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich Wednesday urged the state Senate to pass his plan to refinance part of the state's pension debt.
He wants to borrow up to $10 billion to make state pension payments, which he says would save Illinois nearly $2 billion in lower interest rates.
The loans that are currently used to float the state's pension system have about an 8% interest rate. Blagojevich says that's too high, and Illinois should refinance the loans at current rates of closer to 6%.
St. Louis, Mo – Captured Al-Qaida leader Khalid Shaikh Mohammed has reportedly told investigators that bridges in St. Louis were considered for terrorism.
St. Louis police chief Joe Mokwa says the FBI contacted him about two weeks ago with a so-called "generic threat." Police are now more closely watching two of the seven bridges across the Mississippi River; Mokwa wouldn't say which ones.