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Arizona Shootings
12:37 pm
Wed January 12, 2011

Clay speaks on Arizona shooting, appeals to media

Rep. William Lacy Clay spoke on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives this morning about the tragic shooting in Arizona. (St. Louis Public Radio)
St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Rep. William Lacy Clay took the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives this morning to give a speech on the tragic shootings in Tucson, Ariz.

Clay expressed his condolences for the victims and others involved, along with an appeal to the media "To remember that hateful words often lead to hateful deeds."

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New Year's Eve tornado
10:00 am
Wed January 12, 2011

Fenton woman injured in New Year's tornado dies

Sunset Hills firefighters survey the damage from the New Year's Eve tornado. A woman injured in the storm has died.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

A Fenton woman injured in the tornadoes that ripped through St. Louis on New Year's Eve has died.

From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:

Margaret Birkes, 70, of Fenton died Monday morning at St. Anthony's Medical Center, a spokeswoman there said. According to relatives, Birkes was either going to or leaving a Dierbergs store at Fenton Crossing when the storm struck.

She was badly injured and taken to St. Anthony's.

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Morning round-up
9:09 am
Wed January 12, 2011

Morning headlines: Ill. lawmakers approve tax increase, Mo. House to consider drug testing for welfare recipients, surveillance cameras close to being installed in 21st Ward

The Illinois General Assembly has passed a 67 percent income tax increase
(via Flickr/mhowry)
  • Democratic Illinois lawmakers have approved a 67% income-tax increase in a desperate bid to end the state's crippling budget crisis. Legislative leaders rushed early Wednesday morning to pass the politically risky plan before  new General Assembly was sworn in at noon. The increase now goes to Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn. He supports the plan to temporarily raise the personal tax rate to 5% from the current 3% rate. Corporate taxes also would climb.
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Haiti Earthquake Anniversary
11:05 pm
Tue January 11, 2011

Health and Nutrition in Haiti: One year after the quake

Lora Iannotti studies public health and nutrition in Haiti, including that of children. (C. VanArtsdalen)

Wednesday marks the one-year anniversary of the Haitian earthquake.

The magnitude 7.0 tremor was the worst to hit the region in more than two centuries, killing over 200,000 people.

Today, more than a million Haitians are still living in tents and improvised shelters, without access to clean water and sanitation facilities.

Washington University professor Lora Iannotti was in Haiti on the day the earthquake struck. She has returned several times since then to continue her research in nutrition and public health.

Before going back to Haiti again last week, Iannotti spoke with St. Louis Public Radio’s Véronique LaCapra about health conditions in this struggling Caribbean nation.

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MO Statehouse
7:06 pm
Tue January 11, 2011

Mo. Senate holding "Rebooting Government" meetings

For the second year in a row, the Missouri Senate is seeking direct public input for ways to, in its words, "reboot government."


Senate members are holding seminars this week to discuss the ideas sent in via email.


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Loop Trolley
5:58 pm
Tue January 11, 2011

Loop Trolley making progress toward 2012 opening

In July 2010, developer Joe Edwards cut a ceremonial trolley cake following the announcement that the St. Louis area received nearly $25 million in federal dollars for a new trolley system. The system is scheduled to open in 2012. (UPI/ Bill Greenblatt)
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

The Delmar Loop Trolley is making steady progress toward a goal of opening sometime in 2012.

The project would span more than 2 miles and connect Forest Park to the Delmar Loop.

Joe Edwards, the man behind almost every project on the Delmar Loop, says the trolley should clear its environmental impact study next month.

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Hit and run
5:33 pm
Tue January 11, 2011

Ill. State Police looking for hit-and-run vehicle

The accident happened along this stretch of Illinois 157 around midnight Tuesday
(Google Maps)

The Illinois State Police need the public's help to find a vehicle involved in a hit and run this morning in the Metro East.

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from St. Louis on the Air
3:25 pm
Tue January 11, 2011

Mayor Slay sees opportunities and obstacles in 2011

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay delivers his annual State of the City report to the St. Louis Board of Aldermen at City Hall in St. Louis on April 25, 2008. Slay was our guest today on St. Louis on the Air. (UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

In case you missed today’s St. Louis on the Air, here are some highlights of our discussion with Mayor Francis Slay:

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Illinois Death Penalty
3:06 pm
Tue January 11, 2011

Illinois Senate votes to abolish death penalty, bill goes next to Gov. Quinn

The Illinois Capitol building in Springfield, Ill. (via Flickr/jglazer75)
(via Flickr/jglazer75)

UPDATE 3:03 p.m. Jan. 11, 2011:

The Associated Press is reporting that the Illinois Senate has voted to abolish the death penalty in that state.

The Chicago Tribune also reports the following:

The ban on executions goes to Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn, who must sign the legislation for it to become law. During last fall's campaign, Quinn said he supports "capital punishment when applied carefully and fairly," but also backs the 10-year-old moratorium on executions.

The Senate voted 32-25 to approve the ban, with two members voting present.

 

UPDATE 1:13 p.m. Jan. 11, 2011:

The Illinois Senate is debating the death penalty bill this afternoon on the floor. You can listen or watch the debate live here.

Earlier Story:

Illinois has moved one step closer to a vote on abolishing the death penalty in the state.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the Illinois Senate Judiciary Committee voted this morning to advance a bill to repeal the death penalty, setting up a probable full Senate vote later today.

The bill passed in the House last week in a quick re-vote when the first vote failed the bill, 59-58.

The Chicago Tribune also has more information on the history of the death penalty in the state, via legislation and key cases in their story today.

 

The Pageant
3:03 pm
Tue January 11, 2011

Pageant ranked among top five concert venues worldwide

The Pageant, as seen from outside the venue on Delmar Blvd. (The Pageant)

The St. Louis rock club The Pageant has been ranked among the top concert venues in the world, according to the industry-tracker Pollstar.

The Pageant was ranked number four based on sales.  The venue sold more 186,000 tickets last year.

Pageant co-owner Joe Edwards says the ranking means that St. Louis is becoming a must-stop for touring bands.

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