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Morning News Round-up
9:24 am
Thu January 20, 2011

Morning headlines: Snow falls in STL, Nixon delivers State of the State address, Mo. lawmakers encourage Koster to challenge federal healthcare

Snow blanketed many areas of Missouri last night and into this morning, including in Jefferson City, Mo. pictured here in 2009, the site of Gov. Nixon's State of the State address last night. (UPI/Bill Greenblatt)
  • A winter weather advisory is in effect for the St. Louis region until 6 p.m. Thursday evening. Heavy snow fell overnight in St. Charles County, Northern St. Louis County, St. Louis City and Madison County, Il. The National Weather Service says more snow is expected throughout the day. Some places in the St. Louis region might see 12 inches of snow by the time the snow stops.
  • Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon proposed flat funding for public schools and cuts to colleges in his annual State of the State speech. In his address last night, the Democratic governor acknowledged that "times are tough" and he said that even modest job gains are cause for celebration. Nixon put forth a plan to slightly shrink the state's spending, shedding several hundred state workers and privatizing some of their functions. He proposed a $23.1 billion operating budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.
  • Missouri lawmakers are urging Attorney General Chris Koster to challenge the federal health care law. The Republican-led Senate  passed a resolution Wednesday asking the Democratic attorney general to either file his own lawsuit, join a suit by other attorneys general or join a suit filed by Republican Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder. A similar resolution was passed last week by Missouri's Republican-led House of Representatives. Koster's spokeswoman has said only that the office is monitoring the situation. The Missouri legislative action comes as Republicans in charge of the U.S. House are attempting to repeal the federal health care law enacted last year by President Barack Obama. That effort is not expected to receive support in the U.S. Senate, which is still controlled by Democrats.

State of the State
11:35 pm
Wed January 19, 2011

Missouri State of the State Highlights

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon smiles as he is introduced before delivering the State of the State speech to the legislature in the House of Represenatives chambers at the Statre Capitol in Jefferson City, Mo. on Jan. 19, 2011. (UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Tonight Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon gave his annual speech to the Missouri General Assembly - the State of the State address. 

We'll have a full report from our statehouse reporter Marshall Griffin tomorrow during Morning Edition, but here are the highlights of tonight's event and corresponding issues, along with key points from the Republican response given by Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder.

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Crime Statistics
5:56 pm
Wed January 19, 2011

St. Louis police statistics say major crime reports down more than 9 percent

(via Flickr/davidsonscott15)

The St. Louis Police Department released its crime statistics today for 2010.

And what did the statistics show?

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MO Statehouse
4:50 pm
Wed January 19, 2011

Mo. House committee votes to allow local control of St. Louis Police Dept.

The logo of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police displayed on a patrol vehicle. (St. Louis Public Radio)

A Missouri House committee has voted in favor of legislation to give St. Louis control over its police department, which has been under state control since the Civil War.

Those arguing in favor of local control say it's past time for St. Louis to regain authority over its police force.

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Ballpark Village
4:19 pm
Wed January 19, 2011

A familiar, small step forward for Ballpark Village

Cardinals president Bill DeWitt addresses the city's Downtown Economic Stimulus Authority on the progress of Ballpark Village. Chase Martin, with developer Cordish Companies, is seated.
(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

The city's Downtown Economic Stimulus Authority has restarted the clock on the construction of Ballpark Village.

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China Connections
4:17 pm
Wed January 19, 2011

China Eastern Airlines to talk with Lambert Airport, furthers trade possibilities

A China Eastern Airlines airplane taking off in Seattle in 2007. The Midwest-China Hub Commission announced today that China Eastern has agreed to open up talks with Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. (via Flickr/boeingdreamscape)

St. Louis is one big step closer to securing a potentially lucrative trade partnership with China.

The Midwest-China Hub Commission announced today that China Eastern Airlines has agreed to open up talks with Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.

The step signals that the plan has moved out of the plausibility phase and into a logistical phase.

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Health Care Law
2:35 pm
Wed January 19, 2011

Mo. lawmakers urge AG Koster to join health care suit

(Mo. Atty. General's Office)

Missouri lawmakers are urging Attorney General Chris Koster to challenge the federal health care law.

The Republican-led Senate passed a resolution Wednesday asking the Democratic attorney general to either file his own lawsuit, join a suit by other attorneys general or join a suit filed by Republican Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder.

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China Connections
10:34 am
Wed January 19, 2011

Boeing, Peabody Energy to benefit from China deals

The Boeing Phantom Ray unmanned airborne system (UAS), just one of the models of aircraft Boeing produces, during an unveiling ceremony in St. Louis on May 10, 2010. Reports state China will announce deals today including one to buy 200 Boeing airplanes.
(UPI/Boeing Aircraft Handout)

A senior administration official says China will announce deals Wednesday to purchase $45 billion in U.S.

exports, including a $19 billion agreement to buy 200 Boeing airplanes, according to the Associated Press.

The official says the deal will create 235,000 jobs in the U.S.

It is important to note, however, that these planes will be commercial aircraft. Moreover, the St. Louis division of Boeing, which produces military aircraft, is unlikely to benefit directly from today's deal.

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Morning round-up
9:26 am
Wed January 19, 2011

Morning headlines: Snow in the forecast, "fake cocaine" on the rise in Mo., St. Charles City Council bans funeral protests, Rams hire fired Broncos coach

A winter weather advisory remains in effect for the St. Louis region from 6 p.m. this evening to 6 p.m. Thursday. (slprnews)
  • The National Weather Service has issued a winter weather advisory for the St. Louis region from 6 p.m. this evening to 6 p.m. Thursday evening. Snow is expected to develop over northeast and central Missouri by early this evening, then spread east and south overnight into Thursday morning. The heaviest snowfall is forecast to fall along the Interstate 70 corridor, where 4-to-6 inches of snow is expected.
  • The use of so-called "fake cocaine" may be on the rise in Missouri. The Missouri Poison Center at Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center received 12 calls through mid-January about people abusing the chemicals, compared to eight calls in all of last year. The powders are sold as bath salts but contain stimulants that can cause rapid heart rates, seizures and hallucinations.
  • Despite the likelihood of a lawsuit, the St. Charles City Council has voted to ban protests at funerals. The City Council voted Tuesday night to allow protests during visitations and street and highway processions. But protests will be banned within 300 feet of funeral and burial sites between an hour before and an hour after an observance. The St. Louis Post-dispatch reports that the law is similar to one passed by St. Louis County, which is scheduled to take effect Feb. 7. The county has been sued by the American Civil Liberties Union and Westboro Baptist Church, a Topeka-based group that protests at military funerals. A federal court hearing was held Tuesday in St. Louis on church members' request for a temporary injunction on the county ordinance.
  • The St. Louis Rams hired former  Denver Broncos coach Josh McDaniels as their offensive coordinator. The Broncos fired McDaniels with four games to go in the regular season. The Rams announced the hire on its Twitter feed yesterday. McDaniels replaces Pat Shurmur who was hired as the Cleveland Browns head coach earlier this month. Coach Steve Spagnuolo called McDaniels one of the top offensive minds in the NFL.

MO Statehouse
7:41 pm
Tue January 18, 2011

Mo. House leaders target Nixon's travel billing

Gov. Jay Nixon (D) at a press conference at the Mo. Capitol.
Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri House leaders from both political parties are targeting Governor Jay Nixon's practice of having various state agencies pay for his travel expenses.

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