Happy New Year's Eve! We hope you have a great end of 2010 and beginning of 2011! Here are a few news stories buzzing around the St. Louis Area today.
Anheuser-Busch will renew its sponsorship with Major League Baseball. According to the St. Louis Business Journal, the St. Louis-based brewer and MLB came to an agreement on Thursday to also drop the litigation stemming from the contract dispute. Anheuser-Busch sued the league last month for allegedly breaching a sponsorship contract after MLB reportedly wanted more money and said the deal was non-binding and it could use other beer sponsors. The deal designates Budweiser as official beer sponsor of Major League Baseball and is worth an estimated $10 million.
Smoking bans go into effect Sunday in both St. Louis city and St. Louis County. County residents voted last year to approve the ban. The City's Board of Aldermen passed a ban that was contingent on the county's vote. Both health departments will be in charge of enforcement. The county is not expecting enforcement to be a problem. In the county individuals who don't abide by the ban can be fined $50 while business owners could be fined $100 for the first offense and more for subsequent offenses.
The newly approved city budget in East St. Louis calls for laying off 34 municipal employees, including 16 police officers. The Belleville News-Democrat reports the East St. Louis City Council unanimously voted Thursday to accept the nearly $62 million budget. Besides laying off the 16 police officers, the new budget also calls for a delay in calling some firefighters back to work, plus laying off four public works employees, one jailer and one full- and one part-time telecommunicator.
The Missouri Department of Transportation is launching a contest to educate Missourians about the dangers and consequences of driving while intoxicated. The contest, "Drive Clear in the New Year" will run from Jan. 3-7, 2011.
Someone is killed or injured in an alcohol-related traffic crash every 1.7 hours in Missouri. According to MoDOT, a total of 281 people were killed and 1,141 seriously injured in crashes involving an impaired driver in 2009.
The Metropolitan Sewer District says it plans to appeal a July court ruling that threw out a new system for charging for stormwater system maintenance.
The new fee charged people based on how much of their property could not absorb water. But Lincoln County judge Dan Dildine ruled that it was actually a tax, and therefore had to be approved by voters.
The Associated Press recently surveyed a group of Missouri print and broadcast news editors and named the top news story of 2010: The November defeat of longtime 4th District Congressman, Ike Skelton. But since the end of December is nothing if not a time for thoughtful chin stroking and list-making, we decided to gather a panel of experts and come up with a list of the year’s biggest news—St. Louis on the Air style.