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Missouri's Moon Rock
10:53 am
Thu December 23, 2010

Missouri has its moon rock back

A moon rock at the Ontario Science Center in Toronto, ON. A missing moon rock was found while sorting through some memorabilia of outgoing U.S. senator Kit Bond this week as he prepares to retire. (Via Flickr/bryce_edwards)

Missouri has its missing moon rock back. Yes, its missing moon rock.

This week, former Missouri Gov. and current U.S. senator Kit Bond's staff found the rock while sorting through memorabilia as he prepares to retire.

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Morning round-up
9:27 am
Thu December 23, 2010

Morning headlines: Several injured in MetroLink crash, Mo and Il Democrats vote for START, St. Louis Archbishop seeks to improve Catholic schools

MetroLink is up and running following a crash in Pagedale Wednesday. (St. Louis Public Radio)
St. Louis Public Radio file photo
  • MetroLink is running regular service this morning across both tracks at the scene of an accident that happened yesterday in Pagedale. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that several injuries were reported after a MetroLink light rail train hit a tow truck stalled at a crossing. The eastbound train struck the flatbed truck around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. Passengers reported seeing at least five people being taken to hospitals by ambulance. Metro spokeswoman Dianne Williams said she was told the injuries did not appear to be serious. The tow truck was unoccupied. Investigators are trying to figure out why it stalled on the tracks.
  • The new arms control treaty with Russia approved by the Senate Wednesday had the support of Democrats in the Missouri and Illinois delegations, but not the Republicans. The treaty would cap nuclear warheads for both countries and resume on-site inspections that expired a year ago. Claire McCaskill of Missouri joined Dick Durbin of Illinois in voting for the START treaty, which she calls critical to the national security of the United States. Republican Senator Kit Bond of Missouri did not cast a vote on the treaty, while Mark Kirk of Illinois voted no.

"The relationship with Russia is key in terms of us getting the missile defense systems in place that can check Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, if in fact they decide that they will either utilize the nuclear weapons they have, the case in Pakistan, or continue to move towards nuclear capability, in the case of North Korea and Iran." - Sen. Claire McCaskill

  • St. Archbishop Robert Carlson is continuing work on what he has called his top priority - improving Catholic schools in the region. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that for the past year, Carlson has been meeting with parents, teachers, pastors and national experts. The goal is to develop strategies to improve Catholic education in the St. Louis Archdiocese, where enrollment in its 11 counties has been steadily declining for four decades. The newspaper says Carlson is positioning the St. Louis Archdiocese to follow the lead of other large Catholic school systems that have restructured to stop the loss of students.

"We don't have to sit by and let this happen. Let's grow this system again." - Archbishop Robert Carlson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Transplant Helps Diabetics
6:37 am
Thu December 23, 2010

Double transplant improves quality of life for some diabetics

Tiffany Buchta, one month after her kidney-pancreas transplant. [NOTE TO VIEWER: The other photos in this slideshow are of Tiffany’s transplant surgery.] (Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio)

Type 2 diabetes – the kind related to obesity and an unhealthy diet – gets a lot of attention these days. But there’s another, less common, form of the disease – type 1 – that can also lead to life-threatening complications.

St. Louis Public Radio’s Véronique LaCapra takes us behind the scenes at a local hospital, for the transplant operation that got one St. Louis-area woman off dialysis, and made her diabetes-free.

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Washington Park Dump Clean-Up
6:33 pm
Wed December 22, 2010

Illinois EPA helping Metro East's Washington Park clean up illegal dumping site

A dumped and discarded tire in Athens, GA. The Illinois EPA will help Washington Park clean up an illegal dump that contains an estimated 100 tons of trash, including tires much like this one. (Patrick Denker/ via Flickr)

The Illinois EPA is helping the Metro East village of Washington Park clean up an illegal dumping site this week.

The area an estimated 100 tons of trash, and the clean-up is expected to take three to five days.

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Bike improvements
6:06 pm
Wed December 22, 2010

Region's bikers get good news

The Chain of Rocks Bridge in north St. Louis (photo by Creative Commons user ChrisYunker)

Bikers and hikers in St. Louis got two pieces of good news today.

Great Rivers Greenway, which is trying to develop 600 miles of trails throughout the region, announced it had, as expected, purchased about 12 acres at the foot of the Chain of Rocks bridge.

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MO Statehouse
5:46 pm
Wed December 22, 2010

State expected to collect about $7.3 billion next fiscal year

A worker uses a Bobcat to clear the walkways to the Missouri State Capitol building on February 9, 2010. Agreement on the state's projected revenue was reached today. (Bill Greenblatt/UPI)

Governor Jay Nixon and the chairmen of the state House and Senate appropriations committee have come to an agreement on the amount of money available for the budget year that starts in June 2011 (FY 2012).

The projected revenue estimate is made every December, and is the figure the governor and lawmakers use to craft budget proposals.

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Illinois Road Enforcement
2:22 pm
Wed December 22, 2010

How much will that DUI or seat belt violation cost you? New data out in Illinois, enforcement up

Illinois law enforcement officials will be increasing their efforts over the holiday season by targeting drivers who are intoxicated and those not wearing seatbelts. (Julie Bierach, St. Louis Public Radio)

Of course, you should never drink and drive or be in a moving car without wearing a seatbelt, but Illinois motorists will want to be especially mindful this holiday season.

Illinois State Police and local law enforcement are stepping up enforcement on impaired drivers and unbelted motorists this holiday season in what they're calling  the "You Drink and Drive, You Lose/Click It or Ticket Holiday Crackdown."

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24th District Recount
11:33 am
Wed December 22, 2010

John Lamping to head to Jefferson City

Republican John Lamping (R) has officially defeated Democrat Barbara Fraser (L) for a state Senate seat. (Photo from the St. Louis Beacon)

Missouri Republicans have officially picked up another seat in the state Senate.

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Brick Theft
11:09 am
Wed December 22, 2010

Brick theft steals St. Louis history

Andrew Weil is the Assistant Director of the Landmarks Association of St. Louis, where he works to preserve the area’s 19th-century buildings. Lately, theives have been knocking them down to sell their bricks. (Mandi Rice, St. Louis Public Radio).

Every day, train cars and semi trucks leave St. Louis stacked high with pallets of bricks.  They head south to cities like New Orleans, to be reused in new construction. 

But those bricks leave at a cost to the city—they’re often stolen from buildings the city owns, damaging both the government’s investment and city’s historic heritage.  Mandi Rice takes us to one of those neighborhoods, and asks what the city government is doing to curb the problem.

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Morning News Round-up
10:43 am
Wed December 22, 2010

Morning Headlines: North County apartments vacated, Aid money withdrawn in Cape Girardeau, Grafton Ferry closes



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(The location of the Sunswept Apartment Complex in St. Louis via Google Maps. Explore the map to see the surrounding area).

Good morning! Here are some of today's morning headlines:

  • Sixteen residents have been ordered to vacate an apartment complex in North St. Louis County, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. St. Louis county inspectors began investigating Sunswept Apartments earlier this month after police, firefighters and residents alerted them to violations. Search warrants were obtained Monday after property management refused to allow inspectors to look at parts of the complex. Inspectors uncovered multiple code violations including black mold, gas leaks, burst water pipes, faulty electrical wiring and raw sewage in a basement. The Post-Dispatch reports that real estate records show the building is owned by Shore to Shore Properties in Sausalito, Calif. They did not return calls for comment.
  • A Missouri agency is withdrawing $2 million in aid for a southeast Missouri development project led by a man who is on probation after pleading guilty to passing bad checks. The Department of Economic Development says the agency determined that statements were falsified on a grant application for the parent company of a firm planning to manage a health care cooperative in Cape Girardeau. The application requires certification that no one with an ownership interest is on probation.
  • A Grafton ferry service linking southwestern Illinois' Jersey County to Missouri's St. Charles County is closing after eight years. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the ferry's owners have sold their boats and docks to the Calhoun Ferry Co., which operates the Golden Eagle and Winfield ferries. Tom Foster, one of the pilots of the Grafton ferry says the ferry is closing due to silt problems that prevented it from taking a direct route across the Mississippi river. He said the owners had tried for more than a year to get federal help to dredge a chute between Mason Island 526 which has been choked with silt for the past two years.

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