Chicago – Political campaigns in Illinois are making a final push this week to collect money from supporters ahead of a New Year's Eve fundraising deadline.
Campaigns want to raise as much money as they can before the first of the year, in large part because of bragging rights. In the next few weeks, campaigns will start unveiling how much money they've raised in the final months of 2009.
Candidates for state offices, including governor and the general assembly, have to file a fundraising report by January 20th.
St. Louis – This year has been wetter than usual, and meteorologists warn if the wet weather continues there could be spring flooding.
St. Louis had more than 48 inches of rain this year. National Weather Service meteorologist Jim Kramper said that's more than 10 inches above normal, and could spell trouble if the rivers do not drop before spring.
St. Louis – The Missouri Department of Transportation says the number of fatal accidents in the state dropped 10 percent this year. The numbers are not official yet, but it would mark the fourth straight yearly decline in fatalities.
MoDOT spokeswoman Sally Oxenhandler said a 2004 constitutional amendment that directed more money to road construction has helped improve safety, but she says Missouri still needs a tougher seatbelt law.
St. Louis Public Radio – The demolition of the 80 year old Vandeventer Bridge this Saturday will mean that Metrolink service will be interrupted for more than a week.
The bridge, which has deteriorated greatly in recent years, supports two Metrolink rail lines and a freight track. Metro spokeswoman Diane Williams says from Saturday through January 3, Metrolink riders will be taken off the train and shuttled between the Grand and Central West End stations on buses.
St. Louis – Almost everyone has had experience with the traditional forms of fundraising: walk-a-thons, bake sales, trivia nights. But one St. Louis resident is taking his efforts to new heights. More precisely, he plans to climb Tanzania's Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest point in Africa in the hopes of shifting how people think about Christmas.
On an unseasonably warm Saturday morning in November, Chris Juhasz is preparing to hike through Creve Coeur Lake Park.
St. Louis – New Census Bureau figures show Missouri's population is growing at a slower rate than the national average. But the state is likely to keep all of its nine Congressional districts after the official count next year.
The Bureau estimates Missouri's population grew by about 31,000 people between July 1, 2008, and July 1, 2009. With a total population of almost 6 million, that equates to a growth rate of barely half a percent.
Nationally, the population grew by 0.86 percent during that same time.
Jefferson City, Mo. – The Missouri Attorney General's office is warning the elderly to beware of phone calls from people claiming to be their grandchildren.
The scam works like this: A caller posing as the grandchild will phone the intended victim, claim that he or she's in Canada and has been arrested for DWI, injured in an accident, or has experienced some other emergency.
The caller then asks for money to be wired to an account in Canada via Western Union.
Sterling, Ill. – Federal officials tried Tuesday to allay fears that moving terrorism suspects from Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, to the Thomson Correctional Center in northwestern Illinois could put the state at greater risk for an attack.
The director of the Federal Bureau of Prisons, Harley Lappin, told a legislative panel at a public hearing in Sterling, Ill. that Thomson would be the most secure of all federal prisons in the country.