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St. Louis Public Radio News
8:20 am
Tue March 16, 2010

Lake Saint Louis aldermen pass smoking ban

St. Louis – Aldermen in Lake Saint Louis voted Monday night to ban smoking in restaurants, bars and other public places.

If mayor Mike Potter signs the measure, Lake Saint Louis would be the first municipality in St. Charles County to have a smoking ban.

Potter has spoken out against such a prohibition in the past, saying it's unfair to businesses.

The sponsor, alderman John Pellerito, pushed for the ban after St. Louis County voters passed one of their own in November.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
7:51 pm
Mon March 15, 2010

Mo. House committee begins work on FY 2011 budget

Mo. House Budget Committee.
Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

Jefferson City, Mo. – House budget writers have begun reviewing Missouri's proposed state budget for next year.

Early on, Republicans had criticized Democratic Governor Jay Nixon for relying on Congress to provide $300 million in federal funding to help underwrite the state budget. But House Budget Chair Allen Icet (R, Wildwood) is now relying on that $300 million as well.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
5:01 pm
Mon March 15, 2010

Leaders continue push for Census participation as forms arrive in mailboxes

Anna Crosslin of the International Institute, co. exec Charlie Dooley, Mayor Francis Slay, and Urban League president James Buford rally for participation in the Census outside City Hall
(photo by Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

St. Louis – Elected leaders in St. Louis are continuing their push to get the region's households to fill out the 2010 Census forms.

The forms are expected to start arriving in people's mailboxes this week. The data gathered on the form, especially the number of people in the household, helps determine everything from federal road and bridge money to Congressional districts.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
7:32 am
Mon March 15, 2010

Missouri lawmakers tackle budget after spring break

Jefferson City, Mo. – Missouri lawmakers return from spring break today. An item high on their agenda is the state budget, and a key House committee is scheduled to begin working on it immediately.

Gov. Jay Nixon says the budget he recommended in January needs to be trimmed by $500 million.

That's because of a downturn in state tax revenues and uncertainty over whether Congress will extend enhanced Medicaid payments to states.

Nixon has suggested some ideas for cuts, but not $500 million worth.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
7:29 am
Mon March 15, 2010

Arguments set in Illinois abortion case

Chicago – Oral arguments are set for Monday in a case of a long-debated Illinois law requiring a teenage girl's parents be notified before she has an abortion.

In November the state's Medical Disciplinary Board voted to allow enforcement of
the law, but hours later a judge put it back on hold.

The Illinois law was passed in 1995, but never enforced because of various court actions.

It requires doctors to notify the parents or guardians of girls 17 or younger two days before performing abortions.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
7:28 am
Mon March 15, 2010

USDA to spend $300 million to curb farm runoff

St. Louis – The U.S. Department of Agriculture says it will spend more than $300 million to improve water quality along the Mississippi River.

The plan targets farm land in a dozen states including Missouri.

The agency is trying to keep fertilizer and animal waste from draining into the river and its tributaries. The nutrients eventually wind up in the Gulf of Mexico, causing algae to flourish and reducing oxygen levels for fish.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
7:25 am
Mon March 15, 2010

Rivers rising earlier than usual, prompting flood concerns

St. Louis – Heavy rain and snow in northern states in the last few months mean minor flooding has started earlier than usual this year.

That's prompted the National Weather Service to issue flood warnings for parts of eastern Missouri.

The Mississippi River is above flood stage in northeastern parts of the state.

Here in St. Louis it's not flooding, but the river is expected to rise a foot above flood stage by early Friday.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
6:41 pm
Fri March 12, 2010

Bond blasts Reid on health care move

Senator Kit Bond (R, Missouri) at a press event in Jefferson City Friday.
Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

Jefferson City, Mo. – Missouri's senior U.S. Senator is blasting the chamber's top Democrat.

Republican Kit Bond says today's announcement by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D, Nevada) that he'll use a procedure known as reconciliation to force a simple majority vote on health care is outrageous.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
8:31 am
Fri March 12, 2010

Trooper's attorneys want reckless homicide charges dropped

Belleville, Ill. – Attorneys for an Illinois state trooper accused in a crash that killed two sisters on a Metro East freeway want the charges of reckless homicide and reckless driving dismissed.

Trooper Matt Mitchell's lawyers argue he isn't required to obey speed limit laws because he's a police officer and was acting in an emergency.

Prosecutors say "a person of ordinary intelligence" knows Mitchell broke the law.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
8:28 am
Fri March 12, 2010

Nixon proposes more budget cuts

file photo: UPI/Bill Greenblatt

St. Louis – Governor Jay Nixon announced another $125 million in cuts to state spending Thursday.

The state is facing at least a $500 million shortfall for the next budget year that begins July 1.

While the governor proposed eliminating another 1,000 state jobs, 2,000 state vehicles, and selling some state buildings, he also targeted tax credits.

Nixon said Missouri's use of tax credits ballooned to $585 million over the last ten years.

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