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St. Louis Public Radio News
8:21 am
Mon March 1, 2010

Pfizer reaches deal with county on tax bill

St. Louis – The pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has reached a deal to pay additional property tax to St. Louis County.

Pfizer received a 50 percent tax abatement on a new research building it opened in Chesterfield in 2009. The project generated 1,000 new jobs. But later that year, the company laid off 600 of those workers, and county officials considered requiring the company to pay 100 percent of its tax bill. The deal will require Pfizer to pay 80 percent.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
5:31 pm
Fri February 26, 2010

Local groups target earnings tax petitions

St. Louis – A group of St. Louis city officials, employees and community activists is fighting an effort to dump the city's one percent earnings tax.

Retired investment banker Rex Sinquefield is behind the effort. He says the taxes here and in Kansas City are bad for business and job growth. The petitions he's helped sponsor would put the issue to a statewide vote. Opponents are asking people to refuse to sign those petitions.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
5:13 pm
Fri February 26, 2010

Stalled jobs bill forces bid delays in Missouri

St. Louis – The ongoing fight over a jobs bill in Congress has forced the Missouri Department of Transportation to delay bidding on road projects for a month - and the delays could get worse.

The U.S. Senate last week overwhelmingly approved a $15 billion job creation bill earlier this week. But it's much smaller than the $154 billion measure the House signed off on in December, and that's aroused vicious opposition from some members of the House Democratic caucus.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
12:08 pm
Fri February 26, 2010

Weather cancels bridge ceremony

The cable-stayed bridge showed in this computer rendering will take four to six years to complete. (handout)

St. Louis – A winter storm pummeling the East Coast has forced the Missouri Department of Transportation to cancel the groundbreaking on the new Mississippi River bridge.

Several federal officials could not make it out of Washington, D.C. to attend the ceremony to officially start the project. Though work will start as scheduled, MoDOT director Pete Rahn said the department decided to wait until the Congressmen could be recognized.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
8:31 am
Fri February 26, 2010

Former grain dealer gets 9 years in Ponzi scheme

Many of Gieseker's victims live in and around Audrain County, Missouri. (photo: Matt Sepic/St. Louis Public Radio)

St. Louis – A Missouri woman has been sentenced to nine years in federal prison for a grain fraud scheme that bilked farmers out of at least $27 million.

Cathy Gieseker of Martinsburg was sentenced Thursday in St. Louis federal court. She pleaded guilty to felony mail fraud last year.

Judge Charles Shaw ordered Gieseker to pay restitution to all of the victims, though it is not clear how much money she has available.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
6:33 pm
Thu February 25, 2010

Mo. House passes infractions correction

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

Jefferson City, Mo. – Governor Jay Nixon this afternoon signed the first bill of the 2010 session into law.

It reverses a 2009 law that reclassified some minor traffic offenses as infractions instead of misdemeanors, to help courts handle the cases more efficiently.

But several prosecutors and judges interpreted the law to mean that state troopers no longer had the authority to write tickets for infractions.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
6:04 pm
Thu February 25, 2010

Researchers develop new tool against tick-borne diseases

Wash U researcher Brian Allan studied the lone star tick (Amblyomma americanum), the most common of several disease-carrying ticks in Missouri.
(Photo courtesy of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control)

St. Louis, MO – Ticks will suck the blood of just about anything: squirrels, birds, deer - and of course, people. They can also transmit disease.

Washington University post-doctoral researcher Brian Allan wanted to figure out which wild animals carry those tick-borne diseases. And he used the ticks' bloody meal, to do it.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
5:51 pm
Thu February 25, 2010

Blight early focus of second day of McKee trial

St. Louis – A parade of St. Louis city aldermen were on the hot seat Thursday in the trial challenging their approval of $390 million in public financing for a massive redevelopment of north St. Louis.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
5:14 pm
Thu February 25, 2010

Daytona 500 winner honored at Mo. Capitol

A replica of the race car Jamie McMurray used to win the 2010 Daytona 500 sits at the foot of the steps of the Mo. Capitol.
Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

Jefferson City, Mo. – Missouri Governor Jay Nixon and legislative leaders welcomed 2010 Daytona 500 champion Jamie McMurray to the State Capitol today.

The Joplin native won NASCAR's biggest race of the year on February 14th, which was marred by delays caused by crumbling pavement.

McMurray drove a replica of the car he raced that day onto the south lawn of the State Capitol and was greeted by a crowd of about a hundred fans and politicians.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
8:36 am
Thu February 25, 2010

Quinn plans to cut $2 billion from state budget

Quinn (file photo: UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Springfield, Ill. – Illinois Governor Pat Quinn is considering cutting more than $2 billion from next year's state budget, but that would still leave a nearly $11.5 billion deficit.

That's according to preliminary information the governor released Wednesday. A new web site, budget.illinois.gov, suggests cuts to everything from education to public safety.

Quinn's Budget Director David Vaught said the outlook is dire but realistic.

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