News

Collinsville, IL – Teachers in Collinsville reached a tentative agreement last night with school administration on a new contract.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the union members will vote Monday night whether to accept the deal. The district's nearly 400 teachers had said they'd strike Tuesday if there were no agreement.

They've been working without a contract since August.

Jefferson City, MO – The Missouri Ethics Commission cleared Republican US Senate candidate Jim Talent of some ethics charges. But it's still looking into a case that Talent may have violated ethics laws in his 2000 governor's race.

The pending complaint says he may have violated the law by setting up a debt retirment committee in 2000, when his campaign finance report showed no debt.

Talent's campaign calls it a technical problem that can be fixed by filing an amended report.

Collinsville, IL – Teachers in Collinsville reached a tentative agreement last night with school administration on a new contract.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the union members will vote Monday night whether to accept the deal. The district's nearly 400 teachers had said they'd strike Tuesday if there were no agreement.

They've been working without a contract since August.

Springfield, MO – President Bush focused on the economy as he campaigned for Republican Jim Talent in Springfield, Missouri, today.
Bush acknowledged the economy is just "bumping along," but he says it will get stronger - if his tax cuts are made permanent. Also, he says a Republican-controlled Senate would pave the way for other tax reforms, like doing away with the death tax on farms and small businesses.

St. Louis, MO – St. Louis police say a fatal shooting on I-55 yesterday was in retaliation for a murder last month.

Chief Joe Mokwa says police are looking for suspects in the death of 25-year old Antonine Brown, who had been questioned about a murder last month in St. Louis but never arrested.

Brown's family says he lived in motels the past month, avoiding attempts on his life, and that he was living on borrowed time. Three other drivers were slightly injured yesterday during the shooting when ricocheting bullets hit their cars.

Washington, DC – Boeing's St. Louis-based Super Hornet project will have fewer planes to make this year, but not a few as first thought.

President Bush's budget proposal to Congress in February lowered the number of the Navy planes made this year from 48 to 44. Congress yesterday passed a defense spending plan that calls for 46 of the attack jets.

More than 4,000 people in the St. Louis area work on the Super Hornet project, which is Missouri's largest defense contract at $3 billion dollars.

St. Louis, MO – City officials are working on a plan to reinvest in St. Louis' main arts and entertainment district. If approved by the St. Louis Board of Aldermen, an $80-million tax increment financing plan would be used to redevelop several properties in the Grand Center area, including art museums, educational facilities and residential units. Grand Center executive director and former mayor Vince Schoemehl says his group hopes to build an economic engine for the city of St. Louis.

Collinsville, IL – Teachers in Collinsville say they'll walk off the job on Tuesday, if today's final negotiating session doesn't work out.

The 400 teachers want an 18% raise over the next three years. The district is offering 12%.

The looming strike came as the State Board of Education met in Collinsville yesterday. The Board released a survey claiming 80-85% of Illinois school districts are running on deficit budgets.

St. Louis, MO – Four people have died, including an 88 year-old suburban St. Louis man whose death was reported last week. The new cases are a 76-year-old Kansas City man, a 64-year-old man and 42-year-old woman from St. Louis County, and a 38-year-old woman from Moniteau County. West Nile is spread mostly through mosquito bites. The Centers for Disease Control says the virus has infected more than 3,000 in 37 states and Washington, D.C., and killed 164 people.

Jefferson City, MO – Supporters of a proposed tobacco tax increase in Missouri have more than $2 million on hand for the final weeks before Election Day.

Citizens for a Healthy Missouri says it needs the money to counter an expected multi-million-dollar campaign from tobacco companies against the $0.55-a-pack cigarette tax hike.

But the latest spending reports show that two opposing groups have a combined total of less than $50,000 in the bank.

Jefferson City, MO – The law was revised last year. It allows retired workers to stay on part-time for up to one-thousand hours a year. Those who exceed
the limit could have their retirement benefits suspended. The goal is to open senior-level jobs to younger workers, while
using the experience of retirees. The Commission on Total Compensation said today it wants to
better define the law. Some members see a need to look at potential problems within the retirement system.

Clayton, MO – Hailing a cab at Lambert Airport may soon cost you a minimum of ten dollars. A St. Louis County Council committee is recommending setting the flat rate for all rides up to four miles, no matter how long or short the trip.

The fare after that distance would stay the same: $0.20 for each one-tenth of a mile. If the full County Council approves the change next week, the new fare would take effect next month. Drivers have complained short trips provide insufficient income.

St. Louis, MO – The Missouri Department of Natural Resources confirms that the Doe Run Company's lead smelter in Herculaneum did achieve the national air quality standard during the third quarter of 2002.

DNR has been monitoring the air in Herculaneum since the early 1980s, but environmental engineer John Rustige says this is only the second time Doe Run has achieved attainment levels for a full three-month period.

San Francisco, CA – The Cardinals season ended last night when the Giants' leadoff hitter Kenny Lofton hit a pennant-winning single with two outs in the bottom of the ninth to hand the Giants a 2-1 victory over St. Louis.

The Giants are heading to the World Series for the first time in 13 years. They collected just four hits and were one out away from extra innings until David Bell and Shawon Dunston singled off Cardinals starter Matt Morris. Cards manager Tony La Russa replaced Morris with Steve Kline, who gave up Lofton's single.

St. Louis, MO – O'Neill says in spite of recent cases of corporate corruption, a series of dot-com failures and the September 11 attacks, there's a lot of good news in the economy. He predicts the nation's economic growth rate will continue to improve. Despite O'Neill's assessment of the economy, House Minority leader Richard Gephardt of St. Louis is blasting the Bush Administration's handling of the economy, citing 1.6 million jobs lost in the last two years. (Bill Raack, KWMU)

Springfield, IL – The Illinois Prisoner Review Board starts a nine-day review of more than 140 Death Row cases today. The Board will suggest whether inmates' sentences should be switched to life in prison.

Cook County State's Attorney Dick Devine says most of the cases under review should not be overturned and that to do so would insult the families of the victims. He cited the case of serial killer John Wayne Gacy, whose interigation was not videotaped, meaning he would have been taken off death row if he was still alive.

St. Louis, MO – The St. Louis Post-Dispatch Web site www.stltoday.com says that when police arrived, they found three family members unconscious and the woman semiconscious.

Killed were 42-year-old Hari Kushwah and his 16-year-old daughter, Aakriti. The mother and son were hospitalized. Officials with Laclede Gas blamed an internal problem with the home's heater.

Carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless, poisonous gas. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headaches, dizziness, nausea and tingling fingers or toes.

Richwoods, MO – Law enforcement officials in Richwoods have called off their search for 11-year-old Shawn Hornbeck. But family and friends say they'll continue to look, and are seeking volunteers for their own search.

Hornbeck was last seen riding a bike to his friend house nine days ago. The reward for information leading to his return is now $20,000 dollars.

Chicago, IL – Family members of victims and inmates have crowded the hearing room in Chicago. Many clutch photographs of their deceased loved
ones. Several have made tear-choked appeals to the board members, asking them to uphold the death sentences imposed by juries. Attorneys for the inmates have attacked the cases against the clients on a number of fronts, saying their clients were victims of racial discrimination or police torture. Prosecutors have disputed the claims, saying the prisoners were treated fairly.

St. Louis, MO – More than 1,100 St. Louis police officers must start wearing bulletproof vests by the end of this month.

Chief Joe Mokwa made the requirement yesterday, hours after an officer was shot. Using the protection had been voluntary. It's at least the sixth time in less than three months that St. Louis police have been shot at or drawn into gun battles.

Urbana, IL – In separate debates in Chicago and Urbana yesterday, Democratic Senator Dick Durbin criticized Republican State Representative Jim Durkin for following his party's line on many issues, including a military strike against Iraq.

But Durkin says his opponent's priorities are wrong.

St. Louis, MO – Missouri has a new way of linking up hospitals, emergency services providers and public health agencies in case of a disaster. State officials today announced a computer-based system that allows health officials to know which hospitals are able to take trauma patients and which hospitals are full or experiencing problems.

St. Louis, MO – Astronauts on NASA's current mission to the International Space Station will perform their final spacewalk today.

Belleville, Illinois, native Sandra Magnus is one of three astronauts on her first trip to space. She'll be running a robotic arm during today's spacewalk, which will be used to carry cargo or astronauts around during the mission.

Grafton, IL – Searchers have found no trace of a 15-year old St. Louis area boy lost Saturday in a Mississippi River collision.

The U.S. Coast Guard says it likely will suspend the effort after two days of looking. The teenager was on a cabin cruiser that collided with a tug boat on the Mississippi River.

The pleasure boat is registered to an owner-operator from Syracuse, New York. It had mechanical problems and collided with the tug near Grafton, Illinois. The tug was pushing 16 empty barges at the time.

St. Louis, MO – Boeing's St. Louis area facilities could receive billions in federal funding next fiscal year. U.S. Senator Kit Bond make that announcement today during a tour of Boeing's F/A-18 EF Super Hornet assembly plant.

The budget request includes $10 million to replace the Navy's EA-6B strike aircraft and $120 million to build two Super Hornets. The appropriations bill must still clear the full House and Senate.

St. Louis, MO –

The Illinois suburbs of St. Louis have long made up the second-largest metropolitan area in Illinois, behind Chicago.

But the candidates for Illinois Governor all agree the region is not living up to its potential when it comes to developing the local economy. KWMU's Tom Weber reports on what the candidates plan to do for the Metro-East.


Springfield, IL – Illinois' highest court will not get involved in a challenge to Governor George Ryan's powers to commute death sentences. The Illinois Supreme Court today refused to hear Attorney General Jim Ryan's lawsuit. Jim Ryan had challenged the governor's authority to commute death sentences for 31 inmates who either didn't sign clemency petitions or who have had their death sentences overturned.

AP/KWMU – Most area lawmakers voted in favor of giving President Bush the power to launch an attack against Iraq yesterday.

In the House, two area Democrats, William Lacy Clay of St. Louis and Jerry Costello of Belleville, were the only St. Louis area Representatives to vote against the resolution.

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