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St. Louis Public Radio News
10:38 am
Tue March 30, 2010

Missouri House gives horse slaughter legislation first-round approval

St. Louis – The Missouri House has endorsed legislation that would allow the slaughter of horses for human consumption.

The legislation is intended to get around a federal ban on meat inspectors working in horse slaughtering plants.

The bill passed on a voice vote yesterday and needs another vote before moving
to the Senate.

The horse meat bill also includes a provision aimed at blocking initiative petitions to restrict agriculture.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
10:37 am
Tue March 30, 2010

Illinois health officials say it's not too late for H1N1 flu shots

Springfield, Ill. – Health officials say it's not too late to get the H1N1 swine flu vaccine.

Illinois Department of Public Health director Dr. Damon Arnold said even though flu cases have declined, the swine flu "continues to circulate."

Arnold said the United States could have another swine flu upswing this year or localized outbreaks.

He said people who have not received the swine flu vaccine should check with their doctor or local health department to get a shot.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
6:05 pm
Mon March 29, 2010

City of St. Louis pursues casino license

St. Louis, MO – When the state's 13th casino license is up for grabs this summer, the city of St. Louis wants it to stay here.

The license becomes available on July 1st, after Pinnacle's President Casino on the downtown riverfront closes. The city's economic development agency announced Monday that it wants to hear from casino developers interested in building a facility somewhere along the Mississippi River.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
5:43 pm
Mon March 29, 2010

Federal stimulus dollars to help turn Grand Center landmark into charter school

St. Louis – A redevelopment project in Grand Center will be going ahead with the help of federal stimulus money.

Governor Jay Nixon on Monday awarded the developer of the Beaux Arts building $8 million in Recovery Zone Facility Bonds to turn 115,000 square feet into classrooms and performance space for the Grand Center Arts Academy. The new charter school, which will American Quality Schools will operate for the Confluence Academy, is the first charter in the region to have a performing arts curriculum.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
12:08 pm
Mon March 29, 2010

Lawmakers, judges say expanding drug courts will save taxpayer money

St. Louis – Missouri has more people in prison than ever before, many of them non-violent offenders. And while the state already has 108 drug and DWI courts some say more are needed.

They argue expanding the program would save millions of dollars in the long run.

In the midst of Missouri's budget crisis, the special court programs are getting more attention as lawmakers try to close a big budget gap.

St. Louis Public Radio's Maria Altman reports.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
7:49 am
Mon March 29, 2010

Civic boosters report progress in China hub effort

St. Louis – St. Louis leaders say they're pleased with the progress made in a week-long trip to China to lobby for Lambert Airport as a new air freight hub.

Mayor Francis Slay and other officials met with several Chinese airline executives and federal aviation officials to discuss the proposal.

Mike Jones of the Midwest-China Hub Commission says the group has agreements with four Chinese airlines to study the issue further.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
7:46 am
Mon March 29, 2010

Democrats pick Sheila Simon to run for Lt. Gov.

Springfield, Ill. – Illinois Democrats have selected Sheila Simon to be their nominee for Lieutenant Governor.

She's the daughter of the late US Senator Paul Simon, and won the nomination in a vote of the party's State Central Committee over the weekend.

Simon is a law professor at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, and served on the Carbondale City Council before losing a race for Mayor.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
7:39 am
Mon March 29, 2010

Missouri House approves new child support fees

Jefferson City, Mo. – Thousands of parents could face new child support fees under legislation that has passed the Missouri House.

The fees could range from $10 to $350, with exemptions for lower-income parents.

They are estimated to generate nearly $2.5 million, split between the state and federal governments.

Supporters of the fees say some parents who could afford private attorneys have been getting free help from the state to modify their child support orders.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
7:36 am
Mon March 29, 2010

State rep quits re-election bid amid sex allegations

Kansas City, Mo. – A Democratic state representative from Kansas City plans to formally withdraw his re-election bid Monday amid reports he had a relationship with an 18-year-old
college student.

Roman LeBlanc said in a news release Friday that seeking a second term would not be "in the best interest" of his family or community.

The announcement came several days after an article in the alternative weekly newspaper The Pitch described a relationship between the 38-year-old lawmaker and the student.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
6:04 pm
Fri March 26, 2010

Forest Park gridlock

St. Louis, MO – Officials at the Missouri Department of Transportation are urging people to plan ahead this weekend if they're headed to Forest Park.

Visitors to the park last weekend encountered gridlock at the Hampton Avenue entrance.

The backup was partially the cause of the seasonably nic weather, as well as road construction on Wells Drive, by the Zoo.

Lesley Hoffarth of Forest Park Forever is urging drivers to consider entrances besides Hampton Avenue.

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