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St. Louis Public Radio News
6:20 pm
Tue March 16, 2010

Mo. House passes health care resolution

Jefferson City, Mo. – A proposed constitutional amendment that would block mandatory participation in a government-run health care system has passed the Missouri House.

The resolution would not allow fines or penalties to be levied against employers and individuals who opt out of insurance coverage and pay for their own health care.

GOP House members say they're "drawing a line in the sand" in opposing federal health care legislation requiring health coverage for most Americans.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
5:44 pm
Tue March 16, 2010

FBI still trying to piece together clues in Arlin Henderson case

The bike Arlen Henderson was riding at the time of his disappearance.
Bill Greenblatt (UPI)

St. Louis, MO – The FBI is reaching out to the public in a 19-year old cold case involving a missing Lincoln County boy.

Charles "Arlin" Henderson of Moscow Mills went missing in July of 1991.

Two and a half months later officials found the bike that Henderson had been riding.

FBI Special Agent Billy Cox showed the bike to the media on Tuesday in hopes that it might compel someone with information to come forward.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
8:28 am
Tue March 16, 2010

Ameren asks for $320 million rate hike

Jefferson City, Mo. – Ameren UE wants to raise electric rates again.

Missouri utility regulators are considering a request for a $320 million rate increase request. It's the third since 2007 from the company.

The Public Service Commission took opening statements yesterday from Ameren and from those who would be affected by the higher rates.

AmerenUE CEO Warner Baxter says the company needs the extra revenue to pay for improvements and higher fuel costs.

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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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