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St. Louis Public Radio News
5:40 pm
Thu March 11, 2010

Prop A opponents and Metro disagree on retiree benefits

John Burns talks to reporters at a press conference on Thursday.
(St. Louis Public Radio photo)

St. Louis, MO – Opponents of the half-cent sales tax increase for Metro in St. Louis County are accusing the public transit agency of deceiving voters about its finances.

The group, Citizens for Better Transit, cites a Metro report that says the agency is underfunding its retiree benefits obligation by about $11 million a year. Group spokesman John Burns says Metro has not addressed the shortfall as an agency or with the voters.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
10:11 am
Thu March 11, 2010

Kansas City to close half of district's schools

Kansas City, Mo. – The school board in Kansas City voted Wednesday night to close almost half the district's schools.

Administrators say the closures are necessary to trim $50 million from the system's budget.

The plan will eliminate a dozen elementary schools, combine most middle and high schools and move early childhood centers into elementary buildings.

Superintendent John Covington says the closures will free up resources for better instruction.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
6:17 pm
Wed March 10, 2010

Constitutionality of tax credit challenged in Mo.

Jefferson City, Mo. – The constitutionality of one of Missouri's tax credits was challenged today in a Jefferson City courtroom.

The Land Assemblage Tax Credit has enabled St. Louis-area developer Paul McKee to buy up large sections of distressed property on the city's north side. McKee also sold the credits to raise more cash.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
5:36 pm
Wed March 10, 2010

Pinnacle to close President Casino on the Admiral

St. Louis, MO – Pinnacle Entertainment has agreed to terms with the Missouri Gaming Commission to close the President Casino on the St. Louis riverfront.

At a joint press conference Wednesday, Pinnacle agreed to surrender its gaming license and close the casino by July 1st.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
1:22 pm
Wed March 10, 2010

Stimlus money continues to flow to St. Louis in 2010

St. Louis, MO –
It's been over a year since Congress signed off on the $787-billion stimulus bill.

The president claims the measure saved about 2 million jobs last year, and that's with most of the money still not spent.

Many cities, including St. Louis, are just now breaking ground on stimulus funded projects.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
10:33 am
Wed March 10, 2010

President Obama visits St. Louis to rally for health bill

(Photo credit: V. LaCapra)

St. Louis, MO – President Obama rallied supporters at St. Charles high school on Wednesday, continuing his campaign to overhaul health care.

Speaking to a cheering crowd packed into a small, stuffy gymnasium, President Obama said the time for debate is over, and called on Congress to act now to pass health care legislation. The president described the status quo as unsustainable, saying that if Congress fails to act, insurance companies will continue to increase premiums.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
10:09 am
Wed March 10, 2010

Obama visits St. Louis to continue health overhaul push

Photo: UPI/Bill Greenblatt

St. Louis – President Obama rallied supporters at St. Charles high school on Wednesday, continuing his campaign to overhaul health care.

Speaking to a cheering crowd packed into a small, stuffy gymnasium, President Obama said the time for debate is over, and called on Congress to act now to pass health care legislation. The president described the status quo as unsustainable, saying that if Congress fails to act, insurance companies will continue to increase premiums.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
8:54 am
Wed March 10, 2010

Illinois tax hike won't be part of Quinn's budget speech

Springfield, Ill. – The budget plan Illinois Governor Pat Quinn will introduce today relies heavily on borrowing and about $2 billion worth of spending cuts.

As Sean Crawford reports, Quinn still backs an income tax hike, but he's not planning on it.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
5:51 pm
Tue March 9, 2010

Mo. officials want more money from Washington

St. Louis, Mo. – Missouri officials continue pressing for more financial aid from Washington, as Congress considers whether or not to extend budget stabilization funds for state governments.

School Board Association Executive Director Mike Reid suggests that without help from Washington, Missouri schools will have to reduce staff and increase class sizes.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
12:54 pm
Tue March 9, 2010

New job thrusts writer into public role

David Clewell is Missouri's second poet laureate.

St. Louis – Webster University English professor David Clewell is Missouri's new poet laureate.
Governor Jay Nixon made the announcement last week.

Clewell has published seven collections of poetry and taught at Webster for 26 years.

He tells St. Louis Public Radio's Maria Altman he's not quite used to the spotlight.

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