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St. Louis Public Radio News
11:09 am
Wed January 20, 2010

Ameren customers speak out against rate hike request

St. Louis – Some AmerenUE customers spoke out against a possible rate hike at a special Public Service Commission hearing Tuesday in St. Louis.

The utility wants to raise electric rates 18 percent. That request comes on the heels of another increase last year.

Craig Mershon uses a wheelchair to get around, and he says higher utility bills are a problem because he's not able to work.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
11:06 am
Wed January 20, 2010

Former Alton band director admits having sex with girl, 16

Alton, Ill. – A former band director at Alton High School has pleaded guilty to charges of having sex with a student.

Matthew Lang, 36, pleaded guilty Tuesday and faces four to 15 years in prison.
Authorities say he had sex repeatedly with a 16-year-old girl.

Lang resigned from Alton High School after he was charged in August. As part of a plea deal, prosecutors dropped other charges.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
8:59 pm
Tue January 19, 2010

Mo. lawmakers considering autism legislation

Jefferson City, Mo. – Lawmakers in Missouri have begun work on legislation that would require insurance companies to provide coverage for treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Both House and Senate versions of the bill would mandate coverage of up to $72,000 a year for a therapy known as "applied behavioral analysis" treatment, or A.B.A., for patients age 21 and younger.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
6:43 pm
Tue January 19, 2010

Art Museum expansion officially underway

St. Louis County executive Charlie Dooley (second from right), Mayor Francis Slay (third from right) and other dignitaries officially break ground on the expansion of the St. Louis Art Museum
(photo by Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

St. Louis – Local dignitaries and officials with the St. Louis Art Museum gathered in Forest Park Tuesday to officially start the Museum's $130 million expansion, the most significant expansion in its history.

Contractors began preliminary work on the project in December, after a year-long delay caused by the slumping economy.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
9:49 am
Tue January 19, 2010

Midwest's recovery from recession will be slower than average, former labor secretary says

Robert Reich

St. Louis – There is no shortage of when it comes to explaining the reasons behind the economic recession, and what it will take to recover.

One such voice recognizable to public radio listeners is former Labor Secretary Robert Reich, a frequent commentator Marketplace. Reich will appear in St. Louis tonight (Jan. 19) as part of Maryville University's St. Louis Speakers Series.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
8:30 am
Tue January 19, 2010

New law restricts access to Illinois teacher evaluations

Springfield, Ill. – A new law strengthening teacher evaluations in Illinois will also keep those evaluations from public scrutiny.

Teachers unions pushed for the change to the state's Freedom of Information Act that will keep private job performance reports of teachers, principals and local school superintendents.

Illinois State Schools Superintendent Christopher Koch said making evaluations available to the public can be problematic.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
8:26 am
Tue January 19, 2010

Missouri lawmakers begin talks on autism insurance legislation

Jefferson City, Mo. – Missouri lawmakers are getting an early start on legislation that would require insurance companies to cover autism treatments for children.

Separate House and Senate committees are to hear testimony Tuesday on autism legislation. The hearings are among the first scheduled this session.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
8:24 am
Tue January 19, 2010

Martin Luther King 'Day of Service' draws big crowd of volunteers

St. Louis – More than 1,000 people turned out to volunteer for the first ever Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service in St. Louis.

Monday's event, which was organized by the United Way of Greater St. Louis, gathered volunteers at 20 sites around the city to clean and paint homes and schools and to beautify neighborhoods.

United Way spokeswoman Carrie Zukoski said more people turned out than expected and organizers hope to make the service day an annual event.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
6:10 pm
Mon January 18, 2010

Reestablishing local control of St. Louis Police starting to be thorny issue among Mo. Politicians

The logo of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department as displayed on a patrol car.
(St. Louis Public Radio)

ST. LOUIS – There are currently three bills that have been filed that would restore local control of the police department two in the Senate and one in the House.

Now, faced with a ballooning budget deficit predicted to reach 1.2 billion in fiscal 2011 the city says it could save $7 million by cutting the strings between the police department and Jefferson City.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
8:23 am
Mon January 18, 2010

Quinn approves cemetery oversight measure

Chicago – Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed the state's Cemetery Oversight Act into law Sunday. The measure creates a regulatory structure for funeral homes and cemeteries.

It comes after former workers last year allegedly dug up graves in a scheme to resell burial plots at a cemetery in suburban Chicago.

The new law includes reforms and recommendations from the state's Cemetery Oversight Task Force.

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