St. Louis Public Radio News
3:41 pm
Thu September 2, 2004

Legislature to Study Early Voting, But Not for This Year

Hanaway
(UPI file photo)

St. Louis – A legislative committee will look into the issue of early voting in Missouri. House speaker Catherine Hanaway announced the formation of the panel Thursday.

This week, a circuit judge told the city of St. Louis that it could not offer early voting this November.

Republican Secretary of State Matt Blunt opposed the city's plans. Speaker Hanaway says the new committee's work will be non-partisan.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
3:20 pm
Thu September 2, 2004

Danton Does Not Have to Testify at Wolfmeyer's Trial

Former Blues player Mike Danton (UPI photo)

East St. Louis, Ill. – A judge in East St. Louis ruled Wednesday that former Blues player Mike Danton Cannot be forced to testify in Katie Wolfmeyer's upcoming trial.

Wolfmeyer is accused of being Danton's accomplice in a plot to hire someone to kill Danton's agent.

A jury was also picked Wednesday for Wolfmeyer's trial, which starts next week.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
1:17 pm
Thu September 2, 2004

Illinois Records First West Nile Death for 2004

Springfield, Ill – State public health officials revealed Thursday that Illinois has recorded its first death this year from West Nile disease.

The Illinois Department of Public Health says a 58-year-old man from DuPage County died Wednesday after becoming ill with West Nile encephalitis in mid-August.

The disease, spread by the bite of an infected mosquito, has been reported in 20 people in Illinois this year. The state recorded 54 human cases and one death in 2003 and led the nation with 884 cases and 66 deaths in 2002.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
12:21 pm
Thu September 2, 2004

Newspaper: Blagojevich Layoffs Might Target GOP

Springfield, Ill. – The State Journal-Register in Springfield, Ill. reports that Governor Rod Blagojevich's administration seems to be sparing Democrats from some layoffs.

The paper got a hold of a list of people being laid off at the Department of Transportation. It looked into 24 fired workers and found 22 of them voted Republican in recent primary elections. The other two didn't vote.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
10:57 am
Thu September 2, 2004

Missouri Economic Officials Goof on Job Numbers

Jefferson City, Mo. – A miscalculation by state economic analysts means Missouri's economic picture for the summer is brighter than originally thought.

The state's job report for July showed it led the nation in percentage of lost jobs, at 1.9 percent. The loss of nearly 52,000 positions also led the country in terms of total jobs that disappeared.

But now, it seems, that wasn't really the case. Missouri's job loss figures have been revised to show a loss of 23,000 jobs from June to July, and could be revised further.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
10:53 am
Thu September 2, 2004

Charter Customers Could Get Freebies in Suit Settlement

St. Louis – Untold numbers of Charter Communications subscribers may be eligible for freebies from the St. Louis company as part of a proposed lawsuit settlement.

Charter customers may be able to choose, among other things, six months of free high-speed Internet service, service upgrades or movie channel service.

St. Louis-based Charter has more than six (m) million customers in 37 states. It was not immediately clear how many consumers the settlement may cover.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
9:47 am
Thu September 2, 2004

Alton Student Scores Perfect on ACT, Twice

Alton, Ill. – It's hard enough to score a perfect 36 on the ACT test. But a 17-year old at Alton High School has done it twice.

Sophie Hilgard, of Godfrey, aced the test last winter. She then had to take it again in April with all of her classmates as part of the Prairie State Achievement Exam.

Hilgard is one of just 17 Illinoisans to get the perfect score on the spring exam.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
9:30 am
Thu September 2, 2004

Missourians Must Turn on Headlights in Bad Weather

Columbia, Mo. – A new state law in Missouri requires drivers to turn on their headlights whenever they turn on their windshield wipers.

The law is designed to make cars more visible in the snow, rain or fog.

The Highway Patrol's Captain Chris Ricks says the goal for the next six months is to educate drivers, not hand out tickets.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
2:35 pm
Wed September 1, 2004

Superintendent of Bellefontaine Center Retires

The Bellefontaine Habilitation Center (state of Missouri photo)

St. Louis, MO – The head of the Bellefontaine Habilitation Center in suburban St. Louis announced his retirement Tuesday. Bob Eden then immediately left the center.

State officials are investigating reports of possible patient abuse at the home for mentally disabled people.

Eden's retirement came a day after the state sent its own official to supervise the center's operations.

The director of the Division of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, Anne Deaton, says Eden was NOT forced to leave.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
2:33 pm
Wed September 1, 2004

State Blames Trees for Major July Power Outage

St. Louis – State utility regulators say a delinquent tree-trimming program may have contributed to the damage during severe storms that struck the St. Louis area on July 5th.

More than 250,000 AmerenUE customers were affected by the storms, which featured large hail, high winds and heavy rain.

The Missouri Public Service Commission issued a report on the storms aftermath Tuesday.

It recommends the St. Louis-based utility increase its tree-trimming efforts.

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