St. Louis Public Radio News
10:07 am
Tue August 24, 2004

Blagojevich Approval Rating Bounces Back in New Poll

Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich (KWMU file photo)

Chicago, Ill. – A new poll suggests Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich approval rating has rebounded over the past three months.

That's despite a contentious stand-off with lawmakers over the state budget. The Chicago Tribune/WGN-TV poll finds that 51% of those polled say they approve of Blagojevich's job performance. According to the poll, 30% say they disapprove; 19% are undecided or 'other.'

The rating was as low as 40% in May.

The poll was conducted by Market Shares Corporation and has an error margin of 4%.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
3:17 pm
Mon August 23, 2004

Blunt Says, if Elected Governor, He'll Fire Ken Jacob

Ken Jacob (KWMU file photo)

Jefferson City, MO – Matt Blunt said Monday that if he's elected Governor, he'll revoke the recent appointment of State Senator Ken Jacob.

Outgoing Governor Bob Holden recently named Jacob to head the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission, shortly after Jacob lost a bid to be the Democratic nominee for Lieutenant Governor.

The move immediately makes Jacob eligible for a higher pension.

Blunt also said he'd push for making members of the Commission serve two years before getting retirement benefits.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
3:13 pm
Mon August 23, 2004

St. Louis Gets Training Center for VA Cemetery Workers

The Jefferson Barracks National Cemetery near St. Louis.
(UPI file photo)

St. Louis – St. Louis will be the new location for the Department of Veterans Affairs' first Training Center for National Cemetery Staff.

The new center will be the first formal training program for the employees who manage and operate its cemeteries.

The center will open during a formal ceremony next week. It will expand its classes to train foremen, equipment operators, groundskeepers, cemetery representatives and other employees.

Cemetery employees used to rely on informal on-the-job training.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
2:49 pm
Mon August 23, 2004

Two-Headed Snake Returned to City Museum

The snake was returned safely to the City Museum (UPI photo)

St. Louis, MO – A rare two-headed albino rat snake has been returned to the City Museum in downtown St. Louis.

Workers at the Museum's World Aquarium realized it was gone Monday morning.

A Belleville woman called police a short time later to say she'd seen two teens with a two-headed snake.

The boys have been charged. One of them is 18-year old Brandon Smith; the other is a juvenile. They were recently fired from the City Museum after working about a week.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
2:40 pm
Mon August 23, 2004

Attendance Up at Missouri State Fair

Sedalia, Mo. – Unseasonably mild weather helped boost
ticket sales during the Missouri State Fair last week.

The eleven-day fair had at least 370,000 admissions.

Kim
Allen, the fair's marketing director, says the 2003 fair attendance was nearly 341,000.

Allen attributed the boost in ticket sales to mild weather, an
increase in youth exhibitor entries, a blend of free and reduced-price entertainment.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
1:51 pm
Mon August 23, 2004

Efforts to Oust ESL School Board Pres. Will Continue

East St. Louis, Ill. – Efforts to remove East St. Louis's Board of Education President continue, even though the board that first tried to get rid of him is now disbanded.

A state panel that oversaw school finances until recently first tried to get rid of Lonzo Greenwood because of his role negotiating a secret contract.

But the state Board of Education say it will not continue to press for Greenwood's removal. The fight includes a lawsuit that the East St. Louis School District filed to keep Greenwood on the board.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
12:19 pm
Mon August 23, 2004

Casino Opponents Push for Last-Minute Signatures

A rendering of the facility Pinnacle wants to build

St. Louis, MO – A group of people in St. Louis County is trying to gather 25,000 signatures by Tuesday to overturn a county ordinance allowing Pinnacle Entertainment to build a new casino in Lemay.

The group Casino Watch says Pinnacle's plan to bring 5,000 new slot machines to Lemay would create more gambling addicts and force local companies out of business. As of Saturday evening, the group was still about 10,000 names short of its goal. Still, chairman Mark Andrews remains optimistic.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
11:59 am
Mon August 23, 2004

Unions Protest New Overtime Rules

Labor union members with the group Working America protest at Kiener Plaza downtown.
(KWMU staff)

St. Louis – Unionized workers protested in downtown St. Louis Monday. They don't like new Labor Department rules on overtime.

The regulations allow overtime for some low wage workers who weren't eligible before. But they also exempt employees who manage others.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
11:01 am
Mon August 23, 2004

Police Say Stunt Bikers Caused SUV Crash

St. Charles, Mo. – Stunt-driving motorcyclists are being blamed for an accident that left eight people injured in suburban St. Louis.

The search continues for six bikers whose wheelies and other daredevil stunts on Interstate 64 in St. Charles allegedly caused the accident.

Authorities say the stunts caused two SUVs to collide. Five of the injuries are listed as serious.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
10:19 am
Mon August 23, 2004

Casino Supporters Say Opponents Use Bad Data

St. Louis – The president of the St. Louis County Economic Council says a group trying to overturn a county ordinance allowing for a new casino in Lemay is using flawed data.

The group Casino Watch is trying to gather 25,000 signatures by Tuesday afternoon in order to put an anti-gaming referendum on the November ballot.

Its members say another casino would foster gambling addiction. But economic council president Denny Coleman says that's not a valid argument.

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