St. Louis Public Radio News
10:21 am
Thu August 19, 2004

Union Sues Blunt Over Enforcement of Dues Rule

St. Louis – A labor union is in court to try to
force Secretary of State Matt Blunt to take the needed step to allow collection of union dues from some state workers.

Governor Holden and the unions have been fighting with Blunt and the Republican-led Legislature over the issue for more than three years.

Blunt is the Republican running for governor against Democratic State Auditor Claire McCaskill.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
10:21 am
Thu August 19, 2004

Jacob Resigns from MO Senate; Takes New Job

Ken Jacob (KWMU file photo)

Jefferson City, MO – Ken Jacob resigned from the Missouri State Senate Wednesday.

He was appointed this week to head a commission that hears appeals on workers comp and unemployment cases.

The move means Jacob will qualify for a bigger pension, even if he's only at his new job for a few days. The state Senate must approve his appointment.

Jacob lost his run for Lieutenant Governor earlier this month.

His resignation also means St. Louis Senator Maida Coleman is now the top-ranking Democrat in the state Senate.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
10:03 am
Thu August 19, 2004

Longtime Federal Judge Clyde Cahill Dies

Clyde Cahill (file photo)

St. Louis, MO – Longtime federal judge Clyde Cahill died Wednesday at his St. Louis home. He was the first black federal judge in St. Louis.

Cahill was 81; a cause of death was not given.

Cahill was known for his fervent commitment to civil rights. He was appointed to the federal bench by President Carter in 1980, making him the first black federal trial judge for Missouri's Eastern District.

Survivors include his wife, six children and seven grandchildren.

Funeral services are being arranged.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
9:44 am
Thu August 19, 2004

MO Drivers Face Stiffer Fines for Passing School Buses

St. Louis – As thousands of Missouri children board buses to return to school, motorists will face stiffer penalties for failing to stop for those buses.

Currently, drivers who pass a school bus during loading and unloading are fined.

Under the new law, they could lose their license for 90 days for failing to stop, and for 120 days for a second offense.

The bill's sponsor, Democratic state representative Tim Meadows, says the law puts that decision in the hands of individual circuit judges.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
4:24 pm
Wed August 18, 2004

Justice Department Ends Inquiry into Monsanto

Monsanto's suburban St. Louis headquarters.
(file)

St. Louis – St. Louis-based agribusiness giant Monsanto says the Justice Department has closed its inquiry into possible antitrust practices in the herbicide industry.

That means no action is required by the agribusiness and biotech giant.

Monsanto CEO Hugh Grant says the company is pleased to put the matter behind it.

Last year the company said the probe involved possible anti-competitive conduct in the herbicide industry.

Monsanto makes the popular Roundup herbicide.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
3:14 pm
Wed August 18, 2004

IL School Construction Delayed by State Budget

Cahokia High School, which is more than a half century old (photo from district website)

St. Louis, MO – Officials at some Illinois schools are delaying construction projects because the budget currently funding state government has no construction money in it.

Lawmakers won't decide until November whether to fund any such capital projects.

Cahokia School Superintendent Jed Deets says crews are only making emergency repairs to the 57-year old high school because he's not sure whether to expect a new school anytime soon.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
3:10 pm
Wed August 18, 2004

Blagojevich Will Snub Ban on Drug Importation

Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich (KWMU file photo)

Chicago, IL – Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich says the state will have a website running within a month to help Illinoisans buy drugs from Canada, Ireland and the United Kingdom.

The governor says the state plans to contract with a Canadian company to connect people who live in Illinois with a network of foreign pharmacies that have been approved by state health inspectors.

Blagojevich says Illinoisans should be able to take advantage of cheaper drug prices offered abroad.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
1:30 pm
Wed August 18, 2004

McCaskill Outlines Child Abuse Prevention Plan

McCaskill
(UPI file photo)

St. Louis – Missouri Democratic gubernatorial nominee Claire McCaskill says she would make reforming the state's child abuse prevention agency a priority of her administration.

Her plan would include more specialized and adequate training for caseworkers, and ensuring those employees conduct their investigations alongside law enforcement officers.

McCaskill says in March, Missouri failed seven federal safety standards designed to protect children from abuse and neglect.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
12:17 pm
Wed August 18, 2004

Nader Comes Up Short on Ballot Signatures in Missouri

Ralph Nader (file photo)

Jefferson City, MO – The Missouri Secretary of State's office says Ralph Nader's supporters are short of the number of signatures needed to get the independent presidential candidate on the state's November ballot.

He needed 10,000 valid signatures. Backers turned in 12,893, but only 9,006 were ruled valid.

Secretary of State spokesman Spence Jackson says a court challenge is allowed within ten days.

Nader spokesman Kevin Zeese says the campaign is checking into how it might appeal, and would consider going to court.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
12:10 pm
Wed August 18, 2004

First Lady Rallies Women In St. Louis

Laura Bush in St. Louis Tuesday (UPI photo)

St. Louis, MO – At a suburban St. Louis hotel, Mrs. Bush spoke about her husband's plans to institute permanent tax relief and strengthen education.

The First Lady also touched on issues of particular importance to women. She called for medical liability reform, noting that obstetricians face some of the highest malpractice insurance premiums in the industry:

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