St. Louis, MO – The U.S. Corps of Engineers says there's no need to shorten the barge season any more on the Missouri River.
The current season is already six days shorter because of last winter's drought conditions. But new forecasts show there's still enough water in the river and its reservoirs to maintain the current schedule.
Barges run between Sioux City, Iowa and St. Louis for eight months each year. This year's season will end around Thanksgiving. It usually ends around December 1.
St. Louis, Mo. – The interim management team charged with overhauling the performance of the St. Louis Public Schools says it wants feedback on a plan to consolidate some schools in the district.
The team is hosting a series of public meetings this week to talk about schools that meet certain criteria for consolidation, such as occupancy rates, maintenance costs and low educational performance.
Springfield, ILL – Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich signed most of the state budget into law on Thursday. He used his veto powers to cut $222 million dollars from the spending plan, which he says hopes erase a $5 billion dollar deficit.
The new cuts eliminate all captains in the state's Corrections Department; take $48 million dollars away from the Secretary of State's office; and erase cost-of-living raises for lawmakers, judges and other officials. They will stand unless lawmakers override those cuts.
Jefferson City, MO – Witnesses to Tuesday night's shooting at a Jefferson City factory say Jonathon Russell calmly smoked a cigarette and drank a soda before walking to his workstation and firing at co-workers.
Three workers died; Johnson then later killed himself. Jefferson city Police Capt. Jim Johnsen suggested a possible motive Wednesday: "I understand they work on some merit or demerit system and he may have been approaching the point where demerits would require his being laid off."
St. Louis – The National Right-to-Life Committee is bringing a patriotic tone to their 31st annual convention, which started Thursday in St. Louis.
"The theme this year is 'I am an American,'" said Wanda Franz, NRLC president. "It refers to the fact that the rights and privileges that we as Americans have should be extended to every class of American including our unborn children."
National Right-to-Life has long sought a reversal of Roe Versus Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision legalizing abortion.