By Kevin Lavery, KWMU
St. Louis, Mo. – The president of a large farm labor group says it's imperative for the US to legalize the nine million undocumented immigrants working in this country.
Baldemar Velasquez with the Farm Labor Organizing Committee, a branch of the AFL-CIO, spoke Tuesday at several St. Louis area venues about the state of immigrant civil rights.
Velasquez says legalization would not only give workers greater access to public services it would also free them from a life of indentured servitude.
By Matt Sepic, KWMU
St. Louis – At Veterans' Day events throughout the region Tuesday, St. Louisans honored those who fought in wars for the United States.
At a ceremony downtown, participants remembered those who fought in the Korean War with the dedication of a tree at the Soldiers' Memorial.
Korea veteran Bill Jeffries says the Korean War is often overshadowed by World War II and Vietnam.
"It was an awful conflagration," he said. "They said it was a police action, but we know what it really was, those of us who were there."
Jefferson City, MO – Missouri State Representative Rick Johnson of High Ridge will be the top Democrat in the state House next year.
Republicans hold 17 more seats in the House than Democrats. Johnson was picked by his fellow Democrats on Monday to be Minority Leader.
He'll take over for Mark Abel, who is running for State Treasurer.
Johnson says he hopes to use his position as House minority leader to help protect the schools, children and elderly of Missouri.
St. Louis, MO – The U.S. Forest Service is looking to open as much as 215 miles of trails in Missouri's Mark Twain National Forest to study the effects of all-terrain vehicles.
The plan was developed in conjunction with trail rider groups and would authorize off-road vehicles in three areas on existing roads and trails. Many of those trails were created through illegal use.
After three years, the Forest Service would decide whether to keep the trails open.
By Bill Raack, KWMU
St. Louis, Mo. – The leader of a national veterans organization says the daily loss of lives among US troops in Iraq makes it difficult for his group to celebrate Veterans' Day this year.
David Cline is president of the St. Louis-based "Veterans For Peace". He says there is no justification for the pain that's being caused by the continued occupation of Iraq.
By Illinois Public Radio
Springfield, Ill. – Illinois' former U.S. Senator Paul Simon is supporting a proposed merger between Illinois Power and Commonwealth Edison.
Com-Ed has agreed to buy the downstate power company but also wants lawmakers to speed up the regulatory process and possibly help secure a rate increase.
Simon says the state's utility regulator, the Illinois Commerce Commission, would still have final say over those issues. But he thinks the legislation now pending in Springfield should pass now.
St. Louis, MO – A number of small Illinois communities along the path of the Lewis and Clark expedition have begun a celebration of the bicentennial of that historic voyage.
The events began over the weekend in Old Shawneetown on the Ohio River. They'll continue throughout November and December, as towns from Cairo to Cahokia will display exhibits retracing the journey.
Jefferson City, Mo. – Cole County Circuit Judge Pat Joyce todaysays it's possible that a six-year-old boy suspected of killing his grandfather could be charged as an adult.
Joyce says the state's minimum age for adult certification is 12, but that there are exceptions to the law in cases offirst-degree murder, second-degree murder and first-degree assault.
St. Louis – A spokesman for the Missouri Highway Patrol says troopers will maintain current levels of immigration law enforcement.
Authorities detained 17 undocumented Mexican immigrants Sunday in Franklin County after the truck in which they were traveling collided with a car.
Highway Patrol Captain Chris Ricks says there has not been a dramatic increase in immigrant trafficking in Missouri, but police are keeping an eye out for it.
St. Louis, MO – When Holden withheld nearly $200 million in public education funding earlier this year, more than a dozen school districts sought a court order to release the funds.
The districts had argued that the state constitution prohibits the governor from withholding school appropriations.
But Holden says he acted within his authority adding the withholdings would have been unnecessary had state lawmakers followed his recommendations:
St. Louis Public Radio is a service of the University of Missouri-St. Louis.