Columbia, Mo. – Stiffer penalties are now on the books for violations of Missouri's open meetings law.
Governor Holden signed the changes at a ceremony Monday in the shadow of the University of Missouri school of journalism.
He says the changes should do more to give citizens access to government.
Before Monday, the Sunshine Law capped possible fines for "purposeful" violations at $500.
Jefferson City, Mo. – Missouri state revenue collections fell by double-digit figures in May. But officials say that's no cause for concern because numbers are still up for the year.
Net general revenue for May fell 14 percent, to $406 million, compared with May 2003.
But budget director Linda Luebbering says that's because more tax refunds were paid in May, whereas many weren't completed until June last year.
For the first eleven months of the fiscal year, net revenues have increased 3.2 percent.
By Tom Weber, KWMU
St. Louis – St. Peters is playing temporary home to the country's best divers.
Trials that start Monday will determine who represents the U.S. in this summer's Olympic Games in Athens.
Doug Bray, with the St. Louis Sports Commission, says it's a chance to see the best of the best.
Rome – Former Senator John Danforth of Missouri is President Bush's choice for U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
The president announced the choice Friday in Rome.
The St. Louis Republican is well liked on both sides of the political aisle.
If confirmed by the Senate, Danforth would succeed the current ambassador, John Negroponte, Bush's choice to be ambassador to Iraq.
Since 2001, Danforth has been Bush's special envoy to war-torn Sudan. He served in the Senate for 18 years.
By Kevin Lavery & Tom Weber, KWMU
St. Louis, MO – Traffic in downtown St. Louis was snarled this morning at Chestnut and Broadway because of an accident between a Metro Bus and School Bus.
Police say 24 kids were on the bus; all were taken to a local hospital with apparently minor injuries.
The buses jumped the sidewalk around 7:15 this morning (Friday) and ran into a fence that surrounds the Old Courthouse.
A man walking his dog was also hit. He's in critical condition; the dog is dead.
By Matt Sepic, KWMU
St. Louis – The Labor Department said today the U.S. unemployment rate held steady last month at 5.6 percent.
Across the economy, American businesses added about 248,000 new jobs in May.
In St. Louis today, Hector Barreto head of the Small Business Administration--said the President's tax cuts are largely responsible.
"As I've gone around the country talking to small businesses, they've told me, I know exactly when my business started turning around. It was last July after that law passed,'" Barreto said.
Kansas City – Sheriffs in two Kansas City-area counties say they're ready to process concealed weapons permits.
Clay County plans to start in mid-August, and Platte County intends to release details in a few weeks.
As of yesterday, 87 of the state's 114 counties and three police departments in Boone County have been processing applications.
There's still some confusion about how to reimburse counties for handling the permit applications.
By Bill Wheelhouse, IL Public Radio
Springfield, Ill. – Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich took some time to sit down with reporters one-on-one this week as his office and leaders in the state House and Senate try to break a budget deadlock.
He spoke with Illinois Public Radio's Bill Wheelhouse.
To hear the first part of the interview,click here ---->
Jefferson City, Mo. – Governor Holden says Missouri National Guard members are no longer being used to escort employees of a private contractor in Iraq.
Holden had complained about the practice in a letter to President Bush last month.
His complaint came after the state's National Guard leader told him families from the 1221st Transportation Company were worried about the troops' safety.
Jefferson City, Mo. – A report from the state auditor Thursday says the Missouri House needlessly spent $56,000 to hire a private company to audit its operations.
The audit also says the Senate offered a retirement plan to workers that went beyond what's authorized by law.
The report from the office of State Auditor Claire McCaskill, a Democrat, says House auditing could have been done internally.
St. Louis Public Radio is a service of the University of Missouri-St. Louis.