St. Louis Public Radio News
11:08 am
Fri June 4, 2004

Labor Department Reports Steady Jobless Numbers

Small Business Administration chief Hector Barreto (R) gets a closer look at a metal lathe with Rep.Todd Akin (R-Mo) during a visit to Schaffner Machine Co. in Berkeley. (UPI Photo/Bill Greenblatt)

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.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
11:07 am
Fri June 4, 2004

Kansas City-Area Sheriffs Begin Issuing Concealed Gun Permits

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.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
11:05 am
Fri June 4, 2004

Interview with Ill. Gov. Blagojevich, Parts 1 & 2

Gov. Blagojevich (State of Illinois photo)

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 ---->

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St. Louis Public Radio News
10:22 am
Fri June 4, 2004

Missouri National Guardsmen No Longer Escorting Contractors

Gov. Bob Holden. (file)

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.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
3:16 pm
Thu June 3, 2004

Auditor Says Missouri Legislature Wasted Money

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.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
2:33 pm
Thu June 3, 2004

L. Madigan Blocks Lease Deal, Blagojevich Blames Her Dad

Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan (KWMU file photo)

Chicago, Ill. – Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan ruled Thursday the state cannot take a $200 million loan against a state office building in Chicago (the Thompson Center).

The deal is part of Governor Rod Blagojevich's plan to balance the state budget. The mortgage was supposed to help.

The governor immediately said the move was political retaliation for disputes he's having with Madigan's father, House Speaker Michael Madigan.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
1:11 pm
Thu June 3, 2004

Joyner-Kersee to Headline Olympic Celebration

Joyner-Kersee will run the last leg of the relay into Forest Park June 17. (KWMU staff)

St. Louis – Three-time gold-medalist and East St. Louis native Jackie Joyner-Kersee will headline a celebration at the end of the Olympic Torch Relay in St. Louis later this month.

The run will start at the Arch on June 17th and wind its way along a 34-mile route to Art Hill in Forest Park.

Joyner-Kersee will be the final torchbearer. She said its an honor to return home for the event.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
11:50 am
Thu June 3, 2004

IL Leaders Meet to Discuss Base Closing Strategy

Washington, DC – Illinois' congressional delegation met Thursday with state officials and consultants to map out a strategy to save all of the state's military installations - including Scott AFB - from the Pentagon's next round of base closings.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin set up the meeting with one simple theme: "We are not going to save a base in Illinois at the expense of another base in Illinois."

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St. Louis Public Radio News
11:41 am
Thu June 3, 2004

Racial Harassment Alleged at St. Louis Area Fire District

bridgeton, MO – The Justice Department is accusing a suburban St. Louis fire district of racial harassment.

The lawsuit from the federal government says the Pattonville-Bridgeton Fire District created a racially hostile work environment and drove out its only black firefighter.

Among the complaints is an accusation that a co-worker carved a racial slur into the black firefighter's car. The complaint also charges that white co-workers got different pay and benefits than the black firefighter.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
11:33 am
Thu June 3, 2004

Arch Boosters Hope to Raise Funds with new License Plate

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay holds the first Missouri Arch license plate. The new plate will generate funds to help maintain and enhance educastional exhibits at the Arch. (UPI Photo/Bill Greenblatt)

St. Louis – A St. Louis non-profit group is launching a public fundraising campaign to support programs at the Gateway Arch.

The Jefferson National Parks Association is sponsoring a special Missouri state license plate featuring an image of the arch and the slogan, "Gateway to the West."

Peggy O'Dell is the superintendent of the Jefferson National Expansion Memorial, which works in partnership with the group.

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