St. Louis, MO – Enrollment at Missouri's largest public school district has reached an all-time low. St. Louis Schools are now teaching fewer than 38,895 students and officials expect to lose more than 1,800 more next fall.
Enrollment was 52,000 in 1982. The school system says much of the enrollment decline is the result of people moving out of the City. But they also note competition from other schools, especially charter schools.
A ninth St. Louis charter school is set to open this fall.
Jefferson City, MO – State investigators on Wednesday blamed natural gas escaping from a service line for an explosion that destroyed a house in suburban Manchester in December.
Four people were injured in the explosion.
The Missouri Public Service Commission says pressure from tree roots forced a service line to pull out of its connection to the gas main. The gas migrated into the house, ignited, causing the explosion.
Springfield, Ill – Nearly five months after signing a tough new ethics law, Governor Rod Blagojevich still has not picked the members of commission that will help enforce it.
Republican state Senator Kirk Dillard Thursday said he is "deeply disappointed" by the lack of activity.
But a Blagojevich aide says the governor is working on it and hopes to announce the nominees in the next month or two. He is having trouble finding high-quality candidates who aren't active in Illinois politics.