St. Louis Public Radio News
10:57 am
Mon May 17, 2004

Fireworks Executive Pleads Guilty

St. Louis, MO – A former executive of two sister fireworks companies pleaded guilty Monday to a federal count of lying to investigators.


The case against Russell Nickel is the last of several that followed three serious explosions at a Jefferson County plant that made fireworks for Pyro Products and its sister company, Next FX, Inc.


Two workers died and five others were hurt. None of the executives were accused in the deaths or injuries.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
2:05 pm
Sat May 15, 2004

End of Missouri Spring Session

(KWMU file photo)

Jefferson City, MO –

Missouri lawmakers ended their legislative session last Friday. Missy Shelton prepared this wrap-up of what bills received legislative approval this year.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
4:23 pm
Fri May 14, 2004

Blagojevich Abandons Plans for Education Dept.

(KWMU file photo)

Springfield, Ill. –

Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich on Thursday scrapped the idea of creating a new state Department of Education.

In January, he criticized the state's Board of Education as a "Soviet-style bureaucracy." He urged lawmakers to let him take control of the agency which oversees the state's schools.

But his plan met with opposition from House Speaker Michael Madigan.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
3:09 pm
Fri May 14, 2004

Review of Action on Second-to-last Day of MO Session

(KWMU file photo)

Jefferson City, MO – Missouri lawmakers' spring session will be done at 6-oclock tonight (Friday). They passed a number of measures yesterday.

Here is a list of legislation they passed, most of which was then sent to Governor Holden for his signature or veto:

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St. Louis Public Radio News
1:14 pm
Fri May 14, 2004

Missouri Voters Will Decide Gay Marriage Amendment

Jefferson City, MO – Missouri voters will decide this fall whether a ban on gay marriage should become part of the state constitution.
In the final minutes of the session, the House voted to place the measure on the state-wide ballot. The resolution passed on 124-to-25 in the House. Earlier it
cleared the Senate by a 26-to-6 vote.
The question will go on the November ballot unless Governor Bob Holden decides to place it on the August primary ballot.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
12:02 pm
Fri May 14, 2004

Teacher Suspended Over Dog Comment

St. Louis, MO – A teacher has been suspended after being overheard saying that her dog is smarter and cleaner the most of the children she teaches.

The Riverview Gardens High School teacher is reported to have made the remark after being told she couldn't bring her dog into a school board meeting Tuesday night.

The district's superintendent says no teacher should have that kind of attitude.

Bobbi Small, a school board member, says she overheard the remark.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
10:29 am
Fri May 14, 2004

MO Malpractice Override Fails by 12 Votes

(KWMU file photo)

Jefferson City, MO –

Today (Friday) is the final day for the lawmakers' spring session at the Missouri Capitol in Jefferson City.

Lawmakers Thursday sent a number of pieces of legislation to the governor.

But House lawmakers also took time to try to revive one measure that the governor vetoed last month. That measure would have set limits on personal injury lawsuits in Missouri.

A vote to override that veto failed by 12 votes.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
10:16 am
Fri May 14, 2004

Lewis & Clark Re-enactors Leave On Journey

Reenactors board their replica keelboat Friday in Hartford, Ill.
(KWMU staff)

Hartford, IL –

A crew of historic re-enactors began a journey up the Missouri River Friday afternoon. They're re-tracing the route that explorers Lewis and Clark took on their famous westward journey 200 years ago. In spite of wind and rain, several hundred people watched as the boats departed from a riverbank north of Hartford, Illinois.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
10:03 am
Fri May 14, 2004

SIUE Gets New Chancellor

New SIUE Chancellor Vaughn Vandegraft (SIUE photo)

Edwardsville, Ill. – Southern Illinois University officials named Vaughn Vandegrift to be the Edwardsville campus's new chancellor on Thursday.

He's been provost at Georgia Southern University for the past four years, and calls SIUE a vibrant metropolitan university.

The 57-year old New Jersey native will replace David Werner, who is retiring July First after seven years as chancellor.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
9:02 am
Fri May 14, 2004

Labor Unions Protest Bush Visit

A protestor holds a sign at a union rally just prior to Pres. Bush's arrival in St. Louis.
KWMU Photo

St. Louis, MO – About 100 union members picketed the president's campaign fundraiser outside Hunter Engineering, an automotive services equipment plant in Bridgeton. The plant has lost 135 jobs since the 1980's. Referring to the war in Iraq, the St. Louis Labor Council's Robert Soutier questioned the president's support for U.S. workers:

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