St. Louis Public Radio News
10:55 am
Thu April 15, 2004

St. Louis Area Ordered to Improve Air Quality

(UPI file)

St. Louis – The federal government is holding the city of St. Louis plus eight area counties to a higher standard for clean air.

Starting in 2010, those areas will be required to meet the EPA's eight-hour ozone attainment standard, instead of the current one-hour standard.

Excluded from the EPA list is Ste. Genevieve County, Missouri. That's where the Holcim company wants to build the nation's largest cement plant.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
10:41 am
Thu April 15, 2004

Ryan, Obama Agree on Mercury Rules

Democrat Barack Obama (left) and Republican Jack Ryan.
(file)

Carterville, Ill. – Republican U.S. Senate candidate Jack Ryan says pending federal rules on mercury emissions would put Illinois coal at a disadvantage.

Ryan says he agrees with his opponent, Democratic Senate nominee Barack Obama, that the proposed rules should be changed so they don't favor Western coal over the kind mined in the Midwest.

Obama made his comments after touring Southern Illinois University's clean-coal research plant in Carterville Thursday with U.S. Senator Dick Durbin.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
9:16 am
Thu April 15, 2004

Senate Committee Sends Budget to Full MO Senate

(KWMU file photo)

Jefferson City, MO – The Missouri Senate's Budget Committee Wednesday passed 12 pieces of legislation that make up the state's budget for the next fiscal year.

The budget includes higher Medicaid reimbursements for nursing homes. It also showcases sharp differences of opinions on Medicaid spending between budget writers in the House and Senate.

The Senate committee rejected most of the cuts that the House made to the health care program for the poor, elderly, and disabled. The full Senate will now debate the spending plan.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
9:01 am
Thu April 15, 2004

Commerce Secretary Says Manufacturing Sector is Up

Commerce Secretary Don Evans talks to workers at Wainwright Industries in St. Peters.
(UPI)

St. Louis – The Labor Department said Thursday that the U-S unemployment rate jumped by a tenth of a percentage point, to 5.7 percent.

But Commerce Secretary Don Evans brought a positive message about the nation's economy to the St. Louis-area.

At a factory in St. Peters, Evans credited the President's tax cuts for a rebound in the manufacturing sector.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
4:10 pm
Wed April 14, 2004

American Pulse: St. Louis

St. Louis, MO – In the first of three stories about the national mood, NPR's John Ydstie met with a group of 30-somethings from St. Louis Wednesday.

The most important issues for them are local revitalization and Iraq. While most of the group did not vote for President Bush, there is division about the war in Iraq.

To hear the report as it aired on Wednesday's All Things Considered, click here.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
3:40 pm
Wed April 14, 2004

Property Owners File Another Lawsuit Over Gas Pool

Hartford, Ill. – Property owners in Hartford, Ill. are suing oil companies over a four million gallon pool of gasoline under their village.

The lawsuit seeks compensation from Premcor Refining Group and Apex Oil Company for the diminished value of their properties. It also seeks to make the defendants fund a health-monitoring program.

Residents have reported fumes from gas lake for more than 30 years.

In 2002, the state of Illinois detected dangerous levels of several hydrocarbons in some basements.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
3:36 pm
Wed April 14, 2004

Durbin Says Ethanol Should Be Out of Energy Bill

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.
(KWMU staff)

Edwardsville, Ill – Illinois Senator Dick Durbin says provisions that promote the production of ethanol should be removed from a federal energy bill that's bogged down in Congress.

A major sticking point in the original bill had been a liability exemption for producers of the fuel additive MTBE, which has been linked to contaminated drinking water.

Durbin says the bill has since been restructured, and that Senate Democrats are fighting to pass the ethanol measures independently.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
3:10 pm
Wed April 14, 2004

MO House Medicaid Cuts Might Not Survive Senate

(KWMU file photo)

Jefferson City, MO – A Missouri Senate committee could vote on the state budget this week. Committee members Tuesday agreed informally to keep Medicaid spending closer to what Governor Bob Holden has recommended.

That would mean cuts to the Medicaid program that were made in the House appear unlikely to survive.

The House voted to make it harder for thousands of Missourians to qualify for Medicaid and to cut some services. Their idea was to cut Medicaid to free up $13 million more for schools.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
1:43 pm
Wed April 14, 2004

St. Louisans React to Bush Press Conference

St. Louis, MO – Millions watched President Bush's press conference Tuesday night.

NPR's John Ydstie spent the evening with some people in the South Grand area of St. Louis City.

To hear the report that aired on NPR's Morning Edition, click here.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
1:21 pm
Wed April 14, 2004

Lawyers Debate 'Magnet Court' Status of Madison County

Former U.S. Atty. Gen. Griffin Bell (photo from King & Spalding)

St. Louis – A former U.S. Attorney General says asbestos-related lawsuits in Madison County, Illinois should be regulated.

Griffin Bell served in the Carter Administration. He's now a partner in a Georgia firm that has defended corporations in asbestos cases.

He says the large number of asbestos cases filed in Madison County warrants a federal investigation.

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