St. Louis Public Radio News
10:08 am
Tue March 9, 2004

Audit Says Sewer Treatment Program Not Used Enough

Jefferson City, MO – A new state audit says Missouri communities aren't utilizing a program to improve their sewer systems enough.

The Department of Natural Resources runs a so-called Clean Water State Revolving Fund.

That fund is sitting on $260 million, mostly federal money, that could be used to give towns low-interest loans.

The report says the balance is so big because it takes so long for communities to apply.

The audit also says the financing program is too complicated.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
4:33 pm
Mon March 8, 2004

St. Louis School Board to Discuss Possible Budget Cuts


St. Louis – St. Louis school officials are preparing for what may be a contentious meeting Tuesday night.

The board will discuss a range of options for staving off a $23 million budget gap next fiscal year.

Those options include staff cuts and salary and benefit reductions. The board will not take action on the proposals during the meeting.

Chief financial officer Harry Rich says the district's immediate goals are to slow overspending and pay back money borrowed from the desegregation settlement.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
4:04 pm
Mon March 8, 2004

Historians Disagree Over New Ballpark Site

St. Louis – The St. Louis Cardinals new stadium is the site of a disagreement over the city's archaeological history.

Some contend the stadium is being built on top of centuries of St. Louis history, including the former site of pens that once held slaves.

Other historians argue construction in the 1960s on the current Cardinals ball park makes it a poor site for study.

The Cardinals say if workers find something significant, it will be preserved.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
3:01 pm
Mon March 8, 2004

Arch Coal Will Sell Mine, Once it Owns It

St. Louis, MO – St. Louis-based Arch Coal plans to sell a mine it doesn't yet own.

Arch is currently awaiting federal approval to buy Vulcan Coal. Vulcan owns the Buckskin mine in Wyoming.

Arch said in its annual report released this morning (Monday) that it will immediately sell the Buckskin mine once the sale with Vulcan is final.

Kiewit Mining Acquisition Company will pay Arch $82 million for the mine.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
2:53 pm
Mon March 8, 2004

Campaign Will Aim at Predatory Lenders

St. Louis, MO – Civic leaders and housing officials will announce a campaign to fight predatory lenders today (Monday).

The program features a hotline homebuyers can call to get legal and financial advice to avoid unscrupulous lending practices.

Local housing officials say African-Americans are often illegally steered towards homes in certain communities.

Missouri Congressman William Lacy Clay says solving that problem takes broad cooperation.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
12:55 pm
Mon March 8, 2004

Bond Says Highway Bill Won't Raise Deficit

(UPI file)

St. Louis – Missouri Republican Senator Kit Bond says a highway bill now in the U.S. House will not raise the federal deficit.

The Senate has approved a six-year, $318 billion highway package. But the White House wants to spend less on the measure, and threatens to veto the legislation.

Bond says his argument to the president is that the bill is already paid for.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
10:51 am
Mon March 8, 2004

Clay: City and County Should Merge Back Together

KWMU file photo of U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay

St. Louis, MO – As a group of St. Louisans studies ways to make its city government more efficient, Missouri Congressman William Lacy Clay is asking the group to consider the idea of St. Louis city rejoining St. Louis County.

The City of St. Louis split from St. Louis County in 1876, but the city retained many of the same functions performed in each Missouri county.

Clay says reentry back into the county might end duplicated services that would improve the quality of life and save money.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
10:17 am
Mon March 8, 2004

Illinois to Use Internet to Report Disease Outbreaks

Springfield, ILL – Reporting infectious diseases to Illinois
officials soon will be a computer-mouse click away.

The Public Health Department says a Web-based reporting system will help them identify potential bioterrorism and emerging infectious diseases days earlier than the current paper reporting

The state is installing the electronic reporting system this
month at health departments in Chicago and nine counties.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
9:44 am
Mon March 8, 2004

Students Will Pick Up More UM Tab Than State

Columbia, MO – Students will pay more of the University of Missouri's budget this year than the state.

Tuition and fees account for 44.6% of money the the four-campus system has for this current fiscal year's budget.

State funding is about 42.2%.

Administrators say it's the first time in anyone's memory that tuition makes up more of the budget than state funding.

Four years ago state appropriations were 58% greater than tuition revenues.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
3:00 pm
Fri March 5, 2004

John Ashcroft Hospitalized in Washington

U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft (Reuters file photo)

Washington, DC – U.S Attorney General John Ashcroft is in a Washington hospital this morning (Friday).

His spokesman says the former Missouri Governor and Senator has a bad case of gallstone pancreatitis.

The Justice Department says the 61-year-old Ashcroft was taken Thursday night to the emergency room at George Washington University Hospital after complaining of stomach pains.

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