St. Louis Public Radio News
2:22 pm
Mon December 29, 2003

Special Centers to Help Students Navigate Financial Aid

Springfield, Ill – Community college students in Illinois who want to go on to a four year school may find it easier to apply for financial help.

Both Illinois and the federal government offer ways to help students afford college, whether it's a grant, a scholarship or a loan.

But the applications can be confusing. The Illinois Student Assistance Commission is teaming up with community colleges to create a resource center where students can be guided through the process.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
2:14 pm
Mon December 29, 2003

St. Louis Red Cross Issues Blood Appeal

(file)

St. Louis – The American Red Cross in St. Louis has issued an emergency appeal for blood.

Blood donations are down more than a quarter compared to this time last year, and the agency is holding special blood drives beginning Monday and running through Sunday, Jan. 4.

Red Cross spokesman Jim Williams says the onslaught of influenza has kept many people from donating, and the usual holiday blood shortage is much worse than normal.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
1:13 pm
Mon December 29, 2003

Durbin Says Government has Poor Food Safety Record

Washington – Senator Dick Durbin, D-Ill., said he doesn't believe federal agencies have done enough to keep mad cow disease out of the United States.

Durbin said he isn't satisfied with the response by the Food and Drug Administration or the Agriculture Department to the recent discovery of an infected cow in Washington state.

Congressional investigators last year found weak enforcement of a ban on certain cattle feed considered the likely source of such infections.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
1:29 pm
Fri December 26, 2003

Authorities Investigate Strange Bridge Finding

St. Louis, MO – Police and firefighters in St. Louis today are using sonar to check the Mississippi River after a brief scare on a busy bridge yesterday. The tests were ordered after Coast Guard officials discovered a dangling wire from the Poplar Street Bridge's guardrail yesterday afternoon.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
4:37 pm
Wed December 24, 2003

Child Porn Conviction Against Beine Thrown Out

St. Louis, MO – A federal appeals court in St. Louis threw out a conviction against a priest on Tuesday.

The court said evidence against James Beine was illegally seized, so it threw out his four-year, nine-month sentence for possessing child pornography.

But the ruling does not affect a 12-year sentence Beine received in September for exposing himself to three boys while he was a counselor in a school. Beine is also known as Mar James.

The government says it's weighing its appellate options in light of the ruling.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
3:14 pm
Wed December 24, 2003

Police Believe Gangs, Drug Dealers Set McRee Town Fires

St. Louis, MO – Authorities believe a feud between gangs and drug dealers is the likely reason for more than a dozen fires set in the McRee Town neighborhood in south St. Louis City.

A 19-year old was booked on suspicion of arson this week but was released because of a lack of evidence. Police say six or seven people may be involved with the fires.

Of the homes that have burned, 13 were vacant and scheduled for demolition. Developers are trying to rehab the neighborhood, which has fallen into disrepair.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
2:56 pm
Wed December 24, 2003

Vandals Hit New Dorm at Lindenwood University

St. Charles, MO – St. Charles police are trying to find whoever caused about $10,000 damage at Lindenwood University this past weekend.

The school says someone apparently used a sledgehammer to break the locks off temporary doors one of two new $8 million dormitories under construction.

The vandals then smashed phones, a fax machine and a computer, and even drove a forklift through the university's baseball field, damaging the field and backstop.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
9:54 am
Wed December 24, 2003

Suspected Mad Cow Case Alarms Missouri Officials

St. Louis, MO – Missouri agriculture officials say there's no Missouri connection to the case of mad cow disease found in Washington Tuesday. Only Texas raises more cattle for human consumption than Missouri, though most cows are moved to other states before they're slaughtered.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
9:22 am
Wed December 24, 2003

Ryan's Trial Could Affect Republicans in Illinois

Springfield, Ill –

For three decades, George Ryan was at the front of the Illinois Republican Party. Along with terms as House Speaker, Lieutenant Governor, and Secretary of State. He capped his career with his 1998 election as Governor.

But now Ryan faces a string of corruption charges and will likely go to trial next year. On Tuesday, he pleaded innocent to those charges.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
4:45 pm
Tue December 23, 2003

New Post-Dispatch Contract Proposal Drops 'Open Shop'

These billboards will soon come down. (KWMU photo)

St. Louis, MO – The newest contract proposal from the Post-Dispatch to about 600 of its union workers drops a so-called "open shop" clause from the deal. That means affected employees would still have to pay union dues.

More meetings are planned to discuss the three-year deal. Union president and Post-Dispatch reporter Tim O'Neill said in an article in the paper that the open shop move will allow the union to remove billboards and radio ads that accuse the paper of union-busting.

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