St. Louis Public Radio News
3:43 pm
Thu November 20, 2003

EPA Gives St. Louis Brownfield Cleanup Funds

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay (KWMU file photo)

St. Louis – Officials with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Thursday gave the city of St. Louis $400,000 to clean up old industrial sites known as brownfields.

Mayor Francis Slay said St. Louis has received more than $2 million in brownfield funds over the past several years.

"The city has been able to both identify and clean up a number of brownfields throughout the city, and thus has put such sites back into productive use," Slay said.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
3:28 pm
Thu November 20, 2003

No Child Left Behind Subject of Conference

(KWMU photo)

St. Louis, Mo. – The national educators' group Phi Delta Kappa started a four-day conference this morning in St. Louis aimed at helping school officials figure out what's expected of them.

The meeting will specifically address the federal No Child Left Behind law which establishes new standards that schools must meet or risk losing federal money.

Phi Delta Kappa's George Kersey says the law's intent is good but teachers can't lose sight of what's important.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
3:21 pm
Thu November 20, 2003

School Board's Sale of School Not to Highest Bidder

St. Louis, MO – The St. Louis School Board this week sold a historic school building, but not to the highest bidder.

Koman Properties now owns Theresa School, near SLU Hospital, and wants to raze it to build a shopping center. Prominent architect William Ittner built the school 98 years ago.

Board members say they were told it was not an Ittner building; and another company, City Blox, offered almost $175,000 more to preserve the school.

The winning developer has the backing of city officials.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
2:59 pm
Thu November 20, 2003

School Board Could Face Public Hearings

St. Louis, Mo. – A committee of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen considered a resolution Thursday to hold public hearings on the St. Louis school board's actions in hiring the district's interim management team.

Third ward alderman Freeman Bosley, Sr. first introduced the resolution in June, claiming that four recently elected school board members discussed hiring Alvarez and Marsal before the new board's first public meeting.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
9:24 am
Thu November 20, 2003

Special Ed Services Left Intact

Jefferson City, MO – Missouri's state Board of Education has backed off plans to reduce special education services for some Missouri pre-school children.

The board had considered changing just which youths with language impairments or developmental delays would be eligible for state aid. The intent was to save money; but more than 300 parents and teachers expressed concerns during a public comment period.

On Thursday, the board approved a final policy for special education services that leaves the pre-school eligibility as-is.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
4:20 pm
Wed November 19, 2003

Illinois Lawmakers Overhaul Capital Punishment System

(KWMU File Photo)

Springfield, Ill. –

A vote Wednesday by the Illinois House means historic changes to that state's death penalty system, in which 17 men were wrongly convicted, are now law.

The Illinois Supreme Court now has more power to toss out unjust verdicts. Mentally retarded suspects can't be sentenced to die, and there are new guidelines regarding police line-ups, including a requirement to record them.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
4:00 pm
Wed November 19, 2003

Lobbyists Want MO Sales Tax to Automatically Increase

(KWMU File photo)

Jefferson City, MO – A group of lobbyists wants to change Missouri's constitution so that sales taxes would automatically go up if revenue falls.

The Missouri Policy Group's goal is to get enough signatures for a question on next August's ballot.

The state isn't bringing in as much money at current tax rates, and nearly all government programs have seen some kind of funding cut.

A draft was turned in this week to the Secretary of State's office, which will decide whether to certify the proposal for a signature campaign.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
3:34 pm
Wed November 19, 2003

IL Senate President Performs Heimlich on Choking Diner

Emil Jones (State of Illinois photo)

Springfield, Ill. – Illinois Senate President Emil Jones may have saved a woman's life at a Springfield restaurant Tuesday night.

The Chicago Democrat was eating at a hotel restaurant when a woman nearby began choking. Jones rushed over and performed the Heimlich maneuver.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
3:03 pm
Wed November 19, 2003

A History of Illinois' U.S. Senators

'An Uncertain Tradition' (photo from SIU Press)

St. Louis, MO –

In its 185-year history, Illinois has had just 47 U.S. Senators. Aside from the fact that all but one has been a white man, each Senator has his or her own unique story that are now part of a new book called "An Uncertain Tradition.",

One of the book's co-authors is David Kenney, a retired professor from Southern Illinois University - Carbondale.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
2:55 pm
Wed November 19, 2003

Lawsuit Against Priest Dismissed

St. Louis, MO – A judge Tuesday dismissed charges against a Catholic priest because charges were filed too late.

Father Thomas Graham was accused of sexually abusing a boy in the 1970s; an appeal is expected. The next court will have to decide whether the statute of limitations that was in effect in the 70s should apply in this case.

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