St. Louis Public Radio News
10:36 am
Thu December 4, 2003

Five Fires Strike McRee Town

St. Louis, MO – Firefighters battled five separate blazes that broke out in within about 90 minutes of each other in the city's McRee Town neighborhood.

One firefighter who suffered a back injury was treated and released from St. Louis University hospital, and paramedics treated a second person for smoke inhalation at the scene.

Fire Department spokeswoman Capt. Kim Bacon says city firefighters were stretched thin:

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St. Louis Public Radio News
4:28 pm
Wed December 3, 2003

Sarah Steelman Drops Run for MO Sec. of State

MO State Sen. Sarah Steelman (State of Missouri photo)

St. Louis, MO – Missouri State Senator Sarah Steelman, of Rolla, will not run for Secretary of State after all.

Instead, the Republican plans to run for State Treasurer. That decision clears the way for House Speaker Catherine Hanaway to run for secretary of state without much opposition in the primary.

Current Secretary of State Matt Blunt is running for Governor. The current Treasurer, Nancy Farmer, will run for U.S. Senate.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
4:08 pm
Wed December 3, 2003

County Council Approves $45M Loan for Cardinals

Busch Stadium was built in the 1960s.(KWMU file photo)

St. Louis, MO – The St. Louis County Council gave its unanimous approval Tuesday night to a $45 million financing deal for a new Cardinals Stadium downtown.

The money is technically a loan; the Cardinals will have 30 years to repay it.

County Executive Charlie Dooley says the loan will burden county taxpayers because it will come from the hotel-motel tax.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
3:55 pm
Wed December 3, 2003

Former Sen. Paul Simon Might Need Heart Surgery

Former U.S. Senator Paul Simon

Springfield, Ill. – Illinois' former U.S. Senator Paul Simon might need heart surgery this week. He's in Springfield to undergo tests.

Mike Lawrence, of the Public Policy Institute in Carbondale that Simon now directs, says the former Senator has had symptoms that suggest a possible heart valve problem. Those symptoms include shortness of breath.

"There is a definite possibility that he will need to have a repair or possibly a replacement, but that's not a given at this point," Lawrence said.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
2:35 pm
Wed December 3, 2003

St. Louis Schools Hire New COO

St . Louis, MO – The St. Louis Board of Education has appointed a new chief operating officer.

Manuel Silva will replace acting COO Karen Marsal in about a month. Silva will oversee functions including building and grounds, food service and transportation.

He will be paid $200,000 a year plus benefits. His contract also calls for him to receive a $30,000 bonus if he successfully completes six specific district initiatives.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
1:51 pm
Wed December 3, 2003

AP: New St. Louis Archbishop Warns Wisc. Lawmakers

Archbishop-elect Raymond Burke (KWMU photo)

La Crosse, Wisc. – The Associated Press reports St. Louis's incoming archbishop has told at least three Wisconsin lawmakers he would have to ask them to not present themselves to receive sacraments, if they don't vote more in line with Catholic Church policies.

Bishop Raymond Burke tells the lawmakers in letters they risk their spiritual well being if they don't change their opinion on abortion and other issues.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
1:07 pm
Wed December 3, 2003

Smithton Teachers' Strike Enters Week Two

Smithton, ILL. – Teachers in the Metro-East town of Smithton Tuesday rejected a new contract offer from the school board.

That unanimous vote extends the teachers' strike into its second week. The proposed contract would have given a 3% raise in the first year and a 1.65% raise in the second year.

But it would also have capped the district's contributions to teacher health insurance premiums at $4,400. That's something the teachers' union has opposed.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
12:54 pm
Wed December 3, 2003

PSC Hears Testimony In Water Rate Hike Request

St. Louis, MO – The Missouri-American Water Company says the rate hike is necessary to upgrade its aging infrastructure.

However, the staff of the Missouri Public Service Commission is countering that request by instead seeking a $20-million dollar annual revenue reduction.

Missouri-American president Eric Thornburg says water service is a business that requires a lot of capital investment:

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St. Louis Public Radio News
11:54 am
Wed December 3, 2003

Schools Argue Education Cuts to MO Sup. Court

Jefferson City, MO – The Missouri Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday over whether the governor has the power to cut funding for schools.

Fourteen school districts, most of them in the Kansas City area, sued after Governor Bob Holden cut nearly $200 million education dollars this summer.

He says he did that because the budget lawmakers passed for this year spends more than the state has.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
10:11 am
Wed December 3, 2003

Legislation Filed to Allow Toll Roads in MO

(MO-DOT photo)

Columbia, Mo. – A Missouri lawmakers has filed legislation that would pave the way for toll roads in the state.

Democratic Representative Jeff Harris of Columbia says the legislation would let Missouri voters decide if the state constitution should be amended to allow toll roads.

Harris says the state's roads are in disrepair to the point of being dangerous. And he says Missourians are ready to help pay for improvements.

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