St. Louis Public Radio News
1:51 pm
Mon August 4, 2003

State Group Plans Lawsuit on School Funding

Jefferson City, MO – A group of more than 100 Missouri school districts has agreed to move forward with a lawsuit over the adequacy and equity of the state school funding system.

The Committee on Education Equality had a formal vote late yesterday, with 147 school districts agreeing to pursue a challenge of the funding formula rewritten a decade ago.

In 1990, education groups claimed that the school aid distribution method was unfair. A Cole County judge agreed, and in 1993, the Legislature enacted the current formula.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
1:04 pm
Mon August 4, 2003

Lambert Adds New Flights

Lambert Airport (file photo)

St. Louis – Lambert Airport is continuing to add new flights to make up for massive cuts in the American Airlines schedule.

Airport officials said Monday Air Canada will begin three daily nonstop flights from St. Louis to Toronto starting September 1. United Airlines is also adding daily departures to Washington and Denver.

This brings to 11 the number of new flights announced in the last week.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
11:42 am
Mon August 4, 2003

School Board Outlines Layoff Plan

William Roberti, Interim Superintendent
(file photo)

St. Louis, Mo. – Monday, the St. Louis school board will review a proposed budget that cuts more than 1,400 full-time employees.

Under the plan, 370 non-teaching staff would lose their jobs this month, with another 720 positions scheduled to be outsourced to private vendors starting in September.

Gateway High School teacher Byron Clemens opposes the plan. He believes the state of Missouri should audit the district to track down the causes for its reported $90-million deficit.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
11:40 am
Mon August 4, 2003

Red Cross Taking Over Some of Gateway's Functions

(KWMU File Photo)

St. Louis, MO – American Red Cross officials say they're adding personnel to handle blood donations in the St. Louis area, now that the other major blood supplier in the region has closed.

Gateway Blood Association announced last week that it would temporarily shut down due to financial problems. Gateway had supplied blood to about 30 area hospitals.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
9:56 am
Mon August 4, 2003

Cab Drivers Protest New Rules

(KWMU staff)

St. Louis – More than 30 St. Louis cab drivers protested outside the temporary offices of the Regional Taxicab Commission Monday. They are upset with some new rules they now have to follow.

Last month the commission took over regulating both St. Louis City and County cabs.

The drivers say some rules, such as the requirement to retire old cars, make it hard for them to stay in business. They say they can't afford new ones.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
4:15 pm
Fri August 1, 2003

Delta Adds Flights to Sparse Lambert Schedule

Lambert Airport Director Leonard Griggs cuts a ribbon at the Delta ticket counter to welcome new jet service.
(KWMU staff)

St. Louis – Delta Airlines has begun daily nonstop jet service from Lambert Airport in St. Louis to New York City and Atlanta.

The news is welcome to airport officials, who are trying to rebuild Lambert's flight schedule in the wake of cuts American Airlines announced last month.

Airport Director Leonard Griggs said the four new flights are the start of a rebound.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
3:56 pm
Fri August 1, 2003

Former Budget Director Calls Budget 'Train Wreck'

Jefferson City, MO – A former Missouri state budget director says the state's budget will resemble a 'train wreck' even if the economy improves.

Jim Moody's report says the budget has structural problems, and that there probably won't be enough money for all state services next July, when the next budget starts.

He adds the state has a low tax base and the state misinterpreted economic growth in the 1990s. Moody also questioned the elimination in 1997 of a 3% sales tax on food.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
3:00 pm
Fri August 1, 2003

Judge Says Taxi Commission Is Legal

(KWMU File Photo)

St. Louis, MO – A judge ruled Thursday that a new set of rules for taxi drivers is legal.

The ruling left in place the new Metropolitan Taxi Commission, which now regulates drivers in St. Louis city and county.

It affects nearly 1,900 drivers. The rules require them to speak English, follow a certain dress code, and retire their old cars.

The lawyer for a group of cabbies, Hermann Jimerson, says he will appeal; he says the rules restrict drivers' rights.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
2:53 pm
Fri August 1, 2003

Ill. State Employees Asking Customers to Sign Petitions

Springfield, ILL. – A group of Illinois state employees is asking customers at DMV's to sign petitions opposing budget cuts.

Governor Rod Blagojevich cut $48 million from the Secretary of State's office right before he signed it into law last month. Secretary of State Jesse White then froze wages and cut jobs.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
2:10 pm
Fri August 1, 2003

Ill. Supreme Court Reverses Pay Raise Order

Ill. Comptroller Dan Hynes (State of Illinois photo)

Springfield, Ill. – The Illinois Supreme Court has backed off an earlier decision regarding judicial pay raises.

The court had earlier said the state must pay scheduled cost-of-living pay raises to the state's judges, despite a gubernatorial veto on the pay increases.

The high court says it will allow the matter to go to trial, rather than forcing the hikes to judges be paid.

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