Edwardsville, ILL. – Edwardsville attorney John Simmons is pulling out of the race for U.S. Senate in Illinois. He announced his candidacy two months ago but now says he'll support state Comptroller Dan Hynes instead. More than a half-dozen candidates are seeking the seat being vacated by Republican Peter Fitzgerald.
Now that he's out of the race, Simmons says he'll devote his time to reopening a steelmill and helping the Democratic Party in the 2004 race.
St. Louis, MO – Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon claims MCI, AT & T and Southwestern Bell have violated the federal Telephone Consumer Protection Act by continuing to call Missouri residents for a one-year period after the consumers asked them to stop.
In Missouri, phone companies are exempt from the state's No Call List. Nixon says his federal suit is part of a new offensive to block telemarketers from using that loophole:
Jefferson City, MO – The director of Missouri's Department of Agriculture, Lowell Mohler, is stepping down to take a job with the state's Conservation Commission.
Mohler was named Ag director in January 2001. Peter Hoffher, the deputy director, will head the department in the interim. Mohler's appointment to the Conservation Commission needs state Senate approval.
Mohler was nominated Tuesday by Governor Bob Holden for the commission job; he replaces Howard Wood of Bonne Terre.
Fairview Heights, Ill. – Illinois Senator Peter Fitzgerald's office says they are as surprised as anyone that Miriam Miquelon quit as southern Illinois' top federal prosecutor. Fitzgerald has not said when he'll nominate someone to replace her.
Miquelon announced her resignation as southern Illinois' U.S. attorney Tuesday, less than a year into her term. She said she wanted to earn more money than her current $120,000 salary.
St. Louis, MO – An often boisterous meeting of the St. Louis school board Tuesday night gave the public a chance to hear about the reorganization plan offered by the interim management team now running the district.
The team says it has streamlined operations by reducing the number of people who report directly to the superintendent.
In terms of instructional improvements, educational adviser Rudolph Crew says the district's ability to deliver books by the first day of school will be a critical benchmark of success.
Jefferson City, MO – Missouri's state Constitution gives Governor Bob Holden until Monday (July 14)to either sign or veto 99 remaining measures from this year's spring session of the General Assembly. The governor's staff says he expects to complete the job by Friday.