St. Louis Public Radio News
10:57 am
Fri May 23, 2003

AmerenUE Seeks Natural Gas Rate Hike

St. Louis, Mo. – Ameren-UE is asking the Missouri Public
Service Commission to approve a two-phase increase in natural gas delivery rates.

The proposal calls for a nine percent rate increase effective December 1, and another nine percent increase effective
November 1, 2004. If approved, Ameren officials say they won't seek additional delivery increases through November 1, 2006.

The average customer's bill would rise $16.26 after both increases.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
10:12 am
Fri May 23, 2003

Joe Maxwell Turns Down Run for U.S. Senate

Jefferson City, Mo. – Missouri's Lieutenant Governor, Joe Maxwell says he will not challenge Senator Kit Bond in next year's election.

Instead, the Democrat says he'll run for Lt. Gov. again. The party had been trying to recruit Maxwell to challenge Bond.

Bond hasn't announced a reelection bid but is expected to seek a fourth term. He is also a former Governor of Missouri.

Maxwell had said that he was seriously considering taking on Bond, who has declined to comment on a potential challenge.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
9:36 am
Fri May 23, 2003

Holiday Travelers Take to the Road

St. Louis, Mo. – Millions of people are expected to travel this holiday weekend - most of them by car.

Missouri's Highway Patrol will be out in force to watch for speeders, inattentive drivers and those impaired by alcohol. But Captain Christian Ricks says the "orange" terror alert level means more responsibilities for state troopers.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
2:57 pm
Thu May 22, 2003

Four Days, Four Vetoes for Holden

Missouri Gov. Holden

Jefferson City, MO – Missouri Governor Bob Holden's latest veto target is the bill that funds Missouri's public schools.

Holden said today that he would veto the $4.5 billion budget for the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

It's the latest move in his week-long crusade against the spending cuts approved by the Republican Legislature, before it
adjourned last Friday.

Holden is expected tomorrow to announce a date for a special legislative session on the budget.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
2:55 pm
Thu May 22, 2003

UM Curators Hike Tuition 20%

St. Louis – The University of Missouri's Board of Curators has raised tuition nearly 20 percent in response to proposed massive cuts the legislature made in the state's higher education budget.

The nine-member board passed the hike unanimously Thursday at a meeting in St. Louis. Board Member Sean McGinnis said he gave his support to the increase reluctantly.

"What we're doing affects some 60,000 students, and their families," McGinnis said. "And you can call it what you want, but ultimately it's a user tax on our students."

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St. Louis Public Radio News
1:31 pm
Thu May 22, 2003

East St. Louis Mayor Calls For Extortion Investigation

East St. Louis Mayor Carl Officer
(KWMU File Photo)

East St. Louis, Ill. – The Mayor of East St. Louis is asking for an investigation of possible extortion by some city officials.

Carl Officer said he requested the probe after more than five people came to his office to complain that city officials were forcing bribes and sex from people in return for city grant money.

"We will not stand for people being held hostage while other persons whose aims may be to fatten their own wallets at the expense of more city development," Officer said."

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St. Louis Public Radio News
1:01 pm
Thu May 22, 2003

Court: Doe Run Lawsuit Can't Be Heard in St. Louis

St. Louis, MO – An appeals court in St. Louis says a lawsuit over the Doe Run lead smelter in Herculaneum has no business being in St. Louis.

The Missouri Court of Appeals court says plaintiffs named a Doe Run vice president as a defendant merely to get the suits in the St. Louis court, where juries are often considered friendlier to plaintiffs. The panel ordered the cases transferred to a proper county.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
12:16 pm
Thu May 22, 2003

An Interview with NPR's Ombudsman

NPR Ombudsman Jeffrey Dvorkin
(Photo courtesy NPR)

St. Louis, MO –

Jeffrey Dvorkin has one of the oddest-sounding titles at National Public Radio. He is the network's ombudsman; the point man for listeners who have questions or concerns about news stories.

He visits NPR member stations on occasion, and Wednesday he was in St. Louis. He spoke with KWMU's Matt Sepic about his job, ethics in journalism, and where the word 'ombudsman' comes from.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
12:12 pm
Thu May 22, 2003

St. Charles Drug Distribution Company Shuts Down

St. Charles, MO – A drug distribution company in St. Charles has shut down its operations after a federal court ruling. A judge says Easy Returns' procedures for handling controlled substances were lax.

The company's license to handle drugs had been suspended; feds say the company posed a public safety risk because drugs went missing, and employees were later arrested for selling drugs illegally. The company is considering an appeal of the judge's decision.

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St. Louis Public Radio News
4:49 pm
Wed May 21, 2003

Third Veto in Three Days for Holden

Missouri Gov. Bob Holden
(KWMU File Photo)

Jefferson City, MO – Missouri Governor Bob Holden said Wednesday morning he will veto another budget bill, this time for Department of
Social Services.

The governor says the cuts passed by the Republican-led Legislature could deny Medicaid health care coverage to thousands of low-income Missourians.

Holden first announced his veto intentions at the Capitol this morning; he then planned to fly to Cape Girardeau and New Madrid, areas with higher percentages of residents dependent upon Medicaid.

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