Anti contraceptive mandate
1:28 pm
Sat June 16, 2012

Thousands email Nixon about Mo. contraception bill

Gov. Jay Nixon

Thousands of emails and letters are flooding the Missouri governor's office as he decides whether to sign health insurance legislation.

The Republican-led Legislature approved a measure stating no employer or health plan provider can be compelled to provide coverage for abortion, contraception or sterilization if those items run contrary to their religious or moral convictions.

Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon has until mid-July to veto the bill, or it will take effect.

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Illinois Firefighters/Police
8:29 am
Sat June 16, 2012

Ill. law ensures police, others can do roadside charity

(via Flickr/Be.Futureproof)

Now, no one in Illinois can stop firefighters or police officers from collecting charitable donations on roads - even if they wanted to.

Under a new Illinois law, public safety officials can't be denied permits to collect money for charities from drivers along roadsides. Gov. Pat Quinn signed the law Friday and it takes effect immediately.

The governor's office says Illinois is the sixth state to adopt such a law. The others are Florida, Nebraska, Texas, California and North Carolina.

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Homeless Camps
5:26 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

Rice sues city for condemning homeless camp

Rev. Larry Rice is asking a US District Court of Missouri to review St. Louis' condemnation of his homeless camp, formerly located in the St. Louis neighborhood of Botanical Heights.
Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio

Reverend Larry Rice is suing the city of St. Louis and Public Safety Director Eddie Roth for condemning a homeless camp he tried to set up last month near Interstate 44. 

The federal lawsuit filed Friday claims Roth failed to give a hearing prior to closing down the vacant lot on Vandeventer and interfered the group’s religious freedom.

“They went and condemned that vacant ground," Rice said. "And in a matter of hours they told us we had to get off the property and if we didn’t that we’d be arrested – of which I was arrested. And there was no violation.”

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Young illegal immigrants
5:18 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

Mo. officials react to Pres. Obama's executive order on immigration

A group of young people attended a pro-immigration rally at the Mo. Capitol on March 6th, 2012.
Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri officials are both praising and condemning President Obama’s executive order today that halts deportation of teenage and young adult illegal immigrants.

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Teens / Drunk Driving
3:08 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

Do strict laws keep teens from driving drunk?

A chart illustrates data collected in the study, and shows the relationship between the percentage of states with graduated teen driving laws and the percentage of teens who drove after drinking themselves, or rode with a driver who had been drinking.
Patricia Cavazos-Rehg

New research out of Washington University suggests the answer is "yes" to our headline question - that laws restricting how late at night teens can drive or how many passengers they can have may also be keeping teens from driving drunk.

The study used data from 1999 to 2009 on teen drinking and driving in 45 states with graduated driving licensing laws.

Wash U. psychologist Patricia Cavazos-Rehg led the study. She says states adopted teen driving restrictions at different times, and that some states are stricter than others.

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Unused Medications
2:03 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

How to get those unused medications off your hands

A new effort is under way to help St. Louis-area residents get rid of unwanted prescription and over-the-counter medications.

The program announced Friday sets up four collection boxes at St. Louis County police precincts. There is no charge and residents can turn in the medications anonymously.

The effort is a partnership among police, St. Louis College of Pharmacy, Missouri American Water and Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District. The goal is to keep medications out of the wrong hands and to protect the environment from improper disposal of medications.

 

Energy Electric
1:18 pm
Fri June 15, 2012

Southern Ill. power plant Energy Electric Inc. to cut 44 jobs

(via Flickr/[F]oxymoron)

A coal-fired power plant in southern Illinois will shed nearly four dozen jobs in the next two months.

Energy Electric Inc. President Bill Sheppard says 19 of the 44 job cuts will be management personnel with the Joppa-based company. Twenty-five union workers in the company with about 233 employees will be laid off Aug. 11.

Sheppard says the reductions are fallout from the struggling economy and wholesale supplier prices that had fallen by 60 percent in 2008 and an additional 15 percent last year. He says drop-offs in the price of natural gas also are a factor.

Morning round-up
9:21 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Morning headlines - Friday, June 15, 2012

Rams and CVC enter arbitration

The St. Louis Rams are heading to arbitration over what to do about the Edward Jones Dome. The St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission, which runs the facility and leases it to the Rams, voted Thursday to begin the arbitration process. The two sides remain far apart on plans to upgrade the dome. The 30-year lease signed when the Rams moved to St. Louis from Los Angeles prior to the 1995 season requires the dome to be among the top quarter of NFL stadiums in 15 separate categories. If it isn't, the team can break the lease after the 2014 season. Negotiations began in February with the CVC proposing $124 million in improvements. The Rams countered with a much broader plan that city officials said could cost $700 million.

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State Govt. contracting
5:09 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

New Mo. House committee to examine state govt. contracts

Missouri House of Representatives.
UPI/Bill Greenblatt

A new temporary committee has been created in the Missouri House to examine how the Governor’s Office of Administration (OA) awards government contracts.

The Interim Committee on Government Bidding and Contracting may also be used to recommend new legislation for next year’s regular session.  State Representative Sue Allen (R, Town and Country) will chair the committee.  She says last year’s controversy surrounding former Medicaid contractor SynCare LLC played a part in the committee’s creation.

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MO Statehouse
4:18 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

Missouri no-call list extends to cellphones

Gov. Jay Nixon signed the expansion of the state's no-call list into law at the South County Senior Resource Center in St. Louis Thursday.
Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri cellphone users can now register their numbers on the state’s no-call list under a bill signed by Governor Jay Nixon Thursday.

The law prohibits telemarketers from calling or texting those who sign up and gives the attorney general’s office the power to punish violators.  

Attorney General Chris Koster says the law expands Missouri’s no-call list enacted 12 years ago for land lines.   

“12 years ago the no-call list saved the dinner hour in this state," Koster said. "Today’s action extends that protection to a new technological era.”

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