Morning Round-up
7:53 am
Wed June 20, 2012

Morning Headlines - Wednesday, June 20, 2012

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Quinn will close two prisons, including Tamms

Rachel Otwell contributed reporting from Springfield, Ill.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn made it official on Tuesday - he will close two state prisons, including the state's supermax facility in Tamms.

Rep. Brandon Phelps, of Harrisburg, says he received a brief memo from Quinn, saying that Tamms and a prison in Dwight will close, as well as juvenile detention centers in Joliet and Murphysboro. That's despite legislators including money in the 2013 budget for the facilities.

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Loop Trolley
5:47 am
Wed June 20, 2012

Loop Trolley eyeing cars from Seattle

A model trolley car whizzes by in a window display at the Blueberry Hill Restaurant during a ceremony to announce that the St. Louis area received nearly $25 million in federal dollars for a new trolley system in University City, Mo. on July 9, 2011.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

There usually isn't much of a market for old streetcars, many of which were built in the 1920s. And the ones you can find are usually in pretty bad shape.

So when officials from the Loop Trolley project got a tip that five well-maintained cars were sitting in storage in Seattle, they headed west to investigate - and liked what they saw, said project manager Doug Campion.

"The fact that it's a full fleet, my goodness," Campion said. "This could be very good for us, very helpful."

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Economy
5:54 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

Study: St. Louis needs more immigrants to fuel local economy

via Flickr/KellyB.

St. Louis needs more immigrants. That’s the gist of a new report from St. Louis University.

Professor Jack Strauss presented the findings of his study Tuesday to city and county leaders, including St. Louis mayor Francis Slay and St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley, at a regional economic development conference.

At about 4.5 percent, Strauss says St. Louis has the lowest rate of immigration among the nation’s largest 20 cities.

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Birds Point Levee
5:49 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

Contractor dams Birds Point Levee rebuild with protest

Satellite images show the Birds Point-New Madrid floodway before (bottom) and after (top) the intentional breech of the levee.
(via Flickr/NASA Earth Observatory)

Reporting from KRCU’s Jacob McCleland.

Construction at the Birds Point-New Madrid Levee has come to a halt - a contractor protested the Army Corps of Engineers' bid process.

A&M Engineering and Environmental Services, from Tulsa, Oklahoma challenged the Corps’ decision to award the $2.4 million contract to rebuild the upper crevasse to Young’s General Contracting, from Poplar Bluff.
Corps spokesperson Jim Pogue says the Corps must now go through a thorough review process.

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Air Pollution - Diesel
5:46 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

Local tugboats to run cleaner with help of federal grant

The tugboat MSY Dorothy will get cleaner-burning engines this summer, paid for in part by a grant to JB Marine Service, Inc., from the Environmental Protection Agency.
Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio

Some Mississippi River tugboats will be getting an upgrade thanks to a federal grant aimed at reducing air pollution.

The more than $300,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency will go toward new, cleaner-burning diesel engines for the tugboats.

One of those boats was on view this morning at JB Marine Service, Inc., the barge cleaning and repair company that received the EPA grant.

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Terrorism
3:55 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

Former St. Louis airport cab driver sentenced to over 13 years in terrorism case

A refugee from Somalia who worked as an airport cab driver in St. Louis has been sentenced to more than 13 years in prison for providing money to a terrorist organization in Somalia.

The sentence for 31-year-old Mohamud Abdi Yusuf was handed down today in U.S. District Court in St. Louis. He pleaded guilty in November, admitting that he raised nearly $6,000 for al-Shabab, which was trying to overthrow the provisional government in Somalia.

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3:50 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

Jazz and Juneteenth: 5 songs which speak of the freedom struggle

Lead in text: 
According to the Missouri State Archives, Juneteenth is officially recognized today in 41 states, including Missouri. NPR Music provides this selection of "five recordings, picked by five musicians, which represent the triumphs and tribulations within the freedom struggle."
  • Source: Npr
  • | Via: NPR Music
Today, June 19, is a holiday known as Juneteenth - the oldest commemoration of slavery's end. Though the Emancipation Proclamation declared the freedom of slaves in Confederate states on Jan. 1, 1963, it was only on June 19, 1865 (months after Confederate forces had surrendered) that Union soldiers landed at Galveston, Texas, to spread news of the war's end, and to enforce the proclamation in Texas.
Election 2012
12:41 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

Mo. Supreme Court: Nasheed, Taylor to stay on Democratic primary ballots

The Missouri Supreme Court building in Jefferson City, Mo.
(via Flickr/david_shane)

Updated 4:34 p.m. with comments from Rep. Sylvester Taylor. 

Usually, the residency requirement for political candidates is just another box to check, but two cases involving St. Louis-area office-seekers have not been so clearly defined - until today.

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Developing: Paul McKee
11:52 am
Tue June 19, 2012

Mo. Supreme Court will hear McKee north St. Louis development case

The Missouri Supreme Court will consider the fate of Paul McKee's plan for a major redevelopment of north St. Louis.

The fate of a massive redevelopment in north St. Louis city will rest with the Missouri Supreme Court.

In an order issued today, the Missouri Court of Appeals for the Eastern District wrote that it agrees with a district court ruling throwing out developer Paul McKee's $8 billion plan for the 1,500-acre site, but "because of the general interest and importance of the questions involved, we order this cause transferred to the Missouri Supreme Court ..."

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Bats
10:15 am
Tue June 19, 2012

Endangered bats on vacation in Missouri and Illinois - and why biologists are tracking them

A little brown bat showing symptoms of white-nose syndrome in Greeley Mine, Vermont (April, 2009).
(Marvin Moriarity/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service)

Biologists are tracking the Indiana bat at their summer locations through sites in Missouri and Illinois, hoping to gather information that will help numbers rebound for the endangered species.

The bat hibernates in caves in the winter and summers in forested areas, most frequently in the central United States.

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