Education / East St. Louis
12:06 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

East St. Louis superintendent: student test scores inflated by teachers

(via Flickr/albertogp123)

The school superintendent in East St. Louis says some teachers used "inappropriate strategies and techniques" to inflate students scores on standardized achievement tests.

District 189 Superintendent Arthur Culver told the Belleville News-Democrat's editorial board on Wednesday that elementary test scores will likely drop this year. Culver didn't call the teachers' actions cheating and he didn't cite any schools by name. He also didn't describe or give examples of the questionable methods the teachers allegedly used.

Read more
Wildlife Conservation
11:12 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Swift fox kits born at Endangered Wolf Center

One of the swift fox kits born four weeks ago at the Endangered Wolf Center in Eureka.
Regina Mossotti, Endangered Wolf Center

A litter of three swift foxes, two females and one male, has been born at the Endangered Wolf Center in Eureka – the first in a dozen years. The four-week-old foxes will get their first round of vaccinations today.

The kits are being raised by a trio of adult foxes – the breeding female’s sister is helping the parents care for their young.

Read more
10:31 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Flag Day: Oh, say, what do you see?

Lead in text: 
In honor of Flag Day (or Flag Week, as the link from NPR below points out) we want to know, what do you think when you see the Stars and Stripes? Reply on Twitter at #flagdaystl.
June 14 is the day chosen by Congress in 1949 as Flag Day in the U.S., an action officially signed into law by President Harry Truman. But it's not just a single day - the observance lasts for a week.
Asian Carp
10:11 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Developers detail planned Asian carp-processing plant in Grafton, Ill.

Cleaning an Asian carp for food preparation.
(via Flickr/lsgcp)

Updated 5:04 p.m. with more details.

The tiny riverfront community of Grafton, Ill. has announced plans to build a plant to process Asian carp culled from the Mississippi and Illinois rivers.

The plant represents a $5.4 million joint venture between American Heartland Fish in Grafton, Falcon Protein, based in Alabama, and Wuhan Hui Chang Real Estate, a Chinese investment group.

Grafton Mayor Tom Thompson says the new plant will provide a welcome influx of good paying jobs.

Read more
Developing: Illinois Medicaid
8:52 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Quinn signs Medicaid cuts, cigarette tax hike

Ill. Gov. Pat Quinn has signed legislation making $1.6 billion in cuts to Medicaid and increasing the state's tobacco tax by a dollar.

This story will be updated.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has signed nearly $1.6 billion worth of cuts to Medicaid into law.

His signature means that nearly 25,000 working parents will lose state-funded health care on July 1. Regular dental care is being eliminated for adults. Those who need eyeglasses will be able to get a new pair once every two years. And patients who take more than four prescription drugs will have to get prior approval from the state.

Quinn this morning also signed a dollar-a-pack increase in the state’s cigarette tax.

Morning round-up
6:33 am
Thu June 14, 2012

Morning headlines - Thursday, June 14, 2012

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Missouri's no-call list set to expand

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon will be in St. Louis today to sign legislation that allows people to add cellphones to the state’s Do Not Call list.

Nixon created the list when he was attorney general. Cellphone numbers added to the list would be off limits to most solicitations, including text messages.

Attorney General Chris Koster, whose office maintains the list, is expected to join Nixon. Koster says his office gets nearly 200 complaints a week from cellphone users about unwanted telemarketing calls.

Read more
"Smishing" scam
5:21 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

Mo. AG Koster warns of 'smishing' scam targeting smart phones

(via Flickr/denharsh)

The Missouri Attorney General’s office is warning the public of a new scam that’s targeting smartphone and cellphone users.

The scam is known as "smishing," and it involves text messages telling recipients that they’ve won prizes or gift cards from big-name retailers such as Wal-Mart or Costco and instructs them to claim them by clicking on a link.  Attorney General Chris Koster (D) says clicking the link will infect phones with malware that gives identity thieves access to personal information.

Read more
Election 2012
5:08 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

Judge: Nasheed 'ineligible' to run in 5th District, case goes to Mo. Supreme Court

Missouri state Rep. Jamilah Nasheed (D, St. Louis).
(Tim Bommel/Mo. House of Representatives)

Whether Mo. House member Jamilah Nasheed will qualify to be on the Democratic primary ballot against incumbent Sen. Robin Wright-Jones in the 5th Senate District is now up to the Missouri Supreme Court.

The Missouri Court of Appeal's Eastern District said in a ruling Wednesday that Nasheed does not appear to meet the residency requirement for running in the 5th District. But the court transferred the case to the state Supreme Court because of the importance and general interest of the issue.

Read more
4:31 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

Finally, a map of all the microbes on your body

Lead in text: 
The associate director of Washington University in St. Louis' Genome Institute, George Weinstock, was one of this project's lead researchers. He says we have about ten times more microbial cells in our body than we have human cells. He told our reporter Véronique LaCapra today: “...there’s probably a hundred times or more microbial genes in our body than there are genes in our human genome,” Weinstock said. “So the microbes, they’re not just a small little part of us, they’re really a very, very large, perhaps almost dominant part of our body.”
The human body contains about 100 trillion cells, but only maybe one in 10 of those cells is actually human. The rest are from bacteria, viruses and other microorganisms. Now, scientists have unveiled the first survey the "human microbiome," which includes 10,000 species and more than 8 million genes.
McCaskill/Micro-Unions
3:24 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

McCaskill asked to reveal position on micro-unions

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo.
(via Flickr/Senator McCaskill)

A group billing itself as non-partisan is calling on U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill (D, Missouri) to reveal where she stands on micro-unions.

Micro-unions are smaller groups of workers within an officially-sanctioned labor union.  The National Labor Relations Board (NRLB) issued a ruling last year that allowed the creation of micro-unions.  Jason Klindt with the Coalition to Protect Missouri Jobs says micro-unions are a threat to small businesses.

Read more

Pages