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.

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"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.

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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.

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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.

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Prayer
2:40 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

Appeals court upholds Mo. prayer ballot measure

A state appeals court has upheld the ballot summary for a proposed amendment to the Missouri Constitution on public prayer.

The proposed amendment asserts the right in Missouri to:

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Business
12:56 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

Cisel out, Mark in as Chairman, President and CEO of Ameren Illinois

Richard Mark has been named the new chairman, president and CEO of Ameren Illinois.
(via Ameren Illinois)

Ameren Illinois has a new Chairman, President and CEO. Effective immediately, Richard Mark, 57, replaces Scott Cisel, who has "left the company to pursue other interests."

The move is an internal one for Ameren, as Mark jumps over the Mississippi from his former post as senior vice president of customer operations for Ameren Missouri. He's been with the company since 2002.

Shifting into Mark's old spot is Michael Moehn, who will leave a similar post at Ameren Illinois.

 

 

Business
12:15 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

O'Fallon to get new corporate headquarters

Air Evac Lifeteam operates a fleet of 110 medical helicopters
Air Evac Lifteam

Air Evac Lifeteam, a provider of air medical transportation to rural communities, has announced its plans to open a new corporate headquarters in O’Fallon,  in St. Charles County.

The move from West Plains, Mo. is part of major expansion for the company and is expected to create as many as 190 jobs.   

The City of O’Fallon was chosen from a list of 20 other locations throughout Missouri and other states.

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Health - Microbes
12:15 pm
Wed June 13, 2012

We’re not alone: healthy humans have more microbes than cells

The bacterium Enterococcus faecalis, which lives in the human gut, is just one type of microbe that was studied as part of the Human Microbiome Project funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
U.S. Department of Agriculture

Researchers have completed the first comprehensive census of the human “microbiome” — the trillions of bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms that live in and on our bodies.

The associate director of Washington University’s Genome Institute, George Weinstock, was one of the project’s lead researchers. He says we have about ten times more microbial cells in our body than we have human cells.

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