The extended interview above includes parts one and two of the Morning Edition interview, plus additional material.
J.K. Rowling has a new novel. She's moved away from Harry Potter, the boy wizard whose stories prompted millions of kids to obsess over books big enough to serve as doorstops. Having concluded that series, she's written a novel for grown-ups called The Casual Vacancy, a story of troubled teenagers and their even more troubled parents.
A union for Illinois government workers says negotiations with the state are at a "virtual standstill."
The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees says concessions demanded by Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn are "an insult to every state employee."
Quinn spokesman Abdon Pallasch says the state can't afford to keep salaries and benefits at their current levels. He told The (Springfield) State Journal-Register that even after cuts, state employees would have generous benefits.
Originally published on Thu September 27, 2012 2:13 pm
In the fairy-tale world, a shiny red apple can lead to a poisonous end. But some see two genetically engineered green apple varieties, poised to become the first to gain U.S. Department of Agriculture approval,as similar harbingers of doom.
Singer Andy Williams, best known for his rendition of Moon River, his Christmas TV specials and his long-running show in Branson, Mo., has died.
He was 84.
Williams' publicist, Paul Shefrin, says in a statement sent to reporters that the singer "passed away last night (Tuesday) at home in Branson, Mo, following a year long battle with bladder cancer. ... Williams, 84, who also had a residence in La Quinta, Calif., is survived by his wife Debbie and his three children, Robert, Noelle and Christian."
The Missouri Bankers Association has filed a lawsuit against St. Louis County over a new ordinance that requires lenders to offer mediation to homeowners facing foreclosure.
The trade group’s president, Max Cook, said they plan to argue that it has a laundry list of legal problems.
“Not the least of which is statute that says when it comes to banking laws, and rules, and regulation, no entity, be it a county, a city, what have you, can pass an ordinance or a rule more restrictive than that of the state of Missouri,” Cook said.
State Representative Cole McNary criticized the State Treasurer's handling of Missouri's pensions Tuesday. McNary is the Republican candidate for the office that is currently held by Democrat Clint Zweifel.
McNary outlined problems he sees with the Missouri State Employees Retirement System: He says there are underfunded pensions, naively optimistic forecasts for returns and a debt that will be a burden on taxpayers.
Federal lawmakers from several states along the Mississippi River are pressing to modernize the waterway's locks-and-dams system, which they say desperately needs repair.
Sens. Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk of Illinois, Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt from Missouri, and Tom Harkin and Chuck Grassley from Iowa are pressing the Environmental and Public Works Committee to ensure funding to hasten what they term critical improvements.