Morning round-up
8:20 am
Tue May 22, 2012

Morning headlines - Tuesday, May 22, 2012

(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

St. Louis police express concerns with cameras in patrol cars

Officers with the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department are seeking ways to avoid driving patrol cars equipped with cameras over concerns that footage from the cameras is being used against them.

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Joplin commencement
6:41 am
Tue May 22, 2012

In Joplin, President Obama urges students to 'pay it forward'

President Barack Obama gives the commencement address for Joplin High School in Joplin, Mo. on May 21, 2012.
(Screen capture of YouTube Video/WhiteHouse)

KSMU's Missy Shelton contributed reporting for this story.

A commencement address from President Barack Obama capped a difficult year for the Joplin High School class of 2012.

An EF-5 tornado struck the southwestern Missouri town a year ago today, killing 161 people and injuring hundreds more. The storm destroyed five school buildings, including the high school. Students attended their senior year classes in a converted big box store.

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Kevin Engler
6:20 am
Tue May 22, 2012

Engler’s exit interview: 'probably true' that Mo. Senate is broken

Mo. state Sen. Kevin Engler, R-Farmington with his late dog, Winston. The dog often accompanied Engler to political functions and parades. Engler said Winston was "part of [his] softer side."
(Courtesy Engler's Office)

Nine State Senators won’t be returning to Jefferson City next year due to term limits.  Among them, Republican Kevin Engler of Farmington, who made a failed bid two years ago to become President Pro-tem after serving as Majority Leader.  Since then, he has been outspoken on the way the Senate works, or in the views of some political observers, doesn’t work.

St. Louis Public Radio’s Marshall Griffin talked with Engler on the final day of the regular session.

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Legislative Scholarships
5:42 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

Ill. lawmakers agree to give up legislative scholarship perk

The interior of the dome at the Illinois State Capitol.
(via Flickr/jglazer75)

Illinois lawmakers have agreed to give up their much-criticized perk of being able to hand out college scholarships.

The century-old custom has been under fire because some legislators awarded the scholarships to the children of friends and political insiders. Sometimes they ignored the rule requiring recipients to live in the legislator's district.

GM in Wentzville
4:42 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

General Motors expanding production at Wentzville plant

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (C) is joined by representatives of General Motors and leaders from General Motors' Wentzville Assembly Plant, for the official groundbreaking of a $380 million expansion project on May 21, 2012.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

General Motors broke ground on Monday for a new $380 million expansion to its Wentzville Assembly Plant.

When GM declared Chapter 11 in 2009 the Wentzville plant was subject to talks of being shut down. Few people envisioned a day like today when the company would be adding 500,000 square feet to Wentzville.

The company says the move will create some 1,000 new jobs, with priority given to workers from the soon-to-be closed plant in Shreveport, La.

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Ballpark Village
4:15 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

Cardinals will again seek approval to build Ballpark Village

A newly released rendering for plans for Ballpark Village.
(via St. Louis Cardinals)

This is a story that may sound familiar to some of you.

The St. Louis Cardinals and developer Cordish Cos. will step in front of a city agency on July 5 to outline their plans for Ballpark Village, the 10-acre site north of Busch Stadium.

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Illinois Medicaid
3:42 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

Legislative plans for reducing Ill. Medicaid expenses unveiled

(via Flickr/rosmary)

Illinois Public Radio's Amanda Vinicky reported for this story.

Legislators' initial plans for reducing Illinois' Medicaid expenses have been unveiled - but other controversial aspects of the savings plan have yet to be filed as legislation.

A portion of the estimated savings comes from kicking undeserving recipients off the rolls. 

Illinois would no longer just assume people remain eligible for Medicaid, a practice Senator Heather Steans, a Chicago Democrat, says has caused skepticism.

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East St. Louis Schools
3:03 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

Meetings set over East St. Louis school closures

(via Flickr/alkruse24)

The school year is over in East St. Louis, and the next one will mean only half of the school district's ten elementary schools will be left.

St. Louis' KMOV-TV reports the school system decided months ago that it planned to close five of its ten elementary schools as a result of declining enrollment. The district also cited the need to stabilize attendance and staffing.

Beginning Tuesday, schools superintendent Arthur Culver and other administrators will meet with affected parents to discuss the downsizing.

Catholic Institutions /Birth Control
1:33 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

St. Louis Catholic institutions file birth control suits

St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson speaks at a press conference on May 21, 2012.
(Bill Raack/St. Louis Public Radio)

Updated 5:10 p.m.

The Archdiocese of St. Louis and Catholic Charities of St. Louis are among dozens of Roman Catholic institutions suing the Obama administration over a mandate that most employers provide birth control coverage.

The archdiocese and Catholic Charities filed suit Monday in U.S. District Court in St. Louis. The other suits from around the country were also filed Monday.

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Mortgage sales
1:12 pm
Mon May 21, 2012

Banks face suit over failure to record mortgage sales

(via Flickr/TheTruthAbout)

The St. Clair County state’s attorney has filed suit against 22 banks for allegedly failing to record the sale of mortgages with the county.

Brendan Kelly alleges in the suit filed today that banks conspired to document those sales on a private network known as MERS, rather than at the county recorder's office in Belleville.

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