Voter ID Laws
3:56 pm
Fri March 16, 2012

Sharpton aligns with Clay in opposing voter ID laws

Rev. Al Sharpton and Congressman Lacy Clay spoke backstage before a voting rights forum at Harris-Stowe State University.
(Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio)

Rev. Al Sharpton is joining Missouri Congressman Lacy Clay in opposing efforts to require voters to show photo IDs at the polls.  

Last year, Republicans in 38 states introduced legislation that would require a state-approved photo ID to vote. Seven states have since signed it into law.

Sharpton joined Clay in St. Louis Friday at a voter rights forum to oppose a similar law from passing in Missouri.  “We've got to turn this around," Sharpton said. "And start targeting in Missouri those legislators that are targeting our right to vote,” he said.

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Doe Run
1:18 pm
Fri March 16, 2012

Plan seeks new uses for Doe Run site in Herculaneum

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An eastern Missouri lead smelter scheduled to close next year could eventually make way for commercial and industrial uses.

Doe Run Co. operates the smelter in Herculaneum. It will close in 2013 after years of wrangling over environmental concerns.

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Crime
10:48 am
Fri March 16, 2012

Former VA official in St. Louis pleads guilty to accepting gratuities from government contractors

(via Flickr/s_falkow)

A former Veterans Administration official in St. Louis has pleaded guilty to accepting gratuities from government contractors.

The U.S. Attorney's office in St. Louis says 69-year-old Russell Todd of Chesterfield pleaded guilty Thursday. Sentencing is June 12.

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Morning round-up
9:21 am
Fri March 16, 2012

Morning headlines: Friday, March 16, 2012

The dome shines brightly on the Missouri State Capitol as the sun begins to set in Jefferson City, Missouri on March 22, 2011.
UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Judge to hear arguments today in lawsuit challenging Mo. photo ID amendment

A judge is preparing to hear arguments in a lawsuit challenging a proposed amendment to the Missouri Constitution that would clear the way for requiring voters to show photo identification.

The lawsuit contends the ballot summary approved by lawmakers for a future statewide vote is misleading. Cole County Circuit Judge Pat Joyce scheduled a hearing Friday in the case.

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Election 2012: GOP Caucuses
6:25 am
Fri March 16, 2012

Show-Me A Caucus: Missouri prepares to pick its GOP presidential nominee

(via Wikimedia Commons)

In February, Missouri voters picked Rick Santorum as the winner of the state’s presidential primary. But the results didn’t count.

Infighting among Republicans in Jefferson City had left the state’s presidential primary date in violation of party rules. Missouri was at risk of losing delegates to the GOP national convention. So the primary went on as scheduled – but state GOP leaders declared that delegates would instead be awarded at caucuses. The first of those gatherings are Saturday.

But those votes may not count either.

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St. Stanislaus
3:11 pm
Thu March 15, 2012

Judge rules in favor of St. Stanislaus Kostka church

The St. Stanislaus church in St. Louis.
(via Wikimedia Commons/Mateusz Szymkiewicz)

Updated 5:26 p.m. with comment, more information.

St. Stanislaus Kostka Catholic Church has won a legal battle with the St. Louis Archdiocese.

In a ruling handed down this morning a St. Louis circuit judge said the archdiocese has no legitimate claim to the historic Polish church's property.

St. Stanislaus has governed its own finances since the late 1800s, but in 2003 the archdiocese asked the church to give up that right.

Current St. Stanislaus pastor Marek Bozek says the ruling will allow the parish to continue its 120-year tradition.

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Cameras in the Courtroom
1:46 pm
Thu March 15, 2012

Madison County to allow courtroom news cameras

(via Flickr/KeithBurtis)

Illinois' highest court is allowing news cameras in criminal courtrooms in southwestern Illinois' Madison County as part of a pilot program.

The cameras allowed by the Illinois Supreme Court in the state's Third Judicial Circuit including Madison County follows approval of similar programs in the Quad Cities area and Kankakee County.

Judges say the move will promote openness in the judicial system but strive to be balanced with a defendant's constitutional right to a fair trial.

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Hall of Famous Missourians
11:25 am
Thu March 15, 2012

Mo. House Dems propose rules for induction into Hall of Famous Missourians

An interior view of the dome of the Missouri State Capitol.
(via Flickr/jennlynndesign)

Missouri House Democrats are proposing new criteria and a requirement for bipartisan approval before people are inducted into the Hall of Famous Missourians - a reaction to criticism of the selection of Rush Limbaugh for the honor.

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Morning round-up
9:28 am
Thu March 15, 2012

Morning headlines: Thursday, March 15, 2012

Former Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich
Flickr/soundfromwayout

Blagojevich headed to prison today

Former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich left his Chicago home this morning and is heading to Colorado to begin a 14-year federal prison term for corruption.

He is expected to report to the prison by 2 o’clock this afternoon.  

Blagojevich is the state's second governor in a row to be sent to prison for corruption.

The famously talkative Democrat embraced the public spotlight one last time yesterday evening, seeming to relish the attention of reporters' microphones and hovering television helicopters.

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Mothers in Prison
6:25 am
Thu March 15, 2012

Visiting Mom, in prison: bill would launch visitation program for children of imprisoned mothers

The Women's Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Correctional Center in Vandalia, Mo.
(Kelsey Proud/St. Louis Public Radio)

Last week, the Missouri House passed a bill that would make it easier for children to visit their mothers in prison. It would launch a two-year test program requiring the Department of Corrections to provide monthly transportation for kids to see their moms at the prisons in Vandalia and Chillicothe.

As St. Louis Public Radio’s Julie Bierach reports, supporters say, if approved, the bill could have an impact on recidivism rates in Missouri.

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