Local Control
5:46 pm
Thu March 8, 2012

Judge upholds summary for St. Louis police local control measure

The logo of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department on the side of a patrol car.
(St. Louis Public Radio File Photo)

A Missouri judge has upheld a ballot summary for an initiative that would grant St. Louis local control over its police force.

The St. Louis police department currently is overseen by a board consisting of the mayor and four appointees of the governor.

Cole County Circuit Judge Pat Joyce ruled Thursday that the summary prepared by Secretary of State Robin Carnahan's office fairly and impartially describes the measure, which supporters are trying to get on the November ballot.

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Barnes-Jewish Hospital
5:31 pm
Thu March 8, 2012

Barnes-Jewish Hospital to open new outpatient center

The new outpatient center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital.
(Timothy Mudrovic/BJC HealthCare)

Barnes-Jewish Hospital will open its new outpatient center on Monday.

The 12-story building at the corner of Forest Park Avenue and Euclid will bring together five existing outpatient clinics under one roof. Those include a primary care clinic, along with OB/GYN, psychiatric, surgical, and specialty clinics.

Dr. Melvin Blanchard directs the internal medicine residency program at Barnes.

Speaking at a dedication ceremony for the new center, Blanchard said Barnes' existing clinics provide care to the underinsured and underserved.

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Pension meetings
3:47 pm
Thu March 8, 2012

Negotiators see progress on firefighter pensions, but minefields remain

Union president Chris Molitor (in tan jacket) updates the Public Safety committee and others on March 8, 2012 on the progress of negotiations over changes to firefighter pensions.
(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

All sides involved in the effort to bring down the cost of pensions for firefighters in the city of St. Louis say negotiations are going well.

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Gun owner discrimination
3:38 pm
Thu March 8, 2012

Mo. House votes to add gun owners to state's protected groups

(via Flickr/kcds)

Legislation that would add gun owners to the state’s list of protected minority groups has passed the Missouri House.

Under the bill, gun owners who carry their firearms with them in a lawful manner (i.e. possess a concealed-carry permit) cannot be fired, denied benefits, or otherwise discriminated against.  It was sponsored by State Rep. Wanda Brown (R, Cole Camp).

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Harrisburg tornado
1:55 pm
Thu March 8, 2012

Death toll from Harrisburg tornado up to 7

A seventh person has died from injuries suffered in an EF-4 tornado that devasted the small town of Harrisburg, Ill.
(UPI/Steve Jahnke /The Southern)

Authorities in southern Illinois say a seventh person has died from injuries suffered in the EF-4 tornado that slammed into the town of Harrisburg on Feb. 29.

Saline County coroner Doug Watson says 70-year-old Donald Smith, a retired coal miner from Harrisburg, died Wednesday night at a hospital in Indiana. Smith's wife remains hospitalized in critical condition.

Most of the victims, including the Smiths, lived along a street that took the brunt of the storm, which authorities say was 200 yards wide and packed sustained winds of 170 miles per hour.

 

 

Workplace Discrimination
1:21 pm
Thu March 8, 2012

Mo. Senate sends workplace discrimination measure to Gov. Nixon

Ceremonial doors of the Mo. Governor's office inside the State Capitol.
(Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio)

The Missouri Senate has sent the House version of the workplace discrimination bill to Governor Jay Nixon.

Senate Democrats spent five hours Wednesday blocking the bill before sitting down.  Today, there was no debate, only a 23 to 8 straight party-line vote.  Brad Lager (R, Savannah) handled the bill in the Senate.  He says he fully expects the governor, a Democrat, to veto the bill.

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Gateway Arch / Emerald Ash Borer
9:45 am
Thu March 8, 2012

Park Service to remove ash trees from Arch grounds

An adult emerald ash borer.
(David Cappaert, Michigan State University)

Nearly half of the trees on the grounds of the Gateway Arch will be removed and replaced with a different species.

The National Park Service said Thursday that more than 900 Rosehill ash trees will be taken out over concerns about the threat posed by the Emerald Ash Borer, a beetle that has killed millions of ash trees in 15 states. Officials at the Arch say the ash trees on the grounds are also showing signs of decline from urban factors like air pollution and less than ideal soil.

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Morning round-up
9:21 am
Thu March 8, 2012

Morning headlines: Thursday, March 8, 2012

Rotunda, Missouri State Capital
Flickr Creative Commons/Glamour Schatz

Mo. Senate preparing to send workplace discrimination bill to Nixon today

The Missouri Senate is preparing today to pass the House version of the workplace discrimination bill and send it to Governor Jay Nixon. 

Senate Democrats, however, voiced their opposition Wednesday by blocking the bill for nearly five hours. 

The filibuster was led by Senator Maria Chappelle-Nadal of St. Louis County. 

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Missouri American Water
4:41 pm
Wed March 7, 2012

Rates rising for customers of Missouri American

(via Flickr/Rocpoc)

State regulators have approved a $24 million rate increase for water and sewer customers of Missouri American Water Co. - that's half of the rate increase the company sought with the Missouri Public Service Commission last summer.

The increase endorsed Wednesday is to take effect April 1 for many of the company's nearly 458,000 customers, but the exact amount will vary by community. Missouri American serves the St. Louis area, Jefferson City, Joplin, St. Joseph, Warrensburg, Mexico and other communities.

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MO Statehouse
4:29 pm
Wed March 7, 2012

Cuts to public colleges reversed, aid for blind sharply trimmed in panel-approved spending plan

The chambers of the Missouri House of Representatives.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Budget writers in the Missouri House have approved their version of the 13 bills that make up the state’s budget for next year.

Committee members eliminated $28 million for a program that aids the blind, but then put $6 million back into it from another source.  Ryan Silvey (R, Kansas City) chairs the Budget Committee.

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