Missouri Supreme Court
12:22 pm
Tue July 17, 2012

One of these people could be Missouri's next Supreme Court judge

The Missouri Supreme Court building in Jefferson City, Mo.
(via Flickr/david_shane)

Judge William Ray Price, Jr. vacates the Missouri Supreme Court effective Aug. 1, so someone will need to replace him.

Today, the the Appellate Judicial Commission released the names and demographic information of those vying for the position. 

Interviews will begin Oct. 10, and from these 18 applicants, the Commission will select three people to recommend to Gov. Nixon. The public is allowed to view the interviews in October.

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Drought
9:42 am
Tue July 17, 2012

Drought In U.S. Now Worst Since 1956; Food Prices To Spike, Economy To Suffer

On Monday, a weed was growing through the dry earth at Marion Kujawa's pond, which he normally uses to water the cattle on his farm in Ashley, Ill.
Scott Olson Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 17, 2012 4:16 pm

With about 55 percent of the continental U.S. suffering from "moderate to extreme drought" conditions the nation is withering under conditions that haven't been this bad since 1956, according to a new report from National Climatic Data Center.

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Morning round-up
9:21 am
Tue July 17, 2012

Morning headlines: Tuesday, July 17, 2012

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Illinois to offer programs for those affected by drought

Gov. Pat Quinn says Illinois will offer an array of debt restructuring and loan programs to farmers and ranchers affected by the drought. He visited a family farm in the southern Illinois area Monday, where much of the corn crop is wilting.

Quinn says the state has also launched a website to help.

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MetroLink Development
8:40 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

East-West Gateway hosts open houses on development plan for MetroLink stations

(via Flickr/binkle_28)

The East-West Gateway Council of Governments held the first of four public forums tonight for its new study on development at MetroLink stations.  

The project will create a toolkit local stakeholders can use to create sustainable communities around MetroLink stations and encourage business development.

Mary Grace Lewandowski is an assistant project manager for the study and said the agency will use a number of criteria to identify five stations with especially high development potential.

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Energy efficiency plan
7:52 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

Ameren Missouri discusses efficiency plan w/ Mo. PSC

Ameren’s 2,400-megawatt plant near Labadie, Mo. is the state’s largest coal-fired power plant.
(Véronique LaCapra, St. Louis Public Radio)

The Public Service Commission heard details Monday on Ameren Missouri’s proposed efficiency plan.

The proposal is designed to promote energy efficiency while still allowing the St. Louis-based utility to earn a profit.  It has an estimated price tag of $145 million and it would be paid by the utility’s customers, whose residential bills on average would be about $3 a month higher.  But Ameren Missouri’s Warren Wood says if approved, customers would save money in the long run.

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Election 2012
5:48 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

Nixon adds $2.1 million to campaign chest

Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon in St. Louis on Jan. 24, 2011.

Gov. Jay Nixon’s re-election war chest continues to grow, according to new figures released today.

Nixon raised $2.1 million between April and June, and had over $7.6 million in his account as of July first.  His campaign calls it his strongest fundraising quarter this election cycle and says his bank account is twice the size it was around this time in July 2008.

The Democrat from DeSoto will face the winner of the August 7th Republican primary.

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Urban Development
4:30 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

A Rust Belt dilemma: demolition or redevelopment

Taken in the 3rd Ward, north of the old Pruitt-Igoe housing project in St. Louis.
Adam Allington/St. Louis Public Radio

The City of St. Louis has some of the highest  home vacancy rates in the country, and last month the mayor of Detroit made news when he laid out ambitious plans to demolish as many as 10,000 vacant buildings by the end of his term.

With costs for maintenance and upkeep running in the tens of millions, many Rust Belt cities often find it expedient to simply demolish empty buildings in favor of vacant lots and the hope of future development.

But taking down problem properties creates a whole new set of issues which are often overlooked.

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St. Louis Police
1:44 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

St. Louis police officer charged in burglary

If a vote on the latest proposal for temporary pay cuts passes at a East St. Louis Fraternal Order of Police meeting on Thursday, 16 police officers laid off Jan. 1 could be reinstated (via Flickr/davidsonscott15).

A six-year veteran of the St. Louis Police Department is suspended without pay after being charged with first-degree burglary.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that 29-year-old Andrew Perez was reportedly intoxicated when he unlawfully entered a home around 4 a.m. Sunday while off-duty. Perez allegedly thought the home he was entering was that of a friend.

Police say Perez left when the homeowner confronted him, but the homeowner called police.

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Morning round-up
9:31 am
Mon July 16, 2012

Morning headlines: Monday, July 16, 2012

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Quinn to announce plan to address Illinois' drought

Gov. Pat Quinn plans  a visit to a southern Illinois farm today. The Illinois Farm Bureau says that so far, it's the sixth driest year on record. The average precipitation of the first half of the year was 12.6 inches. Much of Illinois' corn and soybean crop is suffering. Farm officials say southern Illinois is experiencing the worst of it.  Quinn is expected to detail whatever government relief may be available to drought-affected growers and ranchers.

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Genetics - Cancer
6:43 am
Mon July 16, 2012

Unwinding the helix: using genetics to treat childhood cancer

Washington University’s Todd Druley uses a magnet to separate DNA-coated magnetic beads from a liquid reaction buffer, to isolate specific genes from patient DNA for sequencing analysis.
Scott Supplesa

Pediatric leukemia is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow. There are about 3,000 new cases in the United States every year, typically in children between the ages of four and six.

With treatment, about three-quarters of affected children are able to beat the disease.

But for those with what’s known as “high risk” leukemia, the odds of survival are much worse.

Washington University pediatric oncologist Dr. Todd Druley has been trying to use genetics to understand why some leukemia is so hard to treat. He spoke with St. Louis Public Radio's Véronique LaCapra.

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