4:59 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

McCaskill among 12 'major' Democrats to skip national convention

Lead in text: 
As we've reported, Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri is skipping this year's Democratic National Convention. Here's a look from NPR this evening about the 11 other "major Democrats" skipping "Obama's renomination party."
This year's Democratic National Convention has already shrunk by a day. Now it appears the attendance for the event is shrinking, too. At least a dozen prominent Democrats say they won't be able to make it. All are facing tough election campaigns in places where President Obama's popularity lags.
Arts
4:38 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

St. Louis arts economy doing well, according to study

The Gateway Arch in St. Louis on July 19, 2011.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

St. Louis art institutions continue to grow despite the down economy. 

That’s according to a report issued by Wells Fargo which found that economic activity tied to St. Louis arts and culture increased by 4 percent since the last study five years ago.

Donna Wilkinson is the Chairwoman of the St. Louis Regional Arts Commission, which contracted the study.

“The big takeaway is really that the arts do mean business here in St. Louis,” Wilkinson said. “That on an annual basis, close to $600 million is generated in economic impact.”

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Immigration
3:47 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Mo. immigrant advocacy groups on Arizona's mostly-nixed law

St. Louis County police chief Tim Fitch.
Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio

Immigrant advocacy groups in Missouri say that while they are pleased the US Supreme Court struck down most of a controversial Arizona immigration policy, they remain concerned about a provision that had the support of the justices.

The five-to-three ruling on Monday allowed Arizona law enforcement officials to check the papers of anyone they suspect is in the country illegally. Opponents say that will lead to biased policing.

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Education
2:01 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

More charter schools may come to more Missouri areas, with Gov. signature

Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon released more funding for public school bus transportation today. (via Flickr/Alex Grant (alextakesphotos))

Gov. Jay Nixon says he will sign legislation allowing charter schools to operate in more areas of Missouri but with greater oversight.

But the governor vetoed a separate education bill that would have made it easier for some students to transfer to other districts.

Nixon plans a formal signing ceremony for the charter school bill Wednesday night at the Missouri Girls State convention in Warrensburg.

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The Two-Way / Health Care
1:34 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Here's how to learn what the Supreme Court says about health care

The U.S. Supreme Court, which will be in the news on Thursday.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 1:15 pm

The biggest surprise Thursday morning at the Supreme Court will be if the justices do not issue their most-anticipated decision of the year — on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act; the health care overhaul enacted in 2010.

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St. Louis Blues
1:15 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Blues coach 'Hitch' gets contract extension

The St. Louis Blues have given head coach Ken Hitchcock a one-year contract extension. Hitchcock was this year's recipient of the Jack Adams Award as the best head coach.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

The man who led the St. Louis Blues to one of the best seasons in franchise history this year will be behind the bench until 2014.

The team announced today that Ken Hitchcock has signed a one-year contract extension, with an option for the 2014-2015 season. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

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Chris Koster
12:13 pm
Wed June 27, 2012

Questions raised by Auditor over Koster office contracts

Mo. Attorney General Chris Koster.
(Mo. Atty. General's Office)

Will be updated.

Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich is questioning the process for awarding contracts to private attorneys representing the state in lawsuits.

The attorney general's office can award contingency fee contracts by requesting bids or asking the state Office of Administration to request bids and establish an independent panel to choose the winner.

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Saint Louis Zoo
11:02 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Splash! New sea lion exhibit opens Saturday at Saint Louis Zoo

Two of the Saint Louis Zoo's 11 California sea lions, swimming in the new Sea Lion Sound exhibit.
Robin Winkelman/Saint Louis Zoo

Starting this Saturday, visitors to the Saint Louis Zoo will have their first chance to check out a new sea lion exhibit.

The 1.5 acre, $18 million habitat will house 11 California sea lions in a large saltwater pool. There’s also an arena for sea lion shows.

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Monsanto
10:11 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Monsanto 3Q profit soars, maintains year view

A field of soybeans grown with Monsanto's genetically-modified Roundup Ready seeds.
(via Monsanto)

Monsanto says its fiscal third-quarter net income soared 35 percent as its seeds and traits business benefited from a mild winter that drove farmers to plant crops earlier and in large numbers.

The U.S. agricultural giant also maintained its full-year earnings forecast after boosting it last month.

The St. Louis company, which produces genetically engineered seeds and the herbicide Roundup, earned $937 million, or $1.74 per share, in the quarter ended in May. That's compared with $692 million, or $1.28 per share, a year earlier.

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Blood donations
6:29 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Extreme heat impacting blood donations

The Red Cross has issued an urgent appeal for blood donors. Nationwide, the supply is less than half of what it was when a similar appeal was issued last year.
(via Flickr/KOMUNews)

The American Red Cross has issued an urgent appeal for blood donors.

Donations to the Red Cross are down ten percent across the country in June, and officials with the agency say the current blood supply is half the level it was last year when it issued a similar plea.

Local Red Cross spokesman Dan Fox says the extreme heat keeps potential donors away.  He says people tend to give when natural disasters strike, even though the need is year-round.

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