Bill Raack

Editor

Raack has been in radio for over 20 years. After graduating with a degree in journalism from the University of Kansas in 1983, he worked at commercial radio stations in Kansas and then Illinois. He moved to public radio in 1990, joining the staff of WILL-AM/FM in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, as a host/reporter and then as news director in 1993. He returned to his hometown of St. Louis in 1995 as the local host of St. Louis Public Radio's Morning Edition program and also served as a reporter/producer until 1998, when he was named news director. Bill and his wife Kim are proud parents of two public-radio-listening children.

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Transportation officials met with residents and property owners in Normandy Thursday about a new project that will reduce vehicle traffic and increase pedestrian and bicycle use on Natural Bridge Road.

(via Flickr/USDAgov)

Mayors from more than a dozen cities and towns along the Mississippi River rallied Thursday in the nation’s capital for more federal attention for the waterway.

The mayors, members of the Mississippi River Cities & Towns Initiative, will work with the newly-formed Mississippi River Caucus. That's a bi-partisan group of members of Congress. St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay is co-chair of the initiative.

(Missouri Department of Transportation photo)

You’ve seen them popping up all over the roads in the area. Now, the Missouri Department of Transportation wants you to let them know where they are.

MoDOT’s enhanced pothole repair initiative started Monday. The agency’s goal is to temporarily patch as many potholes as possible as quickly as possible. District engineer Ed Hassinger says that means they want the public to let them know where the worst potholes are. They’ll try to have them filled as quickly as possible, perhaps even within 24 hours.

(Senator McCaskill's Flickr Account)

Senator Claire McCaskill of Missouri says she will take a cut in pay as a show of solidarity with those federal workers who face furloughs due to the sequester.

McCaskill and Senator Bill Nelson of Florida have proposed a bill that would reduce congressional salaries once the furloughs begin. McCaskill says she wants to hold lawmakers accountable for not coming up with an alternative to the sequester as a means of cutting federal spending.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers says the near-historic Mississippi River flood of 2011 caused $2.8 billion in damage and tested the system of levees, reservoirs and floodways like no other flood before it.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Last updated at 11:57 a.m. 2/22. Will be updated as more information becomes available.

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(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

 

Updated at 5:45 a.m. to include feature story on the Governor's State of the State Address by Marshall Griffin.

Governor Jay Nixon (D) pitched a $25.7 billion budget to the state of Missouri during Monday’s State of the State Address.  It includes spending increases for K-12 schools, Higher Education, and the proposed Medicaid expansion he’s been calling for since late November.  St. Louis Public Radio’s Marshall Griffin takes a closer look at the Governor’s speech and his proposed spending plan for next year:

(Released by Mo. Atty. Gen. Chris Koster)

A panel of arbitrators in St. Louis is now weighing the future of the St. Louis Rams and the Edward Jones Dome.

The team and the owners of the dome, the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission, agreed to arbitration over plans to renovate the dome. The lease agreement requires the dome to be among the top quarter of all NFL stadiums by 2015 or the Rams can break the lease, raising concern they could leave St. Louis.

The arbitrators are two retired judges, one from Iowa and one from Colorado, and a labor attorney from Chicago. A ruling isn't expected for several weeks.

(via Flickr/davidsonscott15)

Corey Allen, the assistant police chief in the small Metro East community of Centreville, has been indicted by a grand jury for making false statements to federal agents.

U.S. Attorney Stephen Wigginton says a federal grand jury found that Allen, 31, lied when he told investigators that he had not sold a gun to a convicted felon. The indictment alleges that Allen sold the felon, who has not been named, the gun in May, 2012.

A collaboration between St. Louis-based Ameren Missouri and Westinghouse Electric Corporation to develop small modular nuclear reactors was passed over Tuesday for initial

funding by the U.S. Department of Energy.

The DOE will, instead, fund a similar project by Babcock & Wilcox and the Tennessee Valley Authority. The Ameren/Westinghouse partnership was seeking $452 million in funding to build the SMR's alongside the utility's Callaway county reactor.

McCaskill Re-Elected, Beats Akin In Senate Race

Nov 7, 2012
(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill defeated GOP challenger Todd Akin Tuesday to hold on to a Missouri Senate seat that Republicans once considered vulnerable.

McCaskill won with about 54-percent of the vote in the election. She told supporters in St. Louis' Central West End Tuesday night that the victory means more to her because many pundits had predicted she would lose her seat.

"They all said 'it's over, it's done, it's too red, it's just too red, there is no way that Claire McCaskill can survive.' Well, you know what happened? You proved 'em wrong," McCaskill said.

(St. Louis Public Radio photo)

St. Charles city officials are hoping the year-long Blanchette Bridge roadwork that starts this weekend won’t have too much of a negative impact on its stores, casino and restaurants . 

(National Weather Service)

Updated at 7:50 am Sunday with information about Red Cross volunteers.

Ameren says it is sending more than 100 employees Saturday to New England to help with any problems caused by Hurricane Sandy.

Sandy is expected to be a monstrous storm that poses a serious threat for the entire Eastern Seaboard. Forecasters say Sandy is a massive cyclone, with hurricane-force winds recorded as far as 100 miles away from the eye of the storm.

Illinois Department of Transportation

A new section of Illinois Route 255 near Godfrey is now open to motorists.

The freeway has been extended from Seminary Road to Humbert Road. Work on that section of Route 255 had been delayed because of problems with an embankment that caused the pavement to crack.

The last part of Route 255, from Humbert to Illinois Route 111, is expected to be completed in November. When it’s finished, Route 255 will run from I-270 at Edwardsville to U-S Route 67 in Godfrey.

(Equis Hospitality Management)

The former Daniele Hotel in Clayton will reopen soon as a Hampton Inn and Suites.

The Daniele has been shuttered since 2007. But Equis Hospitality Management in St. Louis says it will spend about $16 million to renovate the hotel on North Meramec Ave. The new hotel will have 106 rooms, including 25 suites, and underground parking.

Equis co-owner Greg Mullenix says they will add a fifth floor to the hotel and they’ll feature a restaurant and bar at street level.

(Photo by Bill Raack/St. Louis Public Radio)

Congressman Lacy Clay of St. Louis says the federal government may soon be able to help local police as they try to combat crime in some parts of the city.

The St. Louis Police Department has recently reassigned some officers to so-called “hot spots” where violent crime continues to be a problem. Clay says there should be announcements in the next few months about combined federal-and-local crime-fighting efforts.

(Creative Commons photo)

People trying to get into downtown St. Louis this weekend will again have some traffic issues to deal with. 

For the second straight week, the Missouri Department of Transportation will shut down all westbound lanes of Interstate 64 from the Poplar Street Bridge to 21stStreet. In addition, the Broadway, 10thStreet and 14thStreet entrance ramps will also be shut down. MoDOT crews are still replacing the driving surface on the double-deck, elevated highway.


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Motorists on Interstate 70 will get a little taste - starting this weekend - of what life will be like when the westbound lanes of the busy Blanchette Bridge are closed in November.

It's back to work for some 200 ex-TWA flight attendants. American Airlines will recall the workers in November, according to U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill.

They were laid off back in 2001 after the 9/11 attacks hit the airline industry hard. American had cut 2,500 flight attendants in all during the slowdown, many of them were former TWA employees. The airline had bought out TWA earlier in 2001. 

(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

Ameren monitoring Isaac

Officials with Ameren say they are closely monitoring Hurricane Isaac's progress now that it has made land fall. Projections from the National Weather Service indicate the remnants of the storm could pass over Missouri and Illinois this weekend.

Kevin Anders, Ameren Missouri's manager of distribution services, says that could mean a lot of rain and - potentially - some high winds or tornadoes.

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