Johanna Mayer

Intern

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Missouri Disaster Declaration
5:31 am
Tue July 26, 2011

Nixon asks Obama for disaster declaration

Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon is asking President Obama for a major disaster declaration for 23 counties in Missouri hit by severe storms and flooding after June 1.
(via Flickr/USACEpublicaffairs)

Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon is asking President Barack Obama to issue a major disaster declaration for 23 northern counties hit by severe storms and flooding along the Missouri River. He announced the request Monday.

The disaster request would cover events since June 1. If approved, it would allow government aid to flow to families and public agencies that have suffered losses. The counties included in the request are:

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Laser Pointers / Aviation
3:01 pm
Mon July 25, 2011

St. Louis-area case highlights dangers of laser pointers

A view from the pilot's seat when a laser beam, like that from a laser pointer, hits the cockpit glass. (Shot in a simulator).
(Screen capture via YouTube/ildalasershows/FAA/U.S. Air Force)

The FBI is warning that aiming laser pointers at flying aircraft is a serious offense punishable by years in jail and thousands of dollars in fines.

At a press conference Monday, St. Louis officials said that pilots typically report several laser strikes per day.

Doug Reinholz is a helicopter pilot with the St. Louis Police Department.  He says the light from laser pointers can be blinding to pilots, particularly at night.

"It's equivalent to like a flash of a camera if you were in a pitch black car at night," Reinholz said.

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Lambert-St. Louis International Airport
4:53 pm
Thu July 21, 2011

Lambert Airport sees increase in passengers

Lambert-St. Louis International Airport has experienced a 1.2 percent growth in passenger traffic over the past six months.
(via Flickr/dbking)

Lambert -St. Louis International Airport is seeing an increase in passengers for the third straight month.

In June, the airport experienced a 4.4 percent increase in the number of departing passengers, which matches the numbers from a year ago.

Airport spokesman Jeff Lea says the airport is recovering from tough economic times in 2009 and 2010.

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Weekend Traffic Update
2:41 pm
Thu July 21, 2011

Several construction projects to impact weekend traffic in St. Louis

There will be several closures this weekend due to construction projects, mostly around downtown St. Louis and I-270 near I-44.
(via Flickr/Zahlm)

Several construction projects will impact traffic on metro area interstates this weekend, mainly around downtown St. Louis and I-270 near I-44.

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Morning Round-up
7:56 am
Tue July 19, 2011

Morning headlines: Tuesday, July 19th, 2011

The devestating May 22 tornado that ripped through Joplin contributed to a loss of 9,400 jobs in the city. Gov. Jay Nixon will be in Joplin Tuesday to announce an initiative for home rebuilding.
(via flickr/slprnews)

Joplin tornado contributes to unemployment

Missouri officials say the May 22 tornado in Joplin contributed to the net loss of 13,000 jobs in the state. Joplin alone lost 9,400 jobs in June. The State Department of Economic Development says Missouri’s jobless rate fell from 8.9 percent in May to 8.8 percent in June. In recovery efforts, Gov. Jay Nixon will make a speech Tuesday in Joplin to announce what he calls a “major initiative to address both the near-term and long-term housing needs.”  

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Morning round-up
9:22 am
Fri July 8, 2011

Morning headlines: Friday, July 8, 2011

A 10-member commission could vote as early as August on a restructuring plan for the St. Louis Science Center.
(St. Louis Science Center)

Staff cuts possible at St. Louis Science Center

Staff cuts are possible at one of St. Louis' most popular attractions. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that a 10-member commission that oversees the St. Louis Science Center could vote as early as August on a restructuring plan. That is according to Ted Hellman, chairman of the commission.

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Marijuana legalization
5:34 pm
Thu July 7, 2011

Pro-cannabis organization seeks decriminalization of marijuana in Mo.

Show-Me Cannabis seeks to legalize marijuana and regulate its medical use.
(via Flickr/peter.a photography)

An organization called Show-Me Cannabis wants to ask Missourians to vote on the legalization and medical regulation of marijuana.

Under the proposal, pot use, possession and small-scale growing would be decriminalized for Missourians who are 21 or older. The state would also be required to issue retail licenses to sell the drug and oversee a medical marijuana program.

Campaign Director Amber Langston said it’s important to at least have a discussion about the benefits of marijuana.

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Illinois budget cuts
8:21 am
Tue July 5, 2011

Ill. Gov. Quinn's budget cuts to hospitals aren't set

Ill. Gov. Pat Quinn.
(via Flickr/ChrisEaves.com)

Reporting by Illinois Public Radio’s Amanda Vinicky used in this report.

The cuts Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn made to hospitals probably won’t be the final deal. The administration is using the move in an effort to further its agenda.

Illinois reimburses hospitals when they take on low-income patients who are on Medicaid, and state law sets the rate hospitals are to be paid.

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Blagojevich trial
8:00 am
Tue July 5, 2011

Blagojevich to seek mistrial, unlikely to succeed

Former Ill. Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Blagojevich was convicted of 17 out of 20 counts in his corruption retrial.
UPI/Bill Greenblatt

Reporting by WBEZ’s Robert Wildeboer used in this report.

Within the next few weeks, attorneys for ousted Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich will be asking Judge James Zagel for a mistrial. That’s unlikely to succeed, which means they’ll move on to a higher court. Still, Blagojevich’s testimony could cause problems for an appeal.

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Illinois public corruption prosecution
7:32 am
Tue July 5, 2011

Former Sen. gets credit for recent Ill. corruption prosecutions

Former Ill. Gov. George Ryan was convicted of racketeering, conspiracy, tax fraud and making false statements to the FBI.
(via Flickr/myoldpostcards)

Reporting by Illinois Public Radio’s Sean Crawford used in this report.

Illinois has a reputation not only as a hotbed for public corruption, but also as a place where high ranking officials are prosecuted for misdeeds. Former U.S. Senator Peter Fitzgerald, who is known for his clashes with the GOP’s old guard, is partly to thank for that.

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