St. Louis Public Radio

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Today on "St. Louis on the Air," we announced that we'll be hosting the St. Louis Mayoral Primary Forum.  Here are some of the details:

(via Flickr/Kevin Ward)

Those hoping to keep the Rams in St. Louis should not count on any help from Democratic Governor Jay Nixon or the Republican-led Missouri Senate.

When asked by reporters Monday about efforts to build a new stadium for the Rams, Governor Nixon said that the state is still paying half the cost of the Edward Jones Dome in downtown St. Louis.

“I don’t have a new stadium in this year’s budget, nor do I have any ongoing discussions on how to do that," Nixon said.

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

Updated 5:29 p.m. with comment from the CVC and addition of full arbitrators' report.

According to the St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission, arbitrators have chosen the plan put forth by the St. Louis Rams for the revamping of the stadium in which they play, the Edward Jones Dome.

(via Flickr/jglazer75)

The Illinois Senate returns to the Capitol on Wednesday to begin a weeklong legislative session that could take up pension reform, legalizing gay marriage and banning assault rifles.

The 97th General Assembly will finish its work Jan. 9 when a new Legislature is sworn in. That means there are many lame-duck lawmakers not returning who might feel less constrained to vote for contentious issues. The House comes in Sunday.

Gov. Pat Quinn has made it a priority for the assembly to find a solution to the state employee retirement programs that are underfunded by $96 billion.

via YouTube video/nyrainbow5

Fontella Bass, a St. Louis-born soul singer who hit the top of the R&B charts with "Rescue Me" in 1965, has died.

The singer's daughter, Neuka Mitchell, says Bass died at a St. Louis hospice Wednesday night of complications from a heart attack suffered three weeks ago. She was 72. Bass had also suffered several strokes since 2005.

via Flickr/brownpau

Illinois and local cities and towns are starting to cash in on new video gambling terminals.

The Southern Illinoisan reports that the state took in nearly $1 million in additional income in November from more than 1,400 video terminals.

More than $191,000 was distributed to towns and cities where the machines are located.

Video gambling became legal in bars, clubs and truck stops in October.

(via SLU Athletics)

Saint Louis University is hosting a public memorial service Friday for basketball coach Rick Majerus.

Hundreds are expected at the service at Chaifetz Pavilion to honor Majerus. It begins at 3:30 p.m.

Majerus coached for 25 years, the last five at Saint Louis University, where he led the Billikens to the third round of the NCAA tournament in March. He was 517-216 for his career and led Utah to the NCAA finals in 1998.

(via Flickr/aka Kath)

Illinois and the federal government have approved an environmental impact statement for the high-speed rail line under construction between Chicago and St. Louis.

The review is an important step because it identifies a route through Springfield that would end a dispute that had threatened to hold up the project.

It also recommends a route around some of the congested tangle of rail lines between Chicago and suburban Joliet. Upgrades to that suggested corridor would be $500 million cheaper than the existing route because fewer overpasses would be needed.

Bill Greenblatt | UPI | 2012 photo

Thank you for joining us for Election Day, and later, election night. Our live blog has concluded, but our coverage isn't over.

(Courtesy Saint Louis Zoo)

Updated 5:52 p.m.

Carol Perkins, a conservationist and humanitarian and the widow of famed zoologist Marlin Perkins, has died.

The Saint Louis Zoo says Carol Perkins died Saturday at her home in Clayton, Mo. She was 95 and had been in declining health.

Marlin Perkins was the director of the Saint Louis Zoo who gained international fame after becoming host of television's "Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom" in 1962. The program aired for 26 years until his death in 1986.

(via Missouri Department of Natural Resources)

A company has agreed to clean up groundwater contamination in north St. Louis County after tests raised concerns at homes near the plant.

The Environmental Protection Agency on Thursday announced a cleanup agreement with PerkinElmer Inc., a Massachusetts-based firm that operates the Missouri Metals plant. The agreement will be final after a 30-day comment period.

(via Flickr/aperte)

A group of voters is challenging the validity of a measure on this fall's ballot that would make it more difficult to improve retirement benefits for public employees.

In a statement Thursday, Republican state Senate candidate John Bambenek, of Champaign, said he and 10 other Illinois residents filed a lawsuit arguing the question is unconstitutional.

(via Flickr/alkruse24)

The state says five Missouri charter schools are financially stressed.

Four of the schools are in St. Louis - Carondolet Leadership Academy, Grand Center Arts Academy, South City Preparatory Academy and Jamaa Learning Center. The fifth is Pathway Academy in Kansas City.

This is the first time the state has declared schools financially stressed under a new state law that requires more supervision of the publicly funded but independently run schools. The designation is based on ending balances in two key funds.

(via Flickr/The Confluence)

Federal lawmakers from several states along the Mississippi River are pressing to modernize the waterway's locks-and-dams system, which they say desperately needs repair.

Sens. Dick Durbin and Mark Kirk of Illinois, Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt from Missouri, and Tom Harkin and Chuck Grassley from Iowa are pressing the Environmental and Public Works Committee to ensure funding to hasten what they term critical improvements.

(via Flickr/denharsh)

Remember that law which would make it easier for police to track people's cellphone signals during emergencies? Well, it went into effect today, and there is already a lawsuit filed challenging it.

(via Flickr/Phil Roeder)

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on behalf of 14 states, including Illinois, is urging the U.S. Supreme Court to uphold racial preferences in college admissions.

Schneiderman says in a brief that the Constitution permits schools to consider race as one factor in policies that foster diversity.

The court's ruling will be its first on affirmative action in higher education since 2003. Arguments will be Oct. 10.

(via Flickr/Muffet)

The Missouri Corn Growers Association has endorsed Gov. Jay Nixon's re-election campaign.

The group says this is the first time it has made a gubernatorial endorsement.

Association President Billy Thiel says the group decided to endorse Nixon because he has promoted Missouri agriculture by helping to expand its markets globally. The group also cited Nixon's support for ethanol cooperatives, among other things.

Nixon, a Democrat, faces no serious opposition in the Aug. 7 primary. Four Republicans are competing to challenge him.

Updated 4:42 p.m. with additional layoffs and information.

One of the world's largest coal producers, St. Louis-based Arch Coal, says it will lay off about 750 workers in the Kentucky, Virginia and West Virginia coalfields.

It's the latest setback for an industry struggling for market share as utilities switch to cleaner and cheaper alternatives.

(via Flickr/albertogp123)

The school superintendent in East St. Louis says some teachers used "inappropriate strategies and techniques" to inflate students scores on standardized achievement tests.

District 189 Superintendent Arthur Culver told the Belleville News-Democrat's editorial board on Wednesday that elementary test scores will likely drop this year. Culver didn't call the teachers' actions cheating and he didn't cite any schools by name. He also didn't describe or give examples of the questionable methods the teachers allegedly used.

(Illinois National Guard Website)

Updated 3:22 p.m. with information from press conference.

The man who has headed the Illinois National Guard for the past five years is stepping down from that post to consider running as a Democrat for an open congressional seat.

Adjutant General William Enyart submitted his resignation Thursday and was replaced by Gov. Pat Quinn for the time being by Maj. Gen. Dennis Celletti. Celletti is the assistant adjutant general for the Army.

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