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Science
3:45 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Agreement Reached To Clean-Up Groundwater Contamination At St. Louis County Site

A map illustrating the contamination and plume area of the Chicago Heights site.
(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.

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Politics
2:45 pm
Thu October 18, 2012

Ill. Voters File Lawsuit Challenging Retirement Benefits Ballot Question

A ballot question in Illinois regarding retirement benefits for public employees has been challenged with a lawsuit.
(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.

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Charter Schools
12:56 pm
Tue October 16, 2012

State: 4 of 5 'Financially Stressed' Mo. Charter Schools Are In St. Louis

(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.

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Mississippi River
3:50 pm
Tue September 25, 2012

Lawmakers: Mississippi River Locks 'Desperate' For Repair

A barge travels the Mississippi River.
(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.

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Cellphone Tracking
11:49 am
Tue August 28, 2012

New Mo. law on cellphone tracking gets busy signal with lawsuit

(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.

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Affirmative Action
10:06 am
Tue August 14, 2012

IL, 13 other states back affirmative action in college admissions policy

The United States Supreme Court building in Washington, DC.
(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.

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Election 2012
12:09 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

First-ever gubernatorial endorsement from Mo. Corn Growers backs Nixon

(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.

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Arch Coal
12:57 pm
Thu June 21, 2012

St. Louis-based Arch Coal to lay off about 750 workers in Appalachia

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.

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Education / East St. Louis
12:06 pm
Thu June 14, 2012

East St. Louis superintendent: student test scores inflated by teachers

(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.

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Election 2012
1:52 pm
Thu June 7, 2012

Ill. Nat. Guard's Enyart resigns; possible entrant to 12th District race

Maj. Gen William Enyart has submitted his letter of resignation.
(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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