St. Louis Public Radio

Jay Hoffman served in the Illinois House for 22 years, and now he says he's running for Congress.

The (Champaign) News-Gazette reports that Hoffman said Sunday he'll run for the Democratic nomination in the new 13th Congressional District. Hoffman narrowly lost a race for Congress in 1996.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Thank you for joining us earlier this morning for the live webcast of President Obama's address on his deficit reduction plan.

For a summary of his address and more information, see this post from NPR's The Two-Way.

Earlier, we also posted The Two-Way's "Five things to know about Obama's deficit plan"

(Alise O'Brien)

The time is here!

The St. Louis Symphony Orchestra opens its 2011-2012 season this weekend, and you can be right there with them from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 17.

On select Saturday evenings, St. Louis Public Radio broadcasts the SLSO performance over the air, bringing you a live classical music experience wherever you are.

(via Flickr/Dodo-Bird)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has issued a disaster declaration for farmers in 23 Missouri counties, including several in the St. Louis area, hit by floods and heavy rain since May 1.

Friday's declaration allows farmers in those counties and 26 neighboring counties to seek federal assistance for losses caused by the severe weather. Gov. Jay Nixon had requested the declaration last month.

(via Flickr/Dodo-Bird)

Gov. Jay Nixon is asking the U.S. Department of Agriculture to help farmers whose crops wilted this summer amid high temperatures and a lack of rain in much of the state.

On Thursday, Nixon asked Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to designate 101 Missouri counties (full list of counties below) as primary disaster areas. That would allow eligible farmers to get emergency loans and other federal help.

(via Flickr/dbking)

Updated 1:11 p.m.

Passengers aboard a flight bound from St. Louis to Washington on the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks had to make a return to the gate after crew became concerned about something found on the plane.

The Transportation Security Administration says GoJet Airlines flight 3681, a regional carrier for United Airlines, was still on the runway Sunday when it returned to the gate. A TSA spokesman says all passengers were re-screened at the request of the pilot. Nothing was found and the plane departed.

(via Flickr/fekaylius)

Let's start with what we know.

Almost immediately, thousands of people died ten years ago. Countless lives were changed. Landscapes and skylines were scarred and scattered.

But it's been ten years since 9/11. An entire decade.

So, then, let's move forward with what we don't know for sure: how does something that started ten years ago still reach us, here in the St. Louis region, today? Did it ever end? Will it?

Through local news features, dedicated segments of St. Louis on the Air and special coverage from NPR we'll venture into these questions with you.

See our journalistic explorations here and we encourage you to offer your feedback.

Tweet us with your experiences of Sept. 11 @stlpublicradio, share with us on Facebook and comment on any of our stories here on stlpublicradio.org.

Resources

(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Thank you for joining us for this event.

President Obama addressed a joint session of Congress about his plans for boosting job growth.

See NPR's "The Two-Way" for online coverage regarding the President's remarks.

(Official Photo via Office of the Lt. Governor)

Republican Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder plans to meet with residents across Missouri before deciding whether to challenge Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon in next year's elections.

Although he has not officially declared his candidacy, Kinder has been preparing for months to run for governor.

But his potential campaign was dealt a setback earlier this month when Kinder acknowledged that he had repeatedly visited a strip club 17 years ago.

Cleaning up your credit score

Aug 29, 2011
(via Flickr/Andres Rueda)

Credit score got you down? You can boost your score by hiring a credit clean-up service.

In case you missed it, check out this story from our own Adam Allington for Marketplace Money on how a couple hundred dollars investment can result in big savings in mortgages and other loans.

(via Flickr/MoneyBlogNewz)

Updated 4:19 p.m. with comment from the Missouri State Teachers Association and Missouri State Sen. Jane Cunningham, the sponsor of the original bill which became law

From Todd Fuller of the Missouri State Teachers Association:

“It’s a sigh of relief for all teachers throughout the state who use social media, and it allows them to continue to use it in the positive way that they’re already using it and continue to interact with their students the way they have been.”

From Missouri State Sen.  Jane Cunningham, R-Chesterfield, who sponsored the bill.  She acknowledges that there’s been confusion over what the restrictions will and won’t do, and says she has a solution:

“We have come up with some language that we feel like is ready to go…we don’t need to punt for more input, (I’m) not opposed to it, but we’ve got some agreed upon language with the stakeholders and we’re ready to clarify that language.”

Updated 1:11 p.m. with Gov. Nixon's action

Gov. Jay Nixon says he will add the teacher Internet issue to the agenda for a special legislative session that begins Sept. 6. Nixon says he wants lawmakers to repeal the new law.

His Friday announcement came shortly after a Missouri judge issued a preliminary injunction (see below) blocking the law from taking effect as scheduled on Sunday.

Updated 11:32 a.m. with link to full ruling

A Missouri judge has blocked a law restricting Internet communications between teachers and students from taking effect Sunday.

(You can read the full ruling here).

Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem issued a preliminary injunction against the law Friday, calling it a staggering prohibition of free speech rights.

(Courtesy Missouri State Fair)

Good morning! Here are some of today's starting headlines:

Missouri State Fairgrounds temporarily close after nighttime storms

Update: A tweet from the Missouri State Fair: "State Fair to Open Gates at 3 p.m. Today - Luke Bryan and Josh Thompson will take the Grandstand Stage at 7:30 p.m. as scheduled"

Original Story:

The Missouri State Fairgrounds are closed after a strong storm knocked out power.

(via Wikimedia Commons/Noahudlis)

A federal judge has rejected a challenge by Missouri prison inmates to the state's execution procedure.

The inmates' lawsuit argued that Missouri does not get valid medical prescriptions for the drugs used to put prisoners to death.

The lawsuit cited the state's use of non-medical personnel to administer the chemicals intravenously.

In a ruling Monday, U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey said the inmates' lawsuit failed to show actual harm to anyone.

Missouri's execution process has been the subject of legal wrangling for several years.

(via Flickr/steakpinball)

A central Missouri man who served 14 years of a life sentence for his mother's death before his conviction was overturned says he wants to get back to normal.

Fifty-five-year-old Dale Helmig spent Monday looking for a job and visiting a sick relative while still absorbing the news that he won't face a new murder trial. He was convicted in 1996 of killing Norma Helmig in 1993.

(St. Louis Public Radio)

As we told you about Wednesday, the St. Louis Riverfront Times published an interview with Tammy Chapman, who worked as a stripper in the St. Louis area in the 90’s and claimed that then-State Senator, and now Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, was “one of her best customers.”

(via Wikimedia Commons/AlexiusHoratius)

In an update to a story we've been following and told you more about earlier this morning:

A nine-year legal fight by a man sexually abused by a priest in the 1970s is over, now that a southern Illinois diocese and its insurer have handed over $6.3 million to resolve a jury award in the man's favor.

(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Thank you for joining us for the live broadcast of the President's remarks.

President Obama addressed the nation this afternoon regarding the current economic situation. You can review a live-blog of the President's speech via NPR's "The Two-Way."

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Gov. Jay Nixon says he is not including the expansion of a tax credit for assembling and maintaining large swaths of land in his planned call for a special legislative session.

Nixon and lawmakers have been working on an agreement for an economic development package. One part of the lawmakers' proposal would remove the time limit for the tax credit program while offering fewer credits annually.

The tax credits are being used by a developer, Paul McKee, who has promised a multi-billion dollar makeover for north St. Louis.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

The U.S. set a record for the most tornadoes in one month in April.

The final report for the month shows 753 twisters across the country, including a super outbreak on April 25-28 that killed more than 300 people in the South and Midwest. The tornado that roared through the St. Louis area on April 22 was part of that outbreak.

The tornado total is down from the preliminary count of 875 that generated widespread publicity. But the federal Storm Prediction Center says it still tops the former monthly record of 543 tornadoes in May 2003.

(St. Louis Public Radio)

In March, the Missouri Supreme Court heard a case regarding the constitutionality of a state tax credit which, as we stated then, enabled St. Louis developer Paul McKee to buy up several tracts of land on the city’s north side.

At that time, McKee had received $28 million in tax credits for his NorthSide project and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay signed off on the project in February.

Today, the Missouri Supreme Court said that the tax credit is, indeed, constitutional.

When the case was heard in March, attorney Irene Smith, who represents plaintiffs and North St. Louis residents Barbara Manzara and Keith Marquard,  said that the tax credit violates the state constitution by giving state tax dollars to private business interests.

The Supreme Court cited a couple different reasons for their decision.

(St. Louis Public Radio)

President Obama spoke this morning regarding the status of the debt ceiling negotiations.

In case you missed his remarks or would like to review them, see this live-blog of the news conference via NPR's "The Two-Way."

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A St. Louis jury has awarded $38.5 million to 16 residents of Herculaneum who alleged negligence by the former owners of a lead smelter in the eastern Missouri town.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the verdict on Thursday was only for compensatory damages. The trial that began three months ago continues Friday with a hearing about punitive damages against Texas-based Fluor Corp., Virginia-based A.T. Massey Coal and Doe Run Investment Holding Co.

(via Flickr/Christian Haugen)

A coroner in southwestern Illinois says the heat wave gripping the region is blamed in two deaths.

St. Clair County Coroner Rick Stone tells the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that both men were found dead Wednesday night.

The body of 72-year-old Willie Gill of East St. Louis was found in a ditch near a home where he occasionally stayed. Stone described Gill as a transient and said his body temperature was 106.5 degrees.

(via Flickr/dbking)

Updated 5:26 p.m. with further detail and comment from lawmakers

Updated 2:24 p.m. with statement from office of Gov. Nixon on special session

A statement issued today from Scott Holste, a spokesperson for Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon, announces that the governor will call the Missouri legislature into special session.

The date of the special session has not been determined.

(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza/via White House Flickr account)

Thank you for joining us for this event earlier this morning.

NPR held special coverage of President Obama's news conference this morning regarding the deficit-reduction talks.

For more on how the press conference played out, see live-blogged coverage from NPR's "The Two-Way."

(Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Thank you for joining us this morning for NPR's special live coverage of this event.

From NPR's "The Two-Way":

"Saying he is prepared 'to take significant heat' from members of his own party in order to achieve meaningful debt and deficit reduction, President Obama this morning again pushed for a big, long-term budget deal with Republicans.

And he heaped praise on House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) for his efforts to strike such a grand bargain, even though the Republican leader has said that he probably can't get such a plan approved by members of his party. The president said that both he and Boehner need to convince skeptics in their parties' ranks of the need for action.

(Taken by Melissa Pabst.)

Updated 9:16 a.m. May 26

The St. Louis Public Radio listening area experienced waves of severe storms Wednesday.

Here are the latest updates from the National Weather Service.

See earlier updates after the jump.

(Courtesy of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department)

Together with mourners, members of the St. Louis Police Department paid final respects to Officer Daryl Hall this morning at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church.

Hall was shot and killed while trying to break up an off-duty incident last weekend.

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay said the tragedy underscores the sacrifice officers are asked to make, even while off duty.

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