St. Louis Public Radio

(via Flickr/Lauren Manning)

Updated 1:28 p.m. to reflect that eleven states have already been granted waivers.

The Missouri Board of Education has approved the state's request for a waiver from some provisions of the federal No Child Left Behind law.

Members voted Tuesday to support the waiver's submission to the U.S. Department of Education with minor edits. Last fall, President Barack Obama said states will be allowed to seek a waiver from the law, which requires all students to show proficiency in math and reading by 2014.

(via Flickr/Congress of local and regional authorities)

Missouri is holding its presidential primary tomorrow, and turnout is expected to be extremely low. That is in part because the votes won't count, even though the primary will close taxpayers millions of dollars.

Check out our own Maria Altman's story for Marketplace Morning Report, which aired this morning.

(via Wikimedia Commons)

The St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission is proposing $124 million in improvements to the Edward Jones Dome in hopes of keeping the Rams in St. Louis.

A lease agreement with the team requires the dome to be among the top 25 percent of all stadiums as measured by various criteria.

If not, the Rams could break the lease after the 2014 season and potentially move. Owner Stan Kroenke has been non-committal about keeping the Rams in St. Louis.

(Pete Souza)

Join us tonight beginning at 8 p.m. for live special coverage of the 2012 State of the Union address from NPR.

As always, you can listen on-air at 90.7 FM or online here.

After President Obama addresses Congress, the Republican response will be given by Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels.

What is President Obama expected to touch on during his address? White House Senior Adviser David Plouffe gave NPR this preview of the speech. The featured topic of choice? The economy.

Thanks for joining us!

Iowa Republicans caucus tonight to voice their judgment on which candidate should challenge President Obama for the nation's top job in 2012.

Join us for live special coverage on-air tonight from NPR beginning at 8 p.m. and follow the latest from NPR on Election 2012 below.

Want to know more about the Iowa caucuses? NPR's Political Junkie Ken Rudin wrote up a blog post to give a historical perspective on what winning the caucuses means to the election as a whole and the process of caucusing itself.

Election 2012 News From NPR

(via Flickr/Lauren Manning)

Two under-performing St. Louis charter schools will close at the end of the school year.

James French, chairman of Missouri Baptist University's Education Division, which sponsors the schools, announced Monday that Imagine Academy of Academic Success and Imagine Academy of Cultural Arts, will close.

The university, which began sponsoring the schools in 2006, said neither school was living up to academic performance standards, was financially sound, or was showing signs of improvement.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Federal accident investigators recommended states ban the use of cell phones and other electronic devices by all drivers except in emergencies.

(via Facebook/with permission from Dillon campaign)

An aide to former Democratic Congressman Ike Skelton says he plans to run for Missouri secretary of state.

Ryan Dillon, of Rolla, said Monday that he intends to make job creation and an "open political process" the themes of his campaign.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

The effort to upgrade the grounds of the Gateway Arch is getting a boost from the federal government - a $20 million grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

The agency planning the project, CityArchRiver 2015 Foundation, announced Monday that the grant will pay for roadway improvements along Interstate 70 near the site of the Arch, including a pedestrian land bridge over I-70 connecting the Old Courthouse, Luther Ely Smith Square and the Arch grounds.

Originally published 9:15 a.m.

This is a developing story. Check back for more updates.

Updated 9:59 a.m. to include information about deal possibly reaching $260 million.

Updated 11:54 a.m. to include comments from McNeal & announced deal amount.

Updated 12:16 p.m. with response of Cardinals organization

Updated 1:22 p.m. with comments from Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto

Updated 4:17 with comment from Cardinals general manager John Mozeliak

(via Flickr/Lauren Manning)

Missouri lawmakers will again push legislation aimed at preventing an exodus of Kansas City and St. Louis students from their failing schools and overwhelming neighboring districts.

The Missouri Supreme Court ruled last year that students living in unaccredited districts are owed free transfers and that accredited schools must take the students. The courts continue to work out the details.

(via Flickr/Senator McCaskill)

Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo. has proposed shifting money from development in Afghanistan to roads and bridges in the U.S.

The U.S. Department of Defense pays for projects through the Commanders' Emergency Response Program and the Afghanistan Infrastructure Fund.

Ameren's coal-fired power plant in Labadie
Véronique LaCapra / St. Louis Public Radio

Seven of Ameren Missouri's 12 coal ash ponds inspected for structural integrity by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency have been rated "poor."

(Official Photo via Office of the Lt. Governor)

Updated at 5:35 p.m. via the Associated Press, and at 5:42 with a quote from Brad Lager:

In a ripple effect from Kinder's announcement, St. Louis developer Chris McKee, who just announced his candidacy on Monday, has now announced that he is pulling out of the race for Lt. Gov. and instead will throw his support behind Kinder.

Republican state Sen. Brad Lager, of Savannah, also declared his candidacy for lieutenant governor Monday. Lager said Friday that he is still in the race but will re-evaluate that decision after he gets a chance to talk with Kinder.

(Provided by Boone County Sheriff's Office)

Suspended Missouri football coach Gary Pinkel has pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of drunken driving.

Boone County court records show that Pinkel was charged on Friday and pleaded guilty the same day. He was arrested in Columbia on Wednesday night and suspended without pay the next day for the final home game of the season.

(Provided by Boone County Sheriff's Office)

This is a developing story. We will update it when we have more information.

Updated at 4:25 p.m.:

Missouri has suspended coach Gary Pinkel for Saturday's game and frozen his salary for a year following his overnight arrest on suspicion of drunk driving.

Athletic director Mike Alden announced the disciplinary measures on Thursday afternoon. They include a total of some $300,000 in penalties, including a donation to a campus alcohol-awareness program, and 50 hours of community service.

(St. Louis County website)

St. Louis County Executive is defending his proposed budget that includes layoffs and closing some 20 parks and other facilities. In a letter to the county council dated Tuesday, Dooley laid out the options for dealing with declining property tax revenues and rising costs. Dooley says it’s time for the county to live within its means.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Reporting from NPR's Tom Goldman was used in this story.

David Freese homered to lead off the bottom of the 11th inning, and the St. Louis Cardinals forced the World Series to a Game 7 by rallying from two-run deficits against the Texas Rangers in the 9th and 10th innings on Thursday night.

Flickr

Legislation to restore salaries for regional school superintendents after they were wiped out by Gov. Pat Quinn has failed in the Illinois House.

The vote Thursday was 59 to 55, but lawmakers can vote again later.

A House Committee had approved the legislation on Tuesday.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says a Chinese province has agreed to increase its imports from Missouri by $100 million over the next three years.

Nixon's announcement Wednesday about the Hebei province came as part a weeklong trade trip to China. The governor previously announced that a new agreement with the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade would increase imports of Missouri goods by $1 billion over three years.

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