St. Louis Public Radio

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.

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.

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