St. Louis Public Radio News
1:40 pm
Mon December 30, 2002

Missouri Media Rank Top Stories of 2002

St. Louis, MO – Missouri media have voted the U.S. Senate battle between Democrat Jean Carnahan and Republican Jim Talent as the top news story of 2002.

Talent ousted Carnahan in the November fifth general election.

Threads of the story reach to 2000, when Mrs. Carnahan's late husband, Governor Mel Carnahan, died in a plane crash. The crash and the nation's first posthumous election of a U.S. Senator combined for that year's top Missouri news story.

Here's a list of the most important news stories, as ranked by Associated Press newspapers and broadcast media around the state:

1. The race for U.S. Senate between Jim Talent and Jean Carnahan.

2. State revenues fall, instead of grow, for the first time since 1955, causing hundreds of millions of dollars in budget cuts that hit higher education especially hard.

3. Republicans win control of the Missouri House and Senate for the first time since 1948.

4. Former pharmacist Robert Courtney was sentenced in Kansas City to 30 years in prison for diluting drugs.

5. Voters reject a proposed tax increase for transportation, a proposed tobacco tax for health care and a proposed cell phone tax for 911 emergency service.

6. A 2-year-old southwest Missouri boy is allegedly shaken to death by his foster father, sparking community outrage and prompting Gov. Bob Holden, the state Senate and the state auditor to launch separate investigations into Division of Family Services.

7. The West Nile virus claimed the lives of a handful of Missourians in only the second year the virus n detected in the state.

8. West Palm Beach, Fla., Bishop Anthony O'Connell's admission that he sexually abused a seminarian in Hannibal, Mo., in the 1960s leads to his resignation. The admission also leads to other allegations from former students at the seminary, which was shut down due to falling attendance in May.

9. Jeffery Stumph sexually assaults two Drury University students in January. He pleads guilty in November. Lawmakers point to Stumph's case in passing several new laws, including requiring a psychological evaluation before sex offenders are released.

10. The Cardinals seek public funding for a new $340 million stadium. When that fails, they threaten to move to Illinois but eventually decide on a plan to build a privately-funded stadium downtown.