Morning round-up
9:34 am
Thu April 14, 2011

Morning headlines: April 14, 2011

Mo. Lawmakers Approve Overhauling Prop B

Missouri lawmakers have given final approval to legislation replacing many provisions in a dog-breeding law approved by voters in November. The House approved the legislation 85-71 on Wednesday. It cleared the Senate last month and goes now to Gov. Jay Nixon.

The bill eliminates a cap on owning 50 breeding dogs and rolls back various new requirements on dogs' living conditions. Instead, breeders would need to provide appropriate space for their animals based on regulations set by the Department of Agriculture. The bill also would allow licensing costs of up to $2,500 instead of $500, and would impose an additional $25 annual fee to finance state efforts to crack down on unlicensed dog breeders.

St. Louis Vacant Schools Being Stripped of Valuables

Looting at the 44 vacant schools in St. Louis is causing significant damage. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the vacant buildings are being stripped of anything valuable. What is left behind is strewn with rubble, and damage is estimated in the millions of dollars.

The school district closed down the schools as the city's student population continues to decline. The St. Louis district's student population peaked at 115,543 in 1967. Now, about 24,000 students attend city schools.

Business Bankruptcies Down in St. Louis

Business bankruptcies are down sharply in the St. Louis area.  The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that filings in St. Louis fell by 43 percent in the first quarter of 2011 compared to the same period in 2010. That is according to a report released Wednesday by the accounting firm Hoffman Clark.

There were 52 business bankruptcy cases filed January through March, compared to 91 in the first quarter of 2010, possibly an indication that the recession's financial stress has worked through the system. The Post-Dispatch says the number of filings was the lowest since the third quarter of 2007, shortly before the recession began. The highest number of filings occurred in the second quarter of 2010, with 112.