Mon February 21, 2011
Morning headlines: Attorneys for Blagojevich ask judge to throw out wiretap recordings, Drew Bauer dies, hiring by Mo. state agencies increases
- Attorneys for Rod Blagojevich are asking a judge to throw out secret wiretap recordings made of the former Illinois governor in 2008, claiming there are gaps in the tapes. Defense attorneys say the gaps may contain context needed to understand the conversations. In their motion filed early today, they asked a judge to prevent jurors from hearing any wiretaps. Blagojevich faces an April 20 retrial on 23 charges, including that the impeached governor tried to sell or trade an appointment to President Barack Obama's vacated U.S. Senate seat.
- Andrew N. "Drew" Baur, a member of the St. Louis Cardinals' ownership group, has died. The team said he died suddenly Sunday morning. A cause of death was not given. The local bank executive helped organize the original ownership group that bought the Cardinals from Anheuser-Busch in 1996. A lifelong Cardinals fan and native of St. Louis, Baur most recently served as chairman of Southwest Bank of St. Louis. Cardinals Chairman Bill DeWitt Jr. says "Drew loved the Cardinals and was a great partner." Baur was 66 years-old.
- The state of Missouri hired new employees faster than usual in the last quarter of 2010. Hiring by state agencies was up 17 percent. State agencies hired 1,085 new full-time workers in the quarter, compared to 925 hired in the same period of 2009. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the increase may be due to new retirement rules that kicked in for state employees on Jan. 1. Employees on the payroll before Dec. 31, 2010, don't have too contribute to their pensions. A state spokeswoman said there's no information to determine whether some new hires were trying to beat the retirement changes.