Tue January 4, 2011
Morning headlines: Bond joins private sector, STL county to replace sirens, Carnahan and Filner to visit VA, Mountain lion sighting confirmed
- Former U.S. Senator Kit Bond has joined the private sector. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Bond started Monday with St. Louis-based law firm Thompson Coburn. Bond did not seek re-election in November while finishing his fourth term in the Senate. His seat was captured by fellow Republican Roy Blunt, who has yet to be sworn in. The Post-Dispatch says Senate rules forbid outgoing senators from affiliating with new employers until they are technically out-of-office. Bond said that he consulted Senate Ethics Committee lawyers and was told that he was off the Senate payroll and no longer a senator as of noon Monday. Bond is expected to formally announce his new position at a news conference today. St. Louis Public Radio will report all the details.
- According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, St. Louis county is replacing warning sirens. After a test on Monday, officials estimated that 14 out of the 210 sirens no longer work, 13 do not rotate, and 54 others have damaged speakers that limit their range. All the units in the area where tornadoes touched down on New Year's Eve appeared to have been in working condition. The new sirens are scheduled to be in place by the end of April.
- St. Louis Democratic House members Russ Carnahan of St. Louis and Bob Filner of California are scheduled to meet with veterans and VA nurses as part of an investigation into problems at the VA Medical Center in St. Louis. Carnahan and Filner will tour the medical center and update the media on the investigation. Filner was chairman of the House Veterans' Affairs Committee last year. He led a field hearing in July after news that sterilization failures at the hospital's dental clinic potentially exposed more than 1,800 veterans to hepatitis B, hepatitis C and HIV. So far, no known cases have been linked to the sterilization problem.
- Missouri has a confirmed sighting of a mountain lion. The state Department of Conservation says a mountain lion was shot and killed Sunday night by a farmer in northwest Missouri's Ray County. The animal was a young male who showed no sign of having been held in captivity. It weight 115 pounds and was a little over six-and-a-half feet from its nose to the tip of its tail. Dogs had forced the mountain lion into a tree near where cattle were grazing. The Ray County cat is Missouri's 12th confirmed mountain lion sighting since 1994. The Conservation Department says genetic testing will help determine if it's the same animal that was photographed in November by a landowner in nearly Platte County.
New Year's Eve Tornadoes