Morning headlines: February 2, 2012
STL Mayor Chief of Staff: removing dome roof won't work
The St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission gave the Rams a plan Wednesday calling for $124 million in upgrades to the Edward Jones Dome. The lease with the team requires the Dome to be in the top 25 percent of NFL stadiums or the Rams can leave in 2015.
The CVC's plan includes a new scoreboard, replacing 1800 seats with 1500 club seats and installing windows to allow more natural light.
St. Louis Mayor's Chief of Staff Jeff Rainford says while some have suggested removing the roof, the CVC determined it wouldn't work.
"Number one it would render the facility useless as far as conventions are concerned and number two the facility itself was not built to be open air and if you opened it up there's no drainage so it would just, when it rained, fill up like a bowl," said Rainford.
The CVC says the Rams would be responsible for 52 percent of the cost of the upgrades. The remaining $60 million would come from the city of St. Louis and St. Louis County, but officials stressed voters would have to give their approval.
Mo. Secretary of State predicts 23 percent turnout for presidential primary
Missouri Secretary of State Robin Carnahan is encouraging people to vote in the primary, even though the results won't count for awarding delegates to the Republican National Convention. The state Republican Party has chosen to allot its presidential delegates based on the results of caucuses that will begin in mid-March.
Under national party rules intended to prevent a crush of early primaries, Missouri Republicans could have risked losing half their presidential delegates if they had used a February primary to award delegates.
Missouri law still requires a presidential primary to be held on Feb. 7, but it does not require political parties to use its results for awarding delegates.
Mo. Insurance officials say 4,000 residents received autism treatments in 2011
The Missouri Insurance Department said Wednesday that insurance companies covered about $4.3 million in autism-related treatments in 2011.
A state law that took effect in January 2011 requires health insurance companies to cover certain autism treatments, such as behavioral analysis.
Insurance director John Huff says the new law did not significantly increase health insurance premiums or health care costs in Missouri. The department says the average cost for autism treatments is about $143 per month.