Fri January 7, 2011
Morning headlines: Former CIA agent jailed, Mo. legislators want to limit minimum wage, Early voting summary approved, Boone bridge closed this weekend
- A former CIA agent is jailed after allegedly leaking classified information about Iran to a New York Times reporter. Jeffrey Sterling, 43, of O'Fallon, Mo. is charged in a ten count indictment. The federal indictment charges Sterling with unauthorized disclosure of national defense information. The indictment did not specify what he leaked, but The Associated Press reports the leaks were to Pulitizer Prize winning journalist James Risen for his 2008 book State of War. The book details information about the CIA's covert spy war in Iran.
- Some Missouri legislators want to limit the growth of the state's minimum wage. A 2006 law approved by Missouri voters requires the state's minimum wage to be adjusted annually with inflation. But if the federal minimum wage is higher, then that is used instead. Republic House member Jerry Nolte, of Gladstone, has filed legislation prohibiting the Missouri minimum wage from rising above the federal one. The bill has the backing of several other Republicans, as well as a coalition of business groups. Nolte says it's important for Missouri businesses to keep wages comparable to those of most neighboring states. Missouri currently follows the federal minimum wage of $7.25 an hour. The state labor department says Missouri's wage this year would otherwise be $7.00 per hour.
- People who want a state ballot initiative that could lead to early voting have a green light from the state to start gathering signatures. The Missouri secretary of state's office approved a summary of the initiative petition yesterday. Supporters must collect between 91,800 and 99,600 signatures, and the question would appear on the 2012 ballot. The proposal would change Missouri law to let voters cast ballots in person before federal general elections.
- The Missouri Department of Transportation says the westbound lanes of the Daniel Boone bridge will close for maintenance from about 8 or 9 p.m. tonight until around 5 a.m. Monday. The bridge carries Interstate 64 traffic over the Missouri River. Drivers are encouraged to use one of three other bridges that cross the river in the St. Louis area - on Interstate 70, Route 364 or Highway 370. The work is preventative maintenance on the Boone bridge, which carries about 75,000 cars daily.