Morning News Round-up
9:49 am
Fri August 12, 2011

Morning headlines: Friday, August 12, 2011

Commission charged with redrawing Mo. House districts meets in Jefferson City

A special commission redrawing Missouri's 163 House districts is meeting in Jefferson City with just days to finish its work on a new map. The 18-member bipartisan panel scheduled a working session Friday to draw new boundaries for state House districts to reflect population changes revealed by the latest census. The commission

has one Republican and one Democrat from each of Missouri's U.S. House districts.  If the commission is unable to agree on a tentative map by its deadline of next Thursday, responsibility for drawing new House districts would fall to judges of the Missouri Court of Appeals. A separate panel is revising the boundaries of Missouri's 34 state Senate districts.

Training wheels found near site of Mo. girl's disappearance

Investigators have found training wheels near the site where a 3-year-old southeast Missouri girl disappeared. Senath town marshal Omar Karnes says one wheel was found Tuesday, the other Wednesday. He told the Kennett Daily Dunklin Democrat that it isn't certain the training wheels are from the small bike that Breeann Rodriguez was riding in front of her home when she disappeared on Saturday. The wheels were sent to a crime lab for analysis. Karnes says he is still hopeful Breeann will be found alive.

 Police continue to search for a white van spotted in the area.

Kirk hopes Washington will shift focus to small businesses, expresses faith in"Super Committee"

Illinois junior U.S. Senator, Republican Mark Kirk, said Thursday that in the midst of the federal debt crisis he hopes emphasis will be shifted to small businesses. The Senator said he has heard from small business owners who say they are facing too much uncertainty and too many federal regulations.

"My hope is that as we see federal finances deteriorate as we see the financial markets delivering devastating verdict against the current Washington economic policy we should see our leaders shift to pivot to emphasizing not public sector jobs which was the heart and soul of the stimulus but small business sector jobs," Kirk said.

Kirk also signaled his confidence in the newly-appointed members of the so-called "Super Committee." 

They're charged with reaching an agreement on how the U.S. can get out of the debt crisis, which has spawned gridlock between Republicans and Democrats.

Pujols hits solo home run as Cards top Brewers

In sports, Albert Pujols collected four hits including a solo homer as the St. Louis Cardinals topped the Milwaukee Brewers yesterday 5-2. Rafael Furcal also went deep for the Cardinals, who pulled within four games of National League Central-leading Milwaukee. Starter Chris Carpenter picked up his eighth win of the year.