Morning News Round-up
6:47 am
Fri December 23, 2011

Morning headlines: Friday, December 23, 2011

New trouble for Ameren at Taum Sauk power plant

A recent memo to the Missouri Public Service Commission shows major problems for Ameren at its Taum Sauk power station.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the memo, dated Dec. 16, reveals that a generating unit at the station failed and caught fire in June, suffering 10 million dollars worth of damage. The 440 megawatt plant has been operating at half capacity since then.

The Post-Dispatch says PSC employees were not aware of the fire until they visited the plant eight days later on a different matter and saw the damage. The agency filed a complaint against Ameren for failing to report the incident within a day.

The Taum Sauk plant came back online in early 2010 after about four years of repair work. In 2005, a reservoir at the plant failed, sending a billion gallons of water down Proffit Mountain and severely damaging Johnson Shut-Ins State Park.

University of Missouri system issues new rule on recording campus lectures

The University of Missouri has issued a new policy on recording class lectures.

Interim president Stephen Owens issued the executive order this week. Students will continue to be able to make video or audio recordings of lectures, but must get permission from the faculty member and fellow students to redistribute the recordings.

The new rule comes after a conservative blogger for Andrew Breitbart's Big Government website posted heavily edited versions of lectures from professors on the Kansas City and St. Louis campuses. Students who do not get permission before redistributing their recordings could face discipline.

Illinois gets Race to the Top money

The second time's the charm for the Illinois State Board of Education.

The board learned yesterday that Illinois is one of seven states to receive a share of $200 million in grants from the federal Race to the Top program for education. The states were runners-up in a previous round of grants.

Illinois got $42 million, the largest share. Half will go to districts that have agreed to speed up the implementation of evaluation systems that incorporate student growth. The other $21 million will help districts boost science, math, education and technology education, as well as adopt  new, more national, education standards.

Cardinals get Beltran, Mizzou gets Braggin' Rights

The Cardinals and free agent outfielder Carlos Beltran have agreed to a two-year deal reportedly worth $26 million over two years. Beltran, 34, batted .300, with 22 home runs and 84 RBI in 2011 while playing for the New York Mets and San Francisco Giants. He’s expected to be formerly introduced after the holidays.

And for the third year in the row, the Braggin’ Rights belong to Mizzou. The Tigers beat the Fighting Illini last night at the Scottrade Center 78 to 74. The Tigers are now 12-0 for the first time in 30 years.