Morning headlines: Monday, August 8, 2011
Mo. changes child care rules to further prevent SIDS
For the first time in two decades, Missouri's child care rules have been updated. Effective this month, licensed child cares must put infants to sleep on their backs and have at least one staff member trained in first aid.
Cheryl Herzog Arneill with SIDS resources, says placing infants on their backs during nap-time greatly reduces the risk of sudden infant death syndrome, or SIDS. She says Missouri's new law is critical, even though it doesn't apply to the state's thousands of legal but unlicensed child cares.
"We're hopeful, though, that this news will really spread within the child-care community and most people will know and understand the importance of back-to-sleep," said Arneill.
Between 2006 and 2009, there were 187 SIDS deaths in the state. Nationwide, the number of SIDS deaths dropped by more than 50 percent, after the U.S. launched a Back to Sleep Campaign in the early nineties.
EPA collecting data at abandoned superfund site in St. Louis
The Environmental Protection Agency is set to deliver the results of a new round of testing near the site of the old Carter Carburetor Plant in north St. Louis. The abandoned plant is a superfund site and has been closed since 1984 and the EPA found "unacceptable" levels of PCB's at the plant in 1997.
Flint Fowler is the executive director of the Herbert Hoover Boys and Girls Club directly across the street from the plant. He says the new tests will determine if contamination has spread from the factory site to the adjoining properties.
"You know every day our kids and staff are exposed to an abandoned and decaying building and as we make greater investments in the Boys and Girls Club we think it's only right that we try to have greater influence on the larger community," said Fowler.
The EPA will present the results at the Boys and Girls Club at 7 p.m on Tuesday.
Mo. Republican Sen. opposes business incentives
A Republican state senator is criticizing a package of business incentives proposed by Missouri legislative leaders for an upcoming special session. Sen. Jason Crowell, of Cape Girardeau, says the plan is a backroom deal "that is short on economic development, short on tax credit reform but long on government handouts to campaign donors and special interests."
Crowell, who has used the filibuster in the past, says the plan must not be allowed to pass.
Crowell's comments create a hurdle for Republican legislative leaders and Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon. They are planning a September session for legislation creating tax breaks for international cargo shippers at the St. Louis airport, for computerized data centers and for science and technology companies. The legislation also would scale back some existing tax credits.