Morning headlines: Monday, September 6, 2011 | St. Louis Public Radio

Morning headlines: Monday, September 6, 2011

Sep 5, 2011

Special session to convene Tues.

A Missouri tax break benefiting poor disabled and elderly people who live in rental housing could be on the chopping block when lawmakers convene Tuesday in a special session. The elimination of the tax break for renters is projected to save the state $855 million over the next 15 years.

Some lawmakers hope to redirect that money for new tax breaks intended to lure Chinese cargo planes to the St. Louis airport and more businesses to Missouri.

Advocates for senior citizens and the disabled vow to fight the repeal. But they may face a tough battle. The tax break repeal is the single largest budgetary savings being proposed to offset the new business incentives.

St. Louis County tests warning sirens

St. Louis County will test the new warning siren system this morning at 11 a.m today.  The County’s emergency operations center will monitor closely to make sure the 180 speakers work properly.

Spokesman David Wrone says the new 7.5 million dollar system was financed by a one tenth sales tax that was approved in November 2009.

 "This is a significant upgrade over the existing system, which was antiquated and didn’t reach close to 100 percent of our residents," said Wrone. "But this new gets about as close 100 percent coverage as you can get, with out actually getting there."

 Before the upgrade, parts of southern and western St. Louis County lacked coverage from the system originally installed in the 1960’s.

Wrone says if residents do not hear the sirens at 11 a.m to call 628-5400 to make a report.

St. Louis City will also conduct a monthly siren test this morning.

Missouri joins digital realm

The Texas Longhorn Network that pushed rival Texas A&M out the door of the Big 12 conference has quicklybecome a model for other conference schools. Missouri is the latest Big 12 member to join the digital realm, alongside Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas State.

The Mizzou Network will be an Internet-based channel with live broadcasts of the school's Olympic sports along with behind-the-scenes glimpses into previously off-limits activities such as football practices or basketball locker rooms. The channel will roll out on Dec. 1. It will include some paid, premium content but mostly be available at no charge. The network will carry applications for smart phones, tablet computers and Internet-capable TV.