Morning Headlines: Restructuring Mo. Government, Eads Bridge construction, Mo. House seating debate, Busch 911 call
Good morning! Here are some of today's starting headlines:
- According to the St. Louis Post- Dispatch, incoming Missouri speaker of the House Steve Tilley says he may refuse to seat a new representative from Kansas City because of allegations of voter fraud in the Democratic primary. Such a move is allowed under Missouri law, but is rare. The Post-Dispatch reports that Tilley was presented this month with a nearly 100 page document alleging widespread voter fraud from failed Democrat candidate Will Royster, who lost he primary in the 40th legislative district to John J. Rizzo by a single vote. Rizzo went on to win the general election against a Libertarian candidate. Tilley's move would cast a light on a a topic Republicans in Missouri have been pushing unsuccessfully for several years; the concept of requiring every voter to present a photo ID when voting. Rizzo called Royster's complaints "sour grapes."
- Suburban St. Louis police have released a 911 call placed from the home of former Anheuser-Busch CEO August Busch IV earlier this month. A Busch employee called to report a woman who was "just not waking up " and who was later found dead at the home. She's been identified as 27-year-old Adrienne Martin. The cause of death has not been released. Frontenac Police Chief Thomas Becker also said Busch was at home at the time. Busch's lawyer has said there was nothing suspicious about the death.
- Missouri lawmakers are again seeking ideas from the public for restructuring state government to cut costs. Las year, the Senate took a rare break from formal floor debates to consider ideas for restructuring stat government that were submitted by Missourians. Republican Senate leader Rob Mayer says he plans to do it again in the first weeks of the annual legislative session that starts next month. Mayer, of Dexter, says lawmakers need to consider any idea about how to cut spending. Ideas can be submitted anonymously online at a Senate Web page on rebooting state government.
- 2011 will see some major work on the Eads Bridge over the Mississippi River. Metro, which owns the bridge, says time and weather have deteriorated the 136-year-old structure. Metro President John Nations says the agency will use $24.5 million in federal stimulus funds to replace and repair structural elements on the bridge, as well as apply a protective coating on the steel.
"We'll also be doing some improvements to our tracks in that area to also enhance our system. So it's going to be a big project and the region, I know, is interested in it. I actually get asked about it a lot simply because the Eads Bridge is such a big symbol for this region and for the Midwest. " - Nations
Nations says the road on the top deck of the Eads will have to be closed for two to three months while the work on the bridge takes place.