Morning headlines: Thursday, August 30, 2012
Ameren monitoring Isaac
Officials with Ameren say they are closely monitoring Hurricane Isaac's progress now that it has made land fall. Projections from the National Weather Service indicate the remnants of the storm could pass over Missouri and Illinois this weekend.
Kevin Anders, Ameren Missouri's manager of distribution services, says that could mean a lot of rain and - potentially - some high winds or tornadoes.
"The storm can be quite significant even when it arrives up here from the Gulf Coast," said Anders. "We had that history in 2008 with Hurricane Ike. It did arrive here and had some hurricane force winds, even up here in the St. Louis area, 70-to-80 miles an hour and did create a number of outages at that time."
Anders says Ameren will wait until later this week before deciding how many workers it will schedule to be "on call" this weekend to respond to any problems caused by Hurricane Isaac.
Planned Parenthood supporters deliver petition to Akin
Supporters of Planned Parenthood have delivered petitions with 40,000 signatures to the office Republican Missouri Congressman Todd Akin, expressing anger and outrage over comments he made about rape. About a dozen advocates and supporters of Planned Parenthood gathered at Akin's district congressional office in suburban St. Louis on Wednesday to deliver the petitions.
Akin aide Steve Taylor collected them and invited five of the protesters in for a face-to-face meeting. Akin, the Republican nominee in the Senate race, has been at the center of criticism since an Aug. 19 TV interview in which he said that in cases of what he called "legitimate" rape, a woman's body is able prevent pregnancy. He has since apologized many times for the word "legitimate" and said his facts about preventing conception were wrong.
Koster again asks court to set execution dates
Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster has asked the state Supreme Court to reconsider setting an execution date for a white supremacist convicted of murder.
Koster noted in a motion Wednesday that Joseph Franklin killed a man in 1977 outside a suburban St. Louis synagogue because he believed Jews were "enemies of the white race." When Franklin confessed in 1994, he already was serving life sentences elsewhere for killing two black joggers in Salt Lake City and an interracial couple in Madison, Wisconsin and bombing a Tennessee synagogue. He also claimed to be the shooter who paralyzed Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt.
Missouri's high court declined earlier this month to schedule executions for Franklin and five others, saying it would be premature until courts decide if the state's new execution method is constitutional.
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