Morning Headlines: Thursday, June 9, 2011
MoDOT building that will be shuttered in restructuring could get new life
The Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission yesterday approved a five-year reduction plan that will eliminate 1200 jobs and close 131 facilities - including district offices in Macon, Joplin and Willow Springs. But the building in Joplin could get see new life fairly quickly. The AP reports that MoDOT director Kevin Keith has offered the building to the Joplin School District, which saw a half-dozen buildings destroyed or damaged in the May 22 F5 tornado.
Keith says agency employees who would be in the building when school starts would be relocated to temporary quarters.
Tornado could increase electric rates in Joplin
The devastating tornado may drive up electric rates in Joplin.
The Missouri Public Service Commission says the Empire District Electric Company needs the money to recoup costs. Empire District estimates the twister caused $20 million to $30 million in damage to its infrastructure. In addition, the storm drove down demand for electricity by 10 to 20 percent.
Police officer killed outside night club was mistaken for a criminal
A St. Louis police officer who was killed outside a night club in April was shot by a bouncer working security at the bar who mistook the officer for a criminal.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch cites police and city liquor commission records. One e-mail from the club's owners to the commissioner says the bouncer - an off-duty military officer - believed officer Daryl Hall was one of several men escorted from the club who then got into a scuffle in the parking lot of The Label, which has since closed.
Hall was off-duty but carrying his weapon when he rushed outside after hearing shots fired. He ordered a man with a gun - 30-year-old Asif Blake - to drop the weapon, and shot Blake when he did not comply. Blake was also killed.
The Post says the bouncer, 30-year-old Will Spencer, was not authorized to provide security at The Label.
Bandstand will be rebuilt
The St. Louis city parks department has plans to rebuild a bandstand in Cardondelet Park that was destroyed by fire.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, parks director Gary Bess wants to rebuild the structure by the end of the summer.
"While we certainly cannot replicate what was there, there's some really creative stuff on the market today made of metal and fiberglass that looks like Victorian-style structures, with the same type of roof line that the original had," Bess said. "We would recommend to the aldermen down there that if we come up with a good product acceptable to them that we move ahead and try to get it replaced this summer sometime."
Fire officials say they may never know the cause of the blaze. It's not clear when the original bandstand was built, but it likely dated to the early 20th century.