Morning headlines: Thursday, November 17, 2011 | St. Louis Public Radio

Morning headlines: Thursday, November 17, 2011

Nov 17, 2011

Nixon reaches out to Dooley over possible closure of county parks

Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon says his administration has begun discussions with St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley in hopes of helping to keep open some county parks slated for closure. Dooley announced last month that up to 23 county parks could be closed due to budget constraints.

Nixon said in a news release Wednesday that he has reached out to Dooley about a joint county-state operation that would preserve at least some of the parks.Nixon calls county and local parks "invaluable assets" that improve the quality of life for Missourians. Dooley says he is eager to work with the state to identify strategies that would keep the parks open.

Ill. Republicans head to court today over new map

Ill. Republicans will get their day in court over the state's new Democrat-drawn congressional remap. A hearing is scheduled for Thursday on the long-shot legal challenge filed by GOP members of Congress over the map that tries to erase some of their recent gains.

Ill. Democrats dominated the map-making because they control the General Assembly and the governor's office. The new map drew Republicans out of their districts and lumped incumbent GOP members together or threw them into Democrat-friendly territory.

The fight over Illinois' map is an important one nationally. Democrats are out to try to regain control of the U.S. House in next year's election after losing it in 2010 as part of a GOP wave that sent five freshman Republicans from Illinois to Congress.

Obama files for Mo. primary

President Barack Obama will be on the ballot for Missouri's Democratic presidential primary next year. Obama filed to run in the Missouri primary this week.

Eight Republican candidates also have filed for Missouri's primary so far. Missouri's primaries are scheduled for Feb. 7, about one month earlier than allowed by the national Republican and Democratic parties. State lawmakers had considered delaying and even cancelling the votes. Those efforts failed, so the primaries will go forward.