Morning round-up
9:24 am
Tue August 30, 2011

Morning headlines: Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Peabody Coal, ArcelorMittal to buy Australian coal giant

According to the St. Louis Business Journal, Australian coal giant Macarthur Coal has agreed to be bought by Peabody Energy and ArcelorMittal for $5.2 billion. St. Louis-based Peabody has pursued Macarthur for more than a year.

The Australian company is the biggest miner of pulverized coal, which is used in making steel and in great demand in Asia.

The Business Journal reports that Peabody was the highest bidder in a three-way bidding war last year for the company, but talks collapsed after Peabody cut its offer from $3.8 billion to $3.4 billion following the passage of a mining tax in Australia.

Law requiring prescription for pseudoephedrine in effect at St. Charles County

Starting today, a prescription is necessary in St. Charles county to purchase cold and allergy medicine containing pseudoephedrine as the county seeks to put a halt to methamphetamine abuse.

The St. Charles County council approved the measure in July. 

Pseudoephedrine is a key ingredient in meth, and Missouri annually is among the national leaders in meth lab seizures. Opponents of the new law say it will be a burden for law-abiding residents. But several Missouri towns and counties have adopted prescription-only laws in the fight against meth.

Students receiving bare minimum scholarships at Mo. colleges

The Missouri Department of Higher Education says it expects about 60,000 students to receive Access Missouri scholarships this year. Those at public universities will receive $1,000, which is the minimum amount set in state law. Students at private universities will be able to get $2,070. And those at community colleges will receive scholarships of $300 to $450 a year.

Because of a tight state budget, the scholarship levels are all well below the maximum allowed under state law. More than 7,000 students will get merit-based Bright Flight scholarships. But their amount of $1,750 will only be slightly more than half the maximum of $3,000 allowed by Missouri law.