Morning headlines: Victim of bus strike identified, MO named federal disaster area, judge rejects adult businesses law, phone customers paying more than they were three years ago

Feb 4, 2011
  • St. Louis police have identified the woman killed yesterday when she was struck by a Metro bus. Rosalind D. Smith, 60, was hit after getting off the bus at the Forest Park station, located at Forest Park Pkwy and DeBaliviere Ave. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch says witnesses told police Smith appeared to bend down, but they aren’t sure if she fell. The unidentified Metro bus driver, 62, faces termination, which Metro spokeswoman Dianne Williams say is standard procedure in fatal crashes. He may appeal his firing. Police do not expect to file charges against him, but the investigation is ongoing.
  • President Barack Obama has issued a disaster declaration for all 114 Missouri counties and the city of St. Louis, which were hit with an ice and snow storm earlier this week. The declaration allows FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security to coordinate clean-up efforts and gives the state the ability to recover some of the costs of responding to the storm, which dumped nearly two feet of snow in some locations and forced the closure of two interstates.
  • A coalition of exotic dancers and owners of adult bookstores say they will appeal a judge’s ruling that rejects their challenge to new restrictions on adult-oriented businesses.  The law that took effect in August bars full nudity and alcohol at strip clubs and adult bookstores. Employees may not touch customers, and the businesses must close before midnight. Judge Jon Beetem rejected the coalition’s argument that the restrictions unfairly clamp down on free speech and expression.
  • Missouri landline customers are paying more for their phone service than they were three years ago. A study by the state’s Public Service Commission found residential customers paid $17.11 for basic phone service in 2012 2010, up from $11.49 in 2007. Business customers fared a bit better- their rates increased just 15 percent in that time period. A 2005 state law that allowed phone companies to raise or lower rates at their own discretion in certain areas also required the PSC’s rate study.