East St. Louis

East St. Louis / North Alcoa
3:18 pm
Tue April 17, 2012

Cleanup of North Alcoa site in East St. Louis subject of public meeting Tues. night

Aerial view shows the North Alcoa site in East St. Louis. The inner boundary line indicates Operable Unit 1, the target of EPA's proposed cleanup plan. The three residue disposal ponds are marked with the dotted lines.
(via EPA.gov)

The Environmental Protection Agency is holding a public meeting tonight in East St. Louis. 

The agency will to explain its proposed plan to clean up the North Alcoa site. The property is bounded on the north by Lake Drive, on the east by the Alton and Southern railroad, on the south by Missouri Avenue and on the west by 29th Street.

EPA's remedial project manager for the 400-acre site, Dion Novak, says the area is contaminated with waste products produced over 100 years ago by a former alumina refinery.

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Morning Roundup
8:45 am
Fri April 13, 2012

Morning headlines: Friday, April 13, 2012

(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

Parks again rejects Durbin's call for earlier night club closings

East St. Louis mayor Alvin Parks is again rejecting a call from Sen. Dick Durbin to institute an earlier closing time for the city’s night clubs and liquor stores

Durbin was in his hometown on Wednesday encouraging area ministers to push Parks for a 1 a.m. closing time. Durbin believes it would help curb the killings in a city that a federal prosecutor has called the nation’s most dangerous.

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East St. Louis
11:50 am
Wed April 11, 2012

Durbin enlists East St. Louis ministries in fight to curb club hours

Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. (at right) speaking outside Mt. Paran Missionary Baptist Church in East St. Louis, Ill. on April 11, 2012. Also pictured at left is Dr. Zachary Lee.
(Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio)

Illinois Senator Dick Durbin is enlisting East St. Louis church leaders in his fight to rein in the city’s late-night entertainment industry.

The Democrat met with more than fifty members of the New Salem Baptist District Association Wednesday. He urged ministers to pressure Mayor Alvin Parks to close the city's nightclubs and liquor stores at 11 p.m. on weeknights and 1 a.m. on weekends. 

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East St. Louis
6:20 am
Fri April 6, 2012

Public safety vs. city funding: a tough balance in East St. Louis

A peace rally last month outside the Orr-Weathers public housing project in East St. Louis was held after a police officer was shot there two days before.
(Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio)

When it’s “last call” on weekends for St. Louis bars and clubs, East St. Louis’ nightlife is just getting started. The city’s slack liquor laws allow nightclubs and liquor stores to operate well into the morning. Many critics say the laws are the root of the city’s chronic violent crime.

The problem poses a delicate balancing act for Mayor Alvin Parks who says East St. Louis’ late-night entertainment industry is keeping the city alive.

A Senator's strong words 

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East St. Louis
1:20 pm
Fri March 23, 2012

East St. Louis nightclubs pitch in for more police patrols

Club Illusion is helping foot the bill for extra patrols in East St. Louis.
(Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio)

East St. Louis nightclubs and other local businesses are bankrolling extra weekend police patrols after a series of violent crimes.

Mayor Alvin Parks Jr. says the city needs more officers on the street but cannot afford them on its own.

“This is taking already existing officers and paying them to work this special detail," Parks said. "A detail that will be about six officers downtown and another two in the rest of the city where there might be late night activity.”

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Morning round-up
9:47 am
Tue March 20, 2012

Morning headlines: Tuesday, March 20, 2012

East St. Louis Mayor Alvin Parks Jr., third from left, with city personnel.
Joseph Leahy, SLPR news

East St. Louis lays off more employees

A tight budget has forced East St. Louis to lay off seven more employees, leaving the city's police officers without a support staff.  

The Belleville News-Democrat reports that the latest layoffs include Police Chief Michael Floore's secretary, the department's director of community programs and a records room employee responsible for logging all of the city's tows.

The city also cut employees in the mayor's office, the city clerk's office and the city treasurer's office.

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Morning round-up
9:21 am
Mon March 12, 2012

Morning headlines: March 12, 2012

Residents take in some of the damage after a severe storm hit in the early morning hours on February 29, 2012, in Harrisburg, Ill.
UPI/Paul Newton/The Southern

Southern Ill. denied federal disaster aid

The parts of southern Illinois destroyed by deadly storms and a tornado last month will not be declared federal disaster areas.

U.S Senator Dick Durbin says FEMA's decision will make it tough on local government, businesses and individuals affected by the storms.

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East St. Louis
2:40 pm
Mon March 5, 2012

Durbin calls for East St. Louis action on clubs

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill. in East St. Louis on Feb. 22.
(Joseph Leahy/St. Louis Public Radio)

A U.S. senator is stepping up his efforts to limit nightclub hours in East St. Louis.

Sen. Dick Durbin said Monday that earlier closing times for nightclubs and liquor stores would improve safety for city residents. The Illinois Democrat specifically challenged Mayor Alvin Parks Jr. to do his part in reducing crime rates. (Read the full letter from Durbin to Parks).

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East St. Louis
1:47 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

Durbin shares plans to boost security in East St. Louis public housing

Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin is touting new measures to increase security for public housing residents in East St. Louis. The federally-funded plan includes installing cameras at six high-rise properties and hiring a new security coordinator.

"We're going to be putting up lighting and fencing," Durbin said. "We're going to move forward to try to make sure the almost 4,500 residents of public housing in East St. Louis have a safer place to live."

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East St. Louis Police Chief
10:32 am
Wed November 30, 2011

East St. Louis mayor rehires police chief who once quit

(via Flickr/davidsonscott15)

The law enforcement officer who resigned has East St. Louis' police chief in 2009 has his old job back.

The Belleville News-Democrat reports Michael Baxton was sworn in Wednesday in the southwestern Illinois city of about 30,000 residents.

It's been a rocky ride for Baxton. He was police chief in nearby Alorton in October when a state board barred him from law enforcement because of a 1982 robbery conviction.

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