Francis Slay

Transportation Tax
4:34 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Area Counties Ready Project Wish Lists; Nixon Opposes Tax Increase

St. Louis County and the City of St. Louis revealed their wish list for transportation projects Monday that would be funded by a potential .75 percent sales tax.
Credit /Via Flickr/ KOMU news, Manu Bhandari

The city of St. Louis and St. Louis County have plans for nearly $1.1 billion worth of transportation projects if a statewide sales tax increase passes this August. 

St. Louis and St. Louis County officials revealed their wish list of projects that would be funded with the .75 percent sales tax increase.  If the transportation tax passes in August, St. Louis, St. Charles, Jefferson and Franklin counties and  the city of St. Louis, are expected receive about $1.49 billion over a 10-year period from the state’s transportation commission.

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On The Trail
11:17 pm
Sun June 1, 2014

Agencies Scramble To Decide Projects For Early Transportation Tax Vote

Policymakers have until the end of the month to decide which transportation projects would be funded if a sales tax increase passes in August.
Credit (via Flickr/KOMUnews)

If you had $1.49 billion for transportation projects, how would you spend it? Would you repair highways? Bolster mass transit service? Enhance bike lanes?

This isn’t some academic exercise. The St. Louis region’s political leaders are considering how to divide the potential proceeds from a 0.75 percent sales tax increase for transportation. These decisions could have a transformative impact on how St. Louis area residents get around.

But here’s the twist: You have to make this decision very, very quickly.

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Summer Jobs
5:22 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Stl Youth Jobs Program Seeks Funds To Hire More Young People

JPMorgan Chase presented a $100,000 check to Stl Youth Jobs. Pictured from left: Mayor Francis Slay, Incarnate Word Executive Director Bridget Flood, JPMorgan Chase's Scott Bush.
Credit Maria Altman (St. Louis Public Radio)

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay is asking businesses in the city to help put 500 young people to work this summer through a program called Stl Youth Jobs.

One corporation stepped up Wednesday.

JPMorgan Chase announced a $100,000 donation, and the company is asking other businesses to help.

"It is very important for this city that we build that base, that base of people that understand how to work, love to work and want to be part of this community," said Scott Bush, a managing director and market leader with the firm.

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Mississippi River
4:58 pm
Tue April 29, 2014

River Commerce Group Supports Mississippi River Container-On-Barge Effort

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay and Missouri River Cities and Town Initiative director Colin Wellenkamp speak at the Inland Rivers, Ports and Terminals conference. The group's conference took place at the Union Station Hotel in Downtown St. Louis.
Credit Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

A major river commerce group endorsed a plan Tuesday to increase container-on-barge traffic on the Mississippi River. 

The Inland Rivers, Ports and Terminals Association supports shipping goods in containers on barges up and down the Mississippi River. That’s seen as an alternative to using trucks or rail. The group made the announcement at its annual conference in St. Louis.

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Gun Control Nullification
9:14 pm
Mon April 28, 2014

Big City Mayors Speak Out Against Gun Nullification Bills At Missouri Capitol

(l-r) KC Mayor Sly James and STL Mayor Francis Slay appear at Mo. Capitol to speak out against effort by GOP lawmakers to pass gun control nullification legislation.
Credit Marshall Griffin/St. Louis Public Radio

The mayors of St. Louis and Kansas City traveled to the the Missouri Capitol Monday to speak out against legislation to nullify federal gun laws within the Show-Me State.

St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, a Democrat, calls the legislation  "absurd, embarrassing and reckless."

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Wildlife Conservation
3:54 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

New St. Louis Initiative Encourages Residents To Plant "Milkweeds For Monarchs"

A female monarch collects nectar from a milkweed flower.
Lincoln Brower

The City of St. Louis and several partners are launching a project to help monarch butterflies.

It involves encouraging area residents to plant milkweeds -- a plant with large fruit pods that release fluffy seeds in the fall.

The Saint Louis Zoo is one of the partners in the “Milkweeds for Monarchs” initiative, along with the Missouri Botanical Garden and the Missouri Department of Conservation.

The zoo's curator of invertebrates, Edward Spevak, says milkweeds are critical to the monarch’s survival.

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St. Louis on the Air
6:14 pm
Thu April 17, 2014

What Would St. Louis Look Like With A Population Of 500,000?

Credit St. Louis Public Radio

Local architect Dan Jay is conducting a thought experiment: What would the city of St. Louis look like if it regained a population of 500,000? (That would mean an increase of 185,000 residents).

After decades of population decline in the city, Jay wants to think big about what a population increase would look like—and what it would take to get there.

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The Rundown
10:33 pm
Mon April 14, 2014

Economy & Innovation Rundown: Imagination And Startups

The Victoria building stood at the corner of Eighth and Locust streets. It has since been demolished. This photograph was taken in 1940 when St. Louis had more than 800,000 residents.
Credit (Historic American Building Survey at the Library of Congress)

On Friday, Arch Grants announced the finalists for its 2014 Arch Grants Business Plan Competition. The field has been whittled down to 46 entrepreneurs. Twenty of those finalists will win $50,000 each along with business support services to help them launch amazing businesses. In exchange for winning, they have to locate, or relocate, to St. Louis for at least a year.

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Minimum Wage
4:50 pm
Wed March 19, 2014

Pi Pizzeria Owner Won't Wait On Congress To Raise His Minimum Wage

Pi Pizzeria and Gringo owner Chris Sommers talks to a television reporter at one of his locations in Downtown St. Louis. Sommers will now pay all of his employees at least $10.10 an hour.
Credit Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

Chris Sommers is putting his money where his mouth is when it comes to the minimum wage. 

Sommers is the owner of six Pi Pizzerias restaurants and Gringo in the Central West End. Instead of waiting for Congress or the Missouri General Assembly to act, he’s heeding President Barack Obama’s call for business owners to voluntarily raise the minimum wage his employees.

Starting on April 1, everybody who works at one of Sommers’ restaurants will make at least $10.10 an hour. It’s a move Sommers said will help entry-level workers make a decent living.

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Firefighter Pensions
9:50 pm
Mon March 10, 2014

Legal Battle Resumes Over Changes To Pensions For St. Louis City Firefighters

Firefighters battle a blaze at the Admiral riverboat on Jan. 21, 2012. The boat was being dismantled for scrap at the time.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

The Missouri Court of Appeals will hear arguments tomorrow on whether the city of St. Louis had the right to make changes to the pension benefits it offers its firefighters.

In lobbying for the changes in 2012, Mayor Francis Slay cited the financial burden pensions were beginning to place on the city. Its budget for fiscal year 2013 included a $31 million contribution to the system, up from $23 million the year before.

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