Updated with additional comments from Take Back St. Louis, Mayor Francis Slay, and the St. Louis Regional Chamber.
A St. Louis Circuit judge has permanently blocked a ballot measure that would have allowed voters to put restrictions on which companies could receive tax incentives.
Judge Robert Dierker ruled on Tuesday that the Take Back St. Louis initiative was "illegal and void on its face" because it conflicts with Missouri laws governing tax increment financing and special business districts.
Peabody Energy is getting protests from all sides.
More than 50 people gathered outside the corporation’s annual meeting Thursday in Clayton, including Washington University students, St. Louis activists, rural southern Illinoisans and American Indians from Black Mesa, Ariz.
Ten protesters were arrested outside the Ritz-Carlton, where the meeting was held.
The complaints they expressed were as different as their backgrounds, but the group is unified in its opposition to coal.
Seven students at Washington University in St. Louis were arrested Friday after attempting to enter an administration building on the Danforth campus where a board of trustees meeting was being held. The students were among a group of 100 protestors rallying against the school’s connection to Peabody Energy.
Caroline Burney, a Washington University senior, said the protestors were trying to deliver a letter of resignation to Peabody's chief executive officer Greg Boyce, who is also a university trustee.
Nicholas Curry's sleeping arrangement has changed a bit over the last couple of days.
Curry, a junior at Washington University, has been camping out in a tent near Brookings Hall. It's part of a "sit-in" to get Washington University to cut ties with Peabody Energy, a large coal company that's headquartered in St. Louis.
"I slept out here with my dog Max," Curry said. "So, we spent the night here last night, and we'll be here tonight."
Supporters of the "Take Back St. Louis" initiative deliver their petitions to the St. Louis election authority on July 31, 2013. A judge on Feb. 11, 2014 halted the April election on the charter change.
A court hearing is set for Friday on a suit to toss out a proposed St. Louis charter amendment, now slated for the April ballot, that would bar tax breaks for Peabody Energy or any other firm involved in “unsustainable energy production.”
The suit was filed last week by three city residents and a law firm, who all claim to be taxpayers who would be affected by passage of the ballot measure on April 8.
The hearing is scheduled for 9 a.m. before Judge Robert Dierker.
Barring a last-minute legal challenge, St. Louis voters will be asked on April 8 to decide the fate of a proposed amendment to the city charter to bar tax breaks for Peabody Energy or any other firm involved in “unsustainable energy production.”
“We know for a fact that it’s going to be on the ballot in April,’’ said Mary Wheeler-Jones, the Democratic elections director for the St. Louis Board of Election Commissioners. The only roadblock would be if a lawsuit successfully knocks the proposal off the ballot, she said.