Politics & Issues

St. Louis on the Air
5:56 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

St. Louis Is A Hot Spot For Sex Trafficking: A Discussion About Efforts To End The Trade

An image from “The Price of Sex,” a feature-length documentary about young Eastern European women who've been drawn into a netherworld of sex trafficking and abuse.
Via Flickr / humanrightsfilmfestival

Sex trafficking is not just an international problem, or even a national one. It is also a problem here in St. Louis. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, St. Louis is a hot spot of sex trafficking activity, one of the top 20 in the country.

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Student Transfer Law
5:42 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Missouri Senate Passes Student Transfer Bill In Less Than 24 Hours

Bubbles | sxc.hu

(Story updated at 5:42 p.m. to include today's 3rd-read vote by the full Senate that sent SB 493 to the Missouri House.)

After spending two days debating and amending legislation to lessen the effects of Missouri's student transfer law, the state Senate overwhelmingly passed it Thursday.

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Voter Photo ID
4:59 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Missouri House Passes Photo ID Requirement For Voting

(via Flickr/hlkljgk)

The Missouri House has passed two pieces of legislation that would usher in photo ID requirements for voters.

First, the House passed HJR 47, a proposed constitutional amendment to allow for photo ID requirements at the polls. This proposed amendment would also need voter approval.

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Politics & Issues
4:43 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Former St. Louis Alderman Triplett Admits Illegally Using Campaign Money For Personal Expenses

Ald. Kacie Starr Triplett (in blue) at an event noting her decision to step down and take a job with Behavioral Health Network in November 2012.
Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio

Former St. Louis Alderman Kacie Starr Triplett is facing a $100,000 fine imposed by the Missouri Ethics Commission after she admitted that she illegally spent thousands of campaign dollars on personal expenses – including clothes, a wig,  a college loan and her mortgage.

She also admits to filing erroneous campaign reports that failed to list thousands of dollars in donations, and some improper spending, in a possible attempt to cover up her illegal activity. The reports in question span from 2010-2012. 

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Politics & Issues
3:34 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Blunt, McCaskill Step Up Concerns About Proposed National Guard Cuts

Credit Mo. National Guard, via Flickr/M. Queiser

Missouri’s two U.S. senators – Republican Roy Blunt and Democrat Claire McCaskill – are joining forces as they raise concerns about the Defense Department’s proposed cuts in spending for the National Guard.

The trims would have a $34 million economic impact on Missouri through 2016, Blunt told reporters Thursday. The reduced spending would primarily affect Guard operations in Springfield, Warrensburg and St. Joseph, he said.

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City-County Merger
2:50 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Combination Can Invigorate A Region, Lugar Tells Conference On City-County Merger

Former U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar, R-Indiana, speaks at a St. Louis University Law School symposium on whether to merge St. Louis City with St. Louis County.
Credit Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

(Updated 1:30 p.m. on Friday)

Former U.S. Sen. Richard Lugar says bringing local governments can strengthen the health – and brighten the future -- of urban communities. 

The Indiana Republican was the keynote speaker for a St. Louis University Law School symposium on merging St. Louis and St. Louis County. He was a key figure in banding together city of Indianapolis with Marion County in the 1970s.

Lugar says merging the two governments had skeptics. But he says it attracted jobs, sports teams and tourists – and reinvigorated civic life.

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Presidential Conventions
10:05 am
Thu February 27, 2014

St. Louis Drops Plans To Bid For 2016 Democratic Convention; KC A Finalist For GOP Convention

Republican logo
Credit File photo

(Updated 2 p.m. Thurs, Feb. 27)

St. Louis has decided against bidding to host the 2016 Democratic presidential convention, citing the current civic focus on improving the downtown access to the Gateway Arch.

Instead, city officials will consider seeking the 2020 convention "when the Arch (project) is done and paid for," a spokesman for Mayor Francis Slay said Thursday.

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Michael Cook Sentencing
5:05 pm
Wed February 26, 2014

Federal Court Rejects Plea Deal For St. Clair County Judge Caught Up In Drug Scandal

Judge Michael Cook is sworn in as a St. Clair County judge in 2010.
(Derik Holtmann/Belleville News-Democrat) (http://www.bnd.com)

A federal court in Illinois has rejected a plea agreement that would have sent former St. Clair County judge Michael Cook to prison for 18 months on drug and weapons charges.

Judge Joe McDade, who normally presides over federal cases in Peoria, Ill., told attorneys for both sides today that he did not believe the proposed sentence was long enough to assure St. Clair County residents that their judiciary was in good hands. McDade was assigned to the case after two judges from the Southern District recused themselves. 

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Politics & Issues
5:27 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Political Rundown: Is Nixon The One?

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is showing up on lists of potential presidential -- and vice presidential -- lists for 2016.
Credit Governor's website

Politics can be a 24/7 occupation, as anyone with a cell phone, computer or cable subscription knows. It's not hard to find political news, commentary or just plain rants. They are everywhere. Sometimes it takes a little more digging to find the context, perspective or background on major issues of the day. 

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Student Transfer Law
2:22 am
Wed February 26, 2014

Missouri Senate Begins Debate On Student Transfer Bill

Mo. Capitol
UPI/Bill Greenblatt

The Missouri Senate has begun debate on legislation to lessen the effects of the state's student transfer law.

The wide-ranging bill attempts to address both the law and unaccredited districts.  Provisions within Senate Bill 493 include accrediting individual school buildings instead of districts as a whole and creating regional authorities across the state to oversee transfers.

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