Residents of a tiny village in Missouri’s Bootheel hope this will be the last Christmas they spend waiting for a federal buyout of their homes that were destroyed in May 2011 when the Army Corps of Engineers blew up a levee to alleviate flooding along the Mississippi River.
When a Board of Aldermen committee made changes to St. Louis' community development block grant recommendations, it showed the city's legislative branch asserting itself against a power shift to the executive.
But not everybody was happy -- including the agency that gave the city the funds in the first place.
Opal Jones, CEO of Doorways, was among well-wishers at a recent community reception for local Urban League CEO Michael McMillan. Doorways provides housing and other services for people affected by HIV/AIDS.
Five months after settling in as the new CEO of the Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, Michael McMillan has been busy putting his imprint on the community service and civil rights organization. It’s a big responsibility, given the accomplishments of his predecessor, James Buford, who built the local group into the most successful affiliate of the National Urban League.
With a $23 million annual budget, the organization offers a range of services, from job training to utility assistance, to about 60,000 people.
In a spirit of Christmas Eve, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon today announced that he was releasing about $40.1 million in withheld budget allocations for a variety of projects – most notably $18 million for repairs and improvements to the state Capitol building and $5 million for projects at Missouri state parks.
Another $38 million, sought by legislative leaders to buy a new office building, remains withheld.
When St. Louis changed how it divided out community development block grants, it marked a major sea change in how St. Louis government functions -- shifting power toward the mayor's administrative umbrella and away from individual aldermen.
State Sen. Jamilah Nasheed, chair of the Missouri General Assembly’s Black Caucus, is threatening to block Senate action on several of Gov. Jay Nixon’s key appointments because of the governor’s action to delay state tax breaks for several low-income housing projects.
Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder, a Republican, joined Nasheed and several St. Louis officials at a news conference Monday to attack the governor’s participation in a deal to defuse Republican filibuster threats during the recent special legislative session in which tax breaks were approved for Boeing Co.
Updated 2:38 p.m. This event has now concluded. Thank you for joining us.
President Obama held a press conference this afternoon covering a variety of issues, including on the troubled rollout of the Affordable Care Act. Obama said about the rollout, "I'm in charge. We screwed it up." For a full recap, see NPR's live blog.
We broadcast the press conference live on our air at 1 p.m. CT.