Ray LaHood

Jason Rosenbaum/St. Louis Public Radio

Originally published on Tuesday, updated on Wednesday, July 2 with "St. Louis on the Air" interview

Former Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood is sounding the alarm bells about the federal government’s dwindling Highway Trust Fund.

LaHood — a former Republican member of Congress from Illinois — wants Congress to raise the federal gas tax to prevent the fund from going belly up.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood, the only Republican still left in President Barack Obama's first-term Cabinet, says he plans to leave the Obama administration.

The former congressman from Illinois says in an interview with The Associated Press that he intends to remain at the department until his successor is confirmed.

LaHood's departure from the post was expected. Back in October, a spokeswoman said that LaHood would leave the post at the end of Obama's first term.

(St. Louis County website)

St. Louis County goes on holiday recess with approved budget

The St. Louis County Council has approved a 2012 budget after a contentious season of fiscal wrangling with County Executive Charlie Dooley. Early this fall Dooley's county budget estimates convinced him to propose drastic cuts. Dooley drew sharp criticism for his proposal to shut down 23 county parks and lay off almost 200 county employees.   

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

A spokeswoman for Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood says the former Illinois Republican congressman will leave the Obama administration at the end of the president's current term.

The spokeswoman, Jill Zuckman, said LaHood was asked about his intentions at a media luncheon Thursday. She said he gave no reason for his decision and hadn't discussed his intentions with President Barack Obama.

LaHood was congressman for 14 years until retiring in 2008, and a top aide to former House Minority Leader Bob Michel before that.