Russ Carnahan

Forest Park Forever president and executive director Lesley Hoffarth said public input will help guide future changes and upgrades at the city's most well-known green space.
(via Flickr/pasa47)

Good morning! Here are some of today's starting headlines:

Slay authorizes $64 million in bonds for St. Louis parks

Funding for St. Louis City parks will no longer be siphoned into other capital improvement projects, following a bill signing by Mayor Francis Slay Monday night.

(Wikimedia Commons/Online Congressional Guide)

As Missouri awaits a decision from Cole County Circuit Court about the redistricting map created by the Missouri General Assembly, 3rd District Congressman Russ Carnahan remains mum about his plans for re-election in 2012.  Saying it makes little sense to make any decision before the Court’s, Carnahan refused to say whether or not he’d consider a run in the 1st District against Democrat Lacy Clay.

(via Flickr/lordsutch)

A Democratic Congressman from Missouri has proposed giving transit agencies across the country more flexibility in how they spend federal transit dollars.

Rep. Russ Carnahan says despite millions of dollars from the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (better known as the stimulus bill), more than 85 percent of transit systems across the country had to cut service, raise fares, or both - even as more and more people came to rely on transit.

That, Carnahan says, is because the federal money has to go toward capital purchases like new buses.

(via Wikimedia Commons)

Updated 5:02 p.m. with statement from the Missouri Democratic Party.

Update: 3:22 p.m.: Mo. State Rep. Jason Kander, D-Kansas City has announced he will be a candidate for the position via an announcement on his website. Here's an excerpt:

(Mo. Senate)

A lawsuit has been filed challenging a new Missouri law redrawing the state's congressional districts based on the 2010 census.

A half-dozen citizens are listed as plaintiffs on the lawsuit filed today in Cole County Circuit Court contending the new districts were designed to serve partisan ends rather to fairly represent Missourians.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Those behind the Loop Trolley project, a 2.2 mile fixed-rail streetcar system from the Loop to Forest Park, got some welcome news today.

Funding to help with the design portion of the project has been secured via a $2.8 million portion of a federal grant. Word of the committed funding came via a press release congratulation from Rep. Russ Carnahan, D-St. Louis.

SLMPD

City Corrections Commissioner suspended hours before jail break

Hours before an inmate escaped from a St. Louis jail on Friday night, the city's corrections commissioner was suspended because of complaints about his management of city jail facilities. Commissioner Gene Stubblefield will be able to defend his performance in several hearings and meetings. The city emphasized that no one is alleging any criminal misconduct.

Official gov't photo via Wikimedia Commons/online Congressional guide

Missouri Congressman Russ Carnahan says the troubled John Cochran VA Medical Center in St. Louis is showing signs of improvement. He points to recent studies and surveys that show the facility's patients are more satisfied with their care.

Carnahan has been critical of problems at the facility over the past year, but now says administrators are turning things around.

Carnahan keeping options open for 2012

Jul 18, 2011
(via Flickr/cvrcak1)

St. Louis Congressman Russ Carnahan says he has every intention of running for congress next year despite losing his seat to redistricting.

So far the elimination of his 3rd District has done little to tamp down Carnahan’s fundraising, having brought in more than a half million dollars since January.

Without saying which district he’s looking at Carnahan says there may yet be a legal challenge to the new congressional maps, which currently favor the GOP.

(Bill Raack/St. Louis Public Radio)

U.S. Congressman Russ Carnahan says he still has not decided what political office he’ll pursue next year.

The St. Louis Democrat’s 3rd Congressional District will be eliminated based on redistricting maps approved by Missouri lawmakers. Today Carnahan was asked by reporters if 2nd District congressman Todd Akin’s announcement this week that he’ll run for the Senate makes his decision easier.

(EdMartinForCongress.com screen capture/St. Louis Public Radio)

As we told you this morning in our news round-up, Republican attorney Ed Martin of St. Louis has dropped his campaign for U.S. Senate to enter a race for Congress instead.

In early polling, Martin trailed other likely GOP Senate contenders including Congressman Todd Akin and former-treasurer Sarah Steelman.

Missouri Senate

The redistricting map passed by the Missouri General Assembly is now law.

This afternoon, the Missouri Senate voted 28 to 6 to override Governor Jay Nixon's veto, meeting the two-thirds majority needed.

John A Cochran hospital
Bill Greenblatt | UPI | File photo

Representatives Russ Carnahan and William Lacy Clay were among the government officials with sharp criticism today for the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Carnahan and Ohio Republican Michael Turner, who represents the Dayton area, pushed for the House Veterans Affairs Commitee hearing to address concerns about the cleanliness of instruments at VA hospitals.

Updated 2:15 p.m. May 2 with information from conference call with Sen. Blunt

From Senator Roy Blunt:

"Osama bin Laden's death is a major victory for America. This development is the culmination of the sacrifices and dedication from our brave troops and intelligence professionals. After nearly a decade, it also brings a great measure of justice and closure for all Americans who lost loved ones as a result of the brutal attacks against our nation on 9/11. While this does not mean the end of our fight against global terrorism, bin Laden's death is a major blow to al-Qaeda and the terrorist organizations he financed."

In a Monday conference call, Blunt praised the president for sending Special Forces into bin Laden's Pakistani compound, rather than conducting a bombing raid.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

The U.S. House of Representatives has plans to take a look at patient safety lapses at the John Cochran VAMC in north St. Louis.

Rep. Russ Carnahan, a Democrat, pushed for the hearings after two separate problems with sterilization at Cochran.

(Wikimedia Commons/Online Congressional Guide)

Missouri Congressman Russ Carnahan says the stalemate in Washington over the budget has more to do with ideology than numbers.

A government shutdown will begin at midnight if Congress is not able to reach an agreement on the remainder this year's budget.

Carnahan says Republicans are targeting Planned Parenthood, the EPA, and public broadcasting as part of their proposed cuts.

"Certainly people are entitled to their own opinions about that,” Carnahan said. “But this is not the way to do it."

Mo. House of Representatives

The Missouri House has given first-round approval to a Republican-proposed map that would redraw the state’s congressional districts, reducing them from nine to eight.

It eliminates the St. Louis-area district currently held by Democrat Russ Carnahan.

Mo. House of Representatives

A Missouri House committee tasked with redrawing the state's congressional districts has released an alternate map submitted by Democrats on the committee.

The first map, favored by the committee's Republican majority, was made public last Wednesday.

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

A GOP-chaired House committee on redistricting has released the first map showing how Missouri’s congressional districts may soon look.

Missouri is losing a seat in Congress, dropping from nine to eight, based on figures from the 2010 census.

(via Wikimedia Commons/online congressional guide)

U.S. intervention in Libya was necessary, but exposes "obvious inconsistencies" in the country's foreign policy, says Missouri Democratic Congressman Russ Carnahan.

Carnahan says he's pleased that President Obama attempted to limit U.S. involvement in the intervention and is glad that international allies are involved.

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