smoking ban

(UPI/Tom Uhlenbrock)

Joplin Clean-up Continues

Cleanup efforts in Joplin will move ahead today when Gov. Jay Nixon says crews will begin hauling away debris left by a massive tornado that leveled a third of the city and killed 139 people.

Government officials say the rubble will be taken to three landfills - two in Kansas and one in Lamar, Mo. Environmental officials have said the debris must be handled carefully because it could contain asbestos used in the construction of older buildings and other hazardous waste.

(Flickr/Cast a Line)

East St. Louis School District Sends Layoff Notices to 237 Teachers

In an effort to save $9 million, the East St. Louis Board voted Tuesday to notify 287 teachers that they might not be hired back next year. That’s according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The district serves about 7,300 students and has 562 full-time teachers.

The district is also proposing to close three schools.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Updated with details from press conference, comments from city officials.

Calling smoking a fundamental right in America, attorneys have filed a federal legal challenge to Clayton's ban on smoking in outdoor  public places.

The Missouri Athletic Club has received the first citation for violating St. Louis city's ban on smoking.

Interim health director Pamela Rice Walker says the club mistakenly believes it's exempt from the measure as a private club, saying the exemption only applies if there are no employees.

She says the department first heard about violations at the club in January, and gave the MAC 30 days to comply.

  • January continues to be a snowy, slipper month for the St. Louis area. Several accidents are being reported this morning, and several schools are closed - many for the third in a row. The latest problems come after about an inch of snow fell yesterday, followed by a light freezing drizzle this morning. The Missouri State Highway Patrol said interstates 64 and 70 in parts of St. Louis and St. Charles are particularly slick.
  • St.
LawPrieR|Flickr

The largest adult health study ever conducted in Missouri is underway across the state. The topic? Tobacco use and the diseases it causes.

The Missouri Foundation for Health is providing close to $2 million in funding for the telephone survey, which is expected to include more than 52,000 people.

Missouri Foundation for Health program officer Matthew Kuhlenbeck says the survey is a follow-up to a similar study conducted in 2007.

(via Flickr / Super Fantastic)

There must be thousands of St. Louisans struggling through day three of a new year's resolution not to smoke.  In fact, Barry Freedman, Project Manager for Communities Putting Prevention to Work with the St. Louis County Department of Health says a survey of St. Louis smokers shows that nearly 60% say they'd like to quit in the next six months.  

Happy New Year's Eve! We hope you have a great end of 2010 and beginning of 2011! Here are a few news stories buzzing around the St. Louis Area today. 

  • Anheuser-Busch will renew its sponsorship with Major League Baseball. According to the St. Louis Business Journal, the St. Louis-based brewer and MLB came to an agreement on Thursday to also drop the litigation stemming from the contract dispute. Anheuser-Busch sued the league last month for allegedly breaching a sponsorship contract after MLB reportedly wanted more money and said the deal was non-binding and it could use other beer sponsors. The deal designates Budweiser as official beer sponsor of Major League Baseball and is worth an estimated $10 million.
  • Smoking bans go into effect Sunday in both St. Louis city and St. Louis County. County residents voted last year to approve the ban. The City's Board of Aldermen passed a ban that was contingent on the county's vote. Both health departments will be in charge of enforcement. The county is not expecting enforcement to be a problem. In the county individuals who don't abide by the ban can be fined $50  while business owners could be fined $100 for the first offense and more for subsequent offenses.
  • The newly approved city budget in East St. Louis calls for laying off 34 municipal employees, including 16 police officers. The Belleville News-Democrat reports the East St. Louis City Council unanimously voted Thursday to accept the nearly $62 million budget. Besides laying off the 16 police officers, the new budget also calls for a delay in calling some firefighters back to work, plus laying off four public works employees, one jailer and one full- and one part-time telecommunicator.

(Flickr Creative Commons User nan palmero)

Good morning! Here's a look at the headlines:

St. Louis Public Radio

In a blog post on the busiest travel day of the year last year, St. Louis mayor Francis Slay made it clear he wanted to make Lambert Airport smoke-free.

That goal is now policy.

The mayor's office announced Monday that starting January 2, passengers at Lambert who want to smoke will have to step outside. The airport's smoking lounges will no longer be available.

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