St. Charles County

Ameren's power plant in Labadie is the largest in the state.
Art Chimes

Updated 5:00 p.m., Sept. 24 with vote result - The Missouri Air Conservation Commission has voted to designate parts of Franklin and St. Charles counties as "unclassifiable" for sulfur dioxide pollution.

Thursday's vote follows a recommendation by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources earlier this week.

Mapbox, OpenStreetMap

The first I-70 interchange west of the Missouri River is getting an $18 million update. Construction starts next spring to replace Fifth Street’s partial cloverleaf interchange with a diverging diamond.

It’s the latest project in a decade-long plan to improve the main corridor through the St. Louis region’s fastest growing county.

Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey, R-St. Charles, presides over the Missouri Senate on Wednesday. Dempsey missed the final two days of session to attend his daughter's college graduation.
Jason Rosenbaum | St. Louis Public Radio

The top Republican in the Missouri Senate is stepping down.

Senate President Pro Tem Tom Dempsey announced on Friday he will resign from his St. Charles County-based Senate seat next Friday. In a lengthy statement, the Republican legislator cited a return to the private sector and a desire to be closer to his wife and three children.

Joseph Leahy / St. Louis Public Radio

A new bridge over the Missouri River is opening Monday morning, underscoring how much St. Louis and St. Charles Counties have grown together over the past three decades.

State and local officials gathered Thursday to cut a ceremonial ribbon on the new eastbound span of the I-64 Daniel Boone Bridge.

St. Charles County Executive Steve Ehlmann told an audience of about 50 people that the bridge is the 7th river crossing built between the two counties in the last 37 years.

Katelyn Petrin / St. Louis Public Radio

As the weather gets warmer this month, St. Louis gains two more places to enjoy springtime outdoors. St. Charles County is cutting the ribbon of a new park on Monday, while St. Louis County debuted a new park last week.

The St. Louis region grew slightly in 2014, but the city dropped by about 1,000 people, according to new Census data.
U.S. Marine Corps Flickr page

The latest U.S. Census Bureau data shows the St. Louis region has grown little in population since 2010, but also has remained fairly stable.

First responders throughout St. Charles County will now use one emergency radio communications system, allowing them to talk to each other when responding to events.
Courtesy St. Charles County Police Department Facebook

Nearly all first responders throughout St. Charles County are now able to talk to one another.

That's because the county has finished building a new, $34 million emergency radio communications system. Before the new system was recently put in place, municipalities throughout the county had their own, separate radio systems.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

(Updated at 8 p.m. on Monday with news about Schneider repaying her loan.)

Vicki Schneider got on the phone earlier this year with Bob Onder after he loaned himself $200,000 for his state Senate bid. 

She said she asked a fairly simple question of one of her opponents for the St. Charles County-based 2nd District seat: "Do you want me to help you spend that?"

“And he just laughed,” she said.

Jason Rosenbaum, St. Louis Public Radio

Running for a seat in the Missouri Senate is tough. It takes months of door-to-door campaigning, an endless dash for cash, and a thick skin to win a competitive race. 

But Chuck Gatschenberger and Vicki Schneider may have a secret weapon: Both candidates in the race for the western St. Charles-based 2nd senatorial district had their campaign logos and faces imprinted on their trucks.

Schneider said she wrapped her truck because she “wanted people to know that they’re voting for someone that is just like them.”

File photo

Three St. Louis area counties would focus on road and highway construction if a 0.75 percent transportation sales tax increase passes later this summer. 

This week, four area counties plus St. Louis turned in their preliminary lists of projects that could be funded over a 10-year period with the transportation tax. They're working with East-West Gateway to formulate a list of projects to send to the Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission.

(via Flickr/frankjuarez)

Educators and politicians in St. Charles say they have a plan in place to reduce the number of chronically absent students in the city’s school district. 

Starting next year, the district will implement a truancy court, a program designed to get families the resources they need to keep students in school as often as possible.

(Flickr/Creative Commons user SuperFantastic)

For the third year in a row an effort to create a smoking ban in St. Charles County is underway.

The St. Charles County Council began considering a bill Monday night that would restrict indoor smoking, but exempt any establishment that requires customers be at least 21-years-old. That provision would mean people could continue to light up in many bars and gambling areas.

(scroll down to ready a copy of the bill)

Councilman Joe Cronin is the bill’s sponsor and said a ban is critical to protecting public health.

conner395 / Flickr

Starting today the St. Charles County Sheriff’s Department is rolling out a new tool aimed at helping authorities locate residents who have wandered away from caregivers.

St. Charles County residents can purchase a wristband with a radio tracking device that law enforcement can then use to locate people who have wandered away from their homes.

Deputy Sheriff Steve Case said the new system has proven effective in other parts of the country.


Ground was broken Thursday on the new Daniel Boone Bridge just west of Chesterfield.

The $111 million project will replace a 75-year-old span over the Missouri River and link St. Louis and St. Charles Counties.

MoDOT District Engineer Ed Hassinger says the bridge is the final project to make I-64 a true, interstate-quality, highway.

“We’re thrilled today to start on the project,” Hassinger says. “The design is about 90 percent complete and you’re going to see people starting work on the ground this month. The plan is that we’ll have the new bridge open in 2014.”

SuperFantastic / Flickr

Representatives for Ameristar Casino say they will file a lawsuit Tuesday morning to block a November ballot question on whether or not to ban smoking in St Charles County. 

According to casino representatives, if passed, the ban could put it at a disadvantage because patrons at other casinos in the state can light up when they gamble.

(via Flickr/Missouri Department of Transportation)

Updated at 3:30 p.m. MoDOT has opened the westbound lanes of 364 between Harvester and Mid Rivers Mall Dr.  

Updated at 2:35 p.m. The eastbound lanes of 364 between Harvester and Mid Rivers Mall Dr. are now open. A piece of equipment used to paint stripes is malfunctioning, which will delay the opening of the westbound lanes until after rush hour tonight.

Our earlier story:

Drivers in the St. Louis region can now take Route 364 all the way to Mid Rivers Mall Dr.

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

MAP scores released

The St. Louis school district could be a year away from regaining partial accreditation.  Missouri's Annual Performance Reports, or MAP scores, have been released today.  They show that St. Louis city schools have met seven standards, including one academic standard. 

Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro says they're looking for sustained improvement over time.

A St. Charles County deputy faces sentencing in October after being found guilty of several crimes while on a methamphetamine raid.

Christopher Hunt was charged with felony burglary and misdemeanor counts of assault and property damage. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that a jury delivered the guilty verdict on Wednesday.

Hunt was among St. Charles County officers responding to a meth lab in neighboring Montgomery County in 2009.

Adam Allington / St. Louis Public Radio

The attorney for a motorcyclist who was shot in a near-fatal case of road rage is asking the St. Charles County prosecutor to reconsider filing charges.

Robert Pedroli says the use of deadly force against his client, Keith Randell under the so-called “Castle Doctrine”, was never justified.

Pedroli is asking St. Charles County Prosecutor Jack Banas to reconsider his decision not to charge the shooter.

(via Flickr/voxefxtm)

Updated at 3:20 with information from David Cole conference call, other interviews.

After the first attempt at a GOP caucus in St. Peters was shut down following a dispute, the Missouri Republican Party has announced a new caucus for St. Charles County.