St. Louis County

County smoking ban
5:54 pm
Wed February 6, 2013

Bar Owners Plead Case For Ongoing Exceptions To Smoking Ban

The St. Louis County smoking ban takes effect Jan. 2. The county is launching an anti-smoking ban next week.
(Flickr/Creative Commons user SuperFantastic)

The owners of more than three dozen restaurants and bars in St. Louis County filed into the County Council chambers in Clayton today with one request - please let us continue to allow smoking.

The owners were there at the request of Councilman Mike O'Mara, who's introduced a bill eliminating nearly all the exemptions in the county's smoking ban. Currently, bars that make less than 25 percent of their revenue from food may receive an exemption. Bowling alleys and casino gaming floors are also exempt.

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Tax bill mistake
7:50 am
Sun December 30, 2012

Mistake By St. Louis County Will Cost MSD $2 Million

(via Flickr/kevindooley)

A mistake by the St. Louis County Department of Revenue will cost the Metropolitan St. Louis Sewer District about $2 million in expected tax revenue.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that employees at the department failed to add a surcharge to about 200,000 property tax bills. The revenue generated by the additional tax helps MSD control storm water runoff inside Interstate 270.

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Politics
5:40 pm
Tue December 18, 2012

St. Louis County Closer To Adding Arch Tax To April Ballot

Credit (UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

The St. Louis County Council is moving forward with a plan to put a sales tax initiative on the April ballot that would improve county parks, trails and the Arch grounds.

Council Chairman Michael O’Mara introduced a bill at this afternoon's council meeting that would authorize the ballot initiative and says he plans to campaign on its behalf.

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St. Louis County
10:41 pm
Tue December 11, 2012

Some Contractors, Civil Rights Groups Upset About New Rules In St. Louis County

Credit Waitscm / Flickr

Tuesday night the St. Louis County Council passed a new ordinance that in part requires contractors have a U.S. Department of Labor approved apprentice program.

That provision drew criticism from some civil rights groups who said it was unfairly pro-union.

“You know there are any number of minority owned contractors who are not union contractors,” said Adolphus Pruitt, president of the St. Louis branch of the NAACP.   “We’ve fought this fight a hundred times about this language and how it excludes them simply because they’re not tied to the union.”

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City-County
6:33 pm
Thu November 29, 2012

New Poll Shows Support For Closer City, County Relationship

The Admiral riverboat is helped down the Mississippi River by the tugboat Michael Luhr past the Gateway Arch in St. Louis on July 19, 2011.
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Supporters of a closer relationship between St. Louis city and county can take heart from a new survey.

The Missouri Council for a Better Economy, a group linked to libertarian billionaire Rex Sinquefield, conducted the survey of 700 voters at the beginning of September. It found that a strong majority of those polled thought some form of unification was worth exploring.

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Crime Lab
5:52 pm
Mon October 22, 2012

Work Begins On New Crime Lab In St. Louis County

(via Flickr/davidsonscott15)

St. Louis County started construction on a new crime lab this afternoon and police say the facility will speed up processing time.

Department spokesman, Randy Vaughn, says the extra space will also give them the room they need for additional technicians to help take on a backlog of evidence.  

“This is also going to allow a separation of all the different types of forensics, chemistry, biology, our evidence custodians, our firearm custodians,” Vaughn says.  “That is going to make a vast difference in making sure we don’t have any type of contamination issues.”

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Foreclosure Mediation
2:23 pm
Sun October 21, 2012

Slay: Battle Over Foreclosure Mediation In The County Not A Deterrent To Similar Law

(via Flickr/taberandrew)

A restraining order that prevents St. Louis County from enforcing a new law that would require banks to offer mediation to homeowners facing foreclosure continues this week.

St. Louis County and bankers are in the midst of a legal battle over whether or not the county has the authority to enforce the ordinance.

No matter what happens in the court case, St. Louis City Mayor Francis Slay says the city should continue to push ahead with a similar law.

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Foreclosure Mediation
6:04 am
Tue October 16, 2012

The Battle Over Foreclosure Mediation In St. Louis County

(via Flickr/taberandrew)

Casandra Sheperd is about to be evicted from her home in north St. Louis County.

On a recent afternoon, the soft spoken woman with an easy smile is standing in a room with 20 years’ worth of possessions stacked to the ceiling.

“Every box is hard, you know, because everything has a memory,” Sheperd says. “You know, you pack, you stack, you cry, but you keep moving."

Sheperd lost her job at an insurance company a couple of years ago and started getting behind on her mortgage payments.

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Foreclosure Mediation
10:10 pm
Tue October 9, 2012

St. Louis County Council Amends Foreclosure Mediation Plan

(via Flickr/taberandrew)

The St. Louis County Council approved additional changes to an ordinance that requires lenders to offer mediation to homeowners on the edge of foreclosure.

The tweaks to the ordinance include removing the right for homeowners to sue lenders after they’ve gone through mediation, and they come in the shadow of an ongoing legal battle with lenders over whether the county even has the authority to enforce the ordinance.

Councilwoman Hazel Erby first introduced the mediation plan and is confident in the county’s case.  

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St. Louis County
10:06 pm
Tue October 2, 2012

Audit Recommends Changes To St. Louis County Accounting Methods

borman818 Flickr

St. Louis County has new accountants auditing its financial records and they want changes to how officials track extra cash left in bank accounts at the end of the fiscal year.

The county’s Chief Operating Officer Garry Earls says in the past they would consider the leftover money as revenue, but the audit recommends it now be accounted for as an asset.

“There’s a reason accountants have the reputation that they do,” Earls says.  “This is a perfectionism of the system, and I’d tell you outright that it is an asset of the county so we might as well count it as an asset.”

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