St. Louis county will begin it's anti-smoking campaign next week, just as the the countywide smoking ban is about to take effect Jan. 2. The Post-Dispatch says in March the county was awarded a $7.6 million federal stimulus grant to fight smoking. The county's first effort will be a 15 month, $2 million media campaign urging people to stop smoking and to explain the ins and outs of the forthcoming ban. Dr. Delores Gunn, director of the St. Louis County health department says that until now, Missouri has been 48th in the nation on spending for smoking prevention and cessation programs.
"We spend $400 million a year in Medicaid in Missouri to treat illnesses related to smoking and secondhand smoke." -Dr. Delores Gunn in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.
Express Scripts is planning to announce today that it will build a third office building at its headquarters complex in north St. Louis county. The company says the project will increase its economic impact in the region, which was more than $986 million in 2010. Express Scripts says it will also release an independent academic study on its economic impact in Missouri.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that nearly $190 dollars in safeguards have been installed at the Lincoln County jail. This after two federal prisoners escaped last month. Among the new safeguards is a new camera system. The Sheriff's department hopes the changes will allow them to resume housing federal prisoners. John Wesley Jones, a suspect in the multimillion-dollar ATM Solutions robbery in St. Louis, and Corey Durand Cross escaped through a drop ceiling. They were recaptured within days of the jail break.
Authorities say 19-year-old William Mack Sapp of south St. Louis County is charged with second-degree assault and leaving the scene of an accident. He is jailed on $500,000 bond following his arrest on Wednesday. It wasn't immediately clear if Sapp had an attorney.
The other alleged racer, 19-year-old Trenton Pinckard of Glen Carbon, Ill., was charged earlier this week with leaving the scene of an accident.
The St. Louis area's newest casino is falling short of revenue projections.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the River City casino in south St. Louis County is now projected to generate slightly less than $8.2 million in its 10 months of operation this year, and a little less than $10 million in 2011.
North St. Louis County law enforcement will be stepping up efforts in the fight against drunk driving this holiday season after receiving a grant to purchase a Breath Alcohol Testing, or BAT van.
The BAT van helps keep officers on the street to detect more impaired drivers, as opposed to hauling individual arrests to police stations. The van will be shared among the North St. Louis County police departments, including 36 different law enforcement agencies.