St. Louis

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded the city of St. Louis $7.8 million to help redevelop the area around the city's last public housing tower for families.

Previously, parts of the St. Louis Public Radio listening area were under a tornado watch. This tornado watch has now been lifted.

For the latest updates from the National Weather Service, see this update page.

Joplin, Mo. was also hit particularly hard from this round of tornadoes and storms. Fatalities have been confirmed.

See previous updates after the break.

(via Flickr/DoNotLick)

St. Louis landmark Citygarden has been named the recipient of the ULI Amanda Burden Urban Open Space Award.

The award "celebrates and promotes vibrant, successful urban open spaces by annually recognizing and rewarding an outstanding example of a public destination that has enriched and revitalized its surrounding community," according to the award's website.

(via Flickr/Richie Diesterheft)

When the Ways and Means committee of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen meets, anything goes as far as topics.

Today, it was the Department of Public Safety's turn on the hot seat, and pensions, recruiting and jail escapes were on the minds of the committee members. Here's a sampling of their concerns:

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Calling it a "matter of survival" for his agency, Missouri Department of Transportation director Kevin Keith unveiled a five-year restructuring plan this morning that will eliminate 1,200 jobs, close 135 facilities, and sell more than 740 pieces of equipment.

St. Louis' Joe Marrocco of Kaldi's Coffee is already a champion barista.  As the top scorer in the South Central regional competition earlier this month, Marrocco heads to the United States Barista Championships this weekend as a man to beat.  Nationals are underway in Houston, where competitors are judged on a number of factors, including taste, technical skills, and presentation.  We caught up with Marrocco during a recent practice session.

(via Flickr/seannaber)

Philip Morris USA and other major tobacco companies won a favorable verdict Friday in a lawsuit filed by 37 Missouri hospitals seeking more than $455 million for treating sick smokers.

Philip Morris USA was one of six tobacco companies involved in the lawsuit.

The hospitals had claimed cigarette companies delivered an "unreasonably dangerous" product and were seeking reimbursement back to 1993 for treating patients who had no insurance and did not pay their bills.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

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

Fed. judge gives corps OK to break Missouri levee

A federal judge is giving the go-ahead to the Army Corps of Engineers' plan to intentionally break a Mississippi River levee in southeastern Missouri.

The break could happen as early as this weekend to spare a flood-threatened Illinois town just upriver. Friday's ruling in Cape Girardeau turns back Missouri's bid to block the corps from blasting a hole in the Birds Point levee in Mississippi County, just south of Cairo, Ill.

FEMA teams in St. Louis to assess damage from tornadoes

Apr 27, 2011
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency are on the ground in St. Louis to assess the damage from last week's tornadoes. Their findings will be part of Missouri's request for Federal assistance.

FEMA investigators are gathering data on a variety of factors-including the number of displaced people, effects on the local economy, and how much property was uninsured.

Josh DeBerg is a spokesperson for FEMA. He says the main criteria for federal aid boils down to a question of resources.

A budget that proposes laying off 20 city workers to help close a $30 million gap is in the hands of the St. Louis Board of Aldermen.

(via Flickr/comedy_nose)

Three new charter schools will open to St. Louis City residents in August.

Jamaa Learning Center will serve kindergarten through eighth grade, Preclarus Mastery Academy will enroll grades 5-to-12 and South City Prep for grades 5-to-12 will offer a year-round academic calendar.

Mayor Francis Slay announced the new charter schools this morning and said education is the number one issue in the City of St. Louis.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

The threat of severe weather has moved south and east of the St. Louis Public Radio listening area, though flood warnings remain in effect along many of the area rivers. The National Weather Service is also warning of possible flash flooding, and has issued an urban and small stream flood advisory until 1 a.m.

(St. Louis Public Radio)

U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo. announced today that St. Louis has been awarded a $4 million federal grant for public transportation upgrades.

The money will be provided jointly by the Department of Transportation and the Federal Transit Administration, according to a press release from McCaskill's office. 

So, how will St. Louis use the money?

The release states that the grants will be used to aid in the replacement of up to 12 buses in the Metro's current bus fleet.

A view of the outside of the Peabody Energy building in St. Louis.
St. Louis Public Radio

Peabody Energy Corp. says its profit rose in the first quarter due to higher prices for Australian coal used in steelmaking and increased demand in the U.S.

The world's biggest private-sector coal company says its net income attributable to common shareholders was $176.5 million, or 65 cents per share, in the January-March period. That's up from $133.7 million, or 50 cents, a year earlier.

St. Louis-based Peabody says first-quarter revenue rose 15 percent to $1.74 billion from $1.51 billion the previous year.

(via Flickr/mrwynd)

Green Sales Tax Holiday Begins in Missouri

The Third Annual Show-Me Green Sales Tax Holiday begins today and runs through April 25. Those wishing to purchase new Energy Star-qualified appliances in Missouri during the holiday will save at least 4.225 percent off the purchase, representing the elimination of the state's sales tax from the purchase, according to the Missouri Department of Revenue.

(via Flickr/Robert S. Donovan)

Motorists traveling around downtown St. Louis will see traffic backups and delays this weekend as the Missouri Department of Transportation is packing a laundry list of repairs into one, two-day stretch.

MoDOT is making a variety of lane and ramp repairs starting at Grand Boulevard and stretching to the Poplar Street Bridge.

The repairs come during the same weekend that 25,000 runners will be coming downtown for the GO! St. Louis Marathon.

Diana Venker is the area engineer for MoDOT.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Another incumbent alderman has lost his seat at City Hall.

Fred Heitert, a 32-year members of the Board of Aldermen and for many years its only Republican, lost his re-election bid by 48 votes to Democrat Larry Arnowitz, a longtime city employee.

(Adam Allington/St. Louis Public Radio)

Will be updated as more information becomes available

Firefighters in the city of St. Louis got some better news today.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency announced that the department will receive $3.2 million federal funds over the next two years in the form of a SAFER grant. (That stands for Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response.)

(via Flickr/puroticorico)

Updated March 30th

A spokesman for Comptroller Darlene Green says the Board of Estimate and Apportionment can only act on layoffs proposed by the St. Louis Fire Department. The meeting last week was the first time the Board had a proposal to consider, said John Farrell, even though the department's overspending had been evident for nine months.

Our earlier story:

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

On Tuesday, voters in St. Louis and Kansas City will have their first change to determine the future of their cities’ 1 percent earnings taxes, which are imposed on the wages of everyone who lives or works in the cities.

It’s on the ballot following statewide approval last November of Proposition A.

The lead-up to the vote has been very different in the two cities.

Today, we have two reports.

Maria Altman will look at how quiet the campaign has been in St. Louis.

But first, Maria Carter of KCUR reports that things have been much more heated in Kansas City.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Missouri is one of a handful of states applying for some $2.4 billion in federal funding for high-speed rail projects that Florida rejected last month.

Governor Jay Nixon was in Kirkwood today to announce Missouri's application for nearly $1 billion in new funding.

In recent months, rail projects have  become politicized with many GOP lawmakers calling for states to refuse the funds.

(St. Louis Public Radio file photo)

Reporting from the The St. Louis Beacon's Dale Singer used in this report.

By the time Catholic education in St. Louis celebrates its 200th anniversary in 2018, Archbishop Robert Carlson wants classrooms to be fuller, Catholic identity to be more vibrant and finances in such good shape that everyone who wants to attend should be able to enroll regardless of whether they can pay.

(St. Louis Public Radio)

The battle over who will control the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department has entered the theater of the courtroom.

Legislative efforts to give the city's Board of Aldermen direct oversight of the department have stalled. (It's currently governed by a five-member board, four of whom are gubernatorial appointees. The mayor is always the fifth).

The family of a child allegedly molested by a drunken guest at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in suburban St. Louis is suing the hotel.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the suit was filed Tuesday.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

For 35 years, Francis R. Slay held court every Wednesday at the banquet hall at St. Raymond's Maronite Cathedral, just south of downtown.

On Monday, hundreds gathered in the Cathedral's pews to pay honor to a man the Cathedral's bishop, Robert Shaheen, called the "fabric" of St. Raymond's.

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A view of the Delor Bridge from I-55.

Interstate 55 from Carondelet to Broadway will be closed this weekend as the Missouri Department of Transportation removes the Delor Bridge.

The project is part of the Interstate 55 Bridge Replacement Project, which also includes the Holly Hills Bridge, scheduled to be removed in May or June. The total cost of replacing both bridges is $3 million.

(via Flickr/pasa47)

An environmental group is urging St. Louis voters to approve Proposition E in the April election.

The proposition asks voters whether the city can retain the 1 percent earnings tax, which generates about one-third of the city’s budget.

The Sierra Club is encouraging St. Louisans to vote yes.

John Hickey says the earnings tax is the main source of funding for the city’s parks.

(via Flickr/Patrick H~)

St. Louis has been named as one of 24 cities worldwide to be awarded a "Smarter Cities" grant by IBM, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch's Tim Logan reports

What does the grant entail? And how will it be used in St. Louis?

(via Flickr/Richie Diesterheft)

Updated at 12:30 p.m. Wed. with correct percentages

Updated with final unofficial results at 10:30 p.m.

A former St. Louis alderman who was recalled from office in 2005 over his support for controversial development projects in his south city ward seems poised to take his old seat back in April.

(via Flickr/janineomg)

Back in December 2010 we told you that St. Louis is joining the National Children's Study, the largest long-term study of child health ever conducted in the United States.

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