St. Louis

Curran | Flickr

Cigarettes are in the news again, but this time it's not about banning the smoking of them.

Eleven men from the St. Louis and Chicago areas are facing federal indictment for allegedly trafficking in contraband cigarettes.

The U.S. Attorney's office in St. Louis announced the indictments on Thursday. Four of the men are from suburban St. Louis, five are from Chicago and two are from Chicago suburbs.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

On time, and on budget.

Those are the five words St. Louis Public Library executive director Waller McGuire is most excited to say about the $70 million renovation of the library's headquarters building.

Slave auctions were once commonplace in Missouri. Families were separated, people were property and the event of the auction itself was a harsh one.

In recognition of the sesquicentennial of the Civil War in 2011, the St. Louis American reports on the plan for several local organizations to reenact a slave auction -- right on the steps of the Old Courthouse in downtown St. Louis.

(Flickr Creative Commons User mdaines)

Vacant homes are a common sight in many metropolitan U.S. cities, but, apparently, St. Louis has more than most.

According to U.S. Census data, St. Louis has the second highest rate of home vacancy among major U.S. cities.

(Julie Bierach, St. Louis Public Radio)

The City of St. Louis and Stray Rescue are taking additional measures to encourage responsible pet ownership in the City of St. Louis.

This week, the City's Animal Control Officers will begin issuing tickets for fines from $100 to $500 for those who violate city animal laws and ordinances. The City will also enforce animal abuse violations, including illegal chaining and dogfighting.

Chad Williams, Saint Louis University Medical Center

St. Louis is joining the National Children's Study, the largest long-term study of child health ever conducted in the United States.

The study will follow 100,000 children nationwide from before birth to age 21.

Local study leader Louise Flick of Saint Louis University's School of Public Health says more than 4,000 children from St. Louis City, Jefferson County, and southwestern Illinois will be asked to participate.

(St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department)

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.

(Flickr Creative Commons User Robert S. Donovan)

The president of Custom Janitorial Services and Supplies is facing federal charges alleging he embezzled nearly $1 million.

The St. Louis Business Journal reports that 54-year-old Herman Schamber of St. Louis worked out of the main Alexandria, Va. office of National Janitorial Services Inc.  and also owned and operated the another company, Custom Janitorial Services, out of the East Rutherford, N.J. area. The Business Journal explains:


(Flickr Creative Commons User Daniel Leininger)

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released data today about the state of unemployment over the past year for the St. Louis Mo.-Ill metropolitan area. We have some of the highlights for you:

  • St. Louis Mo.-Ill. registered an unemployment rate of 9.3 percent in October 2010 (not seasonally adjusted).
  • Nationally, the unemployment rate was 9.0 percent in October 2010, not seasonally adjusted.
  • Employment rose in St. Louis at a rate of 0.1 percent, but not as much as it did nationally, 0.5 percent.

So who was getting hired?

Bars in St. Louis that are thinking about applying for an exemption to the city's smoking ban will have to count any tents they use to expand seating areas toward the square footage total that allows them to get that exemption.

The city's ban includes language that lets bars smaller than 2,000 square feet and where "the serving of food is only incidental to the consumption" of alcoholic beverages to allow their patrons to smoke until January 1, 2016.

So why do tents matter?

(Casino Celebration)

A Las Vegas-based gaming company has entered a deal to help finance and operate the proposed casino at the Chain of Rocks bridge in north St. Louis.

The financing by the numbers:

(Flickr creative commons user HAM guy)

If you heard that a barge hit the Martin Luther King bridge, it's true, but don't worry about adjusting your commute to avoid this part of the mighty Mississippi.

The St. Louis area could create more jobs if a greater portion of its transportation funding went to mass transit rather than to building roads and highways, a new study by the Public Policy Research Center of the University of Missouri-St. Louis shows.

As President Barack Obama prepares to announce the official end of U.S. combat in Iraq, several St. Louis area residents expressed concerns about the cost, in both lives and dollars, of the effort to bring democracy to that Middle East country.

You can talk for hours with St. Louis area residents, visitors, architects and others to get their take on the five competing final design concepts for the Gateway Arch grounds and its surroundings. But you likely won't find another viewer like Brendan Lehand.

Here are two interesting facts from a new "green economy'' report commissioned by the St. Louis Regional Chamber and Growth Association:

 -- St. Louis has added 1,000 green jobs in the past two years, despite the recession.

 -- The number of green jobs in the region grew 54 percent between 1995 and 2008, while green job growth in California's Silicon Valley was 53 percent during the same time period.

Bob Soutier, head of the Greater St. Louis Labor Council, says the region's roughly 50 unions are signing "a solidarity agreement" that will promote their support and cooperation for the city of St. Louis' bid to host the site for the 2012 Democratic presidential convention.

What you need to know