Travel

Cahokia Power Plant from The American Bottom
Provided by Jennifer Colton

Driving down Interstate 70, headed west toward St. Louis, Jesse Vogler looked out the window and was shocked to see a giant mound rising from the earth. Excited, he mistook a large landfill for The Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site, which preserves the remains of a prehistoric civilization.

Shaun Tamprateep of Fenton wants to explore St. Louis' cultural diversity. He studied Tourism and Hospitality in his father's home country of Thailand, and works as a driver for Metro Transit’s Call-A-Ride service.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Shaun Tamprateep grew up in Fenton, playing in the woods with a gang of neighborhood boys and sometimes landing at a friend’s house for dinner.

He noticed other families ate more hamburgers and fewer spicy dishes. But he didn’t pay much attention to the differences in his home — until he was almost a teenager.

Applying for a passport or renewing one can be done in person or by mail, but will take weeks longer than it used to.
Stowe Boyd | Flickr

Getting a new or renewed passport in the next several months will take longer than usual, as the U.S. State Department's Passport Services expects it will soon get a glut of applications.

gavin rice | Flickr | http://bit.ly/23yE1Ru

As of Friday, at least 31 people in the U.S. have been infected with the Zika virus. That includes three pregnant women — two in Illinois and one in New York. The virus has been reported across the globe in Africa, South Asia, Polynesia, as well as Central and South America.

Symptoms of the virus include fever, rash and conjunctivitis. It has been associated with microcephaly birth defects, according to the Centers for Disease Control. It spreads to people via mosquito bites.

Setting sail on our Turkish gulet for a four-day cruise along the Turquoise Coast.
Susan Hegger | St. Louis Beacon | 2013

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon: There I was -- ensconced under a thick blanket, rocking gently to and fro on the deck of a Turkish gulet and drifting off to sleep under a panoply of stars and the bright light of a full moon.

What could be more heavenly?

Douglas Scott Brookes and his sister are the fifth generation of their family to spend their summers in the very same place – a cottage built in 1885 on southern Lake Huron in Michigan.  During a visit, he discovered a diary kept by his great-grandmother from the years 1911-1915. After transcribing it, his interest was piqued enough to begin research on the history and traditions of the area. Among other things, he wanted to find out what prompted so many St. Louisans to spend their summers in Port Huron, Michigan.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

On this day before Thanksgiving, a constant, steady flow of passengers are making their way through Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.

Airport officials say about 23,000 passengers are going through checkpoints today.

Airport Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge says so far the busy travel day has gone smoothly. She says one reason why is because children under 12 years old do not have to remove their shoes when they go through airport security.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Sen. Claire McCaskill of Missouri has sold a private plane she co-owns with her husband, months after her use of it for official business and failure to pay back taxes created a political headache.

(St. Louis Public Radio)

Missouri Lt. Governor Peter Kinder has reimbursed the state another $1,889, after an audit found that he owed additional money for hotel expenses.   

The new payment comes on top of a $52,300 check that Kinder wrote the state in April. His campaign attorney said the original payment roughly equaled Kinder's instate hotel reimbursements but was intended to cover any potentially questionable expenses.

(St. Louis Public Radio)

Updated 5:42 p.m. to reflect that the state has received Kinder's check:

Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder has paid the state $52,320 to cover any potentially questionable expense reimbursements during his term in office.

Kinder wrote the check from his personal funds - a change of plans from when he announced earlier this month that his campaign would pay the state $35,050 to cover St. Louis area hotel stays cited in a story by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

(via Office of the Auditor)

Another auditor is criticizing Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon's administration for billing a state agency over travel costs.

The audit released Thursday by Republican Auditor Tom Schweich found $1,630 was charged to the Division of Workforce Development, in the Department of Economic Development. Nixon and a labor department official promoted a program administered by the workforce division. The audit said documents for the flight showed no division staff came along.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

A newspaper's review of travel records has found that U.S Sen. Claire McCaskill spent far less for four years of flights on her private plane than two former Missouri senators spent for travel over similar time spans.

Marshall Griffin, St. Louis Public Radio

The Missouri House continued its swift work today on the $23 billion state budget, giving it first-round approval after only a few hours of debate.

But before doing so, lawmakers removed most of the money they had allocated for Governor Jay Nixon’s travel budget.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill admitted today that she has failed to pay up approximately $287,000 in back taxes on a personal airplane.

Problems with McCaskill's plane surfaced several weeks ago amid reports that her office improperly billed the government for travel to a political event.

McCaskill took responsibility for that mistake, but she admits that the perception of dodging taxes could hurt her chances for re-election in 2012.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Updated 12:16 p.m. March 16, 2011 with comments from McCaskill.

Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill says she is embarrassed by the recent revelation that she was reimbursed for using a private airplane to attend a political event in 2007.

The democrat's comments come a day after the Missouri Republican Party filed an ethics complaint against her.

Despite a campaign ad attacking the practice, Governor Jay Nixon says he has no plans to scale back his air travel.

Earlier this week the Missouri Republican State Committee began airing radio spots criticizing the Democratic governor’s air travel, dubbing him “Air Jay.”

Governor Nixon also has come under fire from the legislature and the state’s auditor, for billing state agencies for his trips on state planes, about $400,000 over two years.

Missouri House members have voted without dissent to require information about the governor's travel to be posted on a state website.

(Rachel Lippmann, St. Louis Public Radio)

The Missouri Department of Transportation is urging driver to take it slow and be careful if they must travel this Christmas night.