Morning headlines - Friday, May 18, 2012
Federal court sides with Quinn in pay dispute
A federal appeals court has sided with Illinois governor Pat Quinn over canceled pay raises due to thousands of union workers.
The 7th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a lower court’s dismissal of the case, saying a ruling in favor of the union known as AFSCME would violate the 11th Amendment by forcing the state to spend money. An arbitrator has ruled differently, saying the raises were part of a negotiated contract and should be paid.
Quinn canceled the raises last year, saying the state hadn’t given him enough money to pay for them.
In a written statement, AFSCME said it would continue to fight for the raises.
Metro set to raise fares
(Updatedat 10:45 to reflect correct pricing structure)
The board of the region’s mass transit agency Metro is set to vote this morning on a fare hike for some of the system’s riders.
Metro officials say the fare increase will help keep the system on a sustainable footing.
They’ve recommended an option that keeps single-ticket and Call-a-Ride fares the same, but increases the price of two-hour, and daily, weekly and monthly passes.
The price of long-term passes, however, will drop. (Information on the fare increase begins on page 111 of the agenda).
If approved by Metro’s board, the increase will take effect July 1.
WashU researchers receive Komen grant
Two researchers at Washington University in St. Louis are getting $4 million from Susan G. Komen for the Cure for breast cancer research.
Drs. Matthew Ellis and Pascal Meier are trying to identify which women with a type of breast cancer that grows in response to human estrogen are at the highest risk for a late recurrence.
The researchers will then try to find more effective therapies for those women by studying changes in the DNA structure of breast cancer cells versus normal cells.
Joplin hospital to get donation from the UAE
Mercy Hospital in Joplin, Mo. is set to get a large financial boost from the United Arab Emirates.
The exact amount of the donation from the UAE will be announced this morning. The nation's ambassador to the United States, Yousef Al Otaiba will be on hand, along with federal, state and local officials.
The hospital was among 8,000 buildings destroyed by an EF-5 tornado that slammed into the city almost exactly a year ago. The twister killed 161 people.