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Morning headlines - Friday, June 1, 2012

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(via Flickr/Indofunksatish)

Police to step up weekend presence on Washington Ave.

St. Louis police will be out in force on Washington Ave. this weekend in an effort to address the concerns of businesses and residents of the popular entertainment district.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the department will close the street to traffic between 11 p.m. and 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights. There will also be an increased police presence, including a circling helicopter, a command truck, and uniformed and plainclothes officers.

The department says the beefed-up patrols will not pull officers from other neighborhoods or require overtime. The manpower will come from specialized units.

St. Louis County Council member loses contract for license fee office

Missouri's revenue department has withdrawn a contract it issued to a St. Louis County Council member to run a license office.

The Department on Thursday said that Democrat Kathleen Burkett had failed to provide the required financial assurances in her proposal to operate the Maplewood fee office. No other information was given.

Burkett told The Associated Press on Thursday she's upset with how the process worked and presumes media accounts about her personal bankruptcy factored in the withdrawal.

The Maplewood contract now will go to Mid-America Transplant Services of St. Louis.

Business survey shows slowing growth in the Midwest

A new survey from Creighton University finds that economic growth in Midwest and Plains states slowed a bit in May.

The Mid-America Business Conditions Index dropped to 57.6  last month, down from 60 in April. Anything over 50 suggests growth.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss developed the survey. He says businesses are benefiting from healthy farm income and exports, but growth is softening as the dollar gets stronger.

The survey of business leaders and supply managers covers Arkansas, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, the Dakotas and Oklahoma. It was released the same day as new federal jobs numbers that showed  employers added just 69,000 jobs in May,  the fewest in a year. The unemployment rate rose to 8.2 percent.

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