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St. Louis, MO – St. Louis County Executive Buzz Westfall says a nearly 500-acre tract of land near Lambert Airport represents one of the most exciting economic development opportunities in the region's history.

Westfall says the property will be developed for manufacturing, warehousing and distribution use. When completed, the project is expected to have an economic impact of more than $7 billion.

St. Louis, MO – Shares of Charter Communications lost about a third of their value today after the cable T-V company announced it had placed it's chief operating officer on paid leave.

The company gave no reason for the action. Charter president and chief executive officer Carl Vogel has assumed David Barford's responsibilities on an interim basis.

Calls to the company, which is controlled by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, were not returned.

St. Louis, MO –

What can a medium sized mid-western city like St. Louis learn from New York? A former speech writer for New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani is a St. Louis native who has returned to Missouri to work for St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay. KWMU's Hillary Wicai spoke with Special Assistant to the Mayor, Mark Ribbing, about what role speech writing and good old-fashioned rhetoric can play in healing a city.

St. Louis, MO – Using a system known as positive psychology, the survey by the Gallup Organization uses 12 indicators to gauge how area residents feel about their sense of happiness and satisfaction. Gallup's Gary Gordon says St. Louisans see four of those indicators - education, friendships, values and spirituality -- as their greatest strengths.

Gordon says St. Louisans can now use the survey findings both at the policy and grassroots levels to set priorities for their communities.

St. Louis, MO – A group requesting more oversight of the St. Louis police department is now calling for a tourism boycott of the city.

The Coalition Against Police Crimes and Repression held a rally and a march in downtown St. Louis Tuesday afternoon. They're protesting what they call a history of police brutality against minorities. John Chasnoff, with the Coalition, says a tourism boycott could shine more light on the issue.

Collinsville, IL – Teachers in the Collinsville Education Association approved a three-year contract last night with nearly 84% approval to avoid a strike that would have started today.

The new contract will give teachers a 15% pay raise over three years; they had originally asked for 18%. The union settled for the offer after the school board bumped it from 12%.

Sparta, IL – A priest who was ordained in Belleville almost fifty years ago has been removed from his job in Sparta, Illinois, pending an investigation into 32-year old sexual abuse allegations.

72-year old William Rensing was placed on administrative leave. A diocese spokesman says the allegations involve a young boy in an incident in Fairview Heights in 1970. Bishop Wilton Gregory says Rensing is cooperating with the investigation.

Jefferson City, MO – For 55 years, the Missouri Supreme Court has excluded public employees from the constitutional right to collective bargaining.

But a case to be heard November Sixth by the court could challenge that interpretation.

The case is being brought by two former Jefferson City school employees and their union representative. They lost in circuit
court and at the Western District of the state Court of Appeals.

St. Louis, MO – Bishop Wilton Gregory returned to the Metro-East yesterday after a week of meetings at the Vatican. The President of the U.S. Conference of Catholic bishops heads the Belleville diocese, and told reporters yesterday the Vatican has not rejected the sexual abuse policy developed this summer by U.S. bishops.

But Gregory but he says there are aspects to work out, including the Vatican's trouble with parts of the plan to permanently remove from the ministry all known abusers.

St. Louis, MO – The first debate between Senator Jean Carnahan and Republican challenger Jim Talent is set for tonight in St. Louis.

They'll take questions from a panel of journalists in an hour-long session to be telecast and broadcast around the state.

90.7 KWMU-FM will also carry the debate live, starting at 7:00pm.

The meeting will also air nationwide on C-SPAN. The candidates meet again on Thursday in Columbia; that debate will feature all four candidates for Senate.

St. Louis, MO –

The first of two debates between Missouri's major party U.S. Senate candidates took place last night in St. Louis.

Democratic incumbent Jean Carnahan and Republican challenger Jim Talent squared off in St. Louis' public television studios to talk about issues including homeland security, social security and prescription drug benefits for seniors.


Sacremento, CA – A St. Louis native has resigned as California's first official poet laureate.

Quincy Troupe resigned after acknowledging he had lied on his resume about graduating from college.

Troupe had held the term for just four months when a committee in California's State Senate discovered the discrepancy while preparing for his confirmation hearing. He says he attended Grambling College but in fact never graduated.

Jefferson City, MO – Tired of those unwanted emails? Attorney
General Jay Nixon wants to help, by creating a no-spam law.

Nixon's proposal would work much like the state's current no-call list, which prohibits many telemarketers from calling
people who put their names on a statewide list.

In this case, Missourians could submit their email addresses to a list that companies or mass emailers would have to obtain from the attorney general's office.

St. Louis, MO – The St. Louis Board of Aldermen Friday passed two bills that city officials say will lay the groundwork for a new Cardinals stadium. The board approved a ticket tax reduction measure and a redevelopment plan that designates more than 40-acres around the current stadium for new commercial properties. The amusement tax on tickets would be eliminated if at least $200-million is spent on the deal. First ward alderwoman Irene Smith voted against both measures. She says they don't adequately protect city revenues.

St. Louis, MO – American Airlines' decision this week to ground 42 planes has former TWA pilots worried.

Captain Jeffery Darnall, with the group TWA Pilots, Inc., says because American put a majority of TWA pilots and flight attendants at the bottom of the seniority list, they will be first in line to lose jobs.

Crestwood, MO – The man who helped guide New York City through the aftermath of last year's September 11th terrorist attacks is coming to Missouri.

Former New York City Rudolph Giuliani will visit the St. Louis suburb of Crestwood on October 30th. He'll be there for a two hour book-signing at the Barnes and Noble Bookstore.

Giuliani is touring the country promoting and signing copies of his new book Leadership.

Collinsville, IL – Teachers in Collinsville reached a tentative agreement last night with school administration on a new contract.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the union members will vote Monday night whether to accept the deal. The district's nearly 400 teachers had said they'd strike Tuesday if there were no agreement.

They've been working without a contract since August.

Jefferson City, MO – The Missouri Ethics Commission cleared Republican US Senate candidate Jim Talent of some ethics charges. But it's still looking into a case that Talent may have violated ethics laws in his 2000 governor's race.

The pending complaint says he may have violated the law by setting up a debt retirment committee in 2000, when his campaign finance report showed no debt.

Talent's campaign calls it a technical problem that can be fixed by filing an amended report.

Collinsville, IL – Teachers in Collinsville reached a tentative agreement last night with school administration on a new contract.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the union members will vote Monday night whether to accept the deal. The district's nearly 400 teachers had said they'd strike Tuesday if there were no agreement.

They've been working without a contract since August.

Springfield, MO – President Bush focused on the economy as he campaigned for Republican Jim Talent in Springfield, Missouri, today.
Bush acknowledged the economy is just "bumping along," but he says it will get stronger - if his tax cuts are made permanent. Also, he says a Republican-controlled Senate would pave the way for other tax reforms, like doing away with the death tax on farms and small businesses.

St. Louis, MO – St. Louis police say a fatal shooting on I-55 yesterday was in retaliation for a murder last month.

Chief Joe Mokwa says police are looking for suspects in the death of 25-year old Antonine Brown, who had been questioned about a murder last month in St. Louis but never arrested.

Brown's family says he lived in motels the past month, avoiding attempts on his life, and that he was living on borrowed time. Three other drivers were slightly injured yesterday during the shooting when ricocheting bullets hit their cars.

Washington, DC – Boeing's St. Louis-based Super Hornet project will have fewer planes to make this year, but not a few as first thought.

President Bush's budget proposal to Congress in February lowered the number of the Navy planes made this year from 48 to 44. Congress yesterday passed a defense spending plan that calls for 46 of the attack jets.

More than 4,000 people in the St. Louis area work on the Super Hornet project, which is Missouri's largest defense contract at $3 billion dollars.

St. Louis, MO – City officials are working on a plan to reinvest in St. Louis' main arts and entertainment district. If approved by the St. Louis Board of Aldermen, an $80-million tax increment financing plan would be used to redevelop several properties in the Grand Center area, including art museums, educational facilities and residential units. Grand Center executive director and former mayor Vince Schoemehl says his group hopes to build an economic engine for the city of St. Louis.

Collinsville, IL – Teachers in Collinsville say they'll walk off the job on Tuesday, if today's final negotiating session doesn't work out.

The 400 teachers want an 18% raise over the next three years. The district is offering 12%.

The looming strike came as the State Board of Education met in Collinsville yesterday. The Board released a survey claiming 80-85% of Illinois school districts are running on deficit budgets.

St. Louis, MO – Four people have died, including an 88 year-old suburban St. Louis man whose death was reported last week. The new cases are a 76-year-old Kansas City man, a 64-year-old man and 42-year-old woman from St. Louis County, and a 38-year-old woman from Moniteau County. West Nile is spread mostly through mosquito bites. The Centers for Disease Control says the virus has infected more than 3,000 in 37 states and Washington, D.C., and killed 164 people.

Jefferson City, MO – Supporters of a proposed tobacco tax increase in Missouri have more than $2 million on hand for the final weeks before Election Day.

Citizens for a Healthy Missouri says it needs the money to counter an expected multi-million-dollar campaign from tobacco companies against the $0.55-a-pack cigarette tax hike.

But the latest spending reports show that two opposing groups have a combined total of less than $50,000 in the bank.

Jefferson City, MO – The law was revised last year. It allows retired workers to stay on part-time for up to one-thousand hours a year. Those who exceed
the limit could have their retirement benefits suspended. The goal is to open senior-level jobs to younger workers, while
using the experience of retirees. The Commission on Total Compensation said today it wants to
better define the law. Some members see a need to look at potential problems within the retirement system.

Clayton, MO – Hailing a cab at Lambert Airport may soon cost you a minimum of ten dollars. A St. Louis County Council committee is recommending setting the flat rate for all rides up to four miles, no matter how long or short the trip.

The fare after that distance would stay the same: $0.20 for each one-tenth of a mile. If the full County Council approves the change next week, the new fare would take effect next month. Drivers have complained short trips provide insufficient income.