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Victoria Babu

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Hearings are set for this week in the St. Louis firefighters' pension reform battle.

Early last year, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay had proposed replacing the current Firemen's Retirement System with a less-expensive pension system. The Board of Aldermen passed the plan, but the board that oversees the pension system sued to stop the city from implementing it.

The new system would cut costs by trimming disability payments and making pension administrators civil servants, among other things. City officials say that's necessary because the pay and benefits that the four-person administrative staff receives right now are far more than those of other city pension administrators.

The F-R-S needed a 20-million dollar infusion from the city coffers last year in order to cover expenses. Slay says the city can't keep that up for long.
The ad man who gave us Spuds Mackenzie, "Weekends were made for Michelob," and "This Bud's for you," has died. Michael Roarty died Saturday after a heart attack. He was 84.

Roarty helped build Anheuser-Busch brands into international powerhouses. He was inducted into the Advertising Hall of Fame in 1994.

Visitation for Roarty will be Wednesday with funeral services Thursday at Bopp Chapel in Kirkwood.
JEFFERSON CITY - Still no word on what caused nearly two dozen people to become sick at the Missouri Coroner's and Medical Examiners Association conference.

The conference began Tuesday at the Truman Hotel in Jefferson City and by Wednesday several attendees became sick with symptoms that include coughing, fever, chest pain, and muscle ache. By Thursday, 27 of the 100 association members had fallen ill with five taken to the hospital. One remains hospitalized.

Cape County Coroner John Clifton tells KTRS news he had to take his deputy to the hospital."He was there for five hours. They didn't know what it was. They assured it wasn't contagious." Clifton tells KTRS News among those ill are the Perry County coroner and both the Scott County coroner and his deputy.

The general manager of the Truman Hotel, Lisa Steiner, told KOMU-TV the Department of Health investigated the hotel today and could not find a problem. Steiner said the investigators were not able to advise her on any action to take. The rooms of those who became ill have been closed off.

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