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Drivers in Madison County should allow extra time for their travels Saturday if they use Interstate 270.

Starting at 5:30 AM, all westbound lanes of I-270 will be closed between Interstate 55/70 and Illinois Rte. 157. Crews will be replacing a damaged beam in the Meridian Road Bridge.

A detour is marked directing drivers to use I-55/70 west to I-255 north.

Transportation officials say the interstate should reopen by 9 PM Saturday.

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   Both man and beast will benefit from a busy fundraising weekend in St. Louis.  

   Thousands turned out at Forest Park for the 19th annual JDRF Walk to cure diabetes.  Officials estimate about 25,000 people took part in yesterday's walk which raised money for people living with type-one diabetes.  

   Soldier's memorial was the starting place for the fourth annual "Pedal the Cause" fundraiser.  The cycling event raises money for cancer research at the Siteman Cancer Center and St. Louis Children's Hospital.  In the first three years, the event has raised more than four million dollars for cancer research.

   And the Animal Protective Association of Missouri hosted its 23rd annual Canine Carnival Sunday at Tilles Park.  Dogs and their owners participated in agility contests, a cheese ball toss, and a celebrity-judged "ugliest" dog contest.  The Canine Carnival is the APA's biggest event of the year.

 
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   ST. LOUIS (AP) - St. Louis Zoo officials are celebrating a first - the birth of a baby Rhinoceros Hornbill.

   The yellow-beaked bird actually hatched July 13 but has remained in its nest. The species is near the threatened list and is native to Indonesia, Asia and Thailand. The birth was a first for the breed at the zoo in Forest Park.

   The birds eventually reach about 3 feet tall and weigh up to 7 pounds. The chick has not yet come out of its hollow but visitors can see it sticking its beak out for food.

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   With their first Central Division title since 2009, and the best record in the National League, the St. Louis Cardinals have home field advantage when the National League Division Series starts Thursday.  The Cardinals will take on familiar rivals, the Pittsburgh Pirates at Busch Stadium.  

   Fans are expected to flock to downtown St. Louis for a pregame pep rally on the Ballpark Village parking lot.  That gets underway at 1:00 p.m.  The rally will feature appearances by former Cardinal pitcher Andy Benes, Fredbird, the Budweiser Clydesdales and the 2011 World Series Trophy.  

   The Busch Stadium gates open at 2:00 p.m. And the game gets underway about 4:00. 

   This is the team's tenth appearance in the postseason since 2000.

 
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   If it smells like someone's cooking up something good, they just might be.  Chefs all over the metro area are getting ready for this weekend's Taste of St. Louis.  

   This year's event will feature 46 restaurants, bakeries and caterers offering dishes for $2 to $7 each.  

   Besides edible offerings, the event features a Culinary show, musical performances and a hot sauce showcase.  More than 400-thousand people turned out for last year's Taste.  

   This year's event kicks off at Soldier's Memorial in downtown St. Louis Friday at 4:00 p.m. and runs through Sunday.  

   Information about festival hours, parking, featured restaurants and special presentations can be found on the TasteSTL website.

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   A boutique hotel, a research center, and maybe even an indoor rainforest are among the additions envisioned when the St. Louis Zoo expands south of I-64/US-40.  

   Zoo officials will present a plan for the southern campus today.  The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the plan is considered a guiding "framework" for the 14 acre site of the shuttered Forest Park Hospital, and for the zoo's future.

   The expansion would also allow the zoo to expand animal exhibits on its current grounds. That could included a bigger children's zoo area and added features like a subarctic habitat. A gondola high over the interstate could link the two campuses.

   The paper reports that design and construction would be broken into multiple stages, stretching over the next 20 to 30 years.  

   The plan is to break the expansion into several specific projects, with money-raising campaigns for each.

 

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   They're charming, and rough on feet and car suspensions.  But thanks to block grants and federal stimulus dollars, the cobbled streets of Laclede's Landing are getting a facelift.  

   John Clark, president of the Laclede Landing Community Improvement District spoke with Fox 2 News about the project that he says is long overdue.  "Everybody that's ever been down here knows it's a mess," Clark said.  He called the uneven pavers "a tripping hazard and hard on the shocks on your car."

   The cobblestones aren't going away.  They'll be dug up and relayed on top of a new base, making for a smoother road, with better drainage.  Clark says that new base will be a big improvement over what engineers say is currently under the streets.  "They found everything from railroad ties, to broken bottles, to cinders, to coal, and so, with that, that's the reason the cobblestones have become so uneven," he said.

   Additional sidewalk and curb improvements will bring the Landing into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

   "It's going to be a straight shot from doorstep on one side of the street to doorstep on the other side of the street."  Clark said, "It will have much more the feel of a promenade, than a street and sidewalk."

   The Landing District will pay 20 percent of the project's $1.4 million cost. Clark calls that an investment in the Landing's future.

 

 

 

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   Conservation experts aren't sure why, but it seems the yellow jacket population is bigger than usual in the St. Louis area this year.  

   Mike Arduser of the Missouri Department of Conservation told Fox 2 News that the number of calls they've gotten regarding yellow jackets has doubled since last year.  "Yellow jackets are always present and always abundant this time of year, because their colony cycle peaks right about now," he says.

   And that can be a problem when the flying, stinging insects nest too close to humans.  Consumers can buy products to kill the pests themselves, but for large nests, it may be best to call in a professional.  

   Dr. Anthony Scalzo with the Missouri Poison Center at Cardinal Glennon Children's Medical Center told Fox 2 that too many wasp stings can be dangerous.   Dr. Scalzo says even people who are not allergic can die from too many  stings. "In a toddler, maybe greater than five stings per couple of pounds of body weight" can be fatal, he says.  "In an adult it could be, technically, as few as 30-50 stings from a wasp."

   That's one reason Arduser says wasp and yellow jacket nests should be left alone if the insects aren't bothering anyone. "They're part of the landscape now," he says.  "You just have to sort of learn to live with them like mosquitoes or horseflies or something else.  They'll be gone soon, as soon as it gets cold. 

 

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   Ballpark Village may still be under construction, but officials say they're already hiring.  

   Ballpark Village Chief Operating Officer Jim Watry told Fox 2 News that more than 1,000 positions will have to be filled before the entertainment venue opens next spring.  

   Watry says he's already looking for candidates to fill director positions. "Sales, marketing, director of operations, we have a facilities director, people who run the overall district," he said.  "And then by the first of the year, the tenants will be hiring all their people, the front line people, facilities people."

   Watry says anyone interested in the current openings can send a message through the Ballpark Village Facebook page or by emailing him directly at Jim@stlballparkvillage.com.  

 

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   Monday is the first morning commute since Illinois transportation crews closed a key stretch of Interstate 64.  

   All lanes of eastbound I-64 are closed between the I-55/70 split and 25th Street.  And it's scheduled to remain closed until next Monday morning (Sept. 23).  

   The closure will allow crews to build connections to the new Stan Musial Veterans Memorial Bridge.  IDOT reports that the new bridge across the Mississippi River is on track to open early next year (2014).

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