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Susan Smith-Harmon

Susan Smith-Harmon

St. Clair County expands employee drug testing program

Wednesday, 02 October 2013 05:44 Published in Local News

   After a drug scandal rocked the county courthouse, St. Clair County officials are expanding their drug testing program.  The board decided unanimously Monday night to expand the random drug testing to hundreds of additional employees.

   Ironically, the new policy won't apply to the circuit court system where the scandal broke.  That's because the courts are a separate government entity.  

   In March, Circuit Judge Joe Christ died while staying with Circuit Judge Michael Cook at a hunting lodge.  In May, Cook was charged with heroine possession and a weapons violation.  A probation officer and another man are also facing charges.  

   There are a lot of problems with Missouri's school transfer law, but no easy solutions.  That's what state lawmakers heard from St. Louis area school administrators and state educators during five hours of hearings Tuesday.  

   The legislators are considering changes to the current law that allows students in unaccredited districts to transfer to better schools at the expense of their home district.  Issues of cost were a repeated theme yesterday.  

   Three districts in the state are currently unaccredited: Normandy, Riverview Gardens and Kansas City.  But with 11 other districts only having provisional accreditation and new state education standards, there is concern that the transfer situation could be much more widespread in the next few years.

Monarch board rescinds pink tee shirt ban

Wednesday, 02 October 2013 05:34 Published in Local News

   Firefighters in the Monarch Fire Protection District can wear their "Pink Heals" tee shirts during Breast Cancer Awareness Month after all. 

   After hearing from an angry crowd at Tuesday night's board meeting, the district board rescinded their earlier ban, but with conditions.  The shirts must be redesigned without a union logo and must clearly identify firefighters as Monarch employees. 

   One of the board members who had banned the shirts, Robin Harris, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that the fire chief has been directed to submit design changes by Wednesday.

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