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.
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After hearing from an angry crowd at Tuesday night's board meeting, the district board rescinded their earlier ban, but with conditions.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.
As the health insurance exchanges get rolling, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is warning insurance shoppers about potential scams.
Madigan says scam artists may try to take advantage of the new program.
Some may try to obtain personal and financial information to steal someone's identity. Others may try to sell fake health insurance plans. Madigan says consumers should never have to pay anyone to help them enroll in a health plan.
The impacts of the federal shutdown on the local St. Louis economy probably won't amount to much -- as long as it doesn't last long.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that economists and business leaders generally agree that a few days of federal worker furloughs and closed federal parks won't have a big impact. But with about 25,000 St. Louis area residents working for the federal government, and many thousands more working for private companies that rely on federal contracts, a long-term shutdown could have greater impact.
Right now, the paper reports that private employers like Boeing and Unisys aren't changing staffing levels, but all say they are monitoring the situation.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Authorities continue to investigate two separate incidents in north St. Louis in which pedestrians were struck and killed by vehicles.
The first happened just before 10 p.m. Tuesday when a person was struck on eastbound Interstate 70 near Salisbury Street. Lanes in both directions were closed for several hours after the accident. Police say the driver who struck the pedestrian was found. It wasn't clear if the driver would face charges.
In the second case, a man was struck by two cars as he was crossing Natural Bridge Avenue near Kingshighway just before midnight Tuesday. The drivers stopped and cooperated with authorities.
Names of the victims have not been released.
A five-year-old boy is dead, his mother's fiance facing charges for allegedly beating him to death.
Tavon Ludy from Glen Carbon is charged with two counts of first-degree murder. Police say Ludy punched Torian Whittaker, in the chest Monday night. The boy was rushed to the hospital where he died. Investigators say Whittaker and his 7-year-old brother both showed signs of routine abuse at the hands of Ludy.
The boys' mother, Toria Coleman, is also facing charges, police say she knew of the abuse but did nothing to stop it. The surviving brother is in protective custody.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Supreme Court has ruled in favor of Gov. Jay Nixon in a budget battle with State Auditor Tom Schweich.
The court ruled Tuesday that Schweich did not have legal standing to challenge about $170 million of spending cuts announced by Nixon in June 2011.
The cuts to education and other services were based partly on the expectation that Missouri would incur millions of dollars of unbudgeted costs from a deadly tornado that hit Joplin a month earlier. As it turns out, the Joplin costs came in lower than expected.
The Supreme Court said Schweich's challenge to the governor's budget-cutting authority amounted to a pre-audit of state spending. The court says the auditor does not have such powers.
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - Public health officials expect older students at the University of Illinois to sign up for insurance coverage through the new Affordable Care Act.
Julie Pryde is the administrator of the Champaign Urbana Public Health District. She said Tuesday that many graduate students don't have insurance.
Gyung Min Choi and his wife, 32-year-old Minyoun Ham were at the office Tuesday to find coverage for her.
Choi is student at the university. He said his wife is about five weeks pregnant and didn't have health insurance. So she hasn't yet seen a doctor.
He said their only option otherwise would be private insurance that might not be affordable with his $24,000 annual income.
The Champaign-Urbana area has about 40,000 students studying at the University of Illinois.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - A state appeals court in St. Louis has upheld the use of red-light cameras in the suburban community of Creve Couer.
In an opinion released Tuesday, the Missouri Court of Appeals' Eastern District sided with a previous St. Louis County Circuit Court ruling in favor of Creve Couer and its camera vendor, American Traffic Solutions Inc. The suit was brought by four people who received tickets for running red lights.
The appeals court has previously upheld red-light camera use in Creve Couer brought by another ticket recipient, ruling in 2011 that the city's traffic-camera ordinance enacting civil penalties was similar to a parking ticket rather than a criminal violation.
MASCOUTAH, Ill. (AP) - The federal government's shutdown is affecting thousands of civilian workers at southwestern Illinois' Scott Air Force Base.
Some two-thirds of the civilian workforce at the installation east of St. Louis - or nearly 3,500 workers - came to work Tuesday before being promptly sent home on unpaid furlough.
They'll stay that way until the end of the government shutdown that began early Tuesday.
The remaining civilian employees on the 13,000-worker base are exempt.
Air Force Col. Kyle Kremer is commander of the base's primary air wing. He says some flight operations at Scott will be curtailed, including those transporting senior government and military leaders.
But he says operations deemed essential such as training flights and flights of KC-135 air tankers won't be affected.