Job growth and regional cooperation appear to be the themes of St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley's re-election campaign.
Dooley was flanked by local Democratic leaders and labor representatives last night when he formally kicked off his bid for a fourth term. Congressman William "Lacy" Clay, County Assessor Jake Zimmerman and former and current St. Louis mayors Vincent Schoemehl and Francis Slay were on hand to show their support for the Dooley candidacy. UAW Local 2250 President Van Simpson told Fox 2 News, "He's good for the region. He's good for the economic growth of the area."
Dooley will face fellow Democrat, County Councilman Steve Stenger in the August primary.
Stenger released the following statement Thursday night:
"I look forward to discussing the issues with Mr. Dooley over the next several months including my plan to restore trust, credibility and a AAA bond rating to St. Louis County."
The County lost it's AAA rating under Dooley's leadership, but the county executive says that was because of a change in the rating system.
Dooley responded to Stenger's statement by saying that no one can hold an elected office for ten years without something going wrong. He told Fox 2 News, "The key to it is, what do you do about it, in fixing it and correcting that problem? I'm telling you we're going to get on it. We're going to fix it, and we're going to move on."
Lambert Airport announced a plan to make the facility more family-friendly.
Airport officials announced a partnership with The Magic House. They are building a 1,500 square-foot indoor playground in Concourse C. The playground will open in late May. Lambert officials say children will be able to pretend they are flying a plane or work in a control tower, among other activities.
The playground will be funded through donations.
Another man has died in the latest spat of violence in north St. Louis.
Just after 1 PM a man was shot in the head near Fairground park. Homicide detectives have taken over the investigation. Overnight, two men were shot in the head in separate incidents. One of those victims died. Last night's shooting happened at 9 PM and midnight.
No word on any suspects in any of the shootings.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Two former Missouri football players are suing the NCAA in federal court over head injuries they suffered decades ago, joining a cascade of recent lawsuits against college sports' governing body related to traumatic brain injuries.
Tony Van Zant and Sharron Washington filed the suit Tuesday. Both played for Missouri from 1987 to 1991. Van Zant is now running backs coach at Division II Lincoln University in Jefferson City.
Both say they suffer headaches, depression and other ailments. The lawsuit seeks medical monitoring and testing for former college players with similar head injuries and didn't advance to the NFL.
Similar lawsuits have been filed in recent months in Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota and Tennessee by ex-players from schools such as Georgia Tech, North Carolina State, Oregon and Vanderbilt.
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - A Texan who led one of the country's largest universities has been hired as the University of Missouri's new chancellor.
R. Bowen Loftin, former president of Texas A&M, succeeds Brady Deaton, who retired in November after overseeing the Columbia campus since 2004.
Missouri announced his hiring Thursday.
The 64-year-old Loftin stepped down as Texas A&M University's president in July after leading his alma mater for four years. He had planned to remain in College Station to direct an academic institute focused on homeland defense.
Loftin earned his doctorate from Rice University and spent four years as the vice president and chief executive officer of Texas A&M's branch campus in Galveston.
Texas A&M and Missouri both joined the Southeastern Conference in 2012 after leaving the Big 12 Conference together.
CHICAGO (AP) - Illinois has taken a giant step toward fixing its biggest financial problem by approving a major pension overhaul this week. But lawmakers' inaction on tax incentives aimed at keeping companies in Illinois has triggered new concerns about the state's business climate.
The Senate and a House committee considered legislation giving tax breaks to Archer Daniels Midland Company, chemical distributor Univar and newly-merged OfficeMax and Office Depot. But the House adjourned after the pension vote, essentially pushing the issue into 2014.
The slow action, at least in the business world, could mean other states with interest in taking Illinois jobs have more of a chance to swoop in.
Still, lawmakers say they had no other choice. Their first priority was approving a plan aimed at fixing Illinois' $100 billion pension crisis.
According to a tech startup, Missouri is home to the two happiest cities in America.
Jetpac, the maker of a new travel app on iPhone, analyzed more than 100 million images on Instagram. Their program identified popular places across the country by looking a pictures of places like restaurants, finding the best views, and where parents go with their kids.
The happiest cities in America according to their survey: St. Louis and Kansas City came in first and second.
St. Louis County Executive Charlie Dooley is expected to announce his campaign for reelection Thursday night.
Dooley's term is up in 2014. St. Louis County Councilman Steve Stenger and Republican Tony Pousosa announced last month they intend to seek the seat.
Dooley has been county executive since 2003.
Police have identified the pedestrian who was hit and killed in the Central West End Thursday morning.
Police say 63-year-old Nancy Benson was crossing the road when she was hit by a driver just before 7 AM. The driver stayed on the scene of the accident. He told police he did not see Benson because the weather was bad and she was wearing dark clothes.
Benson was not in a crosswalk when she was hit. Police continue to investigate the accident.