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A $1-per-pack cigarette tax increase in Illinois isn't having the financial impact that state officials had hoped for. The year-old increase was expected to rake in $350 million in tax revenue, but instead the total is closer to $212 million. Illinois raised the cigarette tax from 98 cents to $1.98 in June of last year, hoping to bring in much-needed revenue and discourage people from smoking. Authorities say fewer people are buying cigarettes, which explains the decline in tax revenue.
St. Louis could be joining the likes of New York and Paris as the only cities in the world with an elevated greenway. The proposed project, discussed last night at a planning meeting, would be installed in north St. Louis along an abandoned elevated train rail near the McKinley Bridge to west of I-70. The old commuter train trestle was purchased by the Great Rivers Greenway District in 2004. The plan calls for gardens, bike and walking paths, a performing arts plaza, and sustainable watering systems. The tax payer-funded project is estimated to cost between $50 and $60 million dollars.
One person is dead and three others injured after a shooting in Berkeley yesterday on Tuesday. Police say it began about 2 p.m. as an argument between three people in a car and a man at the Madelaine Manor apartment complex. That argument escalated. Shots were fired and all four people were hit. The three victims in the car tried to drive to the hospital, but were pulled over by police on McDonnell Boulevard near Boeing. All four victims were taken to the hospital in serious condition. One later died. Berkeley Police Chief Frank McCall, Junior says charges are expected against the three survivors.