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ST. LOUIS (AP) — Recent turmoil at Saint Louis University between its longtime president and students and faculty critics has given way to hope and optimism as the Jesuit school seeks its first new leader in more than a quarter-century.
The Rev. Lawrence Biondi presided over a 42 percent student body increase, a near doubling of full-time faculty and nearly $1 billion worth of new construction since his 1987 inauguration. Critics say he also led by fear and intimidation, stifling dissent and alienating campus members who called for his resignation.
Biondi announced his retirement in May and escalated the timetable with a September 1st departure for a one-year sabbatical. SLU must now consider whether to again hire a priest for its top job or look outside religious circles for a lay leader.
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) — An adviser to the Reverend Martin Luther King will speak at a Southeast Missouri State University dinner honoring the late civil rights leader.
The Cape Girardeau school says Clarence B. Jones helped write King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech while serving as his political adviser, counsel and draft speechwriter. Today, Jones is a visiting professor at the University of San Francisco and scholar writer in residence at the Martin Luther King Junior Research and Education Institute at Stanford University.
Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker previously was scheduled to speak at the King dinner. But Booker is currently campaigning for the U.S. Senate.
Tickets for the January 22nd dinner at Southeast Missouri State go on sale in December.
WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has signed a major disaster declaration for 18 Missouri counties hit hard by last month's floods.
The floods that resulted from nearly two weeks of heavy rain caused widespread damage across the southern tier of the state and left at least three people dead.
The White House said in a news release that federal funding is available to help local governments and nonprofits recover. The counties that will benefit are Barry, Camden, Cedar, Dade, Dallas, Laclede, Maries, McDonald, Miller, Osage, Ozark, Phelps, Pulaski, Shannon, Taney, Texas, Webster and Wright.
Federal funding is also available for hazard mitigation measures statewide.