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   Missouri Transportation officials are warning drivers to expect more nighttime lane and ramp restrictions along Interstate 70 near the Blanchette Bridge this week.

   MoDOT says drivers should expect at least one lane to be closed eastbound on the Blanchette Bridge from 8 p.m. through 5 a.m. each weeknight, as crews near completion of the north span rebuild.  

   Officials say additional lane and ramp closures are likely through next weekend in the final push to get both the eastbound and westbound bridges back to five lanes in each direction by Monday, August 26th.

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MoDOT is encouraging drivers to avoid I-70 at the Blanchette Bridge for the next three nights.

Crews are working to get westbound traffic switched over to the rehabilitated westbound span of the bridge. The change will force the closure of several lanes and ramps in the coming days. Motorists are advised to avoid I-70 and use Route 370 or Route 364 as alternates to traveling in this area.

Traffic should be switched to the new bridge span by Friday. 

A list of closures is below:

Tuesday, August 13, only one lane will be open on westbound I-70 and two lanes open eastbound I-70 at the Blanchette Bridge from 8 p.m. until 6 a.m. 

On Wednesday, August 14, only two lanes will be open westbound I-70 from Route 141/Earth City Expressway to the Blanchette Bridge from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.  All four ramps connecting westbound I-70 to Earth City Expressway will also be closed overnight.

On Thursday, August 15, only one lane will be open westbound I-70 at the Blanchette Bridge from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m.  The goal is to have three lanes plus an exit only lane open on the westbound Blanchette Bridge by sometime Friday.

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   "Remarkable." That's what the Muny's executive producer Mike Isaacson had to say about attendance this season. It was up 9% over last yea, well over the 5% boost Muny executives had hped for, according to a report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

   Including free tickets and community outreach, a total of over 383,000 people took in a show this year. That is the highest number in six years.

   The most popular shows, Mary Poppins and Shrek. It was the first appearance at the Muny for both of the family-friendly shows.

   And the Muny Opera isn't the only entertainment venue in Forest Park that's celebrating its popularity.  The St. Louis Zoo has broken another record.

   Officials say the zoo has nearly 53,000 members as of July 31. That is an 11% increase of the same time last year and represents a 20% increase over the past five years.

   The zoo was also happy to announce that they have 1,000 members who paid at least $1,000.

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   CAVE-IN-ROCK, Ill. (AP) — A yearly southern Illinois outdoor music festival featuring the Insane Clown Posse rap-metal group is getting underway in southern Illinois, and police say they'll be ready for the thousands of the band's fans.

   Illinois State Police say they're prepared along with Hardin County sheriff's authorities for the kickoff Wednesday near Cave-In-Rock of the latest Gathering of the Juggalos. Juggalos are fans of the band.

   State police say 10,000 people are expected to attend the event that runs through Sunday.

   The event in past years has resulted in unrest, including fans pelting reality TV actress Tila Tequila with stones, bottles and feces in 2010. Authorities said that event also involved one man stabbing another. In 2011, one of the attendees drowned while trying to swim in the Ohio River.

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MoDOT is asking for public input as they start the next phase of planning for Interstate 270 in North County.

They are hosting a meeting to gather information from people who travel on I-270. The meeting will be held Tuesday, July 30 from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. at the Student Center on campus of the St. Louis Community College at Florissant Valley, 3400 Pershall Rd.

The meeting is part of the 270 North Environmental Assessment, an ongoing study addressing congestion, safety, and aging infrastructure on 270.

 

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Due to an artist cancellation, the Fair Saint Louis Foundation has canceled its Friday, July 19 Celebrate St. Louis Summer Concert event. The Foundation received a call from the management of K’NAAN, the evening’s scheduled headliner, Tuesday night, informing that due to a personal family matter he would not be able to perform Friday. 

“Our thoughts are with K’NAAN,” said Bob Ciapciak, chairman of the 2013 Fair Saint Louis and Celebrate St. Louis Summer Concerts. “We worked quickly with several national headliners but given a very short timeframe were not able to secure another act. We look forward to the Saturday, July 20 concert with headliner NEEDTOBREATHE, which will be a great performance to wrap up our 2013 Celebrate St. Louis Summer Concerts.”

All activities on Friday are canceled, including opening acts, DJ Wood and Joia. 

On Saturday, July 20 gates to the outdoor venue at Soldiers Memorial will open at 6 p.m. Blackwater ’64 will perform at 6:15 p.m. followed by Roots of Rebellion at 7:15 p.m. before NEEDTOBREATHE takes the Budweiser Main Stage at 9 p.m. 

“It’s been a great July of free entertainment both under the Arch with Fair Saint Louis and at Soldiers Memorial last weekend, and we look forward to seeing a great St. Louis crowd for our final event of the summer this Saturday so come join the summer celebration,” said Ciapciak. 

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   Parents with children in the Riverview Gardens and Normandy school districts have a lot to consider before the August 1 transfer deadline.  

   The Children's Education Alliance of Missouri hosted a town hall meeting Monday night to help parents wade through the complicated transfer process.  

   CEAM State Policy Director Kate Casas says parents need to know their kids can go to any nearby, accredited district, and not just the ones their home districts will bus to.  "It's really about getting accurate information and putting the power in the hands of parents to make the right choice for their own kid," Casas said.

   The applications must list the student's three top choices of accredited districts.  School assignments will then be based on a lottery system.  The transfers will only last until the student's home district regains accreditation.

   The meeting was held at the Lewis and Clark Library in the Riverview Garden's School District.

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MoDOT is set to close a ramp from eastbound 64 in downtown this week.

The ramp to Jefferson Avenue will close for three weeks starting at midnight on Thursday. Crews will be working to connect a new ramp to both the highway and Jefferson. 

While the ramp is closed, drivers can take the Grand exit from eastbound I-64, turn left on Chouteau and right on Jefferson, or take the 14th Street exit from eastbound I-64, turn right on Chouteau and left on Jefferson.

 

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   The number of companies owning St. Louis television stations is about decline again.  

   Chicago-based Tribune Company, which already owns KPLR TV (Channel 11) in St. Louis, is buying 19 stations from Local TV Holdings LLC, including KTVI (Channel 2).  

   The $2.73 billion  deal is set to close by the end of the year, and will make Tribune the largest commercial TV station owner in the country.

    The deal comes just weeks after the parent of KSDK (Channel 5) announced it was buying the parent of KMOV (Channel 4).

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With the 4th of July in sight, new details are emerging about Fair St. Louis and the VP Parade downtown. The 136th annual VP Parade steps off from a new location and time this year. The parade starts at 9:30 Thursday morning from the newly renovated Central Library. From there, it heads north on Tucker, east down Washington Avenue, south on 4th street, then East on Market, where it wraps up at City Garden. Approximately 30 floats and 12 marching bands will take part in the parade. As for the musical acts, Trace Atkins takes the stage on the 4th, Bret Michaels on the 5th, and the Counting Crows wrap things up on the 6th. 

 
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