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Several road and highway projects are set to begin this week along three heavily traveled areas.

MoDOT will close lanes on the Poplar Street Bridge this  morning starting at nine until 2:30 in the afternoon. One lane in each direction will be closed weekdays for the next three weeks for crews to inspect the bridge.

In St. Charles County, traffic along Interstate 64 will be slowed or stopped for periods of time this week so crews can blast rock near the Boone Bridge.  Officials will help stop traffic at the designated times starting Tuesday. Blasting times will vary each day. Traffic is expected to be stopped for a maximum of ten minutes.

Close by, Olive street road will be closing between Centaur and Chesterfield Airport Road.  St. Louis County tells KTRS News, Centaur will be closed for two weeks as a contractor installs a 90 foot-long storm drainage system near construction of one of two new outlet malls.  

Drivers are asked to use the southern routes of Eatherton, Wildhorse Creek Road, Long Road and Chesterfield Airport Road.

Look for electronic message boards which will list any changes.

 
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St. Louis police are hoping education can help employers and schools prevent mass shootings on their grounds. So they've arranged for an expert to conduct a pair of free seminars Friday - one for business and one for educators.

The department-sponsored sessions will be conducted by police Major Joe Spiess. Spiess began studying mass shootings in 2010 after the ABB shooting in north St. Louis that left four people dead, including the gunman.

Spiess told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that his research led him to focus on what he calls the "Mr. Uncomfortable" who exist in almost every workplace or school. Spiess acknowledges that most "Mr. Uncomfortables" don't lash out, but he says, ignoring one can be deadly.

Spiess recommends using committees to handle anonymous reports about potential problems and installing panic alarms.

The seminars will be Friday, Febreuary 15 at Ameren corporate headquarters on Chouteau. The Workplace violence prevention session is from 8:00 a.m. to noon. A second seminar on school violence prevention will be held from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013 is the registration deadline. Space is limited.

To register, send an e-mail to registration@slmpd.org, specifying which session and listing place of employment and supervisor's name and contact information.
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Developer Paul McKee will be in Jefferson City Tuesday, trying to save his stalled NorthSide Regeneration project. The McEagle Properties chairman will ask the House Economic Development Committee to extend the tax credit program he's been using to amass land for the project.

The $95 million Distressed Areas Land Assemblage credit was passed in 2007 and will expire this August.

McKee's company has received more than $40 million so far and amassed 2,200 parcels of land in north St. Louis for the project. But McKee told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that he's needs to buy another 500 parcels for contiguous sites.

The NorthSide project calls for new and refurbished homes, retail and manufacturing space, along with schools and medical facilities on a two square mile area just north of downtown.
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Mizzou Football fans who are still hungry for recruiting talk, can have their appetites sated over the next couple of weeks, as recruiting reception events are planned across the state.

The tour gets underway Tuesday in Kansas City. Then it heads to Columbia Wednesday morning and St. Louis Wednesday evening, before wrapping up in Springfield on Thursday.

The annual Mizzou Tiger Club of St. Louis recruiting event will be held at the Edward Jones Building near I-270 and Manchester. A private dinner is set for 5:00 p.m., with a public social hour beginning at 5:30 p.m.

The festivities will move to the auditorium at 7:00 p.m. for the review of video by Tiger coaches.

For reservations on the private dinner, contact Curt Sawyer at curt@sawcap.com or call 636-530-3696.

The public portion of the evening is $5 at the door. Those 19 and under are free.

For more information, visit the club website at www.mizzoutigerclubstl.com.
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Local religious leaders were stunned to hear the news that Pope Benedict will be stepping down at the end of the month.

When asked about the possibility that St. Louis' own Cardinal Timothy Dolan taking over as Pope auxiliary Bishop Edward Rice said that's better left for a higher power to decide "He's a hometown boy, I'm a hometown boy, so it would certainly be tremendous and certainly he would be up for the job. You know...it's not a pat answer, it's the truth, but we have to rely on the Holy Spirit to guide us."

Selected as the 265th Pope in 2005, Benedict will become the first Pope to resign since Gregory XII in 1415.
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ST. PETERS, Mo. (AP) -- Red-light cameras are a hot topic again in the St. Louis area following the arrest of a St. Charles County councilman over a ticket from last summer.

Republican Councilman Joe Brazil isn't disputing the ticket he received in St. Peters, but he tells the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that it's overkill for a city to use police time on arrests for offenses that don't add penalty points to a driver's license under Missouri law. Red-light camera violations fall into that category.

"I think it's a complete waste of police resources," Brazil said. "They're overdoing it."

Brazil said he mailed in the fine before his arrest, but St. Peters spokeswoman Lisa Bedian said the city has no record of receiving Brazil's check. Bedian said the city issues arrest warrants whenever someone doesn't show up for a court date on any charge, including red-light violations.

Other cities in the St. Louis region take different approaches, and many don't issue arrest warrants for red-light violations. The cameras have spurred debate since they have been increasingly used in the St. Louis area over the past few years. Companies install the equipment in exchange for a portion of the fines. Opponents see it as an unfair money-grab, while proponents argue that the cameras help save lives by discouraging drivers from skirting through red lights.

Wentzville, like St. Peters, issues warrants for nonpayment of red-light violations. Police spokesman Paul West said the decision may depend on the type of photo taken by the camera system. Wentzville and St. Peters both use cameras that capture the face of the driver, rather than simply a photo of the vehicle license plate.

"If I can't say who is driving, how am I going to know who to arrest?" West said. Brazil was pulled over for a traffic stop last month. The officer told him there was a warrant for his arrest, frisked him, put him in the back of the police vehicle and drove him to police headquarters, where he spent about an hour in a holdover cell. Brazil said he'd mailed a cashier's check to pay his $110 fine before his arrest.

Those caught on red-light cameras are first sent a summons giving them the option of paying the $110 fine or going to court, Bedian said. If they do neither, they get a letter with a second court date and a warning that an arrest warrant will be issued if they don't respond.
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 Another St. Louis suburb has passed a law making it illegal to discriminate against renters and home buyers on the basis of their sexual orientation or gender identity.   The Webster Groves City Council approved an amendment to the city's Fair Housing Code in a unanimous vote last night.  St. Louis County passed a similar law in November, and several other communities in the county have passed anti-discrimination measures.

 
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Budweiser says they were overwhelmed with name suggestions for their newly born Clydesdales that they've decided to name two, one of which after baseball Hall of Famer Stan "The Man" Musial.

 The beer giant announced the decision via social media last night,  saying, "Meet Hope, and Stan"  -  the two foals were born last month in Boonville, Missouri.  

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