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ST. LOUIS (AP) — The move to a new building for the St. Louis Police Department is going to be more expensive than first thought.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that bids came in more than $1.6 million over expectations. Now, the move will be delayed until early next year — nearly a year later than the original estimate.

The department received seven bids this month. The lowest was $6.3 million to retrofit a former Wells Fargo office building at 1915 Olive St. The department was expecting a cost of about $4.7 million.

Chief Sam Dotson says the awarding of a contract is on hold while officials ensure that the low bidder meets minority participation requirements.

The department's current headquarters at 1200 Clark Ave. dates to 1927 and needs extensive renovation.
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Home values in St. Louis County appear to be sliding in the wrong direction.

The county reassesses property values during odd-numbered years. The last full assessment was in 2011, when residential values slid four percent. STL County reassessment lowers property values On Monday, County Assessor Jake Zimmerman released some preliminary reassessment figures that indicate that the slide has continued. The figures show median home values have dropped another seven percent since 2011 - with homes in high-foreclosure areas losing 12 percent of their value or more.

Home values rose in only one school district -- Clayton, with declines ranging from 0.2 percent in Kirkwood to 24 percent in Riverview Gardens. STL County reassessment lowers property values Commercial property values appear flat across most of the county.
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Streetcars will be returning to the Delmar Loop. Monday evening, the University City Council unanimously approved "conditional use" permits for the Loop Trolley Company.

Plans call for the streetcars to run down Delmar to DeBalivier, then south to the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park.

The project is expected to cost around $40 million, with $25 million coming from a federal grant.

The trolley should be up and running by late summer of 2014.
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MoDOT is telling drivers, some temporary pain will be worth the permanent traffic relief.

The plan is to add another lane to southbound Interstate 270 between Manchester Road and Interstate 44.

Starting March 18 and continuing through April, crews will begin closing all lanes twice a day for 15 minutes at a time, while they blast to make room for the new lane.

This is similar to work that was done to add a lane on northbound 270 last summer.

District Engineer Ed Hassinger tells KTRS News, that addition has subtracted time from drivers' morning commutes, "The traffic volumes have increased and the speeds on northbound 270 have gone up anywhere from 10-15 miles an hour during the worst time, during rush hour."

The new lane on southboun 270 should be open by December.
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Starting April 1st, it will cost more to park at Lambert Airport. As expected, the Airport Authority on Wednesday, moved to raise short term parking rates.

At the Terminal 1 and Terminal 2 garages, the rates will change from $2.50 an hour to $5 for the first two hours or any fraction of that. Parking rates for lots A, B, and D will increase as well, but the rates at lot C will remain the same.

The rate hikes will serve two purposes. They'll raise about $1.5 million in additional revenue each year, and discourage those picking up passengers from using the very busy Terminal 1 and 2 parking lots. Airport officials are promoting the use of the two free cell-phone lots instead.
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It looks like St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay is heading for an historic fourth term. With all 222 precincts reporting, Slay had won 54-percent of the vote to Aldermanic President Lewis Reed's 44 percent. After the election board informed the candidates, Reed called Slay to concede. Then Mayor Slay took the stage at his watch party at the Dubliner Pub on Washington Avenue to share the news with his supporters.

Slay will face Green Party candidate James McNeeley in the general election April 2nd. But the primary win is a defacto re-election for the mayor, since St. Louis voters haven't elected a non-Democrat since 1945. Fewer than 50-thousand people cast ballots in Tuesday's Democratic primary.
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Dr. Michael Morales, geology Museum Director at Emporia State University, Kansas, will unravel the mysteries of Jurassic Park in a FREE presentation at 8 p.m. Friday, March 1.  You can then enjoy a free screening of Jurassic Park at 10 p.m. in the OMNIMAX® Theater.

Other First Friday features include special demos and activities in the Main building plus star shows and FREE Public Telescope viewing at the James S. McDonnell Planetarium. Also, it’s the final weekend of the Wildlife Rescue Exhibition in Boeing Hall. 

 
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A disciplinary hearing is underway this week to determine if a St. Louis police suspended for allegedly assaulting a suspect should lose his job or be reinstated.

The incident happened at the Lumiere Place Casino last July. Officer Charles Proctor is accused of using excessive force while arresting trespassing suspect Jermaine Lacy.

Police department lawyer, Jessica Liss is arguing that Proctor used excessive force, racial slurs and obscenities during the arrest.

Proctor's lawyer, Chet Pleban, says Lacy faked his injuries and just wants to profit from a police brutality lawsuit he has filed.

Lacy is expected to testify Tuesday.
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St. Louis County is hoping to boost property values and revitalize some neighborhoods with a program that begins Monday. The County will begin demolishing dozens of vacant buildings, mostly in north county.

First to go will be the long-closed Glasgow Village Shopping Center.

County Executive Charlie Dooley says the county has identified 41 buildings that have become chronic eyesores. Dooley says the county has boosted it's demolition budget from $72 thousand to more than $700 thousand.

Dooley says he's hoping developers will buy the commercial property and build new businesses.
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The next phase of the planned improvements to the Arch grounds is set to get underway this summer.

Crews had already planned to begin construction of the "lid" over I-70.

Now, the rebuild of Leonor K. Sullivan Boulevard, which runs along the riverfront at the base of the Arch steps, will also start this year. The road will be elevated and redesigned to include bike paths and pedestrian walkways.

Funding had already been in place for the $47 million park that will cap the highway. Newly found savings from that project will help fund the other.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that engineers have determined that the concrete walls of the "depressed section" of I-70 don’t need to be replaced, as originally thought. So the $11-million cost savings on that project will fund the Leonor K. Sullivan rebuild.
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