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Susan Smith-Harmon

Susan Smith-Harmon

STL Zoo reveals ambitious expansion plan

Thursday, 26 September 2013 04:05 Published in Around Town

   A boutique hotel, a research center, and maybe even an indoor rainforest are among the additions envisioned when the St. Louis Zoo expands south of I-64/US-40.  

   Zoo officials will present a plan for the southern campus today.  The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the plan is considered a guiding "framework" for the 14 acre site of the shuttered Forest Park Hospital, and for the zoo's future.

   The expansion would also allow the zoo to expand animal exhibits on its current grounds. That could included a bigger children's zoo area and added features like a subarctic habitat. A gondola high over the interstate could link the two campuses.

   The paper reports that design and construction would be broken into multiple stages, stretching over the next 20 to 30 years.  

   The plan is to break the expansion into several specific projects, with money-raising campaigns for each.

 

IL gets $500K federal grant for local produce

Thursday, 26 September 2013 03:10 Published in Local News

   SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois will receive nearly $540,000 in federal funds to expand the availability of fresh, locally grown produce.

   Agriculture Director Bob Flider said Wednesday the money will come from the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program. It will be split among 12 projects focused on local produce.

   Flider says Illinois' "fertile soil and favorable climate" are good for growing a variety of crops. He says the grants will help encourage production and make nutritious food available to more people.

   Illinois is known for growing corn and soybeans. But it's the nation's largest pumpkin and horseradish producer in the nation and is among the top states for such crops as asparagus, cauliflower, green peas and lima beans.

   The state has more than 117,000 acres of specialty crops which produce $137 million in sales.

 

Major synthetic drug network busted in STL area

Thursday, 26 September 2013 02:51 Published in Local News

   Federal agents say a series of raids carried out across the metro area Wednesday were aimed a breaking up a major synthetic drug network.  

   Local law enforcement and at least five federal agencies teamed up to conduct simultaneous raids in St. Louis County, St. Charles County, Lincoln County and Jefferson County.  

   The DEA's acting agent in charge, James Shroba calls synthetic drugs a dangerous "new frontier" of drug use and abuse.  "They hook kids with the idea that these are legal, synthetic drugs, when in fact, we know they're not," he said.

   Shroba says yesterday's raids included sites that were being used to manufacture, package and distribute the drugs. "This is the tip of the iceberg," he said.  "This is a significant, synthetic drug operation."

  

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