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St. Louisans had a chance to review the framework of the expansion plans the Saint Louis Zoo is developing for the old Forest Park Hospital complex. Zoo officials unveiled some initial ideas for the 13 1/2 acre area across Interstate 64, south of the Zoo at an open house Wednesday evening.
Zoo President and CEO Dr. Jeffrey Bonner explains what will be the first order of business once ground is broken. "We see immediate activity. We're going to go in and start renovating that seven story parking garage as quickly as we can. We'll do demolition for the main part of the hospital building as quickly as we can." Bonner went on to say, "The real planning starts now, when we take all of this wonderful input and then develop a strategic plan, what we're going to do for the next five, six or seven years."
Dr. Bonner says they are open and listening to many suggestions regarding the development. "I can see a commercial presence," he said. "I can see not doing it too, but I think it would be more welcoming place if there were certain services that we could provide for our visitors and, for that matter, neighbors and other people nearby."
The start date for renovations has not been determined.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Republican lawmakers are raising new questions about whether Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon's administration has tried to comply with the federal Real ID Act.
Senators on Wednesday released a copy of a form letter sent in March 2010 by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to Nixon thanking him for his efforts to comply with Real ID.
Nixon signed a 2009 state law prohibiting Missouri from taking steps intended to comply with the goals of the 2005 federal identity law, which sets stringent requirements for photo identification cards.
Nixon has previously denied that Missouri is trying to implement Real ID. His administration reasserted Wednesday that it's not complying with Real ID and said the letter is meaningless. It distributed similar form letters sent to governors in several other states.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - People fired for missing work and not following company rules could have a harder time claiming unemployment benefits under a bill sent to Gov. Jay Nixon.
The House voted 98-57 to pass the measure Wednesday. The Senate passed the same bill in February.
Fired workers who engaged in "misconduct" at the workplace can be denied benefits under current law. But the legislation expands the definition of "misconduct" to include chronic absenteeism and "knowing" violations of an employer's rules. The current standard requires "willful disregard" of an employer's regulations.
Supporters say many workers fired for reasons such as sleeping on the job are allowed to collect benefits under the current system. Opponents say the measure could deny benefits to people fired wrongly.