Transit workers in St. Louis appear poised to walk off the job as members of Local 788 of the Amalgamated Transit Workers Union continue a strike authorization vote Tuesday. The union represents public transportation workers and any job action could effect Metrobus and Metrolink service.
Nearly 600 of the 1,500 members cast ballots on Monday. Bus drivers, mechanics, Metrolink operators and clerical staff have all been working without a contract for two and a half years.
Local 788 President Mike Breihan says he hopes it doesn't come down to a work stoppage. "You know we really don't want to hurt the public," Breihan said. "The people out here that ride the bus, they're like our family. And you know we don't want to hurt any of them, but we're going to have to do whatever we can do to protect our own."
"This vote was just strictly to show that we are united and we're ready to move forward if we have to, to do whatever we need to do to get a contract," Breihan said. "You know we're not trying to rob the bank. All we're trying to do is make a decent living for our members and our families."
Breihan says no action will be taken until after a mediator, who is reviewing information submitted by both the Union and Metro, issues an opinion at the end of the month.
A pilot and passenger are both being treated for injuries after a small plane crashed in Jefferson County Monday evening. It happened about 9 p.m, about two miles south of Festus City Airport.
Sheriff's deputies found the plane in a farm field near the 2600 block of Plattin Road.
Both men were conscious and able to speak to emergency crews when they were airlifted to Mercy Medical Center in Creve Coeur. The extent of their injuries is not known.
KSDK-TV reports that the pilot is identified as 65 year old Jim Smith. His 40 year old son, Christopher Smith was also on board when plane went down.
It's not clear what caused the crash.
Few details are being released, but the Kirkwood School District Band Director is leaving his post after allegations of misconduct.
Superintendent Tom Williams sent a letter to parents announcing the resignation of Jason Rekittke. The letter says there was an act of "inappropriate conduct with a student", but the incident happened years ago.
Williams said the district could not discuss specifics on the matter.
The letter from Superintendent Williams is below:
Dear Kirkwood School District Families,
I am writing this e-mail to announce the resignation of Jason Rekittke, the band director for the Kirkwood School District. The resignation is due to an act of inappropriate conduct with a student, which happened several years ago. We believe this was an isolated incident.
Our first and most important mission is to provide the best education to help our students be successful. However, this cannot be accomplished without a safe and secure learning environment. While we cannot discuss the specifics of any personnel matter, please be assured that we have strict policies prohibiting inappropriate conduct toward students and we take immediate action upon receiving reports of any violation of those policies.
Thank you for your continued support of the Kirkwood School District. If you have any concerns for your child, you may contact me at 314.213.6100, ext. 7801.
Dr. Tom Williams
Superintendent of Schools
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A state audit says Missouri paid more than $170,000 to child-care providers that did not open or expand their facilities as planned.
The report released Monday by Auditor Tom Schweich looks at grants provided through a Department of Social Services program during the 2010 and 2011 fiscal years.
The audit says one facility received $22,500 to open an in-home child-care facility that no children attended. Another facility got $60,000 for a center that never was built. A third facility was paid $89,000 to expand but did not add as many children as projected and then sold the facility.
The department says the program no is longer funded by the Legislature. It sent letters in April seeking repayment from two of the facilities but said the third one met contractual obligations.
A contractor working on the Blanchette Bridge died after an accident Monday morning.
Just before 11 AM, the worker was hit by a large barrel. He died from his injuries. The man has not been identified, but was an employee of Walsh Construction--they were hired to perform the bridge repairs.
Crews were set to close the exit ramp from westbound 70 to southbound Fifth Street for work Monday night, but that project has been postponed.
Life is slowly returning to normal in the river town of Grafton, Illinois.
The Great River Road has reopened. Raging Rivers Water Park in Grafton will reopen Tuesday morning at 10:30, one week after the flooded Mississippi River forced it to close.
The Mississippi continues to recede, but hasn't returned to its banks just yet. Travel on Highway 67 between the Clark Bridge and Highway 94 in West Alton is still just one lane in each direction.
The St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department is getting praise for its use of Twitter, Facebook, and other social media.
MPHProgramslist.com scored the 100 largest cities on how well they utilize social media.
St. Louis came in at the 19th spot. The department got praise for boasting over 5500 followers on Twitter and regularly posting to its YouTube channel. St. Louis scored better than other major cities such as Chicago, Houston, and Atlanta.
Dallas topped the list, with Boston in the second spot.
MPH is a website that supplies information for students looking to study public health or safety.
CHICAGO (AP) - If Illinois becomes the 19th state to legalize medical marijuana, experts say there may be scores of legal questions for businesses.
Crain's Chicago Business reports the bill that was approved by lawmakers in Springfield is prompting questions from observers.
The measure, which is awaiting Gov. Pat Quinn's signature, is being billed as the strictest in the nation. It's not clear if Quinn will sign it.
The measure's sponsor says there'd be minimal impact on employers with a zero-tolerance drug policy.
But critics say there could be legal issues related to hiring and firing workers who test positive for the drug or show up to work while they're impaired.
A St. Louis County Circuit Judge has reinstated Ellisville Mayor Adam Paul.
On April 8, Paul was removed from office by the City Council on charges of abuse of power. Yesterday's decision states that the City Council may have violated Paul's due process by changing the charges against Paul without giving him proper notice.
Paul's attorney Chet Pleban tells KTRS's McGraw Milhaven that Adam Paul once again has "full duties and full responsibilities" as the new mayor. Mayor Paul added, "It's going to be nice coming back to a level-headed counsel that's fair and unbiased."
The judge determined that the council may have also committed other improprieties that include: the previously appointed City Attorney disqualifying himself from the removal hearing, but among other things, writing the charges against Paul.
The judge concludes his ruling by saying that Paul's motion to stay the removal is granted and he is reinstated as Mayor.
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) - An East St. Louis woman is jailed on $1 million bond after being accused in the weekend stabbing death of her husband.
Prosecutors in southwestern Illinois' St. Clair County charged 44-year-old Tammy Carpenter with first-degree murder in the death early Saturday of 58-year-old Jerome Carpenter.
Authorities say the stabbing took place after an argument, and that Jerome Carpenter died later at a hospital.
Online court records don't show whether Tammy Carpenter has an attorney. She does not have a listed home telephone number.
Jerome Carpenter's funeral arrangements are pending.