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   The cost of everything is about to go up in Edwardsville, but only by a little.  

   The Edwardsville City Council Thursday night approved a 0.25 percent home-rule sales tax increase on a 5-2 vote.  The currently 6.85 percent sales tax will go up to 7.1 percent, adding 25 cents to every $100 spent in the metro-east city.  

   The additional revenue will be used to build a new police and fire station with the goal of cutting emergency response times.  

   Proponents of the sales tax say it would be unfair to put the whole burden of paying for the new station on property owners. 

Friday, 28 March 2014 04:29
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   The former metro-east judge at the center of a courthouse drug scandal could learn his punishment today on federal gun and heroin charges.  

   Last month U.S. District Judge Joe Billy McDade rejected a plea deal with former St. Clair County judge Michael Cook. McDade had called the proposed 18 month prison term too lenient. The judge delayed proceedings until today to give both sides time to negotiate a stiffer prison sentence for him to consider.  

   At a 10:30 a.m. hearing, McDade could hand down that sentence  -- if the two sides came to terms and if McDade finds the sentence stiff enough.  

   Cook still has the right to withdraw his November guilty plea and request a trial.

Friday, 28 March 2014 04:25
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   On Friday Illinois state education officials will receive the results of a cheating investigation involving Highland Community Unit School District 5.  

   Highland Superintendent Mike Sutton tells KMOV-TV that the month-long investigation determined that a district teacher had helped students who were taking the standardized ISAT test in 2013.  

   The school board on Monday sent the teacher a letter of remedial warning that said in part that 11 students "consistently reported the same actions" by the teacher and since the teacher couldn't explain why the students would fabricate the allegations, the board found the students accounts to be "more credible" than the teacher's.  

   The board is ordering the teacher to undergo additional training and follow the districts policies in order to maintain their job.  

   The teacher still hasn't been identified, but that could change if the state board takes more action on the matter. 

Friday, 28 March 2014 02:50
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   The official opening of the long-delayed Ballpark Village is being called a success.  Hundreds crowded into the entertainment complex next to Busch Stadium for the official ribbon cutting ceremony Thursday afternoon.
   Governor Jay Nixon and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay were among the dignitaries who addressed the crowd inside the Fox Sports Midwest Live! central plaza.  After a private VIP party, the doors opened to the general public for a free concert by Third Eye Blind.  
   Earlier in the day, the Cardinal's had announced a controversial ban on team jerseys except on home game days had been lifted.  Cardinal's president Bill DeWitt III spoke with Fox 2 News about the controversy surrounding the dress code at some venues. "It's basically an example of how much people care about this thing," he said.  DeWitt says its good that people are worrying about what they're going to wear when the come to Ballpark Village. "So I look at it as a sign that people are highly interested."   
   The $100 million first phase of Ballpark Village is anchored by Cardinals Nation, Budweiser Brew House, FOX Sports Midwest Live!, PBR St. Louis – A Cowboy Bar, Howl at the Moon, and Drunken Fish. Ballpark Village features five live performance stages, the largest retractable roof of its kind, the biggest indoor TV screen in the Midwest and an outdoor festival space that recreates the infield of the previous Busch Stadium in its exact historical location. 
 
* * *
Additional opening weekend events:
 
Friday, March 28th
11 AM Open for Lunch: Cardinals Nation, FOX Sports Midwest Live!, Budweiser Brew House & Drunken Fish 
5 – 7 PM Founders VIP Event honoring the Construction Workers 
 
Saturday, March 29th
6 – 8:30 PM Cardinals Nation Restaurant Grand Opening Ceremony & Private Party 
7 PM St. Louis Blues Hockey Watch Party in FOX Sports Midwest Live! 
8:30 – 10 PM Budweiser Brew House Grand Opening 
8:30 PM Fireworks Display over Busch Stadium 
 
Sunday, March 30th
11 AM – 5 PM Ballpark Village Family Fun Event 
9PM – 1AM Red Bull Hospitality Party 
 
Monday, March 31st
11 AM FOX Sports Midwest Live! Grand Opening 
3:10 PM Cardinals Season Opener Watch Party at FOX Sports Midwest Live! 
 
Thursday, April 3rd
6 PM Throwback Thursday Debut at FOX Sports Midwest Live! 
 
Friday, April 4th
5 – 7 PM Inaugural Fridays on Clark featuring Dr. Zhivegas 
9 PM PBR St. Louis – A Cowboy Bar Grand Opening Party 
9 PM The Barn at PBR St. Louis Grand Opening Party 
 
Monday, April 7th  – Opening Day in St. Louis 
10 AM Cardinals Nation Museum & Hall of Fame Grand Opening 
Noon Opening Day Rally on Busch II Infield & Ballpark Village Lot 
 
 
Friday, 28 March 2014 02:35
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says any "discussion of tax cuts is a nonstarter" until lawmakers first take steps to curb the amount of money going to tax breaks for developers.
 
Nixon's statement Thursday came a day after the Senate gave initial approval to legislation that could gradually reduce the state's income tax rates, beginning in 2017.
 
An income tax cut is a top priority this year for Republicans.
 
The Democratic governor vetoed a tax-cut plan last year and has threatened to do so again unless it meets several criteria. Those include full funding for public schools and new limits on tax credit programs for the development of low-income housing and historic buildings.
 
The Senate bill is not contingent upon conditions being met.
Thursday, 27 March 2014 17:19
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A measure President Barack Obama originally pushed during his time in the Illinois Legislature to prevent racial profiling is closer to becoming a permanent law in Illinois.
 
The House on Thursday approved the legislation requiring police officers to record the ethnicity of every driver they stop. It now heads to the Senate.
 
Then-state Sen. Barack Obama and Democratic Rep. Monique Davis sponsored the original measure in 2004. It mandated the reporting for a three-year period, and had to be extended each time it expired. The current measure is set to expire in 2015.
 
Members of the House Black Caucus say racial profiling is still too prevalent in Illinois.
 
But law enforcement officials who oppose the legislation say there are other ways to examine racial profiling.
Thursday, 27 March 2014 17:15
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St. Louis, MO (KTRS) - Although it might surprise a few people, there’s some public schools in the city of St. Louis that are doing pretty well. 

 

US News and World Report have rated Metro Academic and Classical High School as the top high school in Missouri.  Mayor Slay’s Chief of Staff Jeff Rainford says not only is Metro doing well, but they’ve doubled the number of quality educational opportunities for parents in St. Louis over the past four or five years and believes if they keep doing that, not only will you see a turn around in the lives of children, but you’re also going to see a major turn around for the city itself. 

 

US News also ranks Metro as the 135th best high school in the country.

Thursday, 27 March 2014 15:47
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St. Louis, MO (KTRS) A very particular kind of art will be taking place in St. Louis over the next year or so. 

 

A man by the name of Jer Thorp is taking up a 15-month residency in the area to perform data art, which is a combination of art and science where measurements provide the particular muse for the artist.  Thorp says examples of those measurements could be photographs, audio recordings, dance performance or the tracks people take as they walk around in their daily lives.  He also says while businesses and government tracks data to learn more about people, we should also use it to be more creative and ask questions that haven’t been asked before. 

 

Thorp was recently the Data Artist in Residence at the New York Times and is probably best known for designing the algorithm used to place the nearly 3,000 names on the 9/11 Memorial a particular order known as “meaningful adjacency”. 

 

The project is made possible through funding from the Regional Arts Commission.  

Thursday, 27 March 2014 15:27
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Another blow to the Normandy School District. The Post-Dispatch reports that the Missouri House rejected a spending bill that would provide the district with $1.5 million to keep schools open for the rest of the school year. The money is part of a $327 million supplemental budget bill that was unanimously passed by the Senate. The House and Senate will have a joint committee to resolve the differences. Without the funds, Normandy is likely to run out of money by next month.

Thursday, 27 March 2014 14:26
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A proposal to impose an additional tax on millionaires is advancing in the Illinois Legislature.
 
A House committee voted 6-4 along party lines Thursday to approve Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan's proposed constitutional amendment. It would tack a 3 percent surcharge onto income over $1 million.
 
The measure now advances to the House floor.
 
Madigan says the tax would raise $1 billion a year for elementary and secondary education - about $550 per student.
 
Republicans say the tax unfairly penalizes Illinois' most successful residents.
 
The issue is expected to be a focal point in the race between Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn and Republican Bruce Rauner, a wealthy businessman.
 
The candidates present starkly contrasting visions of how to fix Illinois' lagging economy and improve state finances.
Thursday, 27 March 2014 13:32
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