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Wentzville Fire District facing financial challenge

Friday, 27 September 2013 08:01 Published in Local News

Make a change or the dollars won't be there. That is the message from a financial review of the Wentzville Fire Protection District. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the district could be out of money by the end of 2014 if changes are not made. The Post-Dispatch obtained the audit through a Sunshine Law request. The audit made 12 recommendations including that all capital spending be placed on hold until the district’s finances improve. At the end of 2012, the report says reserves totaled $1 million, which would cover only seven weeks of district operations. The internal review, prepared by Rognan & Associates, said the district has been spending more than it has been taking in since 2010, but “no mention of these deficits can be found in any district budget.”  The reports adds that a category referred to as “‘Money carried from prior year" appears to be disguising each year’s budget deficit from the board to the detriment of the district. The analysis advised that several spending procedures be reviewed, including the number of people who have access to district credit cards. It also suggested creating a policy regarding acceptable purchases made with the cards, and an accounting of voided checks, missing checks and checks used out of numerical sequence. The Post-Dispatch says the district’s attorney and spokesman, Dan McLaughlin, could not be reached for comment. It is unclear if any changes have been made to spending and accounting practices because of the review. According to the newspaper, the audit preceded the departure of four senior officers which included the resignation of Chief Randy Bornhop, the layoff of Fire Inspector Chris Newbold, the termination of Assistant Chief Robb Watkins and the placement of Fire Marshal Joseph Heitkamp on indefinite paid leave.

49ers regain footing, rout Rams 35-11

Thursday, 26 September 2013 23:39 Published in Sports

ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Colin Kaepernick threw two touchdown passes, Frank Gore had his first 100-yard game of the season and the San Francisco 49ers' defense stepped up without some of their stars in a 35-11 rout over the St. Louis Rams on Thursday night.

Anquan Boldin had five catches for 90 yards and a touchdown, and Gore had 153 yards on 20 carries and a 34-yard score for San Francisco (2-2), which was outscored 46-10 the previous two games. Navarro Bowman had two of the 49ers' five sacks with a strip leading to a fourth-quarter scoring run by Anthony Dixon.

The Rams (1-3) had an overtime win and tie against San Francisco last year, and took the early lead Thursday before falling flat. Greg Zuerlein banged in a 40-yard field goal off the right upright to end a nine-game scoring drought in the first quarter, but the 49ers answered with 28 straight points.

The 49ers came close to a Super Bowl title in February and regained their footing against the team that gave them the most trouble last season. Minus cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha and linebackers Patrick Willis and Aldon Smith, they quieted a raucous, hopeful crowd, sending all but a few thousand home early.

Kaepernick had no touchdown passes and four interceptions the previous two weeks and completed fewer than 50 percent of his passes. He was 15 for 23 for 167 yards.

Boldin had a monster debut with the 49ers after helping the Ravens beat San Francisco in the Super Bowl, but had been quiet along with the rest of the offense the previous two weeks. He had two highlight catches in the second quarter, a 42-yarder despite Cortland Finnegan getting flagged for holding, and a 20-yard score capped by a dive into the end zone after barely avoiding the sideline.

Gore more than doubled his output from the first three weeks and got a lot more work, too, after totaling just 11 carries last week. Four days earlier, DeMarco Murray burned them for 175 yards in Dallas' 31-7 win.

The Rams have trailed by double digits in every game, making up an 11-point deficit against Arizona in the opener but not gaps of 21 and 24 points against Atlanta and Dallas, and were down by 25 in the fourth quarter against San Francisco.

They got hit by injuries, too, the worst of them when rookie safety T.J. McDonald was carted off with a leg injury in the second half.

After mustering just 25 yards in the first quarter, the 49ers took a noisy crowd out of it in the second, averaging more than 11 yards per snap while piling up 176 yards and two touchdowns. Kaepernick was 8 for 12 for 104 yards in the half, all but 11 of those yards in the second quarter.

The Rams went for it on 3rd-and-1 from the 49ers 34 and Donte Whitner's diving interception in the end zone set up an eight-play, 80-yard drive capped by Gore's 34-yard run on third-and-1 in the final minute that made it 14-3.

The San Francisco defense took Gore off the hook for getting stripped by rookie Alec Ogletree and a turnover, forcing St. Louis into a three-and-out. Davis, who had been questionable with a because of a hamstring injury, broke open for an easy catch in the left side of the end zone to push the lead to 21-3.

Boldin entered with 83 career receptions against the Rams, the most of any opponent he has faced.

 

Senator Durbin leads the way for oversight of energy drinks

Thursday, 26 September 2013 10:31 Published in Local News

Senator Dick Durbin and other Democrats are asking energy drink companies not to market to children. The Illinois Democrat and his colleagues sent letters to 17 energy drink companies asking that they voluntarily list, on the label, the amount of caffeine in a product as well as any adverse events associated with consuming the drinks.  Earlier this year, Senator Durbin co-authored a report entitled “What’s all the Buzz about?” which highlighted the inconsistencies in the labeling and classification of energy drinks. The report found high levels of caffeine in the energy drinks that exceeded what is considered safe in soda by the Food and Drug Administration. The report also found that adolescent consumers are frequent targets for the marketing pitches of energy drink companies. Product design and placement on store shelves help to create product images that appeal to children and teens. 

 

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