Loop Trolley project to cost more than expected

UNIVERSITY CITY, Mo. (AP) – The Loop Trolley project in the St. Louis area is now expected to cost about $51 million, $8 million more than the original estimate. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the increase is due, in part, to street paving and landscaping costs. Critics contend the cost of the 2.2-mile trolley…

Business groups urge dumping public budget negotiation

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Five leading Illinois business groups are urging Gov. Bruce Rauner and legislative leaders to skip the public budget negotiation they’ve scheduled for next week. In a letter released Thursday, the business leaders say a public meeting over the 18-week budget holdup would prevent “sincere and constructive” conversation necessary for successful negotiation.…

Slay hands over control of Soldiers Memorial

ST. LOUIS (AP) – Soldiers Memorial in St. Louis is now officially in the hands of the Missouri Historical Society, which plans a $30 million renovation of the downtown St. Louis landmark. Mayor Francis Slay used Veteran’s Day on Wednesday as an opportunity to formally sign over control of Soldiers Memorial. The complex was built…

Children’s book drive benefits only East St. Louis library

EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) – Book donations are flowing to the only public library in cash-strapped East St. Louis after a monthlong teachers’ strike highlighted its lack of resources. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (bit.ly/1WScSmp ) reports that area librarians and have organized collection drives that will add thousands of titles to the library’s bookshelves. The…