Governor Bob Holden has released $43-Million in state funding to 13 agencies he had withheld since last July. The money goes to a variety of state services including sheltered workshops, firefighter training schools, veterans’ homes, and others. In a news release, Holden cites a better economic situation in the state for the release. State Budget Director Linda Luebbering says numbers from the State Revenue Department show about a five percent growth. That five percent growth is what Republican lawmakers had predicted a year ago. Holden had called it too optimistic.
Archives for April 2004
Presumptive Democrat nominee for President John Kerry has made a speech at Westminster College in Fulton, calling on the United States to get a broader-based, international backing for the war in Iraq. Kerry said America is more secure when respected, not feared. Kerry’s appearance at the small central Missouri school comes just days after Vice President Dick Cheney spoke at Westminster, blasting Kerry’s record on military matters. School officials wanted to invite the Massachusetts Senator to balance what was said there. Kerry wraps up his Missouri visit with a campaign event in St. Louis. Singer Carol King is among the special guests at that gala.
The Cardinals battled back and finally won another game at Busch Stadium, topping the Phillies 5-4 in 13 innings. Jim Edmonds broke a 4-4 tie with his fifth home run of the year. Chris Carpenter didn’t get the win, but pitched seven innings allowing three runs off two hits and two walks. He struck out seven. Steve Kline, Julian Tavarez and Mike Lincoln held the Phils scoreless over the final four innings. Reggie Sander’s two-out pinch-hit triple in the eighth gave St. Louis a 4-2 lead, but Ricky Ledee hit a two-run homer off Jason Isringhausen in the ninth to tie it. The Cards are 4-9 at home…. Tony LaRussa asked officials to look at Pat Burrell”s bat. LaRussa didn’t necessarily think there was anything wrong with the bat. He said he had it done because the Phillies wanted to see if Julian Tavarez had an illegal substance on his cap.
The Royals and Rangers went back and forth all afternoon, with Texas wining 9-7. The two teams traded leads all day long and the Royals went into the ninth inning with a 7-6 advantage. But Curtis Leskanic was belted for three runs off three hits. Michael Young tied it up with a solo home run and Brad Fullmer broke the tie with a two-run shot. Leskanic was stuck with the loss and dropped to 0-3. He has an ERA of 10.68. Joe Randa and Carlos Beltran drove in two runs apiece in the loss. The Royals head to New York for a weekend series with the Yankees.
The Chiefs and Rams are holding their rookie camps this weekend in Kansas City and St. Louis. Along with the seven players each team took in the 2004 NFL Draft, they will bring in a number of rookie free agents signed this week. The Chiefs have 11 non-roster free agents coming in and the Rams have 21. The Rams practices will also serve as their first mini-camp as well. The Chiefs will be without two of their higher picks this weekend. Defensive tackle Junior Siavii (2nd round) and wide receiver Samie Parker (4th round) are still in school at the University of Oregon.
The NCAA passed new rules which will make universities and athletes more responsible in the class room. Starting in 2006-2007, universities will have to graduate a still-undetermined percent of athletes or it will be reprimanded. Also, athletes will have to complete at least 20 percent of their degree each year or they will not be eligible. There was some news that will make almost all of the basketball coaches happy–the rule which prevented them from giving away more than five scholarships in any one year or eight over two years is gone. The NCAA also decided to prohibit men’s basketball teams from playing pre-season exhibition games against non-college teams like Athletes in Action and foreign squads.
On Thursday, Katie Wolfmeyer pleaded innocent to helping Blues center Mike Danton set up a murder-for-hire plot. Wolfmeyer allegedly contacted a friend about the possibility of killing Danton’s agent, David Frost. Her friend, Justin Levi Jones, works as a dispatcher for the Columbia, Illinois Police Department and contacted authorities. He worked with the FBI, helping them to record conversations with Wolfmeyer. Danton, who was arrested in San Jose, California after the Blues were knocked out of the playoffs, is heading back to the St. Louis area.
Springtime is here … and with hotter days just around the corner we’re being advised to guard against West Nile virus. The virus is carried by mosquitoes which can transmit West Nile through their bites. Doctor Howard Pue with the State Health Department says most people who contract West Nile infection do not develop any disease at all. Last year, 64 Missourians contracted the disease, with eight people dieing from it. That compares to 168 cases with 7 deaths in 2002.
Representatives in the House debate the cost of freedom – the freedom to ride a motorcyle without a helmet. It has approved a bill that would allow motorcyclists to ride without helmets. Some oppose the bill, saying it will raise medical costs because of the head injuries that will result. But Representative Mark Wright of Springfield points out several motorcyle clubs have shunned Missouri, because of the state’s helmet law. In the mid-1970s, Congress removed highway funding sanctions against states that didn’t have helmet laws. Supporters point out many states did lift the requirement, with Nebraska being the only neighbor of Missouri that has kept it in place. The bill now moves to the Senate.
Someone who assists a minor to get an abortion without first consulting with her parents would be liable to a civil lawsuit under a bill moving through the House and on to the Senate. Critics say the language in the bill is too broad, especially the section that states no person shall cause, aid or assist. Supporters say the bill merely backs up Missouri’s parental consent law, the law that will not allow a minor to get an abortion without notifying her parents or without getting court permission to go ahead without parental consent.