The final long weekend of the Summer is getting underway and the State Highway Patrol is ready for a busy few days. Many Missourians see this as the last chance for a long weekend at a favorite Summer getaway. And, the Highway Patrol will be doing its part to make sure folks get to and from their destinations safely. The Patrol’s Captain Tim Hull says despite all the warnings about paying attention, slowing down, and driving sober, too many Missourians are killed or hurt on our roads. There were 11 deaths and 483 injuries in more than a thousand crashes last Labor Day weekend on Missouri’s roads. This year’s counting period begins at 6 o’clock this evening and runs through Monday at midnight.
Archives for August 2006
Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Claire McCaskill is reitterating her call for an increase in the minimum wage and her push to require new smart pumps to prevent what she calls the latest big oil scam using so-called “hot fuel.” An initiative on the ballot in November aims to hike the minimum wage from $5.15 to $6.50 an hour with future increases tied to the cost of living. McCaskill supports that effort. The “hot fuel” is gasoline expanded under higher temperatures, resulting in less gas in consumers’ tanks. McCaskill says the oil companies should be required to install or retrofit temperature-sensing smart pumps to prevent this from happening. McCaskill wants a law requiring all newly installed gas pumps to be temperature-sensing smart pumps to regulate the price of gas based on its temperature in relation to the price set at 60 degrees Fahrenheit.
Governor Matt Blunt has revised his plans for the sell-off of assets from the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority, cutting $100-Million off the proposed deal. The new plan has the money going for higher education and biotechnology projects. The Legislature refused to go for the original MOHELA plan earlier this year. The new plan circumvents legislative appropriation powers. The Blunt Administration has taken some heat for not saying how most of the money would be spent. The first draft of the latest plan specified only $15-Million in spending.
College tuitions have risen nearly 30 percent in the last three years in Missouri and some officials are blaming a lack of state funding to higher education for the increase. The State Auditor is also attacking the latest plan to put more dollars into colleges’ hands. At a news conference blasting lawmakers for not putting in enough money into higher education – resulting in what State Auditor Claire McCaskill describes as unconscionably high tuitions – McCaskill expresses concern over the latest plan to sell Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority assets to fund some projects at colleges and universities in the state. McCaskill says Governor Matt Blunt and legislative leaders, some of whom have not yet been re-elected for this next legisaltive session, are overstepping their bounds and committing the state to a plan that could have negative effects years down the road.
Major League Soccer’s Kansas City Wizards will hold a press conference today to make a ‘significant announcement.’ The topic of conversation will likely be either the sale of the team to new owners or the development of a stadium in Overland Park.
MLS commissioner Don Garber, Wizards owner Lamar Hunt and Overland Park mayor Carl Gerlach are expected to attend.
The Wizards are in a dogfight to clinch the last remaining playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. Their record of 8-12-6 is fourth-best, one point ahead of the New York Red Bulls.
Related web sites:
Wizards Official Website
Michael Cuddyer’s Superman act didn’t impress the Royals one bit. Despite Cuddyer’s two home runs and all three Minnesota RBIs, Kansas City knocked off the Wild-Card contender 4-3.
A big three-run sixth inning provided the advantage KC needed. Following David DeJesus’ single and Mark Grudzielanek’s ground-rule double, Mike Sweeney single past Twins’ shortstop Jason Bartlett to tie the game at two. An Emil Brown single later, Ryan Shealy knocked a base hit into left to score Sweeney and give KC the lead for good.
Luke Hudson pitched seven strong innings to earn the victory. Joe Nelson gave up Cuddyer’s second homer in the ninth inning, but still got the save.
Related web sites:
Royals Official Website
The Reds sixth straight loss last night provided a chance for the Cardinals to increase their small lead in the NL Central Division race. Thanks to Scott Rolen’s three doubles and Preston Wilson’s three RBIs, the gap between the Redbirds and Cincinnati grew to four and a half games after St. Louis’ 13-6 win.
Jason Marquis worked five innings to pick up his 14th victory on the season. He allowed Florida to take an early 2-0 advantage, but the Cardinals went on to score one run in the third inning, four in the fourth, two in the fifth, one in the sixth and five in the seventh.
St. Louis racked up 20 hits total, three of which came off the bats of both Rolen and Juan Encarnacion. Albert Pujols added his 39th homer of the season in the fifth inning.
Related web sites:
Cardinals Official Website
Missouri Western opens its football season tonight on the road against Central Oklahoma. The Griffons finished last season in the top 25 and just missed the rankings in this season’s preseason poll. Coming into the season, MWS is picked to finish fifth in the always tough MIAA conference.
The Griffons boast a talented running back in Jeremiah White, who is a second-team All-American, and could be a sleeper pick in next year’s NFL draft. Along with White, tight end Gijon Robinson will also be an impact player for the Griffons’ offense. Partridge said numerous NFL scouts have already visited a few practices to get their take on the senior tight end.
The Griffons beat Central Oklahoma 26-7 last season. The Bronchos return seven starters from last year’s 3-7 team.
A national survey finds 87 percent of Americans can name at least one of Snow White’s Seven Dwarfs….but only 39 percent of Americans could name one of the nine justices of the U-S Supreme Court. That’s why Missouri’s top judge thinks it’s time to add a “C” to the three “R’s.” Chief Justice Michael Wolff is disturbed that a recent Zogby poll shows more Americans can name the original Three Stooges than can name the three branches of government. —Legislative, Executive, and Judicial. In fact, Wolff says, America’s society seems so focused on pop culture than citizens are more likely to know all of the judges on “American Idol” than know any of the judges of the United States Supreme Court. He says our media-oriented society focuses more on pop culture than on civic education…but it’s time for the return of Civics. He says an uninformed electorate and a citizenry that might not know enough or care enough to vote is a long-term problem in our society that threatens to let the laws that govern society get “out of whack.” Wolff says the education system emphasizes learning that allows a person to function economically….and the No Child Left Behind law encourages that. But he says that philosophy has come at the expense of civic knowledge. He says it’s not the schools’ problem alone…and it’s not education’s sole responsiblity to solve the problem. He says the larger society and the larger culture have to participate. He says a basic understanding of the structure of government is helpful in keeping our government in a proper balance. Wolff thinks most Americans are middle-of-the roaders but he says people who are not aware of the checks and balances within government face the danger of a society too heavily influenced by intense special interests from the right or the left.
The Secretary of State’s office is warning Missourians to be on the lookout for what is known as “affinity fraud.” Stacie Temple with the office says this plot to rip off unsuspecting people is hatched by those who already know their victims. They get to know people through work, social clubs, or churches and use the “friendships” to induce people to invest in scams. Temple says that while the vast majority of people who provide investment advice are trustworthy and professional, there are those who take advantage of colleagues and friends. She says senior citizens need to be especially careful with their investments.
Related web sites:
Secretary of State’s Securities Division