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NewsBook: Missouri Government News for Week of September 24, 2001

 


. Bosnian refugee community in St Louis seeks counsel and integration in new country (09/28/01)
JEFFERSON CITY - St Louis is home to the largest Muslim-dominated group of Bosnian refugees in the United States.

Efforts are being made to help the community cope with the trauma of war.

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    . Department of Economic Development to hold public meeting (09/28/01)
    JEFFERSON CITY - In response to Gov. Bob Holden's order to cut $7.5 million in tax credit programs, the Missouri Economic Development Department will hold a public meeting Monday, Oct. 1, at 1 p.m.

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    . Missouri National Guard to be used for airport security (09/27/01)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Bob Holden's office announced Friday afternoon that 400 National Guard will be placed at nine airports in Missouri in response to the president's request.

    Holden said they hope to fill the slots with volunteers rather than a mandatory callup.

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    . Missouri's Highway Patrol steps up security by inspecting vehicles carrying hazardous materials (09/27/01)
    JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri Highway Patrol has begun extra checking of trucks for hazardous waste.

    But state officials say it is impossible to inspect every truck because of limited manpower and the traffic congestion that would be caused.

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    . Columbia TV station bans employees from showing patriotism on air (09/26/01)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Columbia television station KOMU has banned reporters from showing support for any cause, including wearing red, white, and blue ribbons in support of America, while on the air.

    KOMU News Director Stacey Woelfel claims the policy is a matter of journalistic ethics, but some state lawmakers feel that it is restricting reporters' free speech rights.

    Rep. Matt Bartle, R-Lee's Summit, is leading the charge against the KOMU policy.

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    . Attorney General hits H&R Block with no call violation (09/26/01)
    JEFFERSON CITY - The financial services company H&R Block Financial Advisors was listed among other violators of the law that restricts telemarketing in Missouri. Missouri citizens can add their home phone numbers to the no call list through Attorney General Jay Nixon's office.

    H&R Block said they didn't know Missouri was a no call state until they were notified by Nixon's office.

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    . Still no burglar alarms after drivers license office break-in (09/26/01)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Security measures on fee agent offices that issue Missouri state drivers licenses do not include burglar alarms, according to the Missouri Revenue Department.

    Such alarms are still voluntary following a Sunday break-in at an Overland fee agent office that resulted in the theft of software and materials used to duplicate state IDs.

    According to Director Carol Fischer, alarms are not mandatory for fee offices that issue state identification, though she would strongly suggest alarm use in the future. Fischer has placed her department offices on heightened alert.

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    . Governor Holden hires a retired Army Colonel to review Missouri's emergency preparation. (09/26/01)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Governor Holden announced today that he has hired retired Army Colonel Timothy M. Daniel to look at Missouri's emergency response plans.

    Daniel will be paid $100,000 a year to make assessments of the state's preparedness.

    Holden said Missouri is vulnerable as a terrorist target because of the state's two major air force bases.

    The state health director also said the department of health will begin watching for symptoms of biological attacks.

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    . Missouri's two teacher organizations are split on the lawsuit against the governor's union orders. (09/25/01)
    JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri State Teachers Association and the Missouri National Education Association have taken opposite sides on the governor's executive order letting unions seek fees from non-union state workers.

    MSTA is a member of an ad-hoc group that has joined in a lawsuit filed to block the order.

    However, MNEA says it supports the governor's order.

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    . A new Missouri law goes into affect Saturday, lowering the legal blood alcohol content to .08%. (09/25/01)
    JEFFERSON CITY - The blood alcohol content level allowed to legally drive will drop from .10% to .08% on Saturday.

    The law was passed in May to keep Missouri from losing over three million dollars in federal highway construction funds.

    Similar laws passed in other states have caused decreases of 8-16% in drunk driving crashes and fatalities.

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    . Terrorist attacks on airplans are not affecting Missouri's tourism (09/25/01)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Many travel agents in Branson are reporting that business is going well and even looking up for the fall. Many believe this is because people typically drive to Branson and not drive.

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    . Holden names new chief of staff (09/24/01)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri Gov. Bob Holden named Michael Hartmann his new chief of staff on Monday, to be effective later this fall. Hartmann replaces Julie Gibson, whose resignation takes effect Nov. 1.

    Hartmann said he was looking forward to working with the legislature and advancing the governor's priorities including safety, security and education.

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    . Senate President Pro Tem sues Governor (09/24/01)
    JEFFERSON CITY - Sen. Peter Kinder, President Pro Tem of the Senate, filed a lawsuit Monday against Gov. Bob Holden to undo the governor's executive order that grants unions the right to seek service fees from non-union state employees.

    Kinder, R-Cape Girardeau, joined St. Louis City Democrat Charles Quincy Troupe, along with several state employees, and state organizations to sue the governor and challenge the constitutionality of Executive Order 01-09.

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