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Rush Limbaugh inducted into Hall of Famous
Missourians
By Jason Hancock, Kansas City Star

Rush Limbaugh was officially inducted Monday into the Hall of Famous Missourians.
But Democrats are still hopeful his bronze bust will never be on display alongside those of Harry Truman, Mark
Twain and Walt Disney.
The conservative radio talk show host was inducted in a state Capitol ceremony. But in a break from tradition,
the public and Democratic lawmakers were not allowed into the chambers of the House of Representatives,
which were locked and guarded by armed members of the Missouri Highway Patrol while the ceremony took
place.
In fact, news of Limbaugh's induction ceremony was not made public until 20 minutes before it began. The event
was invitation-only and attended by a crowd of mostly Republican lawmakers and staff.
"This is something I never, ever thought would happen to me," Limbaugh, 61, said in a speech from the House
floor. The Missouri native later added: "I want to express my deep gratitude. I'm exceptionally proud to accept
this honor, and really very humbled."
Only last week Dred Scott -- the African-American slave who unsuccessfully sued for his freedom in 1857 -- was
inducted into the Hall of Famous Missourians in a ceremony that was open to the public and streamed live on the
Internet. Earlier this year, Negro Leagues baseball great Buck O'Neil joined the hall in a ceremony that was
advertised weeks in advance.
But House Speaker Steven Tilley, a Perryville Republican who selected Limbaugh for inclusion in the hall, said the
event was closed to the public because of the controversy the choice created.
Democrats weren't invited because they signed a letter earlier in the year protesting Limbaugh's induction, Tilley
said, and the scheduling was done to ensure Limbaugh could be present.
"We wanted to make sure Mr. Limbaugh and his family could attend and were treated respectfully," Tilley said.
Controversy swirled around Limbaugh's induction earlier this year after he called 30-year-old law student Sandra
Fluke a "slut" and "prostitute" following her support of a requirement that health care companies provide
coverage for contraception. The comments cost Limbaugh some corporate sponsors and provoked protests of his
inclusion in the hall.
Democrats argued that honoring Limbaugh so soon after his controversial statements would be seen as "a tacit
endorsement of his misogynistic attitudes."
Tilley, however, repeatedly defended his choice, arguing at the time he made it in March that, "it's not the 'Hall
of Universally Loved Missourians.'"
And he continued his defense of Limbaugh during Monday's ceremony.
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"He may say things that strike a nerve," Tilley said. "But that doesn't undo everything he's accomplished in his
career, and it doesn't provide a reasonable excuse why he shouldn't be honored by his home state for his many
accomplishments."
Liberals, Tilley added, try to "put forth the illusion that they believe in tolerance and understanding, but they are
anything but tolerant and anything but understanding."
But the restricted nature of the ceremony showed that Republicans "were ashamed of what they were doing and
wanted as few people as possible to witness it," said Rep. Tishaura Jones, a St. Louis Democrat. "When you take
great steps to hide what you're doing, it usually means that you know what you're doing is wrong."
House Minority Leader Mike Talboy, a Kansas City Democrat, said he understands why Tilley would be concerned
that public involvement would turn the ceremony "into a circus."
"But at the same time, if you don't want it to become a circus, don't induct someone who is as arrogant and
ignorant and says things that are completely reprehensible into the Hall of Famous Missourians," Talboy said.
House Democrats wrote to the state agency that has authority over public areas in the Capitol asking that it
refuse to place the Limbaugh bust in the Capitol Rotunda, which is on the third floor.
Talboy said Monday that conversations he's had with Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon's office lead him to be "very
confident" that the bust will never be on display in the rotunda.
"I feel they are committed to making sure there are only worthwhile people in the Hall of Famous Missourians,"
Talboy said. "The speaker's office controls the chamber. They can always put (the bust) in the speaker's office or
they can put it in the (House) chamber."
Nixon's office released a memo Monday noting that a state board -- not the speaker of the House -- has the
authority to determine what items are displayed in the rotunda.
Scott Holste, Nixon's spokesman, said in an email that the governor plans to review the purpose and governance
of the Hall of Famous Missourians to "develop a comprehensive strategy regarding where all busts, statues and
other monuments are displayed in the Capitol."
But Holste stopped short of saying the governor would stand in its way.
The group of bronze busts depicts prominent Missourians honored for their achievements and contributions to
the state.
Inductees are selected solely by the House speaker, and the busts are paid for by the Speaker's Annual Golf
Classic. Limbaugh's was made by Kansas City sculptor E. Spencer Schubert.
Limbaugh, who's from Cape Girardeau, praised Tilley for standing up to critics who felt his inclusion in the hall
with 40 other members was not appropriate.
"He hung in. He was tough. He laughed at them when they called his office, which is what you have to do
because they are deranged. They're literally deranged," Limbaugh said. "He stood up to it and in fact enjoyed it
and threw it right back at them. I want to thank him for that."
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Rush Limbaugh inducted into Hall of Famous
Missourians
By Elizabeth Crisp, St. Louis Post Dispatch

JEFFERSON CITY • Republican lawmakers gathered in a closed-door ceremony to induct conservative talk radio
host Rush Limbaugh into the Hall of Famous Missourians Monday, but it remains unclear whether a bronze bust
of the Cape Girardeau native will be displayed alongside other inductees in the state Capitol.

Democrats have questioned whether House Speaker Steve Tilley, R-Perryville, has the authority to decide which
items are placed in the rotunda. None of Tilley's previous inductees has been challenged, but Limbaugh's
induction has been a point of contention for several weeks due to his often-controversial remarks.

During the induction ceremony, Tilley praised Limbaugh as the "voice of conservative America for more than a
decade."

Republican Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder said he considers Limbaugh to be among the "pantheon of Republican heroes"
alongside President Ronald Reagan.

"Rush's success demonstrated a nationwide market not previously catered to," he said.

Limbaugh, speaking from the House chamber dais, credited his family for the honor.

"This is something I never, ever considered would happen to me," he said.

The induction ceremony was not open to the general public, and Missouri Highway Patrol officers guarded the
entries to the House chamber.

"With the controversy surrounding (Limbaugh), I thought it was acceptable to do an invitation-only event," Tilley
said after the ceremony.

Opponents have used a recent incident in which Limbaugh called a Georgetown law student who publicly
advocated access to contraceptives a 'slut" and a "prostitute" as an example of why he should not be included in
the display.

Some famous Missourians appearing in the hall include Sacagawea, Mark Twain, Walt Disney and Bob Barker.

Tilley made light of the "controversy or two" that Limbaugh has been embroiled in at various points in his career.
Calling him the "most successful person in talk radio history," Tilley noted that Limbaugh is in the Radio Hall of
Fame as well as the National Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame.
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"He may say things that strike a nerve — he's right most of the time — and he even may say things that I disagree
with from time to time," Tilley said. "That doesn't undo everything he has accomplished in his career. It doesn't
provide a reasonable excuse for why he shouldn't be honored by his home state for his many accomplishments."

Limbaugh thanked Tilley for not bowing to the critics.

"He laughed at them when they called his office, which is what you have to do because they're deranged. They
literally are deranged," Limbaugh said.

House Minority Leader Mike Talboy, D-Kansas City, said he is "very confident" that the bust won't go in the
rotunda alongside other inductees.

"It is still my hope that the citizens of Missouri don't have to have someone like that in the Hall of Famous
Missourians," he said.

He said the bust could be placed in other areas controlled by the House, including the speaker's office or the
House floor.

According to an Office of Administration report released by Gov. Jay Nixon's office, the state Board of Public
Buildings holds the authority over what items are placed in the Hall of Famous Missourians because of its
location in the rotunda. That authority has been delegated to the State Capitol Commission but can be revoked
at any time, the report states.

The 12-member commission includes the commissioner of the Office of Administration, four appointees by the
governor, two Republican lawmakers, two Democratic lawmakers, the lieutenant governor, a Senate employee
and a House employee.

The commission drafted a policy for the Hall of Famous Missourians in 2008, but it has not been followed in
practice. Under that policy, only Missourians who have been dead for at least 10 years can be inducted.

"Based on the findings of the Office of Administration's review, the governor looks forward to working with the
Board of Public Buildings and the State Capitol Commission to review the purpose and governance of the Hall of
Famous Missourians and to develop a comprehensive strategy regarding where all busts, statues and other
monuments are displayed in the Capitol," Nixon's spokesman Scott Holste said.

Assistant House Minority Leader Tishaura Jones, D-St. Louis, said the Limbaugh induction was in 'sharp contrast"
to the public ceremony held last week to induct ex-slave Dred Scott into the hall. That ceremony was broadcast
on the Internet. Traditionally, honorees are inducted while the chamber is in session.

"It is quite clear from their handling of the Limbaugh ceremony that Republicans were ashamed of what they
were doing and wanted as few people as possible to witness it," Jones said. "When you take great steps to hide
what you're doing, it usually means that you know what you're doing is wrong."
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Kansas City sculptor E. Spencer Schubert said he received about 700 emails from people on the matter, most of
whom wanted him to refuse to make the Limbaugh bust. He did not appear to be worried that his work could
become a target for vandals.

"That's the thing about bronze — it's insanely durable," he said.
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Rush Limbaugh inducted into Hall of Famous
Missourians
By Marshall Griffin and Kelsey Proud


Conservative radio talk show host Rush Limbaugh was inducted into the Hall of Famous Missourians today, in a
ceremony that was kept under wraps until less than an hour before it happened.

Word of the ceremony leaked out after various media members spotted Limbaugh inside the Missouri Capitol.
The ceremony was by invitation only, and the audience consisted of Republican lawmakers and family and
friends. Limbaugh told the audience that other members of his family were more deserving of the honor, but he
also thanked House Speaker Steven Tilley (R, Perryville) for not rescinding it.

“(Tilley) hung in, he was tough, laughed at them when they called his office, which is what you have to do,
because they’re deranged," Limbaugh said to laughter. He continued: "They literally are deranged, our
friends, so-called friends on the other side of the aisle, are deranged...this is where my family now forgets I’m
here.”

Last week there were rumors that a bust of the controversial commentator had been delivered to the State
Capitol, along with the bust of former slave Dred Scott, who was posthumously inducted on May 9th.
House Minority Floor Leader Mike Talboy (D, Kansas City) called Limbaugh’s induction an embarrassment.

“In 30 days, the guy may say something on the air or (among) a group of people that puts everything that he’s
said to this point to shame," Talboy said. "That’s quite frankly why we don’t usually put people that are still alive
into halls like this.”

Limbaugh came under fire earlier this year for calling a Georgetown University law student a "slut" and
a "prostitute" on his nationally-syndicated radio show. Talboy says House Democrats want Governor Nixon’s
Office of Administration to bar Limbaugh’s bust from being displayed in the Hall of Famous Missourians.

Limbaugh is a native of Cape Girardeau, and several members of his family are known in Missouri for practicing
law. His first cousin is Stephen Limbaugh, Junior, a former judge on the Missouri Supreme Court and currently
a U.S. District Court judge. His grandfather, Rush Limbaugh, Senior, was a member of the Missouri General
Assembly in the 1930's and practiced law until his death in 1996 at the age of 104. A Democratic member of
the Missouri Senate earlier this year commented that the late Rush Limbaugh, Sr., would be a more fitting
inductee into the Hall.
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Nixon calls for expansion of auto tax credits
By Eli Yokley, Missouri News Horizon

JOPLIN, Mo. — As the 2012 legislative session winds down this week, Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon hopes the
legislature will pass new tax credits he believes will spur job creation and manufacturing.
Pointing to the reemerging success of the auto industry in St. Louis and Kansas City, Nixon said he hopes the
legislature will pass additional tax credits aimed at attracting auto suppliers to grow their industry in the state.
“We still have a bill that has crossed over from the House side to the Senate that would assist us in attracting
auto suppliers,” Nixon said. “We want to re-up that pipeline of parts producers around the Show-Me State.”
Additionally, Nixon believes legislation to end a loophole in workers compensation law that allows employees to
sue coworkers for injuries sustained on the job has a chance of passage. He said many of the issues that caused
him to veto the legislation earlier this year have been resolved.
Lawmakers end this year’s legislative session on Friday evening at 6 P.M.
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Lawmakers prepare for final week of session
By Jimmy Myers, St. Joseph News Press

Local senators are putting the final touches on their legislative efforts this week as the session winds to a close
Friday.

Sen. Dr. Rob Schaaf, R-St. Joseph, and Sen. Brad Lager, R-Savannah, talked Monday to the News-Press as they
headed to the state Capitol, each focused on mostly different issues.

Dr. Schaaf is working on a few issues including the “Low-Wage Trap Elimination Act,” which would establish a
child care subsidy benefit pilot program. The act, which Dr. Schaaf said could “transform the welfare system as
we know it,” has moved from the Senate to the House. It passed out of committee.

Another push in the final week includes adding Buchanan County and the cities, towns or villages within the
county to a list of governmental entities that can establish a theater, cultural arts and entertainment taxing
district.
Aside from pushing legislation, Dr. Schaaf will be watchful for bills that have amendments attached to them.

“Things happen so quickly that you can’t let your guard down for even a minute,” he said, adding that the
conference committee reports are invaluable as the stack of bills can be overwhelming. “The last week is usually
mentally intense.”

Nothing on Mr. Lager’s legislative radar is “live or die” at this point, he said. The legislation that he is passionate
about has already moved through the Senate, been attached to other bills or been vetoed. Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed
a workplace discrimination/whistle-blower bill similar to what he sponsored last year (which also was vetoed by
the governor). There is some work under way to try and find a happy medium, but the differences between the
legislative body and the governor are apparently vast.

“The governor and the General Assembly fundamentally disagree on how to create jobs,” he said of the current
business climate, which is “tilted to the trial lawyers.”

Dr. Schaaf said the legislative body breathed a collective sigh of relief when it passed the budget with a day to
spare last week. But there is some obvious frustration that they weren’t able to address tax credit reform,
education reform and economic development issues.

“It’s an election year,” he said, “and a lot of times, that’s what happens ... just politics as usual.”
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Mo. House members work late to advance bills
By Elizabeth Crisp, St. Louis Post Dispatch


JEFFERSON CITY • The Missouri House worked late into the evening Monday to try to advance legislation ahead
of Friday’s deadline.

A bill that – among several judiciary-related provisions – would make the St. Louis Circuit Clerk an appointed
position and would lower crack cocaine sentencing to align with powder cocaine charges.

Other bills the House worked to approve include one that would limit those who can perform certain procedures
to treat chronic pain.

Many of the bills are expected to end up conference committee, which allows House and Senate negotiators to
hash out their differences in the proposed legislation.

With pressure mounting in the last week of the session, lawmakers appear to be trying to tack their own issues
onto bills that are still alive.

More than 40 amendments were proposed to the judiciary omnibus bill. Several of them passed, which means
the bill needs another round of approval from the Senate.

“This bill will undoubtedly go to conference,” said Rep. John Diehl, a Republican from Town and Country who
served as the bill handler.

After staying until shortly before midnight Monday, the House is set to return at 10 a.m. today to continue its
work ahead of the session’s end.

House Majority Floor Leader Tim Jones, R-Eureka, told members to be prepared “for all bills on all calendars at all
times” for the rest of the week. Lawmakers are expected to work up until Friday's 6 p.m. deadline.
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Mo. senators back changes to vacancy appointments
By Associated Press, Southeast Missourian

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- A Missouri Senate panel has endorsed a proposed referendum that would change
the way vacancies in statewide offices are filled.

The measure would curtail the governor's ability to appoint people to openings in offices such as attorney
general or secretary of state.

If a vacancy occurs early in someone's term, the governor would appoint a temporary replacement to serve until
a special election. The appointee would not be allowed to run in the special election.

If a vacancy occurs near the end of someone's term, the governor's appointee would serve until the term expires.

The House approved the legislation in February, and a Senate committee endorsed it Monday. Passage by the full
Senate would put the proposal on the statewide ballot in November.
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Despite deep cuts, KC school district is still strained
By Joe Robertson, Kansas City Star


It wasn’t enough.

After all the pain Kansas City Public Schools endured in millions of dollars of budget cutting, the district still
spends significantly more per pupil in four key outside-the-classroom areas than neighboring districts do.

Since The Star examined state financial reports four years ago, Kansas City has closed half its schools, trimmed
thousands of jobs and eliminated hundreds of contracts while reducing annual expenditures by $125 million.

That included cutting $10 million in annual building operation.

Cutting $9 million in transportation.

Cutting $6 million in administrative costs, and more than $1 million a year in legal fees.

In those four categories combined, the district cut costs by 30 percent over the past four years. The other
districts on average increased spending by 14 percent in the same categories.

The problem, though, is that Kansas City’s average daily attendance fell 39 percent over the same difficult
stretch.

Consequently, the district’s combined per-pupil costs in those spending categories remained the highest and far
above the average costs of the area’s other nine largest Missouri districts: North Kansas City, Lee’s Summit,
Independence, Blue Springs, Liberty, Park Hill, Raytown, Hickman Mills and Raymore-Peculiar.

The average of the other districts rose 7 percent, from $2,222 to $2,387 per pupil, while Kansas City’s per-pupil
costs rose by 14 percent, $3,811 to $4,362.

“It’s pretty obvious our per-pupil costs are high,” Superintendent Steve Green said. But Kansas City, like St. Louis,
has extra demands above most other districts, he said.

For instance, special programs for high-needs students require more administrators. Schools need more security.
The benefits of closing schools will be lagging until the district’s repurposing process sells more schools.

“A lot of the costs are a direct result of the population we serve — the degree of difficulty,” Green said.

St. Louis cut $25 million in the same out-of-classroom categories since 2007, but also lost students, seeing its per-
pupil costs in the four categories combined rise from $4,302 to $4,691 — both more than Kansas City.

While Kansas City’s budget fixes have played a key role in the district’s quest to regain public confidence, the
continued outward migration of families shows how far it has to go.

The mounting budget imbalances revealed four years ago would actually worsen before they got better.
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When former Superintendent John Covington arrived in 2009, the district’s administrative costs were rising,
despite the dropping enrollment, to a high of $27.5 million.

Its plant operation costs would peak in 2010 at $39.1 million. And legal fees averaged $3.4 million a year — three
times more than even larger districts — before finally dropping to $1 million in 2011.

The cuts Kansas City made between 2010 and 2011 were brutal and necessary, according to several independent
accounts, including the state auditor and the state education department.

But the ramifications ran deep, said Tony Stansberry, the state’s regional school improvement supervisor.

The turmoil in closing so many schools and shuffling so many students and programs disrupted classrooms and
probably contributed to a drop in state test performance a year ago, he said.

“I would’ve liked to have seen them focused more on student achievement,” Stansberry said. “I thought they
were.”

But the impact of Covington’s transformation plan hit hard. The dip in test scores put the provisionally accredited
district’s status in jeopardy. After Covington abruptly left for Detroit in August, the state school board acted on
Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro’s recommendation and declared the district unaccredited effective Jan. 1.

“The things that were done (to fix the out-of-balance budget) needed to be done,” Stansberry said.

He was speaking from the latest monthly presentation by the state and the district in their joint campaign to get
the district performing at an accredited level.

“They had to fix that first,” he said.

Covington, recognizing the academic ground that was lost, reloaded for 2011-2012 with his “Transformation
Phase II” — a plan and a name that is carrying on under Green.

In every direction, however, the district is waging its battle against budget extremes.

The district’s local tax levy, unmoved in 17 years, is now the lowest among the top 10 districts at $4.95.

It is next to the lowest in local tax dollars received per pupil, but garners more grants and federal dollars in
support of its large population of low-income students, the highest percentage in the area.

Overall it has the most revenue to spend per pupil, but has to spend millions of dollars more than the other
districts on special education and on English language learners.

Its eroding enrollment, coupled with the number of special programs, saddles Kansas City with a much lower
ratio of students per administrator than the other districts.

Districts closest to Kansas City with low ratios are Hickman Mills and Raytown — districts that are either flat in
enrollment or losing students and also have comparatively high populations of low-income and special education
students.

Under these circumstances, the district had to rein in out-of-classroom costs like the over-the-top legal fees,
board President Airick Leonard West said.
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The district has created an in-house litigation team, reducing some of the fees it was paying outside law firms,
West said. It also is fighting more cases rather than agreeing to expensive settlements.

“As long as there was the perception that we would provide inappropriate payouts and as long as we primarily
relied on external counsel for our litigation needs, we were always going to have exorbitant legal expenses,”
West said.

Those were unnecessary costs, he said, that drained away funds the district needed to support some of its key
reform strategies, like providing pre-kindergarten classrooms and early college credit programs.

Chief Financial Officer Al Tunis has presented a preliminary budget for 2012-13 that proposes $13 million in
operation reductions as part of an overall projection to cut $21 million in expenditures.

He guaranteed the district, for the third straight year, will execute a balanced budget that does not draw on
reserves.

“We are a financially stable district,” he said.

It will be important to find cuts outside of classrooms, especially with plans to add alternative school
programming and to invest more in supporting federal grant programs for turning around low-performing
schools, Tunis said.

The district is holding public meetings to talk about bus routes and to consider going to three morning bell times
to save as much $1.5 million a year.

Green also has been reducing the size of the central office administration team.

The district is hoping for some relief. Its enrollment decline has been leveling, and Tunis is projecting it will at
least remain flat next year, and possibly grow — depending in part on the shuffling enrollment between
competing charter schools.

Some major charter schools are closing, but others are opening or expanding.

It also would help if the district could boost its levy from the lowest in the area, but that would require the
voters’ trust — something that Green knows still has to be earned.

“The degree of difficulty is not going to change,” he said. “But if we gain more efficiencies providing more
opportunities for our students…I hope we build a strong case for a district that is regaining public confidence.”
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Ex-Riverview Gardens boss dies before paying penalty,
liens
By David Hunn, St. Louis Post Dispatch


ST. LOUIS • Henry P. Williams, the former Riverview Gardens schools superintendent who gambled and traveled
the world on the district's dime, died April 23, 2012, owing more than $300,000 in unpaid taxes and restitution.

Mr. Williams, 70, ran the Riverview Gardens School District for five years.

In 2007, the School Board removed him after a Post-Dispatch investigation and a state audit found he had
funneled more than $100,000 in school money into a personal life insurance fund, understated his income and
double-dipped on district travel reimbursement.

He pleaded no contest on two counts of felony theft and three counts of tax fraud. A St. Louis County judge
sentenced him to 10 years in prison and ordered him to pay $102,724.87 in restitution to the district.

Some called Mr. Williams a promising leader and educator who was misunderstood by authorities and board
members.

"I thought he was an extraordinary person," said former board member Marlene Terry. "I have no comment to
whatever happened in the past. I thought he was a great educator. Under him, Riverview Gardens was
improving."

But controversy followed Mr. Williams. He was removed or run out from the top jobs in Syracuse, N.Y., Little
Rock, Ark., and Kansas City.

In July 2002, Riverview Gardens appointed Mr. Williams interim superintendent. His pay rose from $135,000 in
his first year to $160,000 by the end, not including car allowances and annuity payments.

But his tenure there was rocky, too. He directed district money to his daughter, girlfriend and her family. He
allowed the district to spend at least $1.7 million on travel — more than districts double its size. Mr. Williams
flew to London, Yellowstone National Park and Cape Town, South Africa.

After hours, he gambled. Casino records obtained by prosecutors showed that Mr. Williams gambled more than
900 days in the five years he led the district — nearly 190 days a year — and lost as much as $176,000.

Mr. Williams left the district in bad shape. Riverview savings had dipped from $12 million to less than $2 million,
and academics had sunk to the point that the district met just three of 14 state accreditation standards.

The state revoked the district's accreditation, and a state-appointed board took over operations in 2010.
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Mr. Williams served 30 days in jail and was released on probation. By this spring, he owed $30,000 to the district
and still had more than $275,000 in federal tax liens filed against him.

The St. Louis County medical examiner's office said he had battled coronary artery disease, hypertension,
diabetes, renal problems and pneumonia.

Last month, according to medical examiner records, he was at home with his daughter when she heard a noise
and found him on the bathroom floor. He died at 1:49 p.m. on April 23, in the emergency room at Mercy Hospital
St. Louis. Funeral services were private.
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Latest Kansas-Missouri conflict over license plates
By Rustin Dodd, Kansas City Star

There’s an old saying in college sports: If one school refuses to play you, then you can be darn sure you don’t let
that school have specialized license plates in your state.

Wait, what?

Well, maybe it’s not an old saying. But according to two Missouri state senators, it’s a philosophy that now exists.
So when word leaked out late last week that the University of KU Alumni Association was attempting to get
specialized KU plates approved by lawmakers in Missouri, Bill Stouffer, R-Napton, and Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia,
sprang into action.

Stouffer and Schaefer, both graduates of Mizzou, announced that they would file a petition to stop the approval
of a KU license plate.

“With the long-standing rivalry between Mizzou and KU, I find it appalling that the creation of this license plate
would be conceived in the Show-Me State,” Sen. Stouffer said.

Border (Cold) War meet the Battle of License Plate Hill.

But first, how about some background: According to Danny Lewis, director of alumni programs for the KU Alumni
Association, the idea of a KU license plate in Missouri is hardly new.

In internet-speak, perhaps they’d call it trolling — a word or action to get a rise out of your audience, because…
well, you can.

But Lewis said the reasons were innocent and simple. Kansas has an estimated 30,000 alumni living in Missouri —
and that’s probably on the low end, Lewis says. In addition, KU already has specialty plates available in Maryland
and Texas.

Still, this isn’t the first time the alumni association has attempted to put KU plates in what would have likely been
unwelcome territory. KU alumni in North Carolina inquired about a Jayhawk plate in the Tar Heel State, but plans
fell apart when they learned that North Carolina requires a presale of 1,300 plates.

“Our group in North Carolina wanted to annoy the Duke and North Carolina grads by getting KU license plates
out there,” Lewis said, adding, “We approach everything state by state.”

Last week, Lewis was confident that the alumni association was close to its goal. After a frustrating search, they’d
been able to find a state legislator to co-sign their application for the plates — Rep. Charlie Denison, R-
Springfield.
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Denison, who had a neighbor that went to KU, had no allegiance to either KU or MU. But perhaps the alumni
association was a little naïve to the emotions it was stoking. According to Denison, there’s a two-year waiting
period on voting on specialty plates. And the KU plates, according to Denison, won’t be up for a vote until next
year.
In addition, the bill will have to pass through the proper channels in both the House and Senate before being
signed by Governor Jay Nixon, another dedicated Mizzou fan.

“I want to make sure our license plates reflect our state,” Schaefer said, “and highlight the things that make us
Missouri.”

One thing is for certain: The Border War appears plenty healthy. Denison, who went to college in Texas, had a full
voicemail last Friday — and at least one particularly ugly message.

“I can’t believe,” Denison said, “there is so much talking over a bill that can’t even be voted on until next year.”
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Liquor sales at Lambert could start earlier under plan
By Mark Schlinkmann, St. Louis Post Dispatch

Before boarding an early-morning flight Monday to Cancun, Joanie Jones and her fiancé, Bruce Smothers, wanted
to kick off their vacation with a Bloody Mary at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.

But they couldn't get one immediately at the Chili's restaurant near their gate because it was about 15 minutes
before the 6 a.m. starting time set by Missouri law for selling liquor by the drink. That would change under a plan
in the Legislature to allow booze to be sold at Lambert as early as 4.

Jones, 57, and Smothers, 58, both of Edwardsville, said they didn't mind the current restriction. But a few feet
away at the bar, Kim Perry, 48, of Collinsville, who also tried unsuccessfully to buy a Bloody Mary before 6, liked
the idea of an earlier start time for Lambert travelers just beginning their day. She contrasted their demeanor to
the 3 a.m. closing-time scene in Soulard and some other areas of St. Louis. State law sets a 1:30 a.m. shutdown in
most of the rest of Missouri.

"The bottom line is, I see people at bars drinking until 3 in the morning and rowdy and crazy and dangerous," said
Perry, who was waiting to fly with family members to Washington, D.C.

Darryl Jones, an official with the group that operates Lambert's restaurants and bars, said although the bill would
allow airport liquor sales as early as 4, plans now call for a start time of 5 or 5:30 if it passes.

That might change, he said, if "we get a huge rush of passengers that come in at 4:30" because of future
alterations in flight schedules.

As of now, he said, Chili's on the recently reopened C Concourse is the only establishment with a bar at Lambert
that's open for food sales before the 6 a.m. starting time for alcoholic beverages. It opens at 4:30. If the bill
passes, he said, it's likely that two other eateries with bars would open before 6 on each of two other
concourses. Bars and restaurants at Lambert typically close by 10 p.m.

Jones, who is managing partner of D&D Concessions, said his firm and its joint venture associate, HMS Host
Corp., decided to seek the legislative change after getting about 15 pre-6 a.m. requests for Bloody Marys on April
2. That was the day tornado-damaged Concourse C reopened after extensive renovations.

Among other airports surveyed Monday, the start time for serving alcoholic beverages is 6 a.m. at Minneapolis-
St. Paul, San Diego, Los Angeles and Phoenix and 7 a.m. at Indianapolis and Philadelphia. There are no time limits
on alcohol sales at bars past security checkpoints at Chicago's O'Hare and Midway airports, but a city
spokeswoman said few or none sell liquor 24 hours a day.

The Lambert drinking time change is among various provisions affecting local government added last month by a
Senate committee to a House-passed bill on municipal tax boards. The measure is pending on the Senate floor.
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The sponsor of the Senate bill, Eric Schmitt, R-Glendale, said the airport provision would help it cater more to
international travelers on differing timetables.

The same point was made by a Concourse C passenger interviewed early Monday.

"It's not always 4 in the morning" for every traveler, said Steve Brookshier, 28, of Enfield, Conn., a frequent
traveler overseas. "They're not always coming from the Central time zone."

Other early-morning patrons at Chili's gave differing views on the pre-6 a.m. liquor proposal.

Jack Hodge, 66, of Chesterfield, said he didn't think he would order a drink that early.

"But that doesn't mean somebody else shouldn't have the opportunity to," he said.

Also supportive of the change were Adam and Danielle Theurer of Macon, Mo., who were waiting to fly to
Mexico on their honeymoon.

"I'm not a big fan of governments regulating things one way or the other," said Adam Theurer, 27. "People have
all different types of schedules, all different hours."

However, Wayne Edwards, 65, of Springfield, Ill., recommended against it.

"They're asking for trouble if they open that early; you're just going to have a continuation of the party the night
before," he said.

Ordering a Bloody Mary just after 6 was Jeff Brewer, 45, of Palm Springs, Calif. Brewer, who sets up lighting for
Broadway-type shows, was in St. Louis working at the Peabody Opera House for several days and wanted a drink
before flying home after a long stretch on the job.

"I just got off work after 20 hours," he said.
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Schools receive additional funds for storm shelters
By Kelsey Ryan, Joplin Globe

Gov. Jay Nixon made a stop to Emerson Elementary’s temporary quarters Monday afternoon to announce $2.8
million in additional funding for the construction of five Joplin school storm shelters and the demolition of
properties the school has acquired around the destroyed Joplin High.

“This investment in safe rooms in Joplin schools will help ensure we are prepared to act quickly and protect
Joplin children and the community in the event of severe weather in the future,” Nixon said at a press
conference. “This is a strategic investment in our limited federal mitigation funds to be used for vital projects.”

Nixon was given a tour of Emerson’s current storm shelter, supplied by the Federal Emergency Management
Agency, by twin fourth-graders Brett and Brandon Woehl. The Woehl brothers showed Nixon the emergency
packs and games students will play in the event of a storm. Emerson is one of the five schools that the funding
will go toward and was significantly damaged in the May 22 tornado. The other schools that will receive funding
are Cecil Floyd Elementary, Irving Elementary, East Middle School and Joplin High. Emerson and Irving will be
combined in the new Irving.

The rooms will multifunctional community safe rooms that can also be used as classrooms, gymnasiums or
activity areas. About $2.3 million will be used for the safe rooms. The rest of the funds will go toward the
demolition of the more than 80 properties the district acquired around Joplin High to prepare the site for the
new high school.

The funding will come through federal Community Development block grants, which Nixon said can be used after
natural disasters. Nixon said the state would work to have future funding go toward other communities to have
storm shelters.

“Funding sources and opportunities in these situations are complicated as we move into mitigation dollars,”
Nixon said. “The construction of these safe rooms is made possible through a partnership with state, local and
federal government, and is exactly the kind of partnership that is necessary to keep moving forward.”

The funding comes after a $62 million bond issue was passed by Joplin voters on April 3 by a margin of 47 votes.
Superintendent C.J. Huff said the district will not commit to lowering the amount of the bond after this donation
because the grant money was not included in the district’s $186 million rebuilding budget.

“The challenge right now is we have a lot of uncertainty and our first and foremost promise is to get those
facilities built and built in the manner in which the community expects them to be built,” Huff said.

“The budgets we put together,” Huff said, “were preliminary budgets and we feel very good that we’re on track
right now, but we have a number of FEMA project work sheets that haven’t been approved yet and until such
time, which may be several years down the line, it’s wise for us to hold onto those dollars until we get those
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buildings built.”

Huff and Nixon stressed the importance of having the safe rooms available for students.

“Our idea of what safety is was rocked on May 22 of last year, and I think that for our students and our staff,
knowing they have a safe place to be when there’s a storm of any magnitude provides a great deal of comfort,”
Huff said. “We’re dealing with so many mental health issues and a lot of trauma associated with the storm and
the recovery process.”

Return visit

Gov. Jay Nixon will return to Joplin next week for the JHS commencement, which will be held at 7 p.m. on
Monday at the Leggett & Platt Athletic Center at Missouri Southern State University. President Barack Obama
and Nixon are speakers for the graduation.
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A week before tornado anniversary, Nixon announces
safe room funds
By Eli Yokley, Missouri News Horizon

JOPLIN, Mo. — Gov. Jay Nixon visited Joplin Monday, a week before of the one-year anniversary of the
devastating tornado that destroyed a large portion of the city — including its schools.
Nixon, who has visited the city dozens of time since storm last May, stopped in to announce new funding for
what is becoming a growing necessity in disaster preparedness: Safe rooms.
Flanked by students and Joplin Superintendent C.J. Huff, Nixon announced $2.8 million in new state funding to
help pay for a $26.3 million project to install the rooms at five Joplin schools.
“This is another step in our ongoing commitment to help Joplin recover,” Nixon said.
A small portion of the money will go to assisting in the demolition of properties surrounding the Joplin High
School campus, as the district readies to rebuild.
Huff said over the past year, he has encouraged other schools to invest in the community safe rooms.
“Investing in these safe rooms is an investment in the safety of our children and the future of our community,”
he said.
For many students in Joplin, class took place over the past year in temporary facilities. At Emerson Elementary,
where Nixon made his announcement, two schools merged into an older school, forcing some classes to be held
in “modular classrooms,” essentially trailers fitted with desks and chalkboards.
Huff said the safe rooms would not only provide shelter for those students, but also provide more reliable cover
to students who, in the larger schools, would have originally only had hallways in which to seek shelter.
Referencing video footage of the high school’s hallways during the May 2011 tornado, Huff said the safe rooms
are obviously a safer place to seek shelter.
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Rams' vision for Dome could cost $700 million
By Matthew Hathaway, St. Louis Post Dispatch

ST. LOUIS • When the Rams' plan for upgrading the Edward Jones Dome finally went public Monday, the gap
between the team's vision and that of the agency in charge of the building became clear.

The Rams, not surprisingly, are calling for a more drastic — and expensive — renovation of the Dome than the St.
Louis Convention and Visitors Commission. A top aide to Mayor Francis Slay left no doubt how the plan would be
received.

For starters, the Rams' proposal would cost more than $700 million, compared to the CVC's $124 million
proposal, said Jeff Rainford, Slay's chief of staff. And the construction involved would cost some big downtown
conventions, bleeding an additional $500 million from the local economy, he said.

The Rams' vision for the Dome — a 38-page renovation plan marked "confidential" several times — became
public after it was released by the office of Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster.

The plan is a counteroffer to the CVC's proposal earlier this year, which the Rams have rejected. The CVC plan
proposed capping the public subsidy for renovations at $60 million, calling for the team to cover the rest.

The Rams' plan doesn't include a price tag, and it doesn't say how much, if any, the franchise is willing to
contribute.

To come up with its own cost estimate, the CVC hired a construction firm, which landed on $700 million,
according to Rainford.

The Rams' plan also does not spell out how long construction would take or where the team would play while the
building is renovated. A source told the Post-Dispatch the team believes it would only miss one football season at
the Dome.

The plan would maintain the Dome's regular-game capacity of about 66,000, but little else would stay the same.
Highlights include:

• Tearing down the eastern half of the Dome and extending the building's footprint across Broadway and over
Baer Plaza. The new eastern side would feature a large glass wall, similar to the glass wall at Lucas Oil Stadium in
Indianapolis. The new dimensions would allow for wider concourses throughout the building.

• Adding a new roof that includes an "operable roof panel" that could slide open to bring more natural light in
the Dome. The panel would be about the size of the playing field.

• Reconfiguring much of the existing seating to allow more flexibility for nonfootball events, including NCAA
basketball games and pro soccer matches. (Rams owner Stan Kroenke also owns the Denver-based Colorado
Rapids soccer team and the London-based Arsenal Football Club.)
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• Adding two so-called "party platforms" to the end zones, which could be used for temporary seating for a Super
Bowl or other events.

• Creating larger entrances at the northeast and southeast corners of the Dome, and adding an entrance in the
middle of the eastern facade. Currently, only members of the media and special-needs customers are allowed to
enter on the east side.

Neither the Rams nor the CVC would comment on Monday.

Talks about renovation were spurred by an escape clause in the Rams' 30-year lease of the Dome, which was
built in 1995.

The team is in the 17th year of that contract, but it can terminate the lease in 2015 if the CVC fails to make the
Dome a "first-tier" facility, or one that's better than three-quarters of all NFL venues in 15 categories. If the lease
is terminated, the Rams could move out of St. Louis or continue at the Dome on a year-to-year basis.

The CVC has until June 1 to accept or reject the Rams' proposal. If a deal isn't struck by June 15, the two sides will
go into arbitration, which could take until year's end.

Marc Ganis, a sports consultant who helped negotiate the lease in the 1990s for the Rams, said the plan unveiled
Monday comes as close as possible to satisfying the first-tier language without calling for a new facility.

"This appears to be a logical, feasible plan that's meant to get a positive result," said Ganis, president of the
Chicago-based SportsCorp, a consulting firm. "This isn't a pie-in-the-sky plan designed to get to an impasse ... It
looks to me like a sincere effort to get a deal done."

Ganis, who said he has no current business relationship with the Rams or the CVC, said the team's plan is well-
suited to the Dome's location. It's not a cookie-cutter plan, he said, and it would create "an iconic facility" for far
less than the cost of a new one.

"A new stadium is going to cost well over $1 billion," he said. "This looks like it would be roughly half of what a
new stadium would cost."

But Rainford, Slay's chief of staff, said his boss sees things differently. The mayor, who appoints five
commissioners to the CVC board, will urge the commission to reject the Rams' proposal, Rainford said.

The three governments that paid to build the Dome — St. Louis, St. Louis County and the state of Missouri —
can't chip in an additional $700 million, he said. In addition, Rainford said, there's the cost of not being able to
book large conventions inside the Dome.

The construction firm estimated that the renovation would take three years, wiping out conventions and costing
the local hospitality industry $500 million, according to Rainford.

Rainford, though, didn't rule out eventually striking a deal with the team.
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"My guess is Mr. Kroenke told his people to design a top-tier stadium," Rainford said. "But you can't look at this
and draw the conclusion that he's flipping the bird to St. Louis and he is moving to Los Angeles."

That city frequently is mentioned as a destination for the Rams if negotiations with the CVC sour. Many of the
more than 100 comments posted Monday on the Facebook page "Bring Back the Los Angeles Rams" giddily
interpreted the Rams' plan as a sign the team soon would return to its former home.

Rainford said that's not going to happen anytime soon. The matter might end up in arbitration, he said, but that
was expected all along.

"This region paid a pretty penny to bring the Rams here," Rainford said. "We're not going to give up on keeping
the Rams in the Dome."

The Rams' plan was not publicly released at first. The team and CVC kept it under wraps, citing a confidentiality
clause in the Dome lease. But the Rams sent the Missouri Office of Administration a copy of the plan because the
state is a part-owner of the Dome. That copy is what Koster's office made public Monday.

The secrecy surrounding the "first-tier" process became a legal dispute this month, after the CVC and the Post-
Dispatch filed lawsuits against each other over the release of documents related to the Dome renovation.

The Dome was largely financed with $256 million in bonds, and the repayment of that 30-year debt will be $720
million. Every year, Missouri spends $12 million to pay off the debt, and St. Louis and St. Louis County each pay
$6 million.
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MISSOURINET
Rush Limbaugh inducted into Hall of Famous
Missourians
By Mike Lear

Behind closed and locked doors, radio commentator Rush Limbaugh was inducted into the Hall of Famous
Missourians today in a private ceremony in the Missouri House of representatives.

In an event announced about 25 minutes before it began and not opened to the general public, Limbaugh’s bust
was unveiled before a group made up mostly of Republican lawmakers, along with their staff, Limbaugh’s family
and at least two political candidates – U.S. Senate hopeful Sarah Steelman and incumbent Lieutenant Governor
Peter Kinder, who also spoke at the event. Highway Patrolmen guarded the entrances to the House Chamber.

Inductees to the Hall are chosen by the Speaker of the Missouri House. Speaker Steven Tilley (R-Perryville) says
Limbaugh deserves the honor as an entertainer, and says nothing Limbaugh has said that has garnered
controversy should overshadow the whole of his work and accomplishments.

The decision to honor Limbaugh generated contention in recent weeks, especially after a recent scandal during
which Limbaugh called a Georgetown law student a “slut” and a “prostitute” after she testified before Congress
regarding access to contraceptives.
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Linked-deposit program reaches $1 Billion in loans for
small businesses, farmers
By Jessica Machetta

Small business owners, entrepreneurs and farmers are getting a boost from Missouri’s low-interest loan
program.

Loan volume is up more than 60 percent from four years ago, meaning more Missourians are taking advantage of
the state’s linked-deposit program. State Treasurer Clint Zweifel says the program has put more than a billion
dollars back into the state’s economy.

Businesses with fewer than a hundred employees can take advantage of the low-interest loans through
partnerships with 350 community banks throughout the state. Zweifel says those who have benefited from
borrowing the money have saved some $18 million in interest.

He says this is a vital tool for small businesses and farmers during a tough economy, and he says it’s a permanent
committment … there’s no sunset on the program, and he’s pleased to see the state helping businesses and
start-ups try to grow.

He says banks are loaning the money based on their own credit decisions, but the state makes the deposit for
loans approved, keeping the interest rates down. Zweifel says the capital for the program comes from income
through the state’s portfolio, which his office maintains and manages.

Zweifel says the program has made more than a billion dollars in loans available in the past three years, a
milestone since he says he worked with the legislature a couple years ago to expand the linked-deposit program.
He attributes the growth to that expansion.

“We have doubled our lender partnerships, we have guaranteed access to low-cost capital and we continue to
make smart investments.”

Qualifying borrowers generally save 30 percent on the cost of the loan. About 130 lenders with 350 branches
throughout Missouri use the Missouri Linked Deposit Program, and an extensive list of participating lenders and
program eligibility guidelines are available at www.treasurer.mo.gov/LinkedDeposit.

Following is a regional summary of loans made since January 2009:

      Kansas City Region (Bates, Carroll, Cass, Clay, Henry, Jackson, Johnson, Lafayette, Platte, Ray): $101
       million, impacting 2,000 jobs and farmers.
      Mid-Missouri Region (Audrain, Benton, Boone, Callaway, Camden, Cole, Cooper, Dent, Gasconade,
       Howard, Maries, Miller, Moniteau, Montgomery, Morgan, Osage, Pettis, Phelps, Pulaski, Saline): $295
       million, impacting 4,200 jobs and farmers.
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      Northeast Missouri Region (Adair, Chariton, Clark, Knox, Lewis, Linn, Macon, Marion, Monroe, Pike,
       Putnam, Ralls, Randolph, Schuyler, Scotland, Shelby, Sullivan): $129 million, impacting 2,300 jobs and
       farmers.
      Northwest Missouri Region (Andrew, Atchison, Buchanan, Caldwell, Clinton, Daviess, DeKalb, Gentry,
       Grundy, Harrison, Holt, Livingston, Mercer, Nodaway, Worth): $62 million, impacting 1,100 jobs and
       farmers.
      Southeast Missouri Region (Bollinger, Butler, Cape Girardeau, Carter, Dunklin, Iron, Madison, Mississippi,
       New Madrid, Pemiscot, Perry, Reynolds, Ripley, Scott, St. Francois, Ste. Genevieve, Stoddard, Wayne):
       $125 million, impacting 2,100 jobs and farmers.
      Southwest Missouri Region (Barry, Barton, Cedar, Christian, Dade, Dallas, Douglas, Greene, Hickory,
       Howell, Jasper, Laclede, Lawrence, McDonald, Newton, Oregon, Ozark, Polk, Shannon, St. Clair, Stone,
       Taney, Texas, Vernon, Webster, Wright): $131 million, impacting 2,100 jobs and farmers.
      St. Louis Region (Crawford, Franklin, Jefferson, Lincoln, St. Charles, St. Louis City, St. Louis County,
       Warren, Washington): $179 million, impacting 3,700 jobs and farmers.
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BLOG ZONE

With little notice, House leader announces Monday's
installation of Rush bust
By Jo Mannies, St. Louis Beacon

Missouri House Speaker Steve Tilley gave reporters less than a half-hour’s notice when he announced that
conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh’s sculptured bust will be formally installed in the Capitol at 1 p.m.

The short notice indicated that Tilley, R-Perryville, was seeking to prevent any organized protests during the
event.

Limbaugh showed up for Monday's ceremony, which was private. Security was reported to be tight.

According to the Associated Press, "Limbaugh, 61, arranged for a guest host to handle his (national) radio show
Monday so he could be at the Missouri Capitol. He repeatedly declared how humbled he was by the honor.

" 'I'm stunned. I'm not speechless, but close to it,' Limbaugh said to the laughter of the friendly crowd. 'I'm
literally quite unable to comprehend what's happening to me today.' "

Tilley’s decision to honor Limbaugh, a Cape Girardeau native, has sparked opposition from Democrats and
progressives because of Limbaugh’s often strong words when he talks about people with whom he disagrees.

In fact, some Democratic lawmakers already are pressuring Gov. Jay Nixon, a fellow Democrat, to block the bust's
display.

Limbaugh’s bust will be placed in the Capitol’s Hall of Famous Missourians, which also includes newscaster
Walter Cronkite and former President Harry S Truman.

Tilley had told the Beacon just a few days ago that he wanted Limbaugh to be present for the ceremony, if at all
possible, and was trying to accomodate the commentator's schedule.

After the closed-door ceremony, House Minority Leader Mike Talboy, D-Kansas City, issued a strong protest.

"Instead of being open to the public as is tradition, the ceremony was conducted in secret in a locked House
chamber with only Republican officials and other select people allowed in," Talboy said.

Added Assistant House Minority Leader Tishaura Jones, D-St. Louis: “It is quite clear from their handling of the
Limbaugh ceremony that Republicans were ashamed of what they were doing and wanted as few people as
possible to witness it."
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Talboy added, "House Democrats have asked the Office of Administration, which controls all public areas of the
Capitol, to refuse to display the Limbaugh bust, and we are confident that it will not be placed in the Hall of
Famous Missourians.”

Start of update: State Rep. Jeanette Mott Oxford, D-St. Louis, contended that women should be offended by
Limbaugh's bust, citing the recent controversy over his assertions that a college student was a "slut" and a
"prostitute'' because she wanted insurance coverage for contraceptives. Limbaugh later apologized amid a furor
that prompted the defection of some advertisers from his radio show.

“Now women everywhere – along with a long list of additional targets of his vicious tirades - have been wronged
by the induction of Rush Limbaugh into the Hall of Famous Missourians," Oxford said.
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Missouri's bid for federal test waiver enters home
stretch
By Dale Singer, St. Louis Beacon

Trying to get out from under the cookie-cutter requirements of No Child Left Behind, Missouri submitted its
application for a waiver to federal education officials.
Then it got a response and critique back. Then the phone calls and the emails began. Finally, last week, education
Commissioner Chris Nicastro took a quick trip to Washington to make a personal appeal.
Now, she is hopeful that Missouri's students and schools will be judged by Missouri rules rather then by
benchmarks almost everyone agrees are too ambitious and have made too many good schools look like failures.
She notes that because the Missouri School Improvement Plan (MSIP) mirrors the evaluation process that
Washington is looking for, the waiver would make a lot of sense.
“Phone conversations are great, emails are great,” Nicastro told the Beacon Monday. “But sometimes you have
to have face-to-face interaction to bring some clarity about the history of MSIP and what it stands for. It’s
become very clear to us that we do have a system we can be proud of in Missouri. Not every system has the rich
history of accountability that we have in Missouri.”
In fact, she added, in some cases, it wasn’t until they began assembling their waiver application that some other
states began developing the kind of accountability measures for individual school districts that Missouri has had
for many years and is now moving into its fifth version
“All the work we’ve been doing over the past two or three years on MSIP5 really served us well,” Nicastro said.
“Many states, once waivers became available, started some of these processes we have been doing for a couple
of years. So all of the work we did around the state provided a strong basis for us to present a waiver request
that really represented Missouri values and still met federal guidelines.”

Strict rules, ambitious goals

No Child Left Behind began in the George W. Bush administration. It set targets for all students to become
proficient on standardized tests, raising the bar each year until the goal became 100 percent proficiency by 2014.
But almost as soon as it went into effect, it became clear that the rules were too stringent, the goals were too
ambitious and the entire process prompted schools and districts to focus more on the tests than many educators
thought was wise.
As the 2014 deadline approached, and reauthorization of the law stalled in Congress, the Obama administration
used what it said was its authority under the act to allow states to come up with their own methods of gauging
satisfactory annual progress by students.
The waiver process for No Child Left Behind -- the Obama administration calls the law by its more formal
legislative name, ESEA, or the Elementary and Secondary Education Act – calls for states to make the case that
they can satisfy the act’s requirements in three separate areas:
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              Expectations for all students to graduate ready for college or a career
              Accountability and support from the state to bolster student achievement
              Support for effective leadership and instruction

Eleven states won waivers in the first round of the exercise. Missouri became one of 26 states, along with Illinois,
plus the District of Columbia, to submit applications in the second round, in February.
In its initial response, the federal government said Missouri’s application was strong in parts of two of the goals –
college or career readiness plus effective leadership and instruction – but it expressed reservations about the
blueprint’s detail to hold schools accountable for improving student achievement, particularly for students from
families living in poverty, so-called Title I students.
Nicastro said the department began to address those concerns but noted that based on her conversations with
her peers in other states, the evaluation was fairly typical.
“The first reaction of the department for most states has been lots of questions, lots of need for clarification,”
she said. “This is new territory for them, as it is for us. Before, when the rules were set by No Child Left Behind,
everybody was on the same page. The department had one set of rules they had to deal with.
“Now, they are looking at 50 different sets of rules. Some of it is just that whole process – how they establish the
parameters, how they make sure they are upholding the law and still giving states the maximum amount of
flexibility that they want to give us and that we want. They want to make sure every state is establishing and
maintaining high standards, and we don’t have any trouble with that.”
She also said that – like her department in Missouri – the federal Department of Education may have too few
people handling too many applications.
“Getting through the first 11 was a difficult process for them,” Nicastro said. “They have some of the same issues
with capacity that we do, and frankly I think this has been a little bit overwhelming for them.”
Particularly difficult, she said, was striking the balance between too much detail and too little.
“There were kind of mixed messages,” Nicastro said. “Should we put everything but the kitchen sink into the
applications, or should we specifically respond to their guidelines? I think that depending on which team you
have reviewing your waiver request, the answer may be different.”

A matter of context

As far as Missouri’s application goes, she said she finally realized what kind of context the federal reviewers
needed.
“We had kind of an 'aha' moment last week in a conference call,” she said. “They kept asking questions, and it
became clear to us that while we’re very aware of Missouri’s decades-old system of accountability with MSIP,
they had no idea of that. So we had to do some background work on that, how MSIP has evolved and made a
clear transition from looking at input measures to looking at output measures.”
Nicastro said federal officials did not give any specific timeline on when they will respond to the applications. If
Missouri does get a waiver, she said, school districts in the state “will have the flexibility to determine how to use
their Title I money. It just shows that one size does not fit all.”
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So far, Missouri has not had a lot of success in winning extra funds from the federal Department of Education. It
did not get a grant from the Race to the Top competition, and it did not win an early-childhood education grant it
sought last year. But Nicastro said falling short in those two areas does not necessarily predict a lack of success in
getting a No Child Left Behind waiver.
“Those were competitive grants,” she said, meaning there was a specific pot of money that states were vying to
win. “These are not competitive.
“Race to the Top was more about reforms, and Missouri has not had a bold reform agenda. Some would say
that’s a problem, and some would probably be happy about that, but we haven’t. As far as early childhood goes,
those grants went to states that have a well-established system of early childhood in place, and unfortunately we
are not one of those.”
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Rams seek to remove part of the dome's roof under
team's proposal to revamp facility
By Jo Mannies, St. Louis Beacon

The St. Louis Rams wants to blow the lid off the Edward Jones Dome – literally – as part of the football team’s
conditions for remaining in St. Louis and at the dome.

The Rams’ conceptual design, made public today by the Missouri attorney general’s office, calls for cutting out a
section of the dome’s roof to create “access to natural light” during games and outside ventilation.

But that proposal also would blow the lid off city officials' budget for improvements. Jeff Rainford, chief of staff
to St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay, said that a rough cost estimate of the Rams' proposal is "north of $700 million."

The Rams' proposal also would put the Edward Jones Dome out of commission for two to three years, Rainford
said, resulting in estimated economic losses of $500 million to local businesses.

As a result, Slay plans to recommend that the region's Convention and Visitors Commission reject the Rams'
proposal.

Besides the roof, the Rams also propose renovating and reconfiguring much of the Dome’s current seating,
although the overall maximum seating of 66,000 would remain the same.

The Rams envision that the dome's first 14 rows of seats, spanning off the floor, be rebuilt to include “a powered
telescopic seating system, comparable in quality to the telescopic seating system at Lucas Oil Stadium in
Indianapolis, to allow for flexible event seating.”

The Rams also want the facility to be able to be "economically expanded" to handle another 6,000 spectators for
a Super Bowl.

The Rams proposal doesn't include any cost estimates for the substantial renovations it is proposing.

The Rams’ proposal has been under wraps -- marked "confidential" -- ever since it was submitted April 30 to the
St. Louis Convention and Visitors Commission, as part of the negotiations over what improvements would put the
dome back in the top tier of the nation’s professional football stadiums.

The Rams' 30-year lease has a 2015 deadline for such improvements. If the “top tier” mandate isn't met, the
team could conceivably get out of the lease and move elsewhere.

Rainford said that any such talk is premature. Both sides will likely engage in negotiations for some time and "we
figured out a long time agao that this would end up in arbitration,'' he said.
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The Rams were cool to the commission's original proposal and said as much in its counter-plan, signed by Rams
vice president Kevin Demoff.

According to press accounts, the CVC's proposal was much more modest, including a giant scoreboard over
midfield and a new 20,000 square-foot lobby with a beer garden. The commission's estimated pricetag was $124
million, and officials wanted the Rams to cover more than half of the cost.

"The Rams agree with the CVC's statements...that the facilities and the components presently do not meet First
Tier standards,'' Demoff wrote. "But as evidenced by the Rams' recent rejection of the CVC 2012 plans, the Rams
disagree that the implementation of the CVC 2012 plans would rsuilt in the improvement of the facilities and
each of the specified components to First Tier standards."

Rainford said that all sides, including the public, need to be mindful of the "very heavy price'' that civic leaders
and football fans paid in the early 1990s to build the new domed stadium and convention center, and to woo the
Rams from Los Angeles.

Attorney General Chris Koster announced a week ago that he believed the Rams' document should be made
public under the state’s open-records laws. The state had a copy because it helped finance the dome's original
construction.

In a statement, Koster said, “The proposal for upgrades to the Edward Jones Dome is an open record under
Missouri’s Sunshine Law,” Koster said. “While the Sunshine Law includes some necessary exceptions, the law is
rooted in the position that public business should be conducted in public, particularly when taxpayer dollars are
involved.”
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EDITORIALS … & Letters to the Editor
Editorial: Pay-to-play allegations will persist until
Missouri has donation limits
By St. Louis Post Dispatch


St. Louis-based Centene Corp. didn't appreciate the suggestion made on this page a month ago that its bid for a
Missouri Medicaid services contract might have been aided by political contributions to Gov. Jay Nixon.

"It's insulting to us to be included in the pay-to-play insinuation," Jesse Hunter, Centene's executive vice
president of operations, told the editorial board in a meeting. "We won because we're good at what we do."

On Friday, a judge dismissed a lawsuit brought by a competitor, Molina Health Care, which had alleged bidding
improprieties. The judge found none, and even if he had, he indicated that the contract had to go forward
because Medicaid patients otherwise would be left in limbo.

There's no doubt that the judge's strongly worded ruling backs Centene's position that it played by the rules. The
problem is the rules.

The lawsuit's failure does not erase the reality that, in the Missouri Capitol, special interests often use campaign
dollars to get their way. As long as Missouri places no cap on campaign donations, and as long as big donors —
be they individuals, unions or corporations — invest hundreds of thousands of dollars, or even millions of dollars,
pushing legislation or seeking state business, money makes a difference in which bills get heard and whose
interests are served.

In this case, because Mr. Nixon, a Democrat, received campaign cash from a company that received a $2 billion
contract, his opponents connected the dots. The fact that a previous Centene-related bid had only recently gone
wrong compounded the suspicion.

Consider the Legislature's recent passage of Senate Joint Resolution 51. That's the proposal that, if approved by
voters, give more power to the governor in choosing appellate judges in Missouri. It's a bill that brings politics
into play in the judiciary, and it's only making it to the ballot because of massive political donations from
Republican donor David Humphreys, a roofing-products magnate from Joplin.

Mr. Humphreys wrote six-figure checks to key lawmakers over the past few years as he pushed his scheme to let
politicians pick judges.

As long as Missouri refuses to enact meaningful campaign finance reform, pay-to-play allegations will haunt
virtually every major decision made in state government, regardless of which party is involved.
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Companies like Centene know this. Mr. Hunter told us that when his company enters a new market, bidding on
business in a state in which it doesn't have an existing footprint, the company specifically avoids making
campaign contributions in order to avoid allegations of impropriety.

So even though it was bothered by our suggestion that its contributions might have swayed Missouri regulators,
the company understands where the perception comes from.

When billions of dollars are at stake, perception matters.

In the Medicaid business, allegations of bidding impropriety are a dime a dozen. Centene lost in Ohio and, along
with Molina, it protested the bidding process. In Louisiana, Centene won, and loser Aetna protested. This is how
the game is played. Most of the protesting companies lose.

Only in Missouri, where six-figure campaign checks now are the norm, does the phrase "pay-to-play" usually
come attached to the bidding process.

This is not a Centene problem, or a Molina problem, or a Democratic or Republican problem. It's a Missouri
problem. Lawmakers should fix it.
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The Star’s editorial | Name change could be game
change
By Kansas City Star

As names go, the University of Missouri-Kansas City doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue. It’s clunky, and the
“Kansas City” part comes across as an afterthought.

The University of Kansas City, on the other hand, has a nice, clean ring. It conveys a sense of place.

And a sense of responsibility.

UMKC Chancellor Leo Morton is floating the idea of asking the University of Missouri system’s Board of Curators
to allow his university to return to its original name, the University of Kansas City, while remaining part of the UM
four-campus system.

Mayor Sly James likes the idea.

We say, go for it.

Despite all protests to the contrary, sticking with the current name will forever suggest that Kansas City’s public
university is a branch campus of Mizzou in Columbia.

It is not. UMKC is a self-contained university with schools of medicine, dentistry and pharmacy, a law school, a
conservatory of music and dance and an up-and-coming school of business that is different from anything
offered in Columbia.

But it is also a school that owes its survival to its inclusion in the University of Missouri system. As a private
institution, the University of Kansas City was chronically short of funds from its creation in 1933 until its rebirth
as a public university in 1963. Coming under the University of Missouri system’s umbrella meant access to state
funding and a much larger pool of prospective students.

UMKC still benefits from being part of the state’s university system, but the rewards have diminished. Missouri
politicians have chosen to ignore obvious sources of revenue and to starve most of the state’s important
functions, especially higher education. Investing in the quality of colleges and universities has not been a priority
for more than a decade.

Despite that handicap, UMKC has made strides in recent years. It has found strong and stable leadership,
boosted its credentials as a residential campus and achieved recognition for achievements in its business school,
conservatory and medical programs.

It also has established its own fundraising entity, the UMKC Foundation.

With a solid structure in place, the university has the potential to raise more private funds and rely less on
measly state appropriations. A name change could help with that.
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Renaming the school the University of Kansas City would put Kansas Citians on the hook for supporting the
school financially and otherwise. A first-class city can ill afford to have a second-rate university sharing its name.

Kansas City is and should remain a part of the University of Missouri system. But it is ready for a stronger identity
as the University of Kansas City.
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Speaker Tilley embarrasses Rush Limbaugh
By Yael T. Abouhalkah, Kansas City Star

It’s tough to defend Missouri House Speaker Steve Tilley’s embarrassing treatment of radio host Rush Limbaugh
today at the state Capitol.

Tilley refused to let the general public see Limbaugh be inducted into the Hall of Famous Missourians.

That was a slap in the face to Limbaugh, who has made millions of dollars by challenging liberals and other critics
on his radio show. (Or, as one reader aptly noted, “insulting” his opponents.)

Instead of being allowed to stand up in front of a crowd made up of his friends and enemies - essentially, to stick
it to his opponents - Limbaugh simply stood in front of a GOP-dominated crowd Monday, a crowd that basically
got a special invitation to show up at the event only minutes before it was to be held.

Frankly, I’m not opposed to Limbaugh’s honor. But the way in which it was done shows that Tilley and other
Limbaugh lovers realized they had done something wrong.

St. Louis Post-Dispatch Jefferson City correspondent Virginia Young tweeted this after the ceremony: “asked why
public was excluded @teamtilley said: “With the controversy surrounding it, I thought it was acceptable to do it
invitation-only.”

In other words, Tilley didn’t think Limbaugh could handle the criticism that might have been directed his way.

Limbaugh would beg to disagree, I’m sure, but Tilley apparently didn’t want to give him that chance.
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Letters to the editor, May 15
Don't play games with health: Learn the dangers of concussions

It sometimes takes tremendous tragedy to change ideas embedded in our culture. A prime example of this is the
"warrior mentality" instilled in football players from when they first strap on pee-wee league shoulder pads. This
culture now is under the microscope, with increasing efforts to study the long-term effects of sports concussions
and recent high-profile suicides of former players.

With the strongest spotlight focused on professional sports, it is easy to forget that young athletes run many of
the same risks on-field as the pros. Fortunately, Illinois recently took much-needed steps to provide young
athletes with new concussion protections.

State law now requires that schools and park districts operating athletic programs must educate coaches,
athletes and parents on:

• The nature and risk of concussions.

• Criteria for removal from and return to play.

• The risks of not reporting head injuries.

These are important steps for protecting our young athletes on the field of play, and we hope the next
generation of aspiring professionals will be raised in a culture in which the seriousness and danger of concussions
are discussed openly and addressed.

If you are involved in student sports programs in your community, be sure to understand and follow the
requirements for protecting young athletes from concussions. Our youth should be playing games with each
other, not with their health.

Dr. William N. Werner • Chicago

President, Illinois State Medical Society

Don't waste our money while pleading poverty

Kevin Keith, the director of the Missouri Department of Transportation, has made converting Interstate 70 into a
toll road a top priority. Three plans, ranging in cost from $2 billion to $4 billion, are being considered. He paints a
bleak picture of what I-70 will look like in the near future and claims that MoDOT lacks the funds to do anything
about it. Meanwhile, under the cloak of darkness on the western side of the state, MoDOT is wasting millions of
our taxpayer dollars.

In August 2010, MoDOT announced that it would upgrade U.S. Highway 71 between Joplin and Kansas City to
interstate standards. Never mind that it doesn't connect to any other state, as an interstate highway should.
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Never mind that U.S. 71 handles traffic perfectly well without any upgrades. Never mind that the upgrades
include building interchanges with overpasses anywhere there are at-grade intersections (costing millions of
dollars each). Never mind that Arkansas can't afford to upgrade its portion.

In February, MoDOT's Southwest District announced a project to install 1,220 new Interstate 49 signs. These
signs would be covered or turned from view until MoDOT receives approval from the Federal Highway
Administration. The prime contractor is a company from Indianapolis, Ind., and its low bid was $3.5 million.

You don't fix a leaky bucket by pouring in more water. Missouri doesn't need eight lanes on I-70 divided by a
concrete median and new interchanges. We sure don't need a toll road. What we do need is a department of
transportation that doesn't waste our money.

Fred Reiss • Urbana, Mo.

Cleaning up Alton

Recently the news reported that I banned burlesque in Alton. As mayor, I cannot "ban" anything in Alton. My job
is to enforce the ordinances and laws on the books. The ordinances of the City Council can make certain activities
prohibited. For nearly 30 years, Alton has banned "lewd entertainment" in establishments serving liquor. For
many years, those ordinances were enforced sporadically. When I became mayor, I made it clear to the police
chief that those ordinances would be enforced. Liquor licensees were informed that lewd entertainment or
nudity in bars would not be tolerated.

A few weeks ago, videos were forwarded to me of "burlesque" shows in Alton tavern. In the presence of the
police chief and city attorney, I told a tavern owner who had been planning a burlesque show that stripping is a
violation of our city ordinances. Such exhibitions in taverns will not be tolerated by this administration. I made it
clear that shows featuring live music, dancing, comedy and the like present no problem, but strippers and nudity
would subject a licensee to prosecution. The tavern owner understood and canceled the scheduled burlesque
show.

Women or men stripping to the point of violating our prohibitions against lewd entertainment constitutes a
violation of long-established ordinances in Alton. Whenever we receive a tip that such displays may occur, the
city will investigate. I pledged to clean up Alton, and that is what I will do.

Mayor Tom Hoechst • Alton

Giving when in need

The planned St. Louis Animal Shelter lacks funding of $250,000. Stray Rescue, a private dog rescue group,
celebrated the opening of its renovated lobby thanks to the city officials donating $250,000 from residents'
donation fund for a city-operated animal shelter. How ironic!

The saga of the city abrogating its responsibility to operate an effective animal shelter continues. If the city wants
to outsource specific work to Stray Rescue, as it has with my veterinary clinic and others, that is appropriate and
legal. But to solicit donations from residents for a city animal shelter and disregard those intentions by giving the
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money to one private dog rescue is wrong, if not illegal. To give that money at the exclusion of other animal
rescues and shelters that also rescue city animals also is wrong.

The result is that city residents and taxpayers must pay a second time in the form of taxes to open the badly
needed animal shelter. If the $250,000 had not been given away, the new city animal shelter could be open;
instead, it is in limbo.

Nestle/Purina gifted Stray Rescue with $500,000. Petsmart and Petco charities have given Stray Rescue hundreds
of thousands of dollars. Might city officials solicit the same for the city animal shelter? This is a failure and
travesty of fiduciary responsibility by city officials.

Philip Wagenknecht • St. Louis

St. Louis Veterinary Center

Girls on the Run may be the best thing to hit St. Louis

On May 12, I volunteered for the Girls on the Run five-kilometer race in downtown St Louis. This run organization
has to be one of the best things to hit St. Louis in the last few years.

The race program is open to girls in third through eighth grades. The girls learn how to run a 5-K race, learn about
eating properly and perform a community service project. The smiles and the expressions on their faces as they
cross the finish line is proof that this program is working, and working very well. The self-esteem aspect alone is
very positive.

More than 2,800 girls ran the race in St. Louis, and more than 3,400 others (primarily their coaches and families)
joined them. The family aspect of this race gathering and celebration is very positive.

Congratulations to the girls, the coaches, their families, the more than 120 elementary schools that participated
and the Girls on the Run organization for putting together these fine programs for our area.

Dennis G. DeSantis • Chesterfield

				
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