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Sherman A1

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Gender: Male
Current location: U.S.
Member since: Sat May 13, 2006, 07:37 AM
Number of posts: 34,092

Journal Archives

'If you build it, they will come': Missouri habitat helps monarch butterflies

Each year, millions of monarch butterflies flood the skies.

Embarking on a journey that encompasses up to three generations, they travel 3,000 miles from Mexico to Canada and back, one of the longest migrations on the planet.

Monarch butterflies are iconic insects in North America, but they are in trouble.

In the past 10 years alone, almost one-third of the entire population has been lost. Monarch butterflies are dying, but an encouraging remedy is in the works — planting and restoring habitat.


FACT CHECK: Parson right about people with degrees in Missouri

Gov. Mike Parson used his first State of the State address to announce his goals for Missouri, one of the primary ones being job force development. He’s allocated $22 million toward a new scholarship program called Fast Track that can be used by Missourians at community colleges, technical schools and universities.

The program is for ages 25 and older and is intended to help fill jobs in “high-demand” industries, though Parson didn’t clarify what these jobs are.

"And I want to be clear too: We are always going to need architects, doctors, we’re going to need professionals with four-year degrees. But 65 to 70 percent of the people in Missouri don’t have degrees," Parson said in an interview on KCUR on Jan. 24.

We wondered if he is right that about two-thirds of Missourians don’t have a college degree.


Real ID-compliant licenses now available in Missouri

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — The Missouri Department of Revenue is now offering licenses and identifications that comply with stricter federal identification requirements under the Real ID Act.

Missourians starting on Monday can apply for an updated driver's or non-driver license.

Real ID-compliant identification will be required to board planes and enter certain federal buildings in October 2020. Passports and some other federally issued identification also will qualify.

Until then, current state-issued licenses will work.


Man Gets Probation In University City Jewish Cemetery Vandalization

A man who confessed to damaging more than 100 headstones at a Jewish cemetery has been sentenced to three years’ probation.

Alzado M. Harris, 35, of St. Louis County, admitted to knocking down more than 100 gravestones at Chesed Shel Emeth Cemetery in University City, one of the oldest Jewish cemeteries in the state, in February 2017.

Harris faces a suspended sentence of five years in prison if he doesn’t complete his three-year probation. Harris, who was sentenced Thursday, is also required to take an anger-management class, pay restitution of $5,000 and maintain a full-time job. Police matched DNA from Harris with a coat found at the cemetery.

Prosecutors charged Harris with a felony count of institutional vandalism. The case was not prosecuted as a hate crime. Authorities have said Harris was “drunk and mad” at a friend who dropped him off near the cemetery when he initiated the attack.


10 Failed Levees In Midwest Flood Zone Were Not Inspected By Federal Government

The 11 levees that failed last week during catastrophic flooding along the Missouri River were maintained by local associations or private owners, with just one inspected by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers this year, KCUR and APM Reports has found.

As losses mount in Nebraska, Kansas, Iowa and Missouri, the flooding has refocused criticism on the Corps’ long-term management of the river. The Corps provides oversight for smaller levees, called "non-federal," run mostly by agricultural and other landowner groups.

Seven of the 11 levees were found to be “minimally acceptable” in the early 2010s and there are no records showing inspections for three others, according to an analysis of information from the National Levee Database, which is operated by the Corps and the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

The first levee breaches, which flooded the corner where Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas meet, were on March 15. The muddy Missouri River now covers the entire area, forcing towns to evacuate, closing Interstate 29 from Nebraska nearly to St. Joseph, Missouri, and shutting down spring planting for the area's farmers.


UFCW president responds to Amazon's newly announced grocery chain: "Our leaders need to stop fawning

A report today from the Wall Street Journal claims Amazon plans to open a new grocery US grocery chain that would be separate from Whole Foods, which was purchased by Amazon in 2017 for roughly $13.5 billion. According to the WSJ article:

Amazon.com is planning to open dozens of grocery stores in several major U.S. cities, according to people familiar with the matter, as the retail giant looks to broaden its reach in the food business. First grocery store in Los Angeles as early as the end of 2019. Amazon has already signed leases for at least 2 other grocery locations with openings planned for early next year, this person said.

The new stores would be distinct from the company’s upscale Whole Foods Market brand, though it is unclear whether the new grocery chain would carry the Amazon name.

Amazon is also exploring an acquisition strategy to widen the new supermarket brand by purchasing regional grocery chains with about a dozen stores under operation, one person said.


Should we be worried about dynamic pricing in retail?

Ever go to tell a family member or a friend about a great deal you found online, but when they go to buy it too, it’s no longer there? Or maybe it costs way more than you paid for the same thing?

While you got a great deal, what you’re experiencing is the phenomenon known as “dynamic pricing” or raising and lowering prices many times a day, a week or a month to drive sales but still ensure a consistent profit. This is often paired with what is called “personalized pricing” or “cohort pricing” where each shopper gets their own price for a product – what’s my price isn’t yours and vice versa. These are marketed to consumers as a benefit – deeper discounts just for you — but in the end, may actually end up benefiting the retailer at your expense.

One paper from MIT’s Sloan School says that “Implementing DP can improve revenues and profits by between 8% and 25%.”

So if everyone is saving, how are retailers making money? In the case of things like groceries, people tend to buy the same items over and over again. Since you’re not the only shopper, companies like Amazon sometimes charge one shopper triple what another one pays for the same item.


Illinois Teachers Minimum Pay Bill Introduced in State House

Stuart, Hoffman bring teacher salary bill to House

Springfield IL – The Illinois Senate plan to increase the minimum salary for public school teachers has been picked up in the House, led by two Metro-East legislators.

Rep. Katie Stuart (D-Edwardsville) filed House Bill 2078 last month, with Rep. Jay Hoffman (D-Swansea) signing on as chief co-sponsor. The bill is the same as Senate Bill 10, filed in January by Sen. Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), with co-sponsors including Rachelle Aud Crowe (D-Wood River) and Dale Fowler (R-Harrisburg).

The bill would increase the current $10,000 minimum annual salary to $40,000 in four annual steps by the 2023-24 school year. The intermediate steps would be $32,076 for 2020-21, $34,576 for 2021-22 and $37,076 for 2022-23. Future increases would be pegged to the Consumer Price Index.

Hoffman said an increase in the minimum salary is long overdue and would be well-deserved.


St. Louis County Councilman Says Federal Subpoena Issued Looking Into Stenger's Administration

A St. Louis County councilman said Sunday that a federal subpoena was issued last week seeking information about St. Louis County Executive Steve Stenger’s administration.

One particular focus was how Stenger’s administration issued contracts, which has been a source of contention for months between the Democratic chief executive and the council.

Councilman Sam Page, D-Creve Coeur, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that a federal grand jury issued a subpoena to St. Louis County. Page read the subpoena during a meeting with St. Louis County Counselor Peter Krane last week. Among other things, the subpoena sought Stenger’s call history, texts and emails with employees regarding contracts.

The subpoena also requested information from seven members of Stenger’s staff and information on county contracts — including sale of Wellston industrial parks to people who contributed money to Stenger’s campaign.


Scott Air Force Base Project Could Be Cut To Pay For Border Wall Construction

Among the military construction projects that could be cut, or at least delayed, in order to pay for a wall on the southern border of the United States is a $41 million communications facility expansion at Scott Air Force Base.

Plans to build a new $1.75-billion National Geospatial-Intellence Agency campus in north St. Louis, a $5 million automated record fire range for the Illinois Army National Guard in Marseilles and a new $9 million fire rescue facility in Peoria are other construction projects that could be affected in order to build a border wall.

Those projects were among the $12.9 billion worth of military construction projects that could be sacrificed in order to pay for a border wall, according to a list released by the Department of Defense.

The $41 million project at Scott would include consolidating several air scheduling and operations centers and resources into one location on the base, said Karen Petitt, chief of public affairs for the 375th Air Mobility Wing, based at Scott.

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