Morning headlines: Wednesday, May 4, 2011
All-night Filibuster Ends in Mo. Senate
An all-night filibuster in the Missouri Senate is over. Tuesday afternoon, four Republicans began blocking a capital improvements bill because their attempt to remove $41 million in federal stimulus funds was voted down. The filibuster ended just before 6 a.m. this morning, after an agreement was reached to send more than $14 million back to Washington. That proposal was offered by fellow Republican Brad Lager from Andrew County.
"In the amendment that I offered that passed, as I said, no one loves but everyone can live with," said Lager. "Essentially the majority of that is unobligated weatherization money, so it's my understanding that it's money that, to date, has not been obligated to anyone."
GOP Senator Lim Lembke of St. Louis County led the effort to block the bill. He says they ended the filibuster when it became apparent that most Senate Republicans wanted to spend federal stimulus money on projects in their home districts.
The Senate passed the bill, which now goes to the Missouri House. Both chambers have to agree on a final version before session ends next week.
St. Louis City to Close Three Tent Villages on Riverfront
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, city leaders plan to close homeless encampments on the Mississippi riverfront following the stabbing and killing of a camp resident on Monday night.
Fifty-year-old Robert Allen Boettcher has been charged with first-degree murder and armed criminal action. Prosecutors allege Boettcher got into a fight Monday night with 36- year-old Adrian Henderson and stabbed him multiple times with a knife. St. Louis officials say it’s the most recent incident at the tent villages located along the flood wall at North First and Mullanphy streets north of downtown.
Officials say police have been called to the camps 90 times in the past year. The Post-Dispatch reports the city’s intent is to find permanent housing for every camp resident and have the camps closed by this summer.
Anheuser-Busch InBev Net Profits Up in First Quarter
The world's largest brewer Anheuser-Busch InBevsays its first-quarter net profit more than doubled as revenue increased and the balance sheet was not weighed down by financing costs that impacted last year's results.
Anheuser-Busch InBev said this morning that net profit reached $964 million in the three months ending March 31, up from $475 million a year earlier. Revenue grew 8.1 percent to $9 billion.
The Leuven, Belgium-based maker of beer, including Budweiser and Stella Artois, says beer volumes were mostly flat, even though it sold more beer in all regions except North America, where unemployment is still rattling demand. Overall volumes were down 0.4 percent as non-beer sales dropped.
AB InBev was created in 2008 after InBev bought U.S. beer maker Anheuser-Busch.
Coleman Prosecution Rests, Defense Could Rest Today
The prosecution has rested its case at the trial of Christopher Coleman, the southwestern Illinois man accused of killing his wife and two sons. Jurors hearing the case against Coleman heard from their last prosecution witness Tuesday.
Circuit Judge Milton Wharton says the jury could hear closing arguments as early as today if the defense wraps up its case soon enough.
So far, jurors have heard testimony from a variety of witnesses, including a linguist, a forensic pathologist, a televangelist, a handwriting expert and a couple of chemists.
Prosecutors contend Coleman strangled his 31-year-old wife, Sheri Coleman, and their 11- and 9-year-old sons at their home in Columbia in May 2009. The defense has maintained that someone else killed Coleman's family.