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Morning Headlines: Thursday, September 1, 2011

Artist rendering of Isle of Capri Casino in Cape Girardeau, set to open in Late 2012.
(via Isle of Capri Casino)
Artist rendering of Isle of Capri Casino in Cape Girardeau, set to open in Late 2012.

Isle of Capri begins to take shape

Convoys of trucks began arriving Tuesday night at the construction site for the Isle of Capri casino in Cape Girardeau with concrete for the foundation. The Southeast Missourian reportsthat crews worked for nearly 12 hours, pouring more than 2,100 cubic yards of concrete.

The $125 million Isle of Capri is scheduled to open in late 2012. Features are expected to include three restaurants, a terrace overlooking the river and a 750-seat event center.

Heat breaks record

The hot weather is proving to be a record-breaker in St. Louis. The National Weather Service says the temperature hit 103 degrees just after 3 p.m. yesterday at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. That breaks the record for Aug. 31 of 100 degrees, set in 1953.  

Forecasters say the heat will be staying around for a while. The outlook for St. Louis calls for a high today of 103, with heat index values as high as 107. Friday is expected to bring a high near 98, with heat index values again topping 100 degrees.

A heat advisory is in effect for much of the St. Louis Public Radio listening area until 7 p.m. on Sat.

Ameren coal ash pond spilling toxic coal waste for 20 decades

A coal ash pond next to an Ameren Corp. power plant in Labadie  has been spilling up to 35 gallons of toxic coal waste for two decades, raising concerns in the eastern Missouri town. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that state records show the pond has been leaking since 1992. There is no evidence the leak has made its way into groundwater or affected drinking water, but critics say neither the state nor the St. Louis-based utility has ever tested the area for contamination.

Renee Bungart of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources says the agency has not monitored the site because the law doesn't require it. Ameren plans repairs to the pond but does not believe there is an environmental threat.