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Morning headlines: Friday, January 27, 2012

Tobacco Free St. Louis wants no businesses to be exempt from St. Louis County smoking ban
(file photo)
Tobacco Free St. Louis wants no businesses to be exempt from St. Louis County smoking ban

Anti-smoking advocates want more smoking bans

Groups against smoking are urging the St. Louis County Council to make changes to the smoking ban that went into effect last year.

Currently, businesses whose food sales result in 25 percent of gross sales including food, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks are eligible for an exemption from the smoking ban. There are 145 businesses that currently allow smoking in the county.

Dr. Stuart Slavin is on the board of Tobacco Free St. Louis. He says removing these exemptions is important for the public's health and would create a level playing field for businesses.

Businesses with exemptions argue that banning smoking would hurt them financially and infringe upon smokers' rights.

Lambert Airport repairs are on-time for completion

Lambert St. Louis International Airport is on-track to re-open the C Concourse in April.

That would be about a year after the Good Friday tornado hit, ripping off parts of the airport roof and blowing out windows.

Airport director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge said the concourse was already scheduled for renovations, but the tornado's damage meant a lot more work.

The concourse will have new lighting and flooring similar to the completed A concourse. It will also have new restaurants.

St. Louis to host welcome parade for post-9/11 veterans 

St. Louis is the first major U.S. city that will be hosting a parade for post-9/11 veterans.

Major Rick Radford of the Army National Guard said the parade is an important step for helping the country move on.

"I came home on the first tour and I didn't get anything like this," Radford said. "Then I came home on the second tour and didn't get anything like this. Look at how many other soldiers have gone on their fourth and fifth and sixth tours. There're so many soldiers who've had multiple deployments. And now to close this out - people are going to see this all over America."

The parade is set for Saturday. It will go from Kiener Plaza to Union Station and will include at least 75 floats, the Anheuser-Busch Clydesdales and families of fallen soldiers.



Maria is the newscast, business and education editor for St. Louis Public Radio.