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Morning headlines: Thursday, February 9, 2012

Flickr | orangeacid

Parkway School District to cut spending

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Parkway School Board has approved cutting spending by about $7.5 million to $9.6 million during the next two school years. The school board approved the cuts Wednesday night.

Reductions include eliminating 20 positions from administration and support staff, mostly through attrition.

The Post-Dispatch reports the elimination of math and reading intervention specialists has generated the most concern. The district added math specialists after voters approved a 37-cent operating tax increase in 2006.

The district will also reduce overtime, eliminate part-time employees for lunch and recess monitors and send high school report cards electronically to save money on postage and printing costs.

St. Louis Science Center cuts staff

The St. Louis Science Center is laying off 24 employees as the popular attraction seeks to cut about $2 million from its $21 million budget. The staff cuts affect about 9 percent of the workforce and involve mostly full-time employees.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reportsthat the layoffs include at least one top official, Greg Maryniak, senior director for energy and aerospace programs. He was among five executives demoted from vice president positions in October after a Post-Dispatch series on executive pay and bonuses at the St. Louis Science Center, which is part of the city's Zoo-Museum District.

Ill. House committee passes proposal allowing people to record police

Under current law, it's legal to make a video of police. But if the recording captures sound, it's a felony that can land someone in jail for years.

Legislators approved the measure Wednesday despite objections from law enforcement.

Dan Nelson, with the Illinois State Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police, says police could have a harder time investigating crimes, especially in neighborhoods where people are reluctant to talk to police.

"We think it's going to hinder law enforcement," said Nelson. "Possibly put people in harm's way when it comes to being witnesses. Or possibly, in the worst case scenario, re-victimizing the victims."

Backers of the legislation are trying to get it passed before the G-8 and NATO summits in Chicago this May. The events are expected to draw thousands of protesters.

Video recordings of last year's Occupy protests in places like New York and California drew attention to police misconduct.