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Morning headlines: Wednesday, April 11, 2012

(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)
(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)
(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

Tests near steam pipe rupture show no asbestos

The St. Louis city health department says tests from buildings around the site of a ruptured steam pipe have come back negative for asbestos.

The 20-inch pipe ruptured last Thursday morning, sending a plume of steam into the downtown air, along with possible asbestos.

City health director Pam Walker told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch the swabs were taken from the north wall and balconies of the Lucas Lofts building and from the ground along Lucas Avenue. She says crews are waiting to test the south wall of the Globe building. If those come back clean, the city will be able to re-open the closed streets around the pipe, which is located under North 11th St. just south of Convention Plaza.

Paul wins GOP caucus

Texas Congressman Ron Paul drew the support last night of Republican voters in St. Charles County, at a caucus that convened just hours after Rick Santorum suspended his presidential campaign.

The caucus was a do-over of one that was canceled weeks ago after descending into chaos amid disputes over the rules and claims of favoritism. State GOP officials came in to help run last night’s proceedings, which went more smoothly.

Those slates of Paul supporters will attend Congressional district and state conventions, which will select the actual delegates to the Republican National Convention in Tampa.

Local control supporters turn in signatures

Supporters of an initiative that could grant St. Louis greater control of its police force say they have more than enough signatures to get their measure on the November ballot.

The Safer Missouri Citizens Coalition says it submitted more than 164,000 valid signatures from registered voters to the Secretary of State’s office on Tuesday. They need about 98,000 signatures to qualify.

If the measure is approved, the city of St. Louis would take over the administration of its police department in July 2013 for the first time since the Civil war. The department is currently overseen by a five-member board that consists of the mayor and four gubernatorial appointees.

Rachel is the justice correspondent at St. Louis Public Radio.

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