Ameren, US Embassy, Wage Cuts
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) - Ameren is seeking more money from its electric customers, but the attorney general's office thinks it should get less. Both filed requests for the Missouri Public Service Commission to reconsider a $43 million rate increase for Ameren's electricity customers. The increase would amount to about $2.33 a month for a typical residential customer. Ameren says the PSC decision failed to provide enough return on its equity and failed to adequately account for depreciation of its power plants. The attorney general's office says the PSC failed to adequately account for the December 2005 collapse of Ameren's Taum Sauk reservoir.
WASHINGTON (AP) - A Kansas City architectural firm breached security for the new US Embassy in Baghdad by posting design plans online. The company, Berger Devine Yaeger, was contracted to design the massive facility in the Iraqi capital. Tight security has surrounded the sensitive project. The company posted computer-generated projections of the compound on its Web site. It removed the images after the State Department contacted it. A State Department spokesman says the agency works hard to ensure the safety of employees overseas, and making this kind of information public hurts that effort. A company spokesman says the plans were preliminary and would not help potential US enemies.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - The Coast Guard has re-opened a stretch of the Mississippi River that was closed after a barge sank. The Coast Guard says the river is open on a limited basis, during daylight hours. The barge was one of 15 that broke loose from a tow boat and hit the McKinley Bridge in downtown St. Louis. The barge was loaded with corn. Salvage operations are expected to begin today. It marks the third time in the past few weeks that a sunken barge has forced closure of the river.
BALLWIN (AP) - A St. Louis County fire district is cutting wages for firefighters and paramedics. The cuts by the Monarch Fire Protection District are part of efforts to meet Missouri's minimum-wage law. Chairman Rick Gans says the board voted to reduce employee wages by close to 20 percent. The new rules require departments to pay overtime whenever firefighters or paramedics work more than 40 hours a week. Previously, the district had to pay overtime only when its employees worked more than 212 hours within a 28-day period. Gans says the district continues to hope for legal or legislative relief.