ST. LOUIS NEWS TODAY -
Traffic at Lambert Airport Grows by 1.2 million Passengers in 2016
Passenger traffic at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport (STL) surged 10 percent in 2016, topping out at nearly 14 million total passengers. Archived © SLFP.com photo
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), January 29, 2017 - Passenger traffic at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport (STL) surged 10 percent in 2016, topping out at nearly 14 million total passengers. It's Lambert's best performancein eight years, when STL recorded 14.4 million passengers in 2008.
Lambert's year-end statistics show 13,959,126 passengers traveled through St. Louis in 2016, besting the 2015 total by 1,207,263 passengers. Enplanements (departing traffic) topped out at 6,988,151 passengers, a 9.6 percent increase over 2015 (6,376,034). December 2016 marked the 16th consecutive month of total passenger growth with an 11 percent increase to 1,148,735 million passengers.
"During the past 16 months, our airlines have added new destinations, increased frequency of flights and have added more seats - switched to larger aircraft - for our highest in-demand markets," said Lambert's Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge. "This growth can be attributed in part to a stronger St. Louis business climate and growth in conventions and meetings. Airlines are also seeing St. Louis as a stronger connecting market because of the airport's excellent year-round operational performance."
St. Louis was in the top 10 of airports in growing seat capacity at 9.1 percent for 2016. Lambert airlines offered 733,000 more seats in 2016 versus 2015. Growth in 2016 also extended to Air Cargo. STL recorded a 12 percent increase this past year handling 70.5 million tons of cargo.
Executive Travel Ban Impacts Refugees Coming to St. Louis
by Betty Moore, SLFP.com
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), January 29, 2017 - The security clearance and vetting process for refugees fleeing war-torn countries has come to a grinding halt with an Executive Order issued by President Trump on Saturday banning travelers and refugees from seven Muslim nations.
As thousands of people demonstrated at airports across the country on Sunday, including Lambert-St. Louis International Airport, against the ban, its impact is already being felt in St. Louis.
According to Anna Crosslin, President and CEO International Institute of St. Louis, "There are many refugees who have gone through the 13 steps required to obtain clearance," she said in a phone interview on Sunday.
"The vetting for refugees is a long process that can last many months and once they have clearance, that clearance only lasts 120 days. So for those refugeess fleeing terrorism or for those coming in for transitional work and are in the various stages of that vetting, they will have to start the process over, once the ban comes off."
"What people don't understand is that many refugees have urgent medical needs, such as heart conditions or breast cancer and are coming in for treatment," Crosslin stated. "Last year alone, 30 percent of the people we helped had medical conditions. This Executive Order could well be a death sentence for those with medical conditions."
According to information on the web site for the International Institute of St. Louis, sponsoring agencies meet refugees at the airport, take them to housing that has been obtained for them, provide orientation, and help them begin the process of building a new life in America. Depending on the needs of the refugee family, services can include registration for English classes for adults and public school for children, job program registration, on-going orientation and healthcare access.
South St. Louis is now home to the largest population of Bosnians, mostly Muslims, located outside their country. Crosslin noted that there are nearly Bosnians, including American born children, living in an area now known as "Little Bosnia", around Bevo Mill.
The Institute, located at 3401 Arsenal St. Louis in the former St. Elizabeth School, annually serves more than 8,000 immigrants from 80 countries. The Institute is also the lead sponsor of the annual Festival of Nations, one of St. Louis' most popular multi-cultural celebrations, held in Tower Grove Park
Last year, the Institute sponsored 1100 refugees, including 325 families. "Our sponsorship has been haulted indefinitely for refugees coming from places like Syria," stated Crosslin. "We just don't know what is going to happen now."
Talc-Related Cancer Trials to Begin Feb. 6 in St. Louis' 22nd Circuit Court
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), January 29, 2017 - The Missouri Supreme Court has denied requests by Johnson & Johnson and its supplier of baby powder talc to delay upcoming trials over allegations that the company's talc-based products led to the development of ovarian cancer in some women. That means the next trial will go forward on Feb. 6 in St. Louis.
Attorneys for J&J and Imerys Talc America had asked the state Supreme Court to deny the jurisdiction of the 22nd Circuit Court in St. Louis to hear the cases, since most of the plaintiffs with pending claims are not Missouri residents. The plaintiffs' attorneys countered by pointing out those individuals are legally and properly before that court and that both defendants have a presence in the state of Missouri. In the latest blow to the defendants, the Supreme Court rejected their motions on Jan. 24. An appeals court had also denied the motions earlier this month.
Last year, St. Louis juries returned three separate verdicts of $70 million, $72 million and $55 million for cancer victims who sued New Jersey-based J&J.
The cases claim that numerous scientific studies have shown the link between ovarian cancer and genital use of talc-containing products manufactured and marketed by J&J, including Johnson's Baby Powder and Shower to Shower. Attorneys for the plaintiffs allege the companies knew about the dangers of talcum powder for decades, but attempted to suppress and dismiss the research while refusing to provide warning labels on talc-containing products.
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