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Metro Installing New Fareboxes
Riders board Metro buses at the Gateway Multimodal Transportation Center, near the Peabody Opera House and Scottrade Center.

Metro Installing New Fareboxes on Entire MetroBus Fleet
ST. LOUIS, MO, (, September 3, 2013 - Metro will begin installing new fareboxes on all MetroBus vehicles beginning in early September, as part of building a better transit experience for customers.

Since last fall, the new fareboxes have been tested on 40 MetroBus vehicles on several high volume routes. Feedback from customers and MetroBus operators allowed Metro to make adjustments before introducing the technology to the full fleet and the more than 92,000 customers who ride MetroBus on an average week day.

A federal earmark grant specifically intended for system and equipment upgrades is being used to purchase the new fareboxes.

The new fareboxes will replace old fare equipment that is becoming expensive and difficult to repair. They will provide more detailed passenger count information which will allow Metro to plan routes that better meet customer needs. The new fareboxes will assure collection of correct fares and help reduce fare evasion. The equipment has advanced software that better identifies counterfeit bills and foreign coins. The new system will also allow customers to use faster and smarter payment methods in the future with smart cards.

The new fareboxes will still require exact change. Customers currently holding valid passes can continue to use them. The fareboxes will still accept $1, $5, $10 and $20 bills, nickels, dimes, quarters, and dollar coins.

Changes customers will notice include:

  • One person will be able to pay for everyone in their group without paying for each person at a time
  • A new display screen shows how much money has been inserted and any balance due
  • Payment confirmation with an on-screen "Thank You" and an audible "DING!"
  • The insertion of bills and coins one at a time
  • 50-cent coins and $2 bills will not be accepted by the new equipment, and pennies will no longer be accepted beginning in October 2013
"During our testing phase, customers adjusted to the new fareboxes within a few weeks," said Ray Friem, Chief Operating Officer of Metro Transit Services. Friem reminds customers to expect delays in the beginning, and suggests taking an earlier bus to help make connections. "Please be patient. We realize it may be a challenge at first, but the process will get easier, and customers will see the benefits of a better fare collection system," Friem said.
See related story: Metro to Hold Public Meetings, September 10 - 12, on New Type of Transit Service

Gov. Nixon Commends Anheuser-Busch for its Investment
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon (left) was presented a ceremonial Budweiser Clydesdale horseshoe by Luiz Edmond (right), president of Anheuser-Busch InBev North America. (PRNewsFoto/Anheuser-Busch)
Gov. Nixon Commends Anheuser-Busch for Its Investment to Missouri
ST. LOUIS, MO, (, September 1, 2013 - Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon expressed his appreciation for Anheuser-Busch's continued investment in the state and its commitment to local communities during a visit to the historic St. Louis brewery on Thursday afternoon.

Governor Nixon met with several members of senior management, including Luiz Edmond, president of Anheuser-Busch InBev North America, and greeted new employees, many of whom relocated from other cities throughout the country to join the company.

"It is very clear that Anheuser-Busch is deeply committed to remaining a valued employer and partner in the state of Missouri," said Gov. Nixon. "I was very impressed by their recent investments in capital, the top talent they've attracted and of course, the high-quality beers they produce. Anheuser-Busch's contributions throughout their 160 -year history here have been invaluable to our state and I'm confident they will continue to be a great asset for many years to come."

Governor Nixon also shared his gratitude for the company's emergency drinking water donations following natural disasters and the brewer's work in setting the industry standard when it comes to alcohol responsibility programs.

"We appreciate Governor Nixon's support and are thankful for the time he took to learn more about our state-of the-art technologies, our world renowned beers and our top-notch people," said Edmond. "We appreciate the Governor's commitment to fiscal discipline and to working with the business community to make Missouri an attractive place for companies like Anheuser-Busch to grow and invest."

Nixon capped off his visit with a visit to Anheuser-Busch's newly minted Biergarten, for the time-honored tradition of the 3 o'clock beer tasting. This is the hour that Anheuser-Busch brewmasters from around the country taste beer each day to make sure it is of the highest quality and consistency.

Disease-Carrying Lone Star Ticks and Related Disease on the Rise in Missouri
ST. LOUIS, MO, (, September 1, 2013 - Historically considered a southern and south-central U.S. parasite, the lone star tick is progressively expanding northward and eastward and creating new concerns for pets and people in Missouri.

This tick, known for the white, star-like spot on the backs of the female, is an aggressive biter and can transmit diseases such as ehrlichiosis and Rocky Mountain spotted fever to dogs, cats and people.

"Lone star ticks become more and more widespread every year," said Michael Dryden, DVM, PhD, distinguished professor of veterinary parasitology at Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine who is considered one of the nation's foremost authorities on ticks that infect dogs and cats.

Recent data shows increasing cases of tick-borne diseases like ehrlichiosis in Missouri. According to IDEXX Laboratories, veterinarians have reported about 55 percent more cases of canine ehrlichiosis in Missouri to date in 2013 (1,485) as they did for the entire years of 2012 and 2011 (953) Records show that 1 out of every 13* dogs in Missouri tests positive for ehrlichiosis (*as of August 1, 2013).

In St. Louis County, 214 dogs have been diagnosed with ehrlichiosis so far this year, compared to only 58 reported cases in all of 2012 and 2011. In Kansas City's Jackson County, veterinarians have reported 131 cases of ehrlichiosis to date in 2013 compared to just 122 combined in 2011 and 2012.

Some cases, however, go unreported, and many infected dogs go untested. Taking that into account, the nonprofit Companion Animal Parasite Council estimates these figures represent only about 30 percent of the actual incidence of ehrlichiosis in Missouri, where people also are at risk.

"By the time you notice ticks on dogs, it's often too late," said Dryden. "All it takes is one bite."

Even if pet owners use tick preventives, infections can still occur if owners' mistime or forget an application or dose. The two most common pathogens the lone star tick can transmit to both animals and humans are the causative agents of ehrlichiosis and Rocky Mountain spotted fever (RMSF). RMSF symptoms include arthritis-like stiffness and neurological problems. If not treated early, both diseases can become chronic and even result in death.

While it's difficult to tell if a dog has a tick-borne disease, veterinarians can screen for them. They recommend testing annually for these diseases, which usually can be successfully treated with antibiotics.

Nestle Purina Voluntarily Recalls Limited Number of Purina ONE
ST. LOUIS, MO, (, September 1, 2013 - Nestle Purina PetCare Company is voluntarily recalling a limited number of 3.5-pound bags of its Purina ONE beyOnd Our White Meat Chicken & Whole Barley Recipe Adult Dry Dog Food from a single production run and shipped to retail customers in the United States. This is being done because one bag of the product was found to be contaminated with Salmonella.

Only Purina ONE beyOnd Our White Meat Chicken & Whole Barley Recipe Adult Dry Dog Food with both the "Best By" date and the production code are included in this voluntary recall: OCT 2014, 31071083, 17800 12679

No additional Purina or Purina ONE dog or cat products are involved in this voluntary recall at this time. No salmonella-related illness has been reported to date in association with this product.

Consumers who have purchased Purina ONE beyOnd Our White Meat Chicken & Whole Barley Recipe Adult Dry Dog Food products with the specific "Best By" Date and Production Code should discontinue feeding the product and discard it. For further information or to obtain a product refund, please call NPPC toll-free at 1-800-473-8546, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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