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Washington County’s MSA status — what a difference 200 workers make

Washington County, statistically speaking, is no longer with us.

The “us” in this instance is the St. Louis Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA). For record-keeping and comparative demographic purposes, the federal government defines MSAs, though there are no barbed-wire fences and armed checkpoints marking where a “metropolitan statistical area” ends and something else begins.

Washington County was added to the St. Louis MSA in 2000, and was dropped in February based on 2010 Census data. The change is linked to employment patterns. Marvin Wright, presiding commissioner for Washington County, attributes the job drop to the 2006 closing of the Ford plant in Hazelwood and Chrysler shutting down its factory

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Map of the Month — Commute distances by county

Getting to work is fundamental. Whether it’s by car, car pool, bus, or MetroLink, it’s how the workday starts and ends. How long it takes, and how long you travel is function of where you live and where you work.

Not surprisingly, residents of the central core of the St. Louis region tend to have shorter commute distances and times due to population density and employment concentration. Greater commute distances can be linked to added costs and extra time spent on the road for workers, just as shorter distances can reflect less expense for transportation or gasoline. In both citing the distance traveled and time taken, it is important to

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Finding Bigfoot in the St. Louis Region on April 1, 2013

The St. Louis region is home to a handful of rare species that rely on unique, high-quality habitats to thrive. Some of these rare species, like the Hellbender salamander and Illinois Cave Amphipod live in remote or protected locations, so they remain out of sight and out of mind for most residents of the region.

However, there are some creatures – real and imagined – that are so extremely rare and unusual that any sighting or appearance can trigger newspaper articles, field expeditions, and even a scholarly research paper.

These creatures often are called “Bigfoot.”

More than 25 Bigfoot sightings have been reported in the St. Louis area since the

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