St. Louis Public Radio
Logan Chrislaw heards cattle on Monday, September 3, 2018 at his farm in Howard County, Mo. Chrislaw began farming with his father about eight years ago.
Jennifer Mosbrucker | special to St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri’s drought has lessened, but farmers still struggle

Despite recent rainfall, more than half of Missouri is still in a drought, hitting hard at one of the state’s key economic engines: agriculture. Missouri hay — the primary feed for livestock — has hit its lowest production levels in 30 years, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Ideally, each acre of pasture produces two tons of hay a year, which would be two of those large circular rolls often seen in farm fields. In 1988, the average acre in Missouri only yielded 1.2 tons, and this year it’s been 1.5 tons.

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St. Louis, MO – The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Wednesday that while state law mandates that absentee balloting for next month's election was to begin more than a week ago, the city's absentee ballots still were not ready.
At a press conference Wednesday Sheila Greenbaum with the City Board of Election Commissioners attempted to clear up confusion.

Jefferson City, MO – Tobacco companies are joining forces to try to defeat a tobacco tax increase on the November ballot in Missouri.

They have formed a group called Missourians Against Unfair Taxes, whose members include R.J. Reynolds, Phillip Morris, Lorillard, and Brown and Williamson.

The referendum will ask whether voters want to raise the cigarette tax from $0.17 to $0.72 cents a pack. The new money would go to health care treatment and anti-smoking efforts.

Collinsville, IL – There will be school in Collinsville today, even though teachers there have authorized a strike.

The teachers' union voted yesterday to give at least five days' notice before walking out, with negotiations continuing until then.

At issue is a salary increase. Teachers want a 5% raise the first year, followed by increases of 6% and 7% the next two years. The district has offered a 4% raise in each of the three years.

Jefferson City, MO – State auditor Claire McCaskill says some drunk drivers with multiple offenses are not being forced into the level of substance abuse treatment they need. An audit of the Missouri Department of Mental Health found that five percent of drivers with at least two DWI offenses were still being assigned to entry-level treatment programs. McCaskill says the study also found that offenders living at least 30 miles from advanced treatment providers were not required to attend those programs.

St. Louis, MO – In an effort to avoid a repeat of problems that occurred on Election Day in November, 2000, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay will allow city employees to work the polls next month at full pay. To recruit more election judges he's asking other employers to do the same.

St. Louis, MO –

While Marshall Faulk doesn't exactly have to fear for his job, there is a new football team in town trying to make it's mark.

The National Women's Football League is starting a team in St. Louis to debut next April. As KWMU's Tom Weber reports, the intrigue of women's football may get people to games, but it doesn't guarantee they'll keep coming back.

St. Louis, MO – In an effort to avoid a repeat of problems that occurred on Election Day in November, 2000, St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay will allow city employees to work the polls next month at full pay. To recruit more election judges he's asking other employers to do the same.

Jefferson City, MO – Missouri is handing out more than $6 million dollars in federal money to prepare for terrorist acts.

The Emergency Management Agency will work with 21 communities receiving grants for equipment purchases, relating to areas such as personal protection, technical rescue, communications, physical security, and detection and decontamination.

St. Louis, MO – Starting today, Missouri renewal tags should go in the center of the license plate, instead of the lower right.

The state hopes the new location will be a quick and cheap way to ward off theft. Officials say 35,000 Missourians had tags stolen in the past year when thieves simply cut off the right corner or end of the plates; the St. Louis area was particularly hard hit.

Officials say the hope is stickers in the center will be harder to get.

St. Louis, MO – A group of St. Louis clergy is teaming with the area's United Way in launching a program meant to bring hope in the wake of tragedy.

Yesterday, the St. Louis Metropolitan Clergy Coalition and the United Way of Greater St. Louis announced their initiative called Project Clergy CARES.

The idea for the effort came after the rape and slaying two years ago of a teenage St. Louis girl. Days after the crime, the clergy coalition's Reverend Earl Nance Junior called for a community response to end violence.

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St. Louis on the Air

Tuesday: The success of charter schools in St. Louis

Host Don Marsh will talk with leaders of three St. Louis charter schools about the status of their schools in the area.