The U.S. Department of Agriculture has issued a disaster declaration for farmers in 23 Missouri counties, including several in the St. Louis area, hit by floods and heavy rain since May 1.
Friday's declaration allows farmers in those counties and 26 neighboring counties to seek federal assistance for losses caused by the severe weather. Gov. Jay Nixon had requested the declaration last month.
Ald. April Ford-Griffin, who took over as chairman of the St. Louis city budget committee this year, is leaving the aldermanic chambers for the Mayor's office.
Mayor Francis Slay announced on Friday that Ford-Griffin, who has served as the Fifth Ward alderwoman since 1997, will be the new director of the city's Civil Rights Enforcement Agency, which Slay called a "vitally important agency." The former director, Ruby L. Bonner, retired on July 1.
Faculty at Southern Illinois University's flagship campus in Carbondale will be voting later this month on whether to go on strike as part of a lingering contract dispute.
The Southern Illinoisan reports that the group representing tenured and tenure-track faculty at the 20,000-student school voted unanimously Thursday to seek a strike-authorization vote. That means the entire membership will vote Sept. 28 on whether a walkout is in order.