Saint Louis Zoo
6:20 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Harvesting poop to help Peruvian penguins: Saint Louis Zoo digs in

Humboldt penguins can swim at speeds of up to 30 miles per hour. There are only about 40,000 left in the wild.
(wwarby via Flickr)

Unlike their cold-weather relatives, Humboldt penguins live only in South America, along the rocky Pacific coast of Chile and Peru.

The Saint Louis Zoo’s Michael Macek has been monitoring the penguins there, tracking their health and numbers.

Macek is back in Peru again, in a coastal reserve called Punta San Juan, where Humboldt penguins nest by the thousands.

Before he left, he told St. Louis Public Radio's Véronique LaCapra that this time he’s helping to lead a sustainable guano harvest.

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drought
5:15 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Regional farmers say worst drought since 1980s forces tough choices

A parched corn field in Cass County, Illinois.
(Adam Allington/St. Louis Public Radio)

A new report from the United States Department of Agriculture shows the ongoing drought has caused the nation's cattle herd to shrink by more than 2 million head so far this year.

Analysts project the dry weather will impact prices in the checkout aisle.

Today, we have two reports on the effects of the 2012 drought.  In this combined feature, Adam Allington takes a look at the region's corn farmers.

But first, St. Louis Public Radio's Tim Lloyd reports on the agonizing choices faced by Missouri cattle ranchers.      

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Synthetic Drugs
4:23 pm
Thu July 26, 2012

St. Louis part of nationwide crackdown on synthetic drugs

A sample of the items seized during the St. Louis portion of nationwide operation "Log Jam." The operation is a crackdown on synthetic drugs.
(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

At least a half-dozen people are behind bars in the St. Louis area following a nationwide crackdown on the sale of designer narcotics known as "bath salts" or K2.

The federal Drug Enforcement Agency coordinated the Wednesday operation known as "Log Jam." Overall, nearly 80 people were arrested, and more than 5 million packets of the synthetic drugs seized, along with tons of raw material. It was the first coordinated strike.

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Drought / Agriculture
11:13 am
Thu July 26, 2012

Intense demand prompts Nixon to announce more water funding for farmers

(via Flickr/KOMUnews/Malory Ensor)

More money is being put into an emergency program to aid farmers and ranchers battling water shortages in Missouri.

Governor Jay Nixon (D) has added $5 million to the $2 million set aside for crop and livestock producers who want to drill new wells or deepen existing ones during the ongoing drought.  More than 600 applications have been sent in since the program’s announcement on Tuesday.

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9:15 am
Thu July 26, 2012

At Bravo, pop-culture kingpin (and St. Louis native) works day and night

Lead in text: 
St. Louis native Andy Cohen was profiled on NPR's Morning Edition earlier today. Check out the interview via the link.
Andy Cohen has been yakking for most of his 44 years. He has a book titled Most Talkative - a title he earned in high school. "My mouth has been my greatest asset and also my biggest Achilles' heel," he says. Most days, it's an asset.
Morning Round-Up
7:08 am
Thu July 26, 2012

Morning headlines- Thursday, July 26, 2012

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Ill. parents reminded about back-to-school vaccines

Illinois health and education officials are reminding parents to update their children's immunizations before they head back to school.

New Illinois Department of Public Health rules require students entering sixth and ninth grades this year to show proof of receiving the Tdap vaccine. That's a booster shot against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis, commonly known as whooping cough.

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letterhead scam
6:21 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

Scammers using govt. letterheads to steal money, Mo. AG Koster says

Mo. Attorney General Chris Koster (D).
Mo. Atty. Gen. office

The latest scam designed to separate Missouri residents from their money involves phony letters from the State Attorney General’s office, the IRS and other government agencies.

The letters include a fake government letterhead, and state that the recipient has won a million dollars or more in prize money.  Attorney General Chris Koster (D) says the intended victims are then informed that they owe thousands of dollars in taxes and fees on the winnings and are instructed to pay them via Western Union.

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Homeless
6:03 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

St. Louis officials urge homeless to stay hydrated, seek shelter

The heat wave is to blame in three more St. Louis-area deaths.
(flickr/Jack W. Reid)

As this year’s heat wave wears on, St. Louis city officials are stepping up their efforts to keep the death toll among the area’s homeless population from rising.

Department of Human Services Director Bill Siedhoff  says people living on the streets can be at greater risk for heat-related illness and death. 

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Taubman Prestige Outlets
4:23 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

Second outlet mall begins construction in Chesterfield Valley

The groundbreaking ceremony for Taubman Prestige Outlets in Chesterfield, Mo. on July 25, 2012. Another outlet mall broke ground less than a mile from this site two weeks earlier.
(Sydney Miller/St. Louis Public Radio)

The Chesterfield Valley could see two new outlet malls by next fall. Taubman Prestige Outlets began construction today, just two weeks after St. Louis Premium Outlets broke ground on its project less than a mile away. Prestige Outlet Malls broke ground across highway 40 from the Chesterfield Commons and construction on St. Louis Premium Outlets is occurring near the Daniel Boone Bridge.

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Drought / Food
4:02 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

Pray For Rain: Food Prices Heading Higher

A "historically low inventory" of cattle and hogs is driving up meat prices, a trend that's expected to continue next year, USDA economist Richard Volpe says.
Justin Lane EPA/Landov

Originally published on Wed July 25, 2012 3:30 pm

A fierce drought has been scorching crops this summer, but it's still too soon to know exactly how much of a hole it will burn in your wallet.

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