Alan Greenblatt | St. Louis Public Radio

Alan Greenblatt

Alan Greenblatt

You still have a few hours left to smell the corpse flower.

The Titan Arum, an Aroid plant from Sumatra, is currently in bloom at the Missouri Botanical Garden. It flowers rarely, but when it does, its strong odor definitely carries.

“It smells like rotting flesh,” said Andrew Wyatt, the Garden's vice president of horticulture. “It spreads the foul smell over many miles because it’s trying to attract pollinators from another plant several miles away.”

No one really thinks 12-year-old Chloe Stirling presents a menace to public health.

The Illinois girl has a knack for baking cupcakes and has done pretty well selling them. So well, in fact, that her local newspaper published a story about her earlier this year. That drew the attention of the county health department — which shut her down for selling baked goods without a license or a state-certified kitchen.

Washington is just starting to rebuild.

Much of the central Illinois town was wiped away by a half-mile-wide tornado in November. In all, 1,108 homes were destroyed or rendered uninhabitable — a huge share of the housing stock in a city of 15,000.

"Early on, people were asking me how long it was going to take to rebuild the city, and I said we'll do it in a year," says Mayor Gary Manier. "That was wishful thinking."