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.
On Thursday, Nixon asked Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack to designate 101 Missouri counties (full list of counties below) as primary disaster areas. That would allow eligible farmers to get emergency loans and other federal help.
Passengers aboard a flight bound from St. Louis to Washington on the 10th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks had to make a return to the gate after crew became concerned about something found on the plane.
The Transportation Security Administration says GoJet Airlines flight 3681, a regional carrier for United Airlines, was still on the runway Sunday when it returned to the gate. A TSA spokesman says all passengers were re-screened at the request of the pilot. Nothing was found and the plane departed.
Updated 4:19 p.m. with comment from the Missouri State Teachers Association and Missouri State Sen. Jane Cunningham, the sponsor of the original bill which became law
From Todd Fuller of the Missouri State Teachers Association:
“It’s a sigh of relief for all teachers throughout the state who use social media, and it allows them to continue to use it in the positive way that they’re already using it and continue to interact with their students the way they have been.”
From Missouri State Sen. Jane Cunningham, R-Chesterfield, who sponsored the bill. She acknowledges that there’s been confusion over what the restrictions will and won’t do, and says she has a solution:
“We have come up with some language that we feel like is ready to go…we don’t need to punt for more input, (I’m) not opposed to it, but we’ve got some agreed upon language with the stakeholders and we’re ready to clarify that language.”
Updated 1:11 p.m. with Gov. Nixon's action
Gov. Jay Nixon says he will add the teacher Internet issue to the agenda for a special legislative session that begins Sept. 6. Nixon says he wants lawmakers to repeal the new law.
His Friday announcement came shortly after a Missouri judge issued a preliminary injunction (see below) blocking the law from taking effect as scheduled on Sunday.
Updated 11:32 a.m. with link to full ruling
A Missouri judge has blocked a law restricting Internet communications between teachers and students from taking effect Sunday.