Morning headlines: Blizzard warning extended, storm makes morning travel difficult, drug tests for welfare recipients heads to Mo. Senate

Feb 1, 2011
  • The National Weather Service extended the blizzard warning this morning to include at least parts of the St. Louis metro area. The blizzard warning now includes St. Louis City, St. Louis County, Madison County and St. Charles County. The blizzard warning is in effect until noon Wednesday. Forecasters say wind gusts could reach 30 to 40 mph Tuesday afternoon. Governor Jay Nixon has declared a state of emergency as the severe winter storm approaches.
  • The storm is making travel difficult. This morning, hundreds of flights had been canceled at Lambert Airport in St. Louis, Kansas City International and at smaller airports around the state. Interstates and highways are becoming slick, and in some cases, snow-covered. MetroLink light rail trains were running only limited routes due to ice and sleet. The Missouri Department of Transportation is urging those who don't need to get out today to stay home.
  • The Missouri House has passed a bill allowing drug tests of welfare recipients and applicants if the state suspects they're using illegal drugs. The House bill would deny Temporary Assistance for Needy Families benefits for one year to suspected drug users if they failed the test given by the Department of Social Services. Monday's vote of 116-27 in the House sends the measure to the Senate, where a committee is considering similar legislation. Supporters say taxpayers don't want their money to fund a person's addiction. Opponents of the bill say it does not help addicts get treatment to get rid of their habit.