Morning headlines: I-70 reopens, sub-zero temperatures on the way and Blunt wants to require TSA to use private screeners

Feb 2, 2011
  • Interstate 70 is open again in Missouri. The interstate reopened shortly after 7 a.m. today. The Missouri Department of Transportation shut it down Tuesday because of whiteout and slippery conditions caused by the winter storm. MoDOT said it was simply too dangerous to keep open. The state set up shelters at several locations along the interstate for stranded motorists. By this morning, lines of semis sat waiting to get onto I-70. Interstate 44 from Springfield to the Oklahoma border remains closed.
  • The winter storm that dumped 20 inches of snow from Columbia, Mo. to Quincy, Ill is leaving the area, making way for sub-zero temps beginning tonight. Meteorologist Doug Tilly with the National Weather Service is forecasting an overnight temperature of -1 degree with wind chill values of -15.  Temperatures that low can cause frost bite in a matter of minutes. A wind chill advisory remains in effect from 6 p.m. tonight to noon on Wednesday.
  • Missouri Senator Roy Blunt wants to require the federal Transportation Security Administration to use private security screeners if requested by local airport officials. The federal agency recently decided that it will not allow private screeners at any additional airports unless there is a clear advantage to doing so. Private screeners currently are in place at 16 U.S. airports, including in Kansas City. The Springfield-Branson National Airport had sought to replace federal screeners with private contractors, who would have been hired and supervised by the TSA. But the airport's request was rejected last week. Blunt, a Republican from Springfield, said he plans to attach a private-screeners amendment to a bill regarding the Federal Aviation Administration.