Morning round-up
9:26 am
Mon May 9, 2011

Morning headlines: Monday, May 9, 2011

Ed Martin Announces Run in 2nd Congressional District

Republican attorney Ed Martin is dropping out of the U.S. Senate race to run for a newly-redrawn 2nd Congressional district representing the St. Louis area.

Martin announced his change in political plans today in an email to his supporters.

After unsuccessfully challenging Democratic U.S. Rep. Russ Carnahan in Missouri's 3rd Congressional District in 2010 election, Martin said several months ago that he would challenge U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill in 2012.

His change in plans comes after Missouri Legislature last week enacted new congressional district boundaries in response to the 2010 census. That map eliminates Carnahan's district and expands the 2nd Congressional District in suburban St. Louis.

Second district incumbent Todd Akin has said he is considering the U.S. Senate race.

Missouri Republicans Seek to Complete Priorities as Session Comes to a Close Friday

Time has nearly run out for Missouri Republicans seeking to complete legislative priorities in their first year with a historic majority in the Legislature. The annual legislative session ends at 6 p.m. Friday.

Until then, GOP leaders plan to focus on economic development, requiring drug-testing for welfare recipients and new restrictions on late-term abortions. Other issues awaiting resolution include a new push to require a photo ID to vote and attempts to extend a state prescription drug program that would otherwise expire. Also remaining are bills changing the date of Missouri's presidential primary and revising proposed limits for lawsuits about farm-related nuisances after a previous version was vetoed.

Southeast Missouri Farmers to View Damage from Levee Breach

Southeast Missouri farmers whose land is underwater because of last week's levee breach are getting a first look at the damage.

Mississippi County Sheriff Keith Moore told about 60 people at a special meeting late last week that they can access the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway today. The Southeast Missourian reports the access until 4:30 this afternoon will be under strict supervision. Nobody younger than 16 will be allowed onto the floodway and life boats will be required.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers blew holes in the levees May 2 to relieve pressure on communities in Missouri, Illinois and Kentucky, most notably the Illinois community of Cairo upriver. The action flooded more than 130,000 acres of farmland in Mississippi and New Madrid counties.