Morning Headlines: Thursday, August 16, 2012 | St. Louis Public Radio

Morning Headlines: Thursday, August 16, 2012

Aug 16, 2012

Credit (via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

Candidates debate in Illinois' 12 Congressional District

After nearly twenty years representing Illinois’s 12th Congressional District, Jerry Costello is retiring at the end of his term.  The three candidates looking to fill the open seat debated in Carbondale last night. 

Democratic candidate Bill Enyart took a couple quick jabs at Republican Jason Plummer for not disclosing his tax returns. Plummer didn’t respond to Enyart, but later said that as a trial lawyer Enyart is responsible for killing jobs. When asked to grade President Obama’s performance in office, Enyart gave him a solid B, Plummer and Green Party candidate Paula Bradshaw assigned him a D. Enyart said he would simplify the tax code for small businesses to spur job creation. Bradshaw said she would increase the minimum wage to kick start consumer spending. Plummer said that as a businessman people like him are best suited to fix the economy.

The RNC is targeting the district in an attempt to win a seat previously held by Democrats.

All of Illinois now can get drought relief

The entire state of Illinois is now eligible for drought relief following the announcement of federal disaster designation for 14 more counties. The announcement from the U.S. Department of Agriculture drew praise from U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, who says the designation will help farmers and communities hurt by the drought. Durbin, U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk and other Illinois members of Congress had asked that the whole state be eligible for emergency assistance.

The Cardinals to build homes in Joplin

Leaders of the Cardinals, including manager Mike Matheny, are going to Joplin to help build homes in the tornado-ravaged community. The Cardinals say Matheny, team president Bill DeWitt, general manager John Mozeliak, hitting coach Mark McGwire and others will join professional builders and Habitat for Humanity volunteers on Monday to help build five homes in the designated "Cardinals" neighborhood. It is part of Gov. Jay Nixon's "Joplin Challenge" as the community continues to recover from the May 22, 2011, tornado that killed 161 people and damaged a large section of the southwest Missouri town.

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