Morning headlines: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 | St. Louis Public Radio

Morning headlines: Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Apr 26, 2011

Corps of Engineers to Decide on Breach of Missouri Levee

The Army Corps of Engineers is expected to decide soon on its plan to breach a southeastern Missouri levee as the Mississippi River continues to rise. Corps spokesman Jim Pogue says agency officials will meet this afternoon to consider whether to blow holes in the Birds Point levee along the Mississippi River, near Mississippi and New Madrid counties. The move would ease pressure along the Mississippi by reducing the amount of water moving downstream.

Numerous points along the river are at or near flood stage, and the Corps believes the move is necessary as a precaution. But Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is objecting to the plan, saying the breach would send "a tremendous amount of water into 130,000 acres of prime farmland."

Lambert to Run at Full Capacity

Lambert Airport in St. Louis is expected to run at full capacity starting today as it continues to recover from severe tornado damage. The airport was closed Friday after the tornado hit. It was at 85 percent capacity Monday and officials say full capacity is likely today.

Lambert officials credit the quick recovery partly to being able to use gates inside Concourse D that had been closed last year. The St. Louis Airport Authority reluctantly closed the gates after American Airlines reduced its flights from St. Louis. For now, American will occupy five gates inside the D Concourse and Cape Air will have two.

Engineers are expected to determine this week which terminal facilities can be rebuilt and which ones will have to be replaced.

Coleman Trial Begins

The defense attorney for Christopher Coleman who’s accused of killing his wife and two sons disputed accusations from prosecutors that the former Marine spent months setting up the crime. Defense attorney Bill Margulis said yesterday at the opening of Coleman's trial that the 34-year-old experienced "common" marital problems.

A pathologist testified the victims died of ligature strangulation.

Prosecutors claim Coleman killed his family because he feared his affair with his wife's longtime friend would cost him his $100,000-a-year job with Joyce Meyer Ministries. Monroe County State's Attorney Kris Reitz says the case will be complicated for jurors. Reitz contends evidence will show Coleman lied when he insisted he was at the gym when his family was strangled in their Columbia home in May 2009. Coleman pleaded not guilty and remains jailed without bond.