Morning headlines: Tuesday, July 17, 2012 | St. Louis Public Radio

Morning headlines: Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Jul 17, 2012

Illinois to offer programs for those affected by drought

Gov. Pat Quinn says Illinois will offer an array of debt restructuring and loan programs to farmers and ranchers affected by the drought. He visited a family farm in the southern Illinois area Monday, where much of the corn crop is wilting.

Quinn says the state has also launched a website to help.

The Illinois Farm Bureau says it's the sixth driest year on record so far. The average precipitation of the first half of the year was 12.6 inches. Much of Illinois' corn and soybean crop is suffering.

Drought is affecting much of the Midwest, where almost a third of the nation's corn crop has been damaged by heat and drought so severe that some farmers have cut down crops midway through the growing season.

Missouri Attorney General candidates lay out fundraising activities

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster reports raising more than $500,000 during the past quarter for his re-election campaign. Candidates filed reports with the Missouri Ethics Commission laying out their fundraising activities from April through the end of June. Koster, a Democrat, reported that his campaign raised $572,000 during the past three months and had nearly $2.4 million in available cash at the start of July.

Republican Ed Martin is challenging Koster. Martin raised $406,000 during the past quarter but had less cash on hand to start this month. Martin's campaign had $564,000 its campaign bank account.

Adam Warren, a rural prosecutor is running against Martin in the GOP primary Aug. 7. He raised about $11,000 over the past three months and had $5,900 on hand to start July.

University of Missouri Press to be replaced with digital publishing operation

University of Missouri officials say they're replacing the University of Missouri Press with a digital publishing operation to be funded by the Campus in Columbia, instead of the University of Missouri system.

In May, the university announced that the $400,000 subsidy for the physical press would end and its 10 employees would be laid off or reassigned.

MU Provost Brian Foster says the new press will now be part of the educational mission of the campus, and will offer students the opportunity to gain hands on experience.

"It'll be not just the press, but it'll also have a scholarly dimension, research about the future of scholarly communication, on one hand, and an instructional dimension on the other which will be training people for careers in scholarly communication," Foster said.

Foster says the newly designed University Press will use the MU Reynolds Journalism Institute to research innovative electronic ways to deliver scholarly books

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