Morning headlines: Tuesday, July 5, 2011 | St. Louis Public Radio

Morning headlines: Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Jul 5, 2011

Missouri River tributaries face greater flood risk this summer

Hundreds of tributaries that feed the congested Missouri River face a greater-than-normal flood risk this summer because of water levels that have kept smaller rivers from draining.

Flood experts and emergency officials say backed-up water channels in South Dakota and Missouri have already caused flooding at points where they meet the Missouri River. Hydrologists say tributary backups generally do not stretch more than a few miles from the point where rivers meet. But with floodwaters expected to stay through at least August, forecasters say the lesser-known tributaries could pose a significant threat as well if Missouri River flows increase or an intense storm strikes.

Quinn signs new elections law

Legislation state officials say will give Illinois residents more power when it comes to elections is now law.

Gov. Pat Quinn signed election reform legislation Monday that will allow local school boards to put non-binding advisory referendums on the ballot. It also increases voting access for service members by letting ballots be emailed to military voters overseas. Also election officials have to make ballots available for military personnel at least 46 days before a federal election.

The law takes effect Jan. 1.

Golf tournament to benefit Joplin

A celebrity golf tournament hosted by ESPN broadcaster and University of Missouri graduate John Anderson will raise money for teachers and students at Joplin schools. The tournament is scheduled July 10 and 11 in Columbia, with proceeds to help buy school supplies and repair damaged classrooms in Joplin.

A tornado that killed more than 150 people in the city May 22 also destroyed three school buildings - including the high school - and left seven others badly damaged. An Anderson charitable foundation has pledged $10,000 toward the school system's drive to buy supplies.