Morning headlines: Wednesday, April 27, 2011
Flooded Poplar Bluff Hit with More Rain
The southern Missouri town of Poplar Bluff endured another night of torrential rain, this time dropping another two inches of water onto already saturated ground.
The Black River levee that protects the town's low-lying neighborhoods survived Tuesday night. The earthen wall was breached yesterday south of town, which flooded farmland, but released pressure within city limits.
At the Black River Coliseum, between 250 and 300 evacuees took cover from the storm. Among them is Nallely Martinez, who bided her time with her family watching YouTube videos and checking up on Facebook. Like many of the flood victims, she lives in the evacuated zone and misses the comforts of home.
"Like my drier, said Martinez. "We just bought a drier like a week ago. You know? Oh well, if something happens to it, I cannot do anything. At least we're safe." - Nallely Martinez
The National Weather Service predicts one more day of heavy rain for Poplar Bluff.
Kinder's Challenge to Health Care Law Dismissed
In his ruling Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Rodney Sippel said those bringing the lawsuit did not have standing for many of their claims and that other claims were not ripe for review. Kinder had filed the lawsuit last July in federal court in Cape Girardeau. He was pursuing it as a private citizen and was joined by several other people.
The Republican lieutenant governor says he'll appeal. He called the judge's decision "extreme" and said it "slammed federal courthouse doors" in the face of Missourians. The lawsuit had challenged the federal health care law on several points.
Mo. Senate Endorses Drug Testing for Some Welfare Recipients
The Missouri Senate has endorsed legislation allowing drug tests of welfare recipients if the state suspects they're using illegal drugs. The Senate version of the bill would allow welfare recipients to continue receiving benefits if they complete a drug treatment program.
Sen. Jolie Justus, a Kansas City Democrat, said Tuesday that the provision would help people overcome the problems that had made them ineligible.
The legislation would require that the state use a less sophisticated drug test to lower the cost from a projected $300,000 per year. It would also require that electronic benefit cards include a photo of the recipient and be renewed every three years.
The bill still needs a second Senate vote before returning to the House.