Morning headlines: Wednesday, August 29, 2012 | St. Louis Public Radio

Morning headlines: Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Aug 29, 2012

Isaac could bring rain to Missouri

As people on the gulf seek shelter from Hurricane Isaac, weather officials say the storm could bring some welcome relief to drought-stricken Missouri farmers.

The National Weather Service is calling for 2 to 6 inches of rain to fall the Mississippi River Valley, including Arkansas, Missouri and southern Illinois.

The region has been among the hardest hit by drought this year.  Anthony Ohmes is an agronomist with the University of Missouri Agricultural Extension.  He says several inches of rain could salvage a borderline soybean crop.

“We can recover some of that yield," Ohmes says.  "Now, if we don’t get the rain, those pods will just be short flat little beans and won’t really yield much at all.”

Still, in areas where the water table is already depleted the rain is expected to ease, but not eliminate the ongoing drought.

“Ponds going dry, our water sources have gone dry, wells going dry," Jim Ganime says. Ganime owns a small cow operation in the Missouri Ozarks.  More rain he says could revive dormant hay fields.

“I’ve got hopes that if we get some of this rain out of the hurricane, I’ve got 30 acres of ground that I took hay crop off of that’s just sitting there…and yes, it’ll help.”

The rain is also expected to add depth to the Mississippi River, which has seen frequent delays of barge traffic, caused by sandbars and low water.

More charges for teens accused in Boken murder

The two teenage cousins charged in the death of a former Saint Louis University volleyball player now face more charges for another crime.

St. Louis County prosecutors on Tuesday charged Keith Esters of Bel-Ridge and Johnathan Perkins of Overland with first-degree robbery, felonious restraint and two counts of armed criminal action. They are accused of robbing and kidnapping a woman in Brentwood on Aug. 12. 

Authorities say they forced their way into a woman's car, demanded money then forced her to drive to an ATM and withdraw cash.

Police say the same two 18-year-old men killed Megan Boken of Wheaton, Ill., during a botched robbery in St. Louis on Aug. 18. Boken was in St. Louis for an alumni volleyball match.

Missouri House leader accuses Nixon of 'playing politics'

The Missouri House leader says Gov. Jay Nixon is "playing politics" with businesses and local governments by highlighting the retroactive taxes that more than 120,000 people would owe if lawmakers override one of his vetoes.

House Majority Leader Tim Jones says lawmakers have not decided whether to try to override Nixon's veto of a bill allowing communities to resume levying taxes on vehicle purchases. Legislators passed the bill after the Missouri Supreme Court struck down the authority of local governments to tax vehicles bought out of state or from individuals unless the communities had adopted a "use tax." Nixon warned lawmakers this week that a veto override could retroactively raise taxes on 122,702 vehicles. Jones says Missouri car dealerships are losing business and local governments are losing revenues.

Follow St. Louis Public Radio on Twitter: @stlpublicradio