Birds Point Levee

A coalition of ninety environmental groups and over twenty community leaders in Illinois, Missouri and Kentucky are urging President Obama to block the Army Corps of Engineers from completing a $165 million  levee project in Missouri’s bootheel.
(via Flickr/NASA Earth Observatory)

The first phase of restoration work has been completed on a Mississippi River levee that was intentionally breached in 2011 during record flooding.

Glen Bullington, a civil engineer technician with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, told The Southeast Missourian Friday that the first phase of work on Birds Point levee included restoring the levee to 55 feet of protection.

(via Flickr/Indofunk Satish)

New Illinois laws aim to protect elderly

New laws signed by Gov. Pat Quinn this weekend are aimed at protecting the elderly in Illinois by increasing oversight of caregivers and making it easier for authorities to respond to cases of abuse or neglect.

One of the new pieces of legislation allows prosecutors to ask a court to freeze a suspect's assets if he is charged with financial exploitation of an elderly person. That's meant to keep a defendant from spending stolen money before restitution is collected.

Jacob McCleland of KRCU reported for this story.

The Army Corps of Engineers will restore the Birds Point-New Madrid levee to its original height by the end of the year. The Mississippi River Commission made the decision last week, according to Army Corps spokesperson Jim Pogue.

“Our level of confidence in our ability to finish this work this year is real high," Pogue said. "We’ve had good weather, good river stages and assuming that the contractor continues to make good progress and our other work in the confluence area goes well, we’ll be right on track.”

(via Flickr/NASA Earth Observatory)

Reporting from KRCU’s Jacob McCleland.

Construction at the Birds Point-New Madrid Levee has come to a halt - a contractor protested the Army Corps of Engineers' bid process.

A&M Engineering and Environmental Services, from Tulsa, Oklahoma challenged the Corps’ decision to award the $2.4 million contract to rebuild the upper crevasse to Young’s General Contracting, from Poplar Bluff.
Corps spokesperson Jim Pogue says the Corps must now go through a thorough review process.

Record attendance for St. Louis Zoo

The first four and a half months of the year have been a record one for the St. Louis Zoo, no doubt helped by an unseasonably warm winter and spring.

Officials said Monday that more than one million people had entered the Zoo’s gates in through May 13. The Zoo expects those numbers to go higher once Sea Lion Sound opens on June 30.

A year after record floods, drought conditions in southeast Missouri

What a difference a year makes in southeastern Missouri.

(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

Citizen's committee wants to know what public wants in transportation

A series of statewide meetings designed to take the pulse of transit needs in Missouri kicks off in Chesterfield later today.

House Speaker Steven Tilley put together the Blue Ribbon Citizens Committee on Missouri Transportation Needs in early March. Tilley said in a statement that he wants to "start a conversation" to ensure that Missouri’s transit system fosters economic growth. Members include transportation, political, business and union leaders.

(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

Cardinals will retire La Russa's jersey

No other player or manager will wear #10 for the St. Louis Cardinals after this season.

The team has announced plans to retire the number, worn last by manager Tony La Russa, at a ceremony before a May 11 contest against the Atlanta Braves.

(via Flickr/IndofunkSatish)

Study: Corps made the right choice in breaching Birds Point

A new study says the Army Corps of Engineers made the right choice when it blew up a southeast Missouri levee last year.

Study co-author Ken Olson, a professor of soil sciences at the University of Illinois Champaign-Urban,a says river levels continued to rise even after the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway was breached by explosives to relieve flooding pressure on Cairo, Ill.

(via Flickr/U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

Army Corps. seeks dismissal of lawsuit filed on behalf of southeast Mo. farmers

More than 140 southeast Missouri farmers are seeking damage caused by last year's intentional breach of the Birds Point levee at the height of spring flooding.

The Southeast Missourian reports that government attorneys filed a motion to dismiss the suit in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. Oral arguments in the suit are scheduled to begin April 10 in Washington.

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