Education secretary Arne Duncan, Gov. Jay Nixon, Homeland Security secretary Janet Napolitano and Congressman Russ Carnahan watch students at Carnahan High School participate in the "Great ShakeOut" earthquake drill.
Governor Jay Nixon, Congressman Russ Carnahan, and two members of President Obama's cabinet - education secretary Arne Duncan and Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano - watched as the 19 students in Lucy Duffey's class dropped to the ground, covered their heads, and held onto tables in the library.
Resident Ron Henderson walks away from his home, totally destroyed, three days after a tornado devastated this area of Bridgeton, Missouri on April 25, 2011. Teams from FEMA are now in the St. Louis area to assess damage from last week's tornadoes.
Representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency are on the ground in St. Louis to assess the damage from last week's tornadoes. Their findings will be part of Missouri's request for Federal assistance.
FEMA investigators are gathering data on a variety of factors-including the number of displaced people, effects on the local economy, and how much property was uninsured.
Josh DeBerg is a spokesperson for FEMA. He says the main criteria for federal aid boils down to a question of resources.
Missouri lawmakers have sent Gov. Jay Nixon a new version of a bill rewriting a voter-approved law on dog-breeding.
Wednesday's quick action by the state House and Senate came after Nixon began the day by signing a previously passed bill repealing key sections of the "Puppy Mill Cruelty Prevention Act" approved by voters last November.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has signed legislation repealing part of a voter-approved dog-breeding law in an agreement with lawmakers to consider more changes to breeder regulations.
Nixon signed the legislation Wednesday. It eliminates a cap on owning 50 breeding dogs and rolls back various requirements on dogs' living conditions. Instead, breeders would need to provide appropriate space for dogs based on regulations set by the Department of Agriculture. Operators would pay more for licenses and help finance a program that crack down on unlicensed breeders.
Missouri House leaders believe Governor Jay Nixon may be on the verge of signing a controversial bill that reverses Proposition B.
The voter-approved initiative limits dog breeders to 50 per operation and requires larger cages, more outdoor access and annual veterinary exams.
Nixon is also proposing a compromise that would remove the 50-dog-per-breeder cap while leaving some of the other restrictions in place. House Speaker Steven Tilley says they’ll take up the governor’s compromise after he signs the rollback bill into law.
Water has surrounded the Mt. Calvary Powerhouse Church in Poplar Bluff, Mo. on April 26, 2011. A levee protecting the town from major flooding breached today and authorities are planning to evacuate about seven thousand residents.
The Black River is receding at Poplar Bluff, Mo., and some 1,000 evacuees are now allowed to go home.
Officials in the southeast Missouri community of 17,000 residents on Thursday lifted a mandatory evacuation order for a large section of town, where river water has been pouring over the top of the levee.
Residents in the impacted area can return home whenever they choose.
Many will find a mess left behind by the murky water. Officials don't yet know how many homes were damaged in Poplar Bluff and in a rural area of Butler County also protected by the levee.
The National Weather Service said Thursday that after a crest of 21.4 feet on Tuesday, the Black River at Poplar Bluff was down to 19.1 feet.
Updated 11:14 a.m. April 27:
Via the Associated Press:
The Army Corps of Engineers says it will wait until this weekend to decide whether to intentionally break a southeastern Missouri levee along the Mississippi River.
The Corps has said it may have to blow holes in the Birds Point levee to ease rising waters near the Illinois town of Cairo which sits near the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers.
Missouri has sued (see 12:58 update) to block the effort because it would swamp farmland. A hearing is scheduled for Thursday.
But Corps spokesman Bob Anderson tells The Associated Press that even if a judge gives the go-ahead, the agency will wait until it gets a better forecast of the river crests to see if the breach is necessary. That decision isn't likely to come until at least this weekend.
Updated 5:06 p.m. April 26:
Via the Associated Press:
Illinois Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon is defending the idea of intentionally breaching a Missouri levee to reduce flooding in Cairo.
Missouri officials object to the plan, saying it would endanger 130,000 acres of prime farmland.
But Simon told The Associated Press on Tuesday that farmers will be compensated for their losses and will be able to use the land next year. On the other hand, flooding could devastate the poor town of Cairo.
She noted an Illinois levee was intentionally breached during 1993 flooding.
Simon also says the Army Corps of Engineers would not break the Birds Point levee until water had already topped the levee.
The Corps of Engineers says it will put off a decision until at least Wednesday.
Updated 4:20 p.m. April 26:
U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill says she has concerns about the intentional breaching of the levee at Birds Point (via a press release):
“While emergency responders and volunteers work to save lives and protect property as best they can, the Army Corps of Engineers are working to find a solution to alleviate the stress from our levees. I have grave concerns about the plan to intentionally breach Bird’s Point Levee that is being considered. In the effort to prevent more damage, we may do additional significant harm to the agricultural economy of the region that will last well after the flood waters recede.”
The release says McCaskill has already communicated her concerns with the Army Corps of Engineers' leadership.
Gov. Jay Nixon has signed legislation to gradually repeal a tax on some Missouri businesses.
The bill reduces Missouri's franchise tax rate over the next several years before repealing it altogether for the 2016 tax year. Nixon signed the measure Tuesday in Kansas City at Boulevard Brewing Co. He said repealing the measure will provide an incentive for companies to move to Missouri.
The state's franchise tax was levied in 1917 and applies to company assets such as buildings and inventory.
Another auditor is criticizing Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon's administration for billing a state agency over travel costs.
The audit released Thursday by Republican Auditor Tom Schweich found $1,630 was charged to the Division of Workforce Development, in the Department of Economic Development. Nixon and a labor department official promoted a program administered by the workforce division. The audit said documents for the flight showed no division staff came along.
The Senate’s $23.2 billion spending plan cuts the state’s higher education budget by 4.8 percent, and provides an additional $20 million for school bus funding. Kurt Schaefer (R, Columbia) sponsored the budget bills in the Senate.