Joplin tornado

(via St. Louis County website)

Committee to meet today to review St. Louis County's controversial proposed budget

County Executive Charlie Dooley wants to cut $10 million in spending in part by closing 23 parks and laying off 175 employees. During a public hearing last week on the budget the council chambers was filled with residents, mostly opposed to closing parks. Several of the council members, including Mike O'Mara, the chairman of the special budget committee, suggested the cuts can be avoided.

SIUC tenure and tenure-track faculty go on strike

Three of the four Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC) unions in a contract dispute with the administration have reached a tentative agreement, avoiding a strike among non-tenure track faculty, civil service staff and graduate assistants. But one group walked off the job this morning.

Talks toward a new contract broke down last night.

(UPI/Tom Uhlenbrock)

The May tornado that hit Joplin, wiping out a big portion of the southwest Missouri city and killing 162 people, also left lead contamination that could cost up to $7.5 million to clean up.

Updated 2:03 p.m. with link to full report

Updated 12:46 p.m. with information from report

Originally published 10:46 a.m.

The federal agency that oversees the National Weather Service says warning sirens and notifications went out well ahead of the devastating Joplin tornado. But it says residents didn't respond quickly enough to the sirens warning of the impending twister.

For Joplin's children, tornado's effects persist

Sep 15, 2011

The tornado that hit Joplin, Mo., in May destroyed a third of the town and killed 162 people. While the storm lasted just minutes, the psychological damage continues, and the community is mobilizing to cope with continuing trauma. The city's children are dealing with both the unsettling effects of the tornado and what the loss, disruption and heartache is doing to their parents.

(UPI/Tom Uhlenbrock)

The death toll from Joplin's tornado is up to 162 after Jasper County's coroner added two more people to the list.

The Joplin Globe reports coroner Rob Chappel added 91-year-old Dorothy Johnston and 68-year-old Ronnie Holloway, both of Joplin, to the list on Wednesday.

Johnston died Sunday at a Carthage nursing home where she was suffering from a brain injury sustained in the storm.

(UPI/Tom Uhlenbrock)

Updated 5:32 p.m. with reaction from the Mo. House Speaker

A measure that sharply reduces the amount of tax credits available to support the creation of an international cargo hub at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport is in the hands of the Missouri House.

The State Senate approved the measure this morning.

(via Flickr/Galileo55)

Tornado survivors finish National 9/11 flag

(UPI/Tom Uhlenbrock)

Two bills have been filed in the Missouri House regarding the use of the state’s so-called Rainy Day fund.

The first would authorize $150 million to be used to match FEMA expenditures on tornado and flood damage across the state.  The second bill would set up a joint House-Senate committee to oversee the use of Rainy Day funds for natural disasters.

They’re sponsored by House Budget Chairman Ryan Silvey (R, Kansas City).  He wants Governor Jay Nixon (D) to expand the call of the special session to include both bills.

(via Flickr/Meagan)

Updated at 3:47 p.m. following a press conference with McCaskill

Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill says federal funding for Joplin is not in jeopardy.

Federal Emergency Management Agency officials said last week that funding for some long-term projects in the tornado-ravaged town would be put on hold because of Hurricane Irene.

McCaskill said she was worried initially (see earlier story below) but says she got a better explanation over the weekend.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Updated at 12:38 p.m. with information on tax credits for those with special needs

Reporting from KCUR's Elana Gordon used in this report.

Missouri's low-income housing agency has approved $100 million in tax credits to help rebuild Joplin and the St. Louis County community of Berkeley after they were hit by tornadoes earlier this year.

(Via Flickr/USACEPublicAffairs)

Here's an update to a story we told you about this morning:

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says Joplin schools will get up to $1.5 million from state government to help pay their
bills after a deadly tornado.

Nixon said Thursday the state funding is intended to help forestall the need for property tax increases next year by the Joplin School District.

(via Flickr/jetsandzeppelins)

Sixth heat-related death reported in St. Louis City this year

Earline Walker is the sixth person in St. Louis to die of heat-related causes this year.

90-year-old Walker was found last week by her family at her residence in the 3000 block of Semple. She had window air conditioner units, but they were blowing hot air.

(UPI/Tom Uhlenbrock)

The city of Joplin is off the hook for paying for the first couple of months of debris removal following a devastating tornado in May.

The federal government is paying 90 percent of the cost in the hard-hit area designated for the Federal Emergency Management Agency's enhanced cleanup payments, instead of the usual 75 percent. The state will be picking up the 10 percent not covered by FEMA under the expedited debris removal program that runs through next Sunday. Mo. Gov. Jay Nixon said two-thirds of the properties have been cleared so far.

(via Wikimedia Commons/Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

The national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says a dangerous fungus found in 13 people injured in the Joplin tornado was the first known cluster occurring after a tornado.

UPI/Tom Uhlenbrock

Nixon seeking extension for Joplin debris clean-up

Mo.  Gov. Jay Nixon is seeking extension of a federal program covering most of the cost of removing debris from the May tornado in Joplin. Nixon filed a request Tuesday with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to extend the Expedited Debris Removal Program for Joplin until Aug. 31. It's currently scheduled to expire Aug. 7.

(via Flickr/xpda)

A Missouri Senate subcommittee heard testimony at the Capitol today from state officials who handle disaster response.

Andrea Spillars, Deputy Director of the Department of Public Safety, told the Subcommittee on Emergency Response that state and local officials coordinated their response efforts very well following the Joplin tornado.

(via Flickr/Meagan)

Missouri officials say the insurance payout from the May 22 Joplin tornado will be the largest payout in the state's history.

The Missouri Department of Insurance says it expects the claims to eventually total between $1.5 billion and $2 billion.

The department says as of June 30, insurance companies had paid more than $509 million in tornado claims.

(Official Portrait, Missouri Attorney General's office)

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster is filing suit over two alleged fundraising scams involving the Joplin tornado.

Koster said Thursday that his lawsuits will target a Puerto Rico-based group called the Alivio Foundation and Georgia resident Steve Blood, who runs an Internet radio business.

The attorney general says Alivio Foundation solicited donations for Joplin tornado victims by claiming the money would go to a Catholic church and charity. But he says the Catholic entities have never heard of the foundation nor received any money.

(UPI/Tom Uhlenbrock)

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is proposing to allot $122 million in state and federal aid to rebuild homes destroyed by a tornado that devastated Joplin.

Nixon outlined his plan Tuesday during a news conference in Joplin. Most of the money would flow through the Missouri Housing Development Commission, which provides financial incentives to construct housing for low- and moderate-income residents.

Pages