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Joplin tornado

Morning headlines: Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Jul 27, 2011
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.

Mo. AG files suit over post-tornado scams

Jul 21, 2011
(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.

Nixon pledges home-rebuilding aid in Joplin, Mo.

Jul 19, 2011
(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.

(via Flickr/KellyB.)

The unemployment rate in Missouri ticked down slightly last month, according to new data from the Missouri Department of Economic Development.

Missouri's rate last month was 8.8 percent, down from 8.9 percent in May 2011, and a sharp decrease from June 2010, when 9.2 percent of the state's citizen's were out of work.

The national rate for June stood at 9.2 percent.

Mo. gov. pledges additional $100M for disaster aid

Jul 1, 2011
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Updated 3:42 p.m.

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has pledged an additional $100 million in state disaster aid following the deadly tornado in Joplin and continued flooding across the state.

Nixon's announcement Friday raises Missouri's total financial commitment to $150 million for a particularly devastating few months of natural disasters.

Morning headlines: Friday, July 1, 2011

Jul 1, 2011
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers photo by Carlos J. Lazo

Obama issues federal emergency declaration

President Barack Obama has issued a federal emergency declaration for Missouri because of flooding along the Missouri River system and flash floods in the northeast. Gov. Jay Nixon says his request for the declaration was granted Thursday.

Joplin Home Depot building design under scrutiny

Jun 27, 2011
(UPI/Tom Uhlenbrock)

Engineers who studied the Joplin Home Depot where at least seven people died say the store's construction method might have led to some of the deaths.

The Kansas City Star reports that the "tilt-up wall" method used at the Joplin store met city codes, but didn't offer much protection when an EF-5 tornado roared through the community.

Nixon announces programs to aid Joplin businesses

Jun 24, 2011
(UPI/Tom Uhlenbrock)

The Missouri Department of Economic Development will use $50 million in bond money to help Joplin-area manufacturers recover from the May 22 tornado.

Gov. Jay Nixon was in Joplin Friday to announce $75 million in awards and modifications of existing programs aimed at helping business and industry in the Joplin area. Two-thirds of that funding comes from Private Activity Tax Exempt Bond capacity that has been set aside to aid the region.

Death toll in Joplin rises to 156, electronics being sorted for recycling

Jun 23, 2011
(via Flickr/U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service - Midwest Region)

As Joplin, Mo. continues to recover from the tornado that devastated the area just over a month ago, there is an unfortunate report of another death related to the disaster, along with an effort to make something useful out of the wreckage.

Joplin's public information office says it was notified Wednesday of the death of Grace M. Sanders, who was injured in the tornado. No other information about the victim or the death was released.  With Sanders' death, the number of deaths from the tornado has now risen to 156.

Morning headlines: Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Jun 14, 2011
(Courtesy Atchison County 911/Emergency Management on Facebook)

Levee Break Sends Releases Torrents of Water

Crews are racing to build up a protective wall to keep floodwaters from reaching a small Iowa town after the swollen Missouri River punched a massive hole in the main levee that protects the community.

Two levees in northwest Missouri ruptured yesterday, sending water over rural farmland.

Joplin tornado death toll at 153

Jun 13, 2011
(via Flickr/xpda)

Joplin city officials say two more fatalities have been reported from the tornado that devastated the southwest Missouri city last month.

Lynn Iliff Onstot, public information officer for Joplin, said as of Monday there were 153 fatalities from the tornado. Onstot said the city received the updated list from the Jasper County coroner and the Missouri Department of Public Safety.

Death toll in Joplin tornado rises to 151

Jun 10, 2011
(UPI/Tom Uhlenbrock)

The death toll from the tornado that destroyed much of Joplin has risen to 151 in part because of several deaths linked to a rare fungal infection.

Jasper County Coroner Rob Chappel said Friday that his office is still receiving regular reports of people who have died at hospitals after being hurt in the nation's deadliest tornado in more than six decades.

The most recent death was confirmed late Wednesday.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

Nixon to sign budget, Missouri RX bills

Gov. Jay Nixon will sign the 2012 budget for the state of Missouri - and cuts to the $23 billion spending plan are already in the works.

The governor said two weeks ago he would have to cut at least $113 million. Much of that is due to unplanned expenses from the Joplin tornado and flooding in southeast Missouri. More cuts could be necessary as the state is now also responding to floods along the Missouri River in the northwest corner of the state.

(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

MoDOT building that will be shuttered in restructuring could get new life

The Missouri Highways and Transportation Commission yesterday approved a five-year reduction plan that will eliminate 1200 jobs and close 131 facilities - including district offices in Macon, Joplin and Willow Springs. But the building in Joplin could get see new life fairly quickly. The AP reports that MoDOT director Kevin Keith has offered the building to the Joplin School District, which saw a half-dozen buildings destroyed or damaged in the May 22 F5 tornado.

Keith says agency employees who would be in the building when school starts would be relocated to temporary quarters.

Morning headlines: Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Jun 8, 2011
Busch Stadium
Bill Greenblatt | UPI

Good morning! Here are some of today's starting headlines:

Cardinals, Royals to team up for series to benefit Joplin recovery

The St. Louis Cardinals and Kansas City Royals will be teaming up to help raise money for tornado recovery efforts in Joplin, Mo. Missouri's two Major League Baseball teams are to meet for an interleague series June 17-19 in St. Louis.

Mo. House panel formed after natural disasters

Jun 7, 2011
(UPI/Bill Greenblatt)

A newly created House committee will examine whether a special legislative session is needed to assist in the recovery from a deadly tornado in Joplin and flooding in southeastern Missouri.

The House Interim Committee on Disaster Recovery was to make its recommendation by the end of July. The committee also was tasked with examining long-term recovery strategies and ways for Missouri to be better prepared for future natural disasters.

A report with those findings was to be submitted by the end of the year.

(UPI/Rick Meyer)

Gov. Jay Nixon has ordered that the U.S. and Missouri flags be flown at half-staff at all government buildings to honor a Riverside police officer who died after helping Joplin tornado victims.

Morning headlines: Monday, June 6, 2011

Jun 6, 2011
Flickr/SDNG photo by OC Chad Carlson

Second Breach on Missouri River Reported

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers reported the first breach on the levee near the Missouri-Iowa border yesterday. The second breach, which is about 10 feet wide, was reported this morning.

The corps says the Iowa National Guard has been dropping thousands of pounds of large sandbags to help fill the breaches, but the damaged areas are expected to fully breach as water levels rise.

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