The Department of Natural Resources is launching a statewide roundup of mercury in Missouri. There will be around 50 mercury drop-off sites in the state, including four in the St. Louis area.
The department is working with fire departments and county health offices to provide drop-off locations where citizens and non-profit agencies can leave instruments containing mercury like thermometers, blood pressure cuffs, thermostats or switches.
Water samples taken this week from 12 coves at the Lake of the Ozarks did not contain elevated E. Coli levels, but two Missouri beaches will remain closed because of elevated average amounts of the bacteria.
All 12 samples are from coves in the lake's upper region, from the Highway 65 bridge to the Brown Bend area 30 miles down-lake. Renee Bungart with the Department of Natural Resources says the upper-lake testing is part of a 5-year study to examine the Lake of the Ozark's ecological health.
Storms capable of producing tornadoes pounded parts of the state Wednesday afternoon.
In Sedalia, Mo., a tornado destroyed dozens of mobile homes and heavily damaged several businesses along one of the city's main highways. No one was killed and only 15-to-25 minor injuries were reported.
Acting Police Chief Larry Ward says despite all the damage, it feels like Sedalia dodged a bullet.
Sleet and freezing rain is causing numerous accidents this morning, including one involving multiple vehicles. The ice storm began just before 5 a.m. and caused accidents throughout the region. The worst was on Interstate 64 near downtown St. Louis, where more than 20 cars and a couple of semis slid on ice. Ambulances and fire trucks responding to the scene were involved in the accident. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Fire Capt. Dan Sutter says 21 people were injured in the accident, one critically. Missouri State Highway Patrol Cpl. Jeff Wilson said troopers responded to up to 60 accidents in St. Charles, Lincoln and St. Louis counties. Officials with the Missouri Department of Transportation says the icy conditions caught them a bit off guard. Assistant district engineer Tom Blair says crews were out patching potholes when they received word that freezing rain could be moving into the area.
The Missouri Department of Natural Resources is receiving about $216,000 from the federal government to study the condition of old, closed landfills in rural communities. The agency says many older landfills did not have to meet modern environmental standards, and many were not closed properly. The Department of Natural Resources says it will use the findings to train cities on how to maintain the closed dumps or buy and sell properties with landfills on them. The department wants to make sure the landfills don't pollute nearby water resources or otherwise harm the environment.
According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, East St. Louis Mayor Alvin Parks Jr. and three others will face off April 5 in the general election after last night's mayoral primary. Parks received 47 percent of the vote. Councilman Delbert Marion was second with 25 percent and former Mayor Carl Edward Officer finished third with 24 percent. The Post-Dispatch reports that voter turnout was about 25 percent. The election comes as layoffs burden the city's police and the murder rate continues to rise.