The heavy rains that caused flooding across portions of Missouri this spring have also led to improved soil conditions for crops grown in the Show-Me State.
The exceptionally-wet spring did cause delays in getting corn, cotton and soybeans in the ground. But Bob Garino, Missouri Statistician with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) state office in Columbia, says conditions are much better than a year ago when 2012's drought and heat wave began to take hold.
The death toll from the recent heat wave in St. Louis is up to 14.
The city announced yesterday that four more individuals- three men and a woman- had succumbed to the triple-digit temperatures. The exact circumstances of their deaths were not provided.
The rising death toll has prompted Mayor Francis Slay to create a coordinated severe weather response program that will include the city's health, human services, public safety and building departments.
Telephone utilities in 18 states will receive nearly $500 million in U.S. Agriculture Department funds to build, expand and improve broadband in rural areas.
The Ag Department made the announcement Monday during the annual meeting of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners in St. Louis.
In a statement, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack says the money to 28 telephone utilities will provide high-speed Internet that will improve health care and educational opportunities to rural areas, along with greater job opportunities.