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Morning headlines: Monday, March 28, 2011

(U.S. Army photo by Staff Sgt. Jim Greenhill, Flickr Creative Commons User The National Guard)
Former Missouri Senator Kit Bond.

Plane Carrying Bond and Wainwright Makes Slippery Landing at Lambert

Former Missouri Senator Kit Bond and Cardinals star pitcher Adam Wainwright were on board a flight that had to make a slippery landing at Lambert Airport this weekend. The two were among about 140 passengers on a Delta Air Lines jet that slid off the runway while landing in a snowstorm Saturday afternoon.

The plane arrived from Atlanta. Bond told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch it veered sharply to the left. The Missouri Republican, who did not seek re-election in 2010, praised the pilot for maneuvering the plane onto an adjacent runway.

Bond was returning to his Mexico, Mo. home after a visit with his first grandchild born last month. Wainwright, who is out for the season after elbow surgery, was coming back from spring training for an appointment with a rehabilitation coordinator. No injuries were reported. The Federal Aviation Administration is expected to release a report on the incident today. 

Vilsack Visits St. Louis to Support Korean Trade Agreement

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill are in St. Louis this morning to encourage passage of the Korean Trade Agreement and discuss the importance of agriculture exports to the U.S. economy. McCaskill's office says that farmers within a 500-mile radius of St. Louis are producing more than three quarters of the nation's corn and soybean crops. The Missouri Democrat also says the Mississippi River moves about 500 tons of cargo each year, including 60 percent of the nation's gran exports.

In a press release, the USDA Office of Communications says:

"Vilsack will also celebrate the establishment and upcoming opening of the new National Operations Center for the USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service. The new operations center will create more than 350 local jobs and reuse a federal facilitiy while making the agency more efficient and cost effective in it's work."

Spring Break Over for Mo. Legislature

Missouri lawmakers return this week from their annual spring break and some weighty issues are on the agenda.  The House is expected to take up the proposed budget for the state fiscal year that begins in July. The Senate, meanwhile, is scheduled to debate legislation revising the state's school funding formula and imposing more restrictions on late-term abortions. Later this week, Senate Majority Leader Tom Dempsey says he hopes to bring up legislation revamping Missouri's wide array of tax credits. Missouri's legislative session runs through May 13.


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