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Morning headlines: Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Busch Stadium
Bill Greenblatt | UPI
Busch Stadium, the home playing field of the St. Louis Cardinals.The Cardinals and the Kansas City Royals will team up for an interleague series to help raise money for tornado recovery efforts in Joplin, Mo.

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.

Team officials will join Gov. Jay Nixon Wednesday at a Joplin baseball field to announce a series of activities to benefit the Joplin relief efforts. Nixon says the event is being dubbed "Teams United for Joplin."

A May 22 tornado killed at least 141 people in the Joplin area an damaged thousands of homes and businesses.

St. Louis tying records for high temperatures

St. Louis is on record-setting roll, but it's not exactly a cool distinction. High temperatures have matched or exceeded the city's previous record in four of the past five days. And another potentially record-setting day is forecast for Wednesday.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Tuesday's high of 96 matched a record dating to 1933. Monday's high also matched a Depression-era record. A 100-year-old old record high temperature was broken on Saturday and tied on Friday.

Levee protecting Chesterfield Valley under close watch as Missouri River levels rise

There's a chance that over the next few weeks the Missouri River could approach the flood levels that were reached back in 1993 at St. Charles.

That's the year that the Chesterfield Valley was inundated with flood waters, forcing people from their homes and businesses. But the Monarch levee has been built higher and wider than it was then and the Corps of Engineers' Tracey Kelsey says officials are confident the valley is safe this time. But they'll be keeping close tabs on the levee as water levels rise.

"You know they'll keep a close watch on the performance and if they notice any issues developing out there but yeah, it will be kept under close watch," Kelsey said.

Since the 1993 floods, there has been an enormous amount of retail and industrial development in the Chesterfield Valley that would be at risk if the Monarch levee were to fail, or be overtopped.

Jury expected to begin deliberating Thursday in Blagojevich retrial

The judge in ousted Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich's retrial says he expects the jury to begin deliberating Thursday. U.S. District Judge James Zagel made the comment shortly after Blagojevich ended his testimony yesterday. Zagel says the defense plans to call two more witnesses, then the government could be ready to present its closing arguments.

Zagel says jurors could start to deliberate tomorrow after the defense finishes their closing. The testimony stage of the retrial has lasted six weeks.

The government presented a streamlined three-week case and called 15 witnesses. The defense called three witnesses over three weeks. Blagojevich was on the witness stand for most of that time. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. also took the stand for the defense.

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