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Morning headlines: Wednesday, June 22, 2011

UPI/Tom Uhlenbrock
People go through what is left of their home in Joplin, Missouri on May 24, 2011. The tornado that hit Joplin on May 22 is the deadliest single U.S. tornado in about 60 years.

FEMA to House Displaced Tornado Victims Near Joplin Airport

The federal government is planning to use 50 acres south of the Joplin Regional Airport to provide temporary housing for people who lost their homes in the May 22 tornado.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency said Tuesday that the land on Missouri 171 will accommodate up to 348 modular homes.  The Joplin Globe reports that the agency is required to take public comment on such projects. The comment period has been shortened to three days because of the urgent need for housing.

According to FEMA, up to 624 families have said they need interim housing, although the number constantly changes. Priority for housing will be given to those staying in the Red Cross shelter at Webb City. That number had dropped to 15 as of Tuesday.

SEMA to Help Find Sand to Fight Flooding

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is ordering the State Emergency Management Agency to help flood-fighting communities along the Missouri River to obtain sand. Nixon's office made the announcement on Tuesday, a day after The Associated Press reported that a shortage of available sand could potentially hamper flood-fighting efforts along the Missouri.  

At Nixon's direction, SEMA has identified additional suppliers that could provide sand if local supplies are exhausted or running low. Nixon says communities needing sand should contact SEMA.

SLU  to Study Investigational Bird Flu Vaccine

Researchers at Saint Louis University are looking for volunteers to participate in a study of an investigational vaccine for avian influenza - the so-called bird flu.

The research supported by the National Institutes of Health will compare multiple strengths of an investigational flu shot to stimulate the immune system to produce more infection-fighting antibodies.

The trial seeks 240 healthy adults nationally for the study. About 60 will participate at the Saint Louis University Center for Vaccine Development.

Researchers say the findings could be critical in stretching supplies of avian influenza vaccine in case of a bird flu pandemic.



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