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McCaskill announces lots of federal grants for Missouri

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 20, 2009 - U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., is earning her title as the "Queen of Federal Largesse,'' in part because she is Missouri's top Democrat in Congress -- and in part by virtue of her close ties to President Barack Obama.

When President George W. Bush,a Republican, was in the White House, Missouri's proud King of Pork was Sen. Christopher "Kit" Bond, R-Mo.

On Wednesday, McCaskill announced roughly $16 million in various federal grants going to Missouri.

The bulk of the money -- $11,032,438 -- is to help pay for recovery efforts as a result of last year's floods.

Another portion, just over $4 million, is heading to Missouri as part of the federal stimulus money. That money includes:

  •  $2,655,994 from the federal Department of Justice to "fund the STOP Violence Against Women Program'' in the state.
  •   $1,424,098 in stimulus money for 26 Missouri projects in rural areas. The money comes from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which is doling it out for "a variety of services including the purchase of emergency equipment, such as fire, medical and police vehicles, and the development of public facilities like childcare centers, hospitals and medical clinics,'' McCaskill's staff said.

The biggest recipient near St. Louis is the St. Francois County Board for the Developmentally Disabled, which is to receive $373,080.
Meanwhile, the federal Corporation for National and Community Service is giving stimulus grants totaling $565,374 to three Missouri organizations "to support AmeriCorps members volunteering in communities in need amid this economic crisis,'' according to McCaskill's staff.

The biggest recipient is Partnership for Youth, Inc.'s Recovery Education Corps in St. Louis. The agency is to receive $510,174.

If any more federal money comes Missouri's way, it's likely that McCaskill will do the announcement honors. That's especially likely since she made clear to KY3 this week that she's not interested in an Obama appointment to another government job that's soon to be open.

Jo Mannies has been covering Missouri politics and government for almost four decades, much of that time as a reporter and columnist at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. She was the first woman to cover St. Louis City Hall, was the newspaper’s second woman sportswriter in its history, and spent four years in the Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau. She joined the St. Louis Beacon in 2009. She has won several local, regional and national awards, and has covered every president since Jimmy Carter. She scared fellow first-graders in the late 1950s when she showed them how close Alaska was to Russia and met Richard M. Nixon when she was in high school. She graduated from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana, and was the daughter of a high school basketball coach. She is married and has two grown children, both lawyers. She’s a history and movie buff, cultivates a massive flower garden, and bakes banana bread regularly for her colleagues.

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