Morning headlines: Tuesday, July 12, 2011 | St. Louis Public Radio

Morning headlines: Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Jul 12, 2011

Good morning! Here are some of today's starting headlines:

Mo. Gov. Nixon to sign legislation related to disability issues

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is preparing to sign legislation addressing several physical and mental disability issues. The governor has scheduled a signing ceremony for this morning at Paraquad Independent Living Center in St. Louis.

The legislation provides, in part, that a disability or disease doesn't automatically diminish an adult's parental rights or disqualify someone from being an adoptive or foster parent. Another section requires that parking spaces at least 96 inches wide be set aside in new parking lots or lots that are being re-striped. The measure also replaces the term "mental retardation "in state law with "intellectual disability" or "developmental disability."

Be careful - it's still very hot today

An excessive heat warning remains in effect until 7 p.m. this evening due to dangerous heat and humidity. Heat index values will range from 105 to 110 degrees today.

The sweltering summer temperatures are being blamed in the suspected heat-stroke death of a 51-year-old man in southwestern Illinois. Madison County Coroner Stephen Nonn said Mitsunari Uechi was found unresponsive Sunday night in his Granite City mobile home. Nonn said the home's air conditioner wasn't working and the man's body temperature was 104 degrees when he arrived at the hospital.

Diversion of resources may be necessary to rebuild Mississippi River flood control system

Reporting from KRCU's Jacob McCleland used in this report.

Unless More funding comes their way, the Army Corps of Engineers will have to divert resources away from some projects in order to rebuild the Mississippi River flood control system. The Corps is currently in the process of prioritizing its projects following this year's devastating floods.

One of the Corps' priorities is maintaining the river channel at Kentucky Bend, that western-most parcel of Kentucky that is separated from the rest of the state by the Mississippi River. Corps spokesperson Bob Anderson said the river tried to change course there by ripping out a large chunk of the bank that includes concrete revetment.

"If the river were to change course at that location you would have many millions of dollars worth of navigation improvements that would be lost because the river had changed course," Anderson said. "That would be pretty costly to the American taxpayer and the folks who need a reliable navigation channel."

Other high priority projects include the reconstruction of the Birds Point-New Madrid Floodway and multiple repairs at Cairo, Ill. The Corps estimates that repairs will cost between $1 billion and $1.5 billion. At this point, $52 million have been transferred from surplus budgets of other projects, but, Anderson notes that additional transfers are likely.

Law banning saggy pants passes in Collinsville, Ill.

The Collinsville City Council in southwestern Illinois voted 3-2 yesterday to ban saggy pants.

So, how low is too low? And what's the penalty if you're found with your waistband hanging too close to the ground?

  • The Belleville News-Democrat reports the ordinance forbids pants that ride lower than 3 inches to 4 inches below the waistline of the underwear.
  • A first offense is punishable with a  $100 fine, while a second offense would carry a $300 fine plus 40 hours of community service.

The ordinance was passed over the objections of city manager Bob Knabel who argued that enforcing it would sidetrack police officers from more important issues. But councilman Mike Tognarelli said he trusts officers to use good judgment. He contends saggy pants are a symbol of gang activity and Collinsville residents don't need to put up with it.