Morning headlines: Wednesday, July 25, 2012 | St. Louis Public Radio

Morning headlines: Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Jul 25, 2012

Nixon announces emergency assistance for farmers

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon was in Springfield Tuesday to announce emergency assistance to farmers who need access to water. At the Springfield Livestock Market, Nixon outlined a plan to make more state dollars available faster to farmers. An existing cost-share program is expanding. The state will pay 90 percent of the cost of deepening or drilling wells; previously, the state had covered 75 percent of the cost.

In addition, Nixon says applications for the program will get turned around in 72 hours, even over the weekend.

"We want to move those dollars out more quickly this year and we want to move them out to livestock and dairy producers who are in dire need right now of additional assets to get their water," Nixon told reporters.

There's $2 million designated for the program, but Nixon says if demand from farmers exceeds that amount, the state will consider setting aside more. Nixon said he could not estimate as to how many farmers will benefit from the program.

The Missouri Department of Agriculture's resource page for drought information can be found here.

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests praises sentencing of Roman Catholic Official

The national organization, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, based in St. Louis, says it's the first time a Catholic official in the U.S has been convicted for covering up sex abuse within the church.

SNAP director David Clohessy says after many failed attempts to reform the church this could have a big impact.

"We think it's going to cause many current and former Catholic employees to say no when their bishop asks them to stonewall a prosecutor or deceive parishioners or shred records or otherwise protect child molesters instead of protecting children," Clohessy said.

A judge in Philadelphia sentenced Monsignor William Lynn Tuesday to three to six years in prison for shielding predatory priests.

In Missouri, Bishop Robert Finn of the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph will go on trial in September for failure to report suspected child abuse.  Finn is the highest ranking Catholic church official to be held criminally liable in the ongoing sex abuse scandal.

St. Louis-area police kill suspect in St. Charles County

Authorities say a man suspected of shooting and wounding two St. Louis-area sheriff's deputies later was killed by law enforcement after he stabbed a police officer trying to arrest him.

Investigators say one St. Charles County deputy was shot in the wrist while another was shot twice in the arm during an ambush as they responded to reports of gunfire at a mobile home about 1 a.m. Wednesday.  Their injuries are not considered life-threatening.

After a manhunt of more than four hours, authorities say the suspect, 61-year-old Richard Heeter of Wentzville, stabbed a St. Louis County police officer in the shoulder as he tried to capture Heeter. Other officers then shot and killed Heeter.

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