WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has signed a major disaster declaration for 18 Missouri counties hit hard by last month's floods.
The floods that resulted from nearly two weeks of heavy rain caused widespread damage across the southern tier of the state and left at least three people dead.
The White House said in a news release that federal funding is available to help local governments and nonprofits recover. The counties that will benefit are Barry, Camden, Cedar, Dade, Dallas, Laclede, Maries, McDonald, Miller, Osage, Ozark, Phelps, Pulaski, Shannon, Taney, Texas, Webster and Wright.
Federal funding is also available for hazard mitigation measures statewide.
FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — Throughout central California, a water war is quietly being fought underground.
Farmers, residents and urban water districts have seen their wells go dry because the water table has fallen so low. Those who can afford it have been drilling deeper wells that can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Experts say groundwater supplies have been strained by growing city populations and hundreds of square miles of new orchards and vineyards.
Exacerbating the problem is a second consecutive dry year, as well as cutbacks of surface water shipped to farms and cities from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Climate change is putting additional pressure on aquifers.
Experts worry groundwater is becoming unaffordable — and that overuse could cause serious land subsidence, damaging infrastructure such as roads.
SAN DIEGO (AP) — Ranchers, deputies and lawmakers from states along the U.S.-Mexico border have long pleaded for federal help, saying their areas were overrun by people entering the country illegally and armed smugglers.
But today there is growing opposition along the nearly 2,000-mile boundary to more agents and fences.
The Border Mayors Association says hours-long waits at crossings have cost the region billions by deterring Mexican shoppers and delaying U.S. shipments.
Border mayors favor expanding "trusted traveler" programs that give passes to pre-vetted crossers, digital fingerprinting and other technology to make ports of entry more secure.
Congress hasn't addressed those ideas.
A far-reaching immigration bill passed by the Democratic-led Senate in June calls for an additional 20,000 Border Patrol agents and 700 miles of fencing.
The Republican-controlled House favors tackling immigration with single-issue bills, starting with border security.