ST. LOUIS (AP) - A long-delayed project to close a huge levee gap and improve drainage in southeast Missouri is moving forward.
The Army Corps of Engineers on Tuesday announced plans for public meetings to discuss a proposed environmental impact statement for the St. Johns Bayou and New Madrid Floodway project. Meetings will be Aug. 27 in East Prairie, Mo., and Aug. 28 in nearby Cairo, Ill.
The levee holds back the Mississippi River from agricultural land in the Missouri Bootheel region, but it has a 1,500-foot gap.
A $100 million project that also includes drainage improvements in the Missouri towns of Charleston, East Prairie and Sikeston was given the go-ahead in 2006 but halted a year later over concerns raised by environmentalists. A federal judge agreed to put the project on hold.
FREDERICKTOWN, Mo. (AP) - Twenty-four years after a 14-year-old girl disappeared from near her eastern Missouri home, leads still trickle in concerning the disappearance of Gina Dawn Brooks.
Gina was last seen on Aug. 5, 1989. Her red bicycle was found on the street in her hometown of Fredericktown. There were reports of a light blue, gray or green station wagon at about the time a witness heard a scream in the neighborhood.
FBI spokeswoman Rebecca Wu told the Daily Journal newspaper in Park Hills, Mo. that new information still comes in from time to time, and agents investigate every tip.
Bryant Squires reportedly made a deathbed confession in 1996, indicting an associate, Nathan "Danny" Williams, but first-degree murder charges against Williams were eventually dropped due to lack of evidence.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Governor Jay Nixon says low-interest loans will be available to residents and business owners in several eastern Missouri communities hit by damaging weather from May 29th through June 10th.
Nixon's office said Friday the U.S. Small Business Administration has granted the state's request for the assistance.
The low-interest loans will be offered in the city of St. Louis and in St. Louis, St. Charles, Franklin, Jefferson, Lincoln and Warren counties.
Homeowners, renters, business owners and nonprofit organizations may apply for the loans to repair or replace property, equipment and inventory damaged by floods, high winds hail and tornadoes.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri health officials say they have been notified of a third confirmed case of cyclospora infection.
The state Department of Health and Senior Services said Friday the latest report of the stomach bug came from a health provider in the Kansas City metro area. The others were reported earlier this week from Jackson County and Taney County.
The state health department said the sources of the Missouri cases have not been confirmed, and it's not clear if they're linked to cyclospora infections in more than a dozen other states.
Officials in Iowa and Nebraska have said they believe cases those two states are linked to bagged salad mix.
Cyclospora infections are mostly found in tropical or subtropical countries. Symptoms include diarrhea, severe stomach cramps or nausea.
In other back-to-school news, starting Friday families have a chance to load up on school supplies and can avoid paying sales tax.
Missouri's annual Sales Tax Holiday runs through Sunday. In most area communities, consumers will not have to pay any sales tax on everything from pencils to computers. There are restrictions on what is exempt from tax and some communities that are not waving local taxes.
The state sales tax will not be charged on the following items during the holiday:
Clothing that does not have a value of more than $100. Eligible clothing includes standard items of apparel worn on or about the body, and includes footwear. It also includes material to make school uniforms or other school clothing. It does not include accessories such as watches, jewelry, handbags, handkerchiefs, umbrellas, scarves, ties, headbands and belt buckles.
School supplies, not exceeding $50 per purchase, that are used in a standard classroom for educational purposes. School supplies include textbooks, notebooks, paper, pens, pencils, crayons, art supplies, rulers, book bags, backpacks, handheld calculators, chalk, maps and globes. School supplies do not include CD players, headphones, sporting equipment, portable telephones, copiers or other office equipment.
Personal computers that don’t cost more than $3,500 and computer peripheral devices that don’t exceed $3,500. A personal computer can be a laptop, desktop or tower computer system which consists of a central processing unit, random access memory, a storage drive, display monitor, keyboard and other related devices. Peripheral devices include items such as a disk drive, memory module, CD drive, microphone, modem, motherboard, mouse, speakers, printer, scanner, sound card or video card. Computer software is considered a school supply and is free from sales tax if its value is less than $350.
Come of the counties NOT participating include:
Some of the cities NOT participating are:
Town & Country
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Lottery is allowing people who have a gambling problem to voluntarily ban themselves for life.
People who participate will be prohibited from claiming winnings of $600 or more. The option started Thursday, and officials say it is modeled after self-exclusion programs in Illinois, Iowa and Maryland.
Missouri Lottery Executive Director May Scheve Reardon says the $600 figure was chosen because lottery winnings of that amount or more are claimed at one of the lottery's regional offices. She says enforcement at 5,000 retail locations would be impossible.
To enact a self-ban, people will sign, notarize and submit an agreement to the Missouri Lottery. Officials will keep a database to be checked when someone comes to claim a prize. Those who have banned themselves will be denied payment.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Supporters of a Missouri initiative to restrict passengers on motorcycles can begin collecting signatures to get the proposal on the 2014 ballot.
The secretary of state's office announced Wednesday that the petition met standards for circulation. Proponents have until next May to collect enough signatures to get the proposal before voters.
The proposal would require Missouri motorcycle operators to be at least 21 and complete a rider-safety class before they could carry passengers. The restrictions would not apply to those who have had had a motorcycle license for the previous two years and were born in 1984 or earlier.
The first violation would be a misdemeanor with a fine of up to $300. Penalties would increase for repeat offenses.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The chairman of the Missouri Democratic Party plans to step down from the leadership post next month.
Mike Sanders was elected state party chairman in November 2011 and was re-elected in January. He also is serving his second term as Jackson County executive.
Sanders announced his plan to step down in a statement Wednesday from the Missouri Democratic Party. He says he looks forward to working with the next chairman to advance the state and party.
The Democratic Party plans to select a new party leader during the state committee's meeting Aug. 24 at a hotel in Jefferson City.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri health officials say they've been notified of two cases of intestinal illness from cyclospora.
The state Department of Health and Senior Services said Friday the reports came from health providers in Jackson County and southwest Missouri's Taney County.
The agency is working with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to determine if Missouri's cases are linked to suspected outbreaks in several other states. The CDC says most of the reported illnesses occurred from mid-June to early July.
Missouri officials have not yet confirmed the source of the illnesses. Cyclospora infections are mostly found in tropical or subtropical countries and have been linked to imported fresh produce in past instances.
Health providers advise people with diarrhea, severe stomach cramps or nausea to seek medical attention.
An nationwide email scam is popping up in Missouri.
The email claims that the recipient is owed millions in unclaimed property. The email typically comes from someone named Alex James and says that the money comes from a dead relative. The sender then asks for personal information to claim the prize.
State Treasurer Clint Zweifel reminds everyone that they can check for unclaimed property at showmemoney.com.