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ST. LOUIS (AP) - A new audit has found that a St. Louis agency that administers federal Head Start grants made nearly $340,000 in improper expenditures, mostly because of bad bookkeeping.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the audit by the Office of Inspector General recommends that the agency, YWCA of Metropolitan St. Louis, pay back the money.
Wrongdoing is not alleged. The discrepancies were within grant years 2008 and 2009.
YWCA CEO Adrian Bracy says in a letter to federal officials that discrepancies occurred after the agency's chief financial officer died suddenly.
The YWCA received more than $63 million in federal grants from 2007 to 2009 to create Head Start centers and slots for low-income preschoolers in independent child care centers and through subcontracts with the Urban League of St. Louis.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Farmers in the nation's breadbasket who only recently were praying for an end to a withering drought are now pining for enough sunshine and heat to dry their muddy fields in time to plant their corn and other crops.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture says only 12 percent of the nation's cornfields have been planted. That's about a quarter of the amount farmers had planted by this point in the season over the last five years.
In Iowa, which is the nation's biggest corn producer, only 8 percent of the corn crop is in the ground. That's down from 62 percent at this point last year.
Farmer John Reifsteck says if he has to wait much longer, he may have to plant less corn on his 1,800-acre central Illinois farm.
LAKE ST. LOUIS, Mo. (AP) - A former St. Louis-area teacher is facing charges accusing him of sexually assaulting a 10-year-old student.
Prosecutors say 34-year-old Joseph Thomas Maddock of Lake St. Louis is charged with statutory sodomy.
He is jailed on $50,000 cash-only bond.
Authorities say Maddock, a former teacher at Andrews Academy, convinced the parents of the victim to allow him to home-school him.
Maddock has taught at 10 schools in the St. Louis metropolitan area since 2001. Anyone with additional information about the suspect is urged to contact Lake St. Louis police.
A homeless camp in downtown St. Louis stayed off the radar of city officials, until a fire last weekend.
The Post-Dispatch reports that "Camp Plum", as it is known, grew to over a dozen structures until some lit one of the tents on fire Saturday night. No one was hurt in the fire, but the city is moving everyone out of the camp.
Officials say the more than 20 residents should get housing vouchers to keep them off the street.