ST. LOUIS (AP) - Exactly how much the soggy spring has slowed farmers' efforts to plant their corn will become a bit clearer.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Monday was to issue its latest update on spring plantings.
A week ago, the USDA reported that just 12 percent of the nation's cornfields have been planted. That's about a quarter of what was planted by this date over the previous five years, and it marks the slowest start in decades in some states.
In Illinois, only 7 percent of the Illinois corn crop was sown.
Yet USDA estimates that while the wet start is expected to reduce the amount each acre produces this year, farmers are planting so much corn that they're still likely to bring in a record amount.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois House has approved legislation that would impose tougher punishment on anyone convicted of using social media to plan or incite a mob attack.
The bill passed the Senate last month. The 102-6 House vote now sends the measure to Gov. Pat Quinn.
Lawmakers said the legislation is in response to recent incidents in Chicago in which groups of young people descended on Michigan Avenue and other locations to rob or attack people.
Police say the suspects used text messaging and social media such as Twitter to organize and publicize the attacks.
The bill would allow a judge to impose an extended sentence if someone used electronic communication in a mob action.
Rep. Christian Mitchell is a Chicago Democrat. He says the legislation will make communities throughout Illinois safer.
The building that used to house federal records is on the auction block.
The feds are selling the 440,000 square foot former federal records center at 111 W. Winnebago Street in St. Louis.
Bids are competitive and the General Services Administrator says interested bidders will have to provide a $45,000 registration deposit to register for the sale and to bid on the property, which will be applied to the sale price. Most of the square footage is warehouse space, with some office space. Registered guests can tour the building 10 a.m., Monday, May 20.
Since 1961, the facility served as a records storage facility for the National Archives and Records Administration most recently. The records center relocated to a new facility at 1 Archives Drive, St. Louis, in 2011.
The public can find more information about this auction by contacting Laura McGinnis at (817) 307-1943 or firstname.lastname@example.org and by visiting RealEstateSales.gov orPropertyDisposal.gsa.gov.