It’s been in the works for 15 years. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has now released the final draft of the Master Manual for Management of the Missouri River. Corps’ spokesman Paul Johnston says the new manual focuses more on upstream management. Johnston says that means there could be a split navigation season on the Missouri River, hampering barge operators’ efforts to move goods. Plus, today’s announcement leaves open the door for man-made spring floods to help endangered species, although Johnston points out there’s nothing directly mandating them. Randy Asbury with the Coaltion to Protect the Missouri River, a group representing agricultural and business interests along the river is not pleased with the decision. Asbury says this could end up flooding farmers and people who live along the river or drop water levels so low, utilities won’t be able to operate. And barges could shut down permanently.
Archives for February 2004
The State Republican Party is expressing its outrage over a billboard campaign Missouri Democrats are trying to launch. The ads, to be placed in predominantly Africa-American areas of St. Louis and Kansas City, feature he face of a black man next to the slogan, “Missouri Republicans Have A Plan. You Are Not Part Of It.” Paul Sloca with the Missouri Republicans says the Democrats’ playing of the race card is not acceptable. He calls it disgusting. Jim Gardner with the State Democratic Party rejects the suggestion that race baiting is going on. He concedes, however, that it makes sense – as a marketing strategy – to place certain ads in certain communities to appeal to people living in those communities. Viacom, which owns the billboards, has so far refused to put up the ads, saying they are “deceptive.”
The SMS Lady Bears improved to 24-2 overall and 15-1 in Missouri Valley Conference play with a come from behind win over Illinois State. The Lady Bears trailed 21-20 at the half and got down by eight points early in the second half. They responded with a 23-3 tear to give them the lead to beat the Lady Redbirds 64-47. After going 1-for-13 from the three-point line in the first half, SMS hit 6-of-7 three pointers in the run. Jenni Lingor hit four three and finished with a team-high 16 points. Meg Tierney scored 13 points and K.C. Cowgill had 11. SMS’s 20 points in the first half was a season low. SMS is now in position to clinch the Missouri Valley Conference regular season championship with either a win at Indiana State on Sunday or a Creighton loss.
The offense at Northwest Missouri State has been one of the most feared squads in NCAA Division-II football over the last decade. The man responsible for those touchdowns is leaving. Jim Svoboda is leaving his post as the Bearcats’ offensive coordinator to become the quarterbacks’ coach at UCLA. In the ten years Svoboda’s offense broke over 70 Northwest Missouri St., MIAA Conference and NCAA Division II records. They led the nation in scoring in 1998 and 2000 In ’98 and ’99 Northwest Missouri State won back-to-back Division II National Championships. This marks the first movement of any kind in head coach Mel Tjeerdsma’s coaching staff since taking over in Maryville in 1994. Offensive line coach Bart Tatum will take over the offensive coordinator vacancy.
Mike Kitchen’s first game as the Blues head coach was certainly entertaining. St. Louis battled back to earn a 2-2 tie and a point with the Avalanche in Denver. Milan Hejduk made Kitchen’s debut a little uncomfortable when he scored at the 3:35 mark of the first period to give the Colorado the early lead. At the 1:32 mark of the second period Hejduk struck again to put the Blues in a 2-0 hole. It remained 2-0 until the 15:16 mark of the second, when Dallas Drake scored on a goal assisted by Doug Weight and Eric Boguniecki. Three minutes and four seconds later, Keith Tkachuk scored on a power play goal from Pavol Demitra and Chris Pronger to tie it up. No one scored the rest of the way or in overtime. Chris Osgood was in goal for the Blues and made 25 saves. St. Louis remains in ninth place in the Western Conference standings.
A report out today discloses that 70 priests working in the Archdiocese of St. Louis have been accused of sexually abusing 148 children since 1950. Accusers withdrew their claims against four of the priests. Slightly more than 1,200 priests served in the St. Louis Archdiocese during that period. The St. Louis report is part of a national report being released by the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Attorney General Jay Nixon is ready to act to deal with the State Supreme Court ruling on the conceal-and-carry gun law. He’s vowing to work with the Legislature to quickly address the Court’s concerns. The Supreme Court’s 5-to-2 ruling upholds the constitutional right of eligible Missourians to carry concealed weapons. But the Court agrees with plaintiffs in four counties – Jackson, Greene, Camden, and Cape Girardeau – that the paperwork associated with conceal and carry might present an unfunded mandateand violate the Hancock Amendment. Nixon says sheriffs in all other counties could conceivably start issuing permits, but that’s probably not wise, because it would likely open the litigation floodgates. Nixon says he’ll work with the Legislature over the next few days to craft language that will address the funding concerns. Conceal and carry became law when the Legislature overrode Governor Bob Holden’s veto. Holden’s office has issued a statement saying the Governor remains opposed to conceal and carry.
State lawmakers say they will evalutate the State Supreme Court ruling to decide what changes must be made to fully enact the conceal and carry law. The ruling questions whether the Legislature violated the Hancock Amendment’s prohibition against unfunded mandates. Under the law, county sheriffs would charge a $100 permit feeto be deposited in the sheriff’s revolving fund that pays for equipment and training. Four counties, in particular Kansas City’s Jackson County, asserted that wouldn’t allow the money to cover processing costs, creating an unfunded mandate. House sponsor Larry Crawford of California says he be will talking with colleagues about addressing the court’s concern. Senate Leader Peter Kinder of Cape Girardeau sponsored the legislation in that chamber. He says study will proceed action. Kinder though says he’s delighted with the ruling, noting that it found nothing in the state constitution to prohibit the legislature from enacting a conceal and carry law.
A Governor’s veto keeps alive the possibility of service fees deducted from state workers’ paychecks, although the Secretary of State says he won’t let it happen.Governor Bob Holden vetoed legislation that would have stopped the part of his executive order that allowed the collection of union dues – so-called service fees – from non-union state workers. When asked whether he now expected a problem from Secretary of State Matt Blunt, who has to publish the rule to put it into effect and who hassaid in the past he would not publish it, Holden said that would be for the Secretary of State to determine. He says it shouldn’t be a problem. Blunt doesn’t expect a problem, either. He says regardless of what the Legislature did this year regarding the service fees, he still could not publish the Governor’s executive order calling for the fees because it broke laws already on the books. A spokesman for the Governor was non-committal as to what the next move might be in the case.
The House has given final approval to a bill aimed at reforming the unemployment compensation system. Following several hours of debate, the bill was passed and now moves to the Senate. One of the sticking points in the debate was whether unemployment benefits should be paid to those who use illegal drugs.