BLOOMINGTON, Ill. (AP) - An agricultural economics research company says last summer's low water on the Mississippi River cut the cash price farmers received for their corn by an average of 45 cents a bushel.
The Illinois Corn Marketing Board said Tuesday the study by Informa Economics of Memphis, Tenn., found that shipping corn by rail rather than barge cost an extra 45 cents a bushel. The board said money collected from farmers in Illinois and other states helped pay for the study.
Corn Marketing Board Chairman Larry Hasheider said last year's strong corn prices helped cushion farmers against the extra cost. He said that in another year the expense might have been more painful.
The 2012 drought lowered river levels and hindered shipping for an extended period.
CHICAGO (AP) - Illinois is building an 800-person army of temporary workers to help people sign up for health insurance under the Affordable Care Act.
The "in-person counselor" jobs are located in every corner of the state, and range from a $9-an-hour part-time evening job in Clinton County to a $45,000-a-year project coordinator position in Chicago.
The workers will help consumers apply for coverage, answer questions and explain differences between the insurance policies offered on the new online marketplace.
Applications for the jobs are being collected online and anyone hired will get three days of training about health insurance, enrollment rules and other complicated aspects of the health law. Illinois must act quickly to be ready for Oct. 1, the first day of enrollment for the law's new insurance opportunities.
An elementary school-aged child is safe after police say a man tried to force her into a van at a bus stop.
The girl was waiting for the bus in the 4100 block on Muro Lane in Bridgeton Wednesday. She told officers that a man in a white van parked and asked her to help him load something into the vehicle. When she refused, the man grabbed her. The girl escaped and the suspect drove off in the van.
Pattonville School District officials say its the second incident in Bridgeton this week. District officials sent a letter to parents saying that on Tuesday a man had approached an elementary school student in the Spanish Village neighborhood asking to talk. The boy ran away.
In both cases, the suspect is described as a white man in his 40s. The girl told police he has a tattoo on his right forearm and was wearing a camouflage jacket with black pants and a black baseball hat.
Bridgeton police say they don't know if the incidents are related, but they're ask anyone with information to call them at 314-739-7557.
The Bridgeton incidents come less than a week after a suspicious incident at an Ellisville bus stop. A fourth-grade girl was waiting for the bus when she says a woman in a white van tried to coax her into the vehicle three separate times. The girl ran home and her parents called police.