MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - Environmental Protection Agency officials say the U.S. is falling short of its goals to cut Mississippi River pollution and shrink the dead zone it creates in the Gulf of Mexico.
Speaking in Minneapolis Tuesday, the federal officials said states in the river's watershed need to accelerate efforts to cut pollution from farm field runoff and sewage treatment plant discharges.
The area of depleted oxygen was the size of Connecticut this summer. Nancy Stoner, the EPA's acting assistant administrator for water, says that's about three times larger than the agency's goal.
Minnesota Public Radio reports each state has its own plan to help reach the overall goal. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency will issue a draft of its updated plan next month and take public comments on it.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri businesses could face significantly higher costs for workers' compensation insurance next year.
An organization that projects workers' compensation insurance costs is forecasting that Missouri insurers will see an 11.6 percent increase in their claim costs in 2014. The projections by the National Council on Compensation Insurance often are used by insurance companies to set the premiums charged to businesses.
The increase is driven partly by a new Missouri law that seeks to shore up a financially troubled fund for disabled workers who suffer additional on-the-job injuries. The law shifts some types of claims out of the Second Injury Fund and into traditional workers' compensation insurance.
Businesses also could face a higher surcharge - on top of their regular workers' compensation premiums - to help replenish the Second Injury Fund.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - Tina Meier has told the story of her 13-year-old daughter Megan's 2006 suicide to teachers, TV talk show hosts and parents across the country. Now she's helping to train local police officers on the unflinching, often brutal world of electronic harassment.
More than 70 officers from two dozen law enforcement agencies in Missouri and Illinois gathered Wednesday for a daylong cyberbullying workshop led by Maier. Her daughter killed herself after an Internet hoax led by an adult woman who lived four houses away from the Meier family in St. Charles County.
All but a handful of states now have laws covering either cyberbullying or electronic harassment. But Meier said prosecutors and judges remain reluctant to forcefully apply those statutes.