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Colin Jeffery

Colin Jeffery

JOPLIN, Mo. (AP) - Kansas and Missouri residents will be out during the next three weeks counting the birds in their states.
 
It's part of an annual national effort that began more than 100 years ago, called the Christmas Bird Count.
 
The count began Dec. 14 and will continue through Jan. 5. Bird enthusiasts plan gatherings or individuals simply count the number of birds they see in their backyards.
 
The Joplin Globe reports the bird count began in 1900, with only a few dozen observers in 25 locations. Last year, more than 71,000 people participated in 2,369 locations.
 
Audubon and other organizations use data collected in the count to determine the health of bird populations. If a certain species is declining, conservation measures can be implemented to help that species rebound.
 
A startling admission from the EPA concerning radioactive waste at the Westlake Landfill.
 
At a meeting Monday night EPA officials admitted that they have found new radioactive waste outside of the existing fence line. The fence was erected to keep workers away from the buried waste.
 
Harvey Ferdman, policy advisor to Representative Bill Otto joined McGraw Tuesday morning. Ferdman says the EPA had new information about the waste coming in contact with groundwater, "The said and I wrote this down, they are now seeing it in more places than before. And that's a very big admission from the EPA to say that. They've been in the past saying, that it appeared not to be moving around."
 
The Westlake landfill is adjacent to the Bridgeton Landfill that is the site of an underground fire that has been smoldering for years.
 
Video: Policy Analyst Harvey Ferdman: EPA Says Radioactive Waste has Reached Groundwater 

ST. LOUIS (AP) - The American Civil Liberties Union is suing a small southeast Missouri town after police allegedly threatened to arrest a homeless couple for holding a sign asking for help.
 
The ACLU filed suit Monday on behalf of the homeless couple, Edward Gillespie and Brandalyn Orchard. The suit filed in U.S. District Court in Cape Girardeau names the city of Miner and two unidentified police officers.
 
The lawsuit claims that in late September, Gillespie and Orchard were holding a sign that read, "Traveling. Anything helps. God bless." A Miner officer told them to leave.
 
The ACLU says the officer later showed copies of city ordinances related to vagrancy, begging and loitering. A second officer arrived and the couple was told to leave town or face arrest.
 
A Miner police spokesman declined comment.

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