LOS ANGELES (AP) — Protests against seed giant Monsanto are getting under way across the U.S. and in dozens of other countries.
"March Against Monsanto" organizers say they're calling attention to the dangers posed by genetically modified food and the companies that produce it. Protests were planned in more than 250 cities Saturday.
Genetically modified plants are grown from seeds engineered to resist insecticides and herbicides, add nutritional benefits and improve crop yields.
Some believe they can lead to health problems and harm the environment. Opponents have pushed for mandatory labeling in California and worldwide, and have also accused the company of suing farmers when GMO seeds are blown into non-GMO fields. The federal government and many scientists say the technology is safe.
St. Louis-based Monsanto said Saturday that it respects people's rights to express their opinion, but believes its seeds help farmers produce more food, while conserving water and energy.
OZARK, Mo. (AP) — A southwest Missouri county health department has posted health advisories for three waterways because of high bacteria levels.
The Springfield News-Leader reports that the Christian County Health Department has posted advisories warning swimmers about high levels of E. coli bacteria at the Jim Turner Access at Finley River Park in Ozark, the Shelvin Rock Access southwest of Nixa and the Delaware Access west of Nixa.
The health department tests public waterways for E. coli, a type of bacteria that can cause diarrhea, dehydration and other problems.
Christian County Health Department Administrator Cindy Bilyeu says anyone who plans to swim in the river on Memorial Day weekend should take a shower immediately afterward. The health advisory will be removed after two consecutive samples at acceptable levels.
CHAFFEE, Mo. (AP) — A federal agency has sent investigators to southeast Missouri, where seven people were injured when two cargo trains collided on tracks under a highway overpass, causing the overpass to partially collapse.
Scott County Sheriff's Office Dispatcher Clay Slipis said the collision happened around 2:30 a.m. Saturday near Chaffee when a Union Pacific train hit a Burlington Northern train. Slipis said several cars derailed and hit a pillar of the Highway M overpass, bringing it down. Two cars were on that stretch of road.
Seven people — five in the vehicles and both train conductors — were taken to a hospital. Slipis said all but one was treated and released; the seventh is in good condition.
The National Transportation Safety Board says it's sent a crew to investigate the cause.
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) — A Las Vegas man is accused in Illinois of a timeshare scam that federal prosecutors say bilked $10 million from more than 3,000 victims across the United States, Canada and other countries.
A grand jury in East St. Louis has indicted 37-year-old Michael Patrick Sullivan on conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud charges. The fraud allegedly took place from December 2006 to January 2012.
The indictment alleges that Sullivan's Vacation Max telemarketing company falsely represented it found corporate buyers interested in acquiring blocks of timeshare units.
The company solicited fees of up to several thousand dollars from each timeshare owner in purported pre-paid closing costs and related expenses, but no sales actually occurred.
Online court records don't show whether he has an attorney.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Two crew members from a tow boat, including one who died, have been honored for their efforts to save a family of five after the family's boat became disabled on the Mississippi River at St. Louis.
The U.S. Coast Guard hosted a ceremony Friday to honor Jarvise Shelton and Kyle Hardman. Coast Guard officials say the pleasure craft was in "imminent peril" last year when Shelton and Hardman launched a small boat to save the family.
The rescue boat capsized, killing Hardman. Shelton and crew members from three other tows were able to save the family.
Shelton was presented the Coast Guard's Gold Lifesaving Medal during a ceremony in Alton, Illinois. Hardman's survivors will receive his medal at a later date.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Voters in southeast Missouri voters are running out of time to request absentee ballots by mail or fax for next month's congressional election.
The special election to replace Republican Jo Ann Emerson in the 8th Congressional District takes place June 4. Emerson gave up her seat in the U.S. House to lead a national association of rural electric cooperatives.
Secretary of State Jason Kander says voters unable to go the polls June 4th have until 5 p.m. Wednesday, May 29th, to get applications for absentee ballots to their local election authority.
Absentee ballots may be cast at county clerks' offices through June 3rd.
The four candidates in the race are Republican Jason Smith, Democrat Steve Hodges, Libertarian Bill Slantz and Constitution Party member Doug Enyart
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn is lashing out at lawmakers after the Illinois House approved a concealed carry bill that he says "puts public safety at risk."
Quinn says he opposes the plan because it would wipe out local gun ordinances - including Chicago's ban on assault weapons. Quinn issued a statement minutes after the House passed the bill on Friday.
He says that Chicago and other local communities should be able to keep their gun-control ordinances on the books.
Quinn is vowing to do all he can to prevent the bill from passing in the Illinois Senate.
Illinois is the last state in the nation that bans concealed weapons, and the bill comes after a federal appeals court ordered lawmakers to pass a concealed carry law by June 9.
Enterprise Holdings is increasing their hiring of veterans as we head into Memorial Day Weekend.
The company says they have already hired more than 600 vets this year and plan to increase that number to 2,000 by the end of the year. Enterprise is part of the nation-wide 100,000 Jobs Mission--a campaign to hire 100,000 veterans by 2020.
Enterprise is named after an aircraft carrier, the USS Enterprise. Company founder Jack Taylor served as a Navy Pilot aboard the carrier.
It is the last day to donate items as part of the STL 4 OKC campaign.
Mayor Francis Slay, County Executive Charlie Dooley, and Rams Quarterback Sam Bradford were all on hand this week to announced the donation drive.
There are two drop off locations that open until 7 PM on Friday. The first location is at Loughborough Commons at I-55 and Loughborough. The second location is at Kirkwood Commons at I-44 and Lindbergh. Bradford will be at the Kirkwood Commons location between 4:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Organizers are asking for any prepackaged items from pet food to hygiene products. The donations will be driven to Moore, Oklahoma this weekend.
An Illinois judge whose colleague died of a cocaine overdose while the two were on a hunting trip together has been charged with possession of heroin and guns.
St. Clair County Circuit Judge Michael Cook pleaded not guilty during a court appearance Friday in U.S. District Court in East St. Louis. KSDK reports he wore a t-shirt that read "Bad is my middle name" to today's hearing. Authorities say Cook and fellow judge Joe Christ were staying at the Cook family's hunting lodge in western Illinois' Pike County in March when Christ was found dead.
A coroner said Friday that Christ died of a cocaine overdose. Cook has not been charged in Christ's death.