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DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - The USDA reports that farmers intend to plant 97.3 million acres of corn this year, the most since 1936.
The spring planting survey released Thursday says the 2013 corn planting forecast is up slightly from last year's 97.2 million acres.
Corn remains profitable, as prices are strong after last year's drought left the grain in short supply.
Record corn acreage is expected in Arizona, Idaho, Minnesota, Nevada, North Dakota, and Oregon.
But some Corn Belt states will continue to be affected by the worst drought since the 1950s, with slightly less planted acreage expected.
The report says farmers plan to plant 77.1 million acres in soybeans, down slightly from 2012's 77.2 million acres but still the fourth-highest soybean planting on record.
NEW LONDON, Mo. (AP) - Authorities in the northeast Missouri town of New London are searching for the man who shot a child with a blow gun.
The Hannibal Courier-Post reports that the incident happened Monday. The boy, who is about 10, had a tetanus shot and is OK.
Police Chief Brad Sanders says two boys were walking along a street when a pickup truck approached. Someone inside the truck fired a dart, about 3-4 inches long, and it struck one of the boys in the arm.
The weather was cold and Sanders says the boy's heavy coat prevented more serious injury.
The boys ran to Casey's General Store where store manager Arlene Hudson tended to the injury until emergency crews arrived.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - The St. Louis Cardinals will wear a patch on their left sleeve this season to honor the memory of Stan Musial.
The Hall of Famer widely considered the greatest Cardinal player ever died in January.
To honor his memory, the Cardinals will debut the patch in the season opener Sunday at Arizona.
The patch is unusual for one honoring a deceased icon: There is no black, a nod to Musial's always-sunny disposition. It features a red border and Musial's number 6, in red, with his signature through the number.
The background of the patch is the color of the jersey - gray for road games, white for home, and cream-colored when the Cardinals wear their new alternate jersey.
BELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - A southwestern Illinois jury has acquitted one of four people who had been accused in the 2011 stabbing death of a Georgia man.
The Belleville News-Democrat reports that 39-year-old Christopher Mays of Caseyville was found not guilty Wednesday of first-degree murder and felony murder.
Authorities say 38-year-old Melvin Gregory moved to the area from Conyers, Ga., to live with his girlfriend. After those two got into an altercation that involved Mays and two other defendants, Gregory's body was found in August 2011 on the side of a road by horseback riders near Cahokia.
The three other defendants have pleaded not guilty and await trial.
The suspended mayor of Ellisville will be the subject of a hearing in St. Louis County Court this afternoon (Thursday). Wednesday Mayor Adam Paul's attorney, Chet Pleban, spoke with KTRS's McGraw Millhaven.
Pleban said his client is suing to stop the impeachment, which he called collusion between city councilman, Matt Parillo and Ellisville city attorney, Paul Martin. Pleban read emails on the air between the two that listed possible charges and laid out a plan to remove Mayor Paul from office. Pleban says Martin and Parillo took their plan to former city council woman Katie James three days before she formally presented the charges against the mayor as her own.
James tells McGraw Thursday morning she acted alone and only sought the advice of the city attorney and councilman Parillo. Katie James says, "I don't know why the city went farther with my charges, I'm not privy to that. Why they feel the relationship with the mayor has devolved that they feel they cannot work with him. I want the city just to work." "Did his actions rise to a level to overthrow a duly elected mayor of a town?" Katie James: And I don't have all the facts in that. Do I think he is a capable a mayor..no I do not." McGraw: "Again..should the vote of the people of Ellisville be overturned by the council?" James:"If he broke the law? Yes."
For months, James had claimed that Paul mistreated her when he tried to have police officers remove her from a meeting in May. When she learned of another incident where Paul had tried to remove a resident from a meeting in February. She tells McGraw that's when she decided to take action.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A Missouri House committee is considering bill that would allow lottery winners to remain anonymous after claiming their prizes.
Sponsoring Rep. Rochelle Walton Gray, of Black Jack, told the House Local Government Committee Thursday that winning the lottery can subject a person to hardship. Her measure would prevent the Missouri Lottery from releasing the names or addresses of prize winners without their written consent.
Officials from the Missouri Lottery say revealing a winner's identity provides legitimacy to games and helps sell more tickets. The names of lottery winners are also subject to Missouri's Sunshine Law, making identity information available to open records request.
The union representing about 800 building and food service workers who went on strike at the University of Illinois earlier this month says they've reached a tentative deal with the school. Service Employees International Union spokesman Adam Rosen says employees will vote on the four-year offer today and tomorrow.
Details of the agreement aren't being released, but University spokesperson Robin Kaler says administrators are optimistic that it will be accepted.
Metro will be giving some passengers free rides under a federal class action settlement agreement. The transit agency was sued over MetroLink credit and debit card receipts that violated the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act.
Under the law, merchants can print up to the last five digits of a customer's credit or debit card number or the card's expiration date on their receipt, but not both. Between January 2010 and August 2011, Metro had been printing both.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that people who used credit or debit cards to buy tickets during the 20 month period can make claims by July 3 for free ride passes or tickets. Those who still have their receipts could get $30 cash instead.
Some customers of one local grocery chain are wondering why they are just now learning about a series of credit card fraud incidents.
In a statement, Schnuck's spokesperson Paul Simon said that the company had become aware on March 15 that some customers had noticed unauthorized charges on their card statements for credit cards they had used at Schnucks. Complaints have be received from shoppers across the metro area.
Schnucks officials say they're working with police and a private outside forensic team to try to find the source of the compromise.
Police say the leak may not be with the grocer, but with a third-party vendor that processes transactions.
A quarry worker is dead after a becoming pinned under a pile of rocks at a Maryland Heights quarry Wednesday afternoon. St. Louis County Deputy Police Chief Joe Delia says the accident happened during blasting at the Fred Weber North Quarry just before 4 p.m.
The victim is identified as 61-year-old WIlliam Sievert of St. Peters. A statement from the company indicates that Sievert had worked for Fred Weber for 24 years.
Police won't comment on how Sievert died, saying just that the incident is still being investigated. No one else was injured.
The quarry is located just southwest of the I-270 interchange with I-70.