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Colin Jeffery

Colin Jeffery

Martin Luther King adviser to speak at SEMO

Sunday, 08 September 2013 09:23 Published in Local News

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) — An adviser to the Reverend Martin Luther King will speak at a Southeast Missouri State University dinner honoring the late civil rights leader.

The Cape Girardeau school says Clarence B. Jones helped write King's famous "I Have a Dream" speech while serving as his political adviser, counsel and draft speechwriter. Today, Jones is a visiting professor at the University of San Francisco and scholar writer in residence at the Martin Luther King Junior Research and Education Institute at Stanford University.

Newark, New Jersey Mayor Cory Booker previously was scheduled to speak at the King dinner. But Booker is currently campaigning for the U.S. Senate.

Tickets for the January 22nd dinner at Southeast Missouri State go on sale in December.

President Obama signs Missouri disaster declaration

Sunday, 08 September 2013 09:16 Published in Local News

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama has signed a major disaster declaration for 18 Missouri counties hit hard by last month's floods.

The floods that resulted from nearly two weeks of heavy rain caused widespread damage across the southern tier of the state and left at least three people dead.

The White House said in a news release that federal funding is available to help local governments and nonprofits recover. The counties that will benefit are Barry, Camden, Cedar, Dade, Dallas, Laclede, Maries, McDonald, Miller, Osage, Ozark, Phelps, Pulaski, Shannon, Taney, Texas, Webster and Wright.

Federal funding is also available for hazard mitigation measures statewide.

In drought, water war in California fought underground

Saturday, 07 September 2013 08:56 Published in National News

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — Throughout central California, a water war is quietly being fought underground.

Farmers, residents and urban water districts have seen their wells go dry because the water table has fallen so low. Those who can afford it have been drilling deeper wells that can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Experts say groundwater supplies have been strained by growing city populations and hundreds of square miles of new orchards and vineyards.

Exacerbating the problem is a second consecutive dry year, as well as cutbacks of surface water shipped to farms and cities from the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta. Climate change is putting additional pressure on aquifers.

Experts worry groundwater is becoming unaffordable — and that overuse could cause serious land subsidence, damaging infrastructure such as roads.

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