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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Governor Jay Nixon is requesting a federal major disaster declaration for severe storms that struck Missouri from May 29th to June 10th.
The storms included one that spawned a tornado in the St. Louis area and others that caused widespread flooding.
Nixon's request Wednesday is for public assistance to 30 counties statewide from Barton County on the border with Kansas to St. Louis County. The governor also is requesting individual assistance for Callaway, Lincoln, Montgomery, Osage, Pike, St. Charles and St. Louis counties.
Public assistance allows local officials to seek aid for response and recovery efforts. Individual assistance allows households to seek federal aid for uninsured losses.
A cheerful, joking George Ryan says he feels "wonderful" after being released Wednesday from home confinement.
The former Illinois governor spoke outside his home in Kankakee, saying he felt good, physically and mentally.
The day marked the end of more than five years in federal custody for corruption. In January, the 79 year old was released from an Indiana prison and moved to confinement at his home.
Asked what he's doing now, Ryan says he's writing a book, but didn't elaborate.
Fifty-five hospitals in 21 states, including one in the St. Louis area, have agreed to pay $34 million to the U.S. government to settle allegations that they used more expensive inpatient procedures rather than outpatient spinal surgeries to get bigger payments from Medicare.
The Justice Department announced the settlement Tuesday over kyphoplasty procedures used to treat spinal fractures usually caused by osteoporosis.
Des Peres Hospital in west St. Louis County has agreed to pay $900,000 to satisfy its part of the settlement.