The Mississippi River's water level is dropping again and barge industry trade groups warn that river commerce could essentially come to a halt by mid-January. Ice on the northern section of the Mississippi is reducing flow more than expected.
The Coast Guard remains confident that the nation's largest waterway will remain open despite the worst drought in decades.
But even if the Mississippi remains technically open, Deborah Colbert of the Waterways Council, a barge industry trade group, says further load limits will make shipping unviable by mid-January.
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon says he wants to improve government efficiency and pursue efforts dealing with education, economic development and Medicaid.
Nixon said Friday he would like to consolidate regulatory commissions within the Department of Natural Resources and says there should be discussion about lengthening Missouri's school year. He also wants to increase exports and promote tourism, and he called for comprehensive campaign finance and ethics legislation.
In the wake of the mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, Missouri lawmakers will have competing gun proposals when they convene next month for the 2013 regular session. They include one that would require background checks for anyone who buys a firearm at gun shows.
New food safety regulations are about to be announced by the Food and Drug Administration. These regulations—covering everything from sanitation to record-keeping—are part of the Food Safety and Modernization Act, which became law two years ago. While the produce and meat industries get the lion’s share of attention, commodity grains now fall under the FDA’s watch.