With the economic troubles of the past few years, it's no surprise that the number of people using food stamps is soaring. The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that an average of 44 million people were on food assistance last year; that's up from 17 million in 2000.
What might be surprising, though, is one subgroup that's taken a particularly hard hit.
In Missouri state prisons, about 60 percent of inmates have kids. That's 18,000 moms and dads behind bars – and tens of thousands of kids on the other side. To help those parents and kids connect, volunteers make their way through the metal detectors at Missouri state prisons with big tubs of blank tapes and CDs, stamped envelopes, and lots of children's books.
Republican Ron Paul is not shuttering his presidential campaign, his chief strategist says in a memo sent this morning to supporters and the news media.
"Let me be very clear," said Jesse Benton, "Dr. Paul is NOT dropping out or suspending his campaign."
"As Dr. Paul has previously stated, he is in this race all the way to the Republican National Convention in Tampa this August," Benton said. The campaign will, though, be "maximizing our resources" by not investing in remaining primary states, he said.
A new report by the advocacy group American Rivers says when it comes to managing flooding along the Missouri River, the US Army Corps of Engineers should rely on floodplains and wetlands, not levees and dams. But the Corps doesn't see flood management as an "either/or" proposition.
Already in the spotlight over whether it executed one innocent man — Cameron Todd Willingham — in 2004, the state of Texas now faces questions about whether another man may have been wrongly condemned to death.