cairo

Tech. Sgt. Oscar Sanchez USDA / Flickr

Flood protection projects are progressing on both sides of the Mississippi River in southeast Missouri and southern Illinois.

Brett Ciccotelli / Flickr

Work is resuming on the intentionally breached Birds Point levee in southeast Missouri now that a protest to a construction bid has been deemed "without merit" by the Army Corps of Engineers.

An Oklahoma company last month protested the $20 million in contracts awarded to three other companies to rebuild the levee, which was intentionally breached at the height of 2011 flooding along the Mississippi River. The breach relieved pressure on the flood wall at nearby Cairo, Ill., but damaged 130,000 acres of rich Missouri farmland and dozens of homes.

Photo courtesy of the Sweeney family.

19-year-old Derrik Sweeney is relieved to be home in Jefferson City after being detained for a week in a Cairo holding cell. Sweeney, along with three other Americans, was arrested for allegedly throwing fire bombs at police during a protest in Tahrir Square. Sweeney said they were threatened violently and beaten by Egyptian authorities.

However, Sweeney is now back safely in Jefferson City and spent Sunday night celebrating Thanksgiving with his family.

"Just being at home and seeing familiar things – and of course my family – it’s an overwhelming peace," he said.

Photo courtesy of the Sweeney family

The pending release of three American students arrested in Egypt during protests near Cairo's Tahrir Square is the best Thanksgiving gift, the mother of one of the young men said Thursday.

Provided by the Sweeney family

One of the three American students arrested during protests in Egypt for allegedly throwing fire bombs at Egyptian police is from Mid Missouri.