illinois

Under the Microscope: Record-Breaking Spring Storms could be the New Normal

Jul 2, 2015
Abby Wendle / Harvest Public Media

 Driving down a two-lane highway in rural Missouri, Matt Plenge squinted at a patch of gray clouds hanging low over his farm fields in the distance.

“Does it look hazy up there?” he asked. “We only had a 20 percent chance today. We shouldn't get any rain.”

Plenge, like most farmers, always keeps one eye on the weather. But this spring, it’s been his primary and constant concern.

 


Kathleen Masterson / Harvest Public Media

As the number of farms hit with avian flu grows over 100 nationwide, regulators are implementing containment plans meant to stop the virus’ spread, spare millions of at-risk birds and thousands of poultry farms.

Farms in many states, including Iowa, Missouri and Kansas, are struggling to contain an active outbreak.

 

 

WallyG / FLICKR

Missouri home health care workers could be affected by a U.S. Supreme Court ruling on union fees in Illinois.

Véronique LaCapra / St. Louis Public Radio

 

For years in most states, Medicaid eligibility had been limited to disabled adults, seniors needing long-term care and very low-income parents with their children.

Then along came the Affordable Care Act. It was designed to grow health insurance coverage across the board. One of its tenets was to expand Medicaid coverage beyond the extremely poor and disabled to include all adults earning up to 138 percent of federal poverty levels.

But in 2012, the Supreme Court gave states the chance to opt out Medicaid expansion.

Illinois is one of 25 states that went ahead with expanding the program. Neighboring Missouri did not.

We looked into the impacts of those differing decisions. Here’s what we found out.

Marijuana
lancerok / Flickr

Illinois’ new medicinal marijuana law won’t change how prosecutors or police enforce marijuana laws in Missouri. Eric Zahnd is the Platte County prosecuting attorney and the president of the Missouri Association of Prosecuting Attorneys. He says anyone caught in Missouri with marijuana can be prosecuted for possession.

“I do not believe having a prescription for marijuana in Illinois permits someone to possess marijuana in the state of Missouri, but many of those folks who may possess valid prescriptions in Illinois may not know that,” Zhand said.

A megabus
cseeman / Flickr

A 25-year-old passenger who died in the crash of a double-decker Megabus in Illinois was a native of India traveling to central Missouri.