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Thursday, March 24, 2011

Plato Missouri U.S. Population Center U.S. Census Bureau Declares

PLATO MISSOURI  South of Waynesville
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Tiny Missouri town is perfectly centered

post-dispatch.com

BY DOUG MOORE
Thursday, March 24, 2011
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For the next 10 years, Plato, Mo. will be known as the population center of the U.S.
It's a hefty title for a tiny town in south-central Missouri, and is largely ceremonial. But it's the kind of announcement that comes with a great deal of attention. The official word was handed down this afternoon by the director of the U.S. Census Bureau.
Technically, the new population center sits 2.7 miles northeast of Plato, but the town is the closest municipality so gets the honor.
"I don't know that it means a whole lot, but it is something for a little, old community down here," said Bob Biram, chairman of Plato's board of trustees, before the spot was officially announced.
He received a call this morning from Robert Groves, director of the Census Bureau, congratulating him on the designation.
"I look forward to going out there and having a big celebration," Groves said during the announcement made in Washington, D.C.
Determining the population center is a tradition of the Census Bureau because it helps show how the country's population is shifting.
Plato, for example, which sits in Texas County, is about 30 miles southwest of the 2000 census population center, Edgar Springs, a town in Phelps County. Edgar Springs is about 30 miles southwest of the 1990 census center, in Steelville.
The steady southwesterly progression of the population center since 1950 comes with the exploding growth in states such as Arizona, Nevada,  Texas and Utah. Groves said the new population center was pulled south also by the growth in the southeast in places such as Georgia and the Carolinas.
The announcement Thursday was not a surprise for Plato. In December, someone created a Wikipedia entry naming Plato as the population center. A Connecticut radio station spotted the entry and made a story out of it. Then the local paper, the Houston Herald, published a story about the speculation.
Soon, the town of 109 residents was abuzz with where the exact spot would be. Smack dab in town or somewhere just outside.
The Wikipedia entry was made about the same time the Census Bureau released 2004-2009 population estimates; a bureau official surmised the population center was calculated from those estimates.
The town will hold an official ceremony in about a month, placing a marker naming Plato the "Census 2010 Center of Population." Groves plans to be there.

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Libya Mission 'clouded by confusion' Some Things Never Change - BALL OF CONFUSION Temptations MUSIC VIDEO INCLUDED

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Analysis: Libya shows US policy inconsistencies 
Mar 24, 4:21


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WASHINGTON (AP) -- The U.S.-led attacks against an autocrat in oil-rich Libya have opened the Obama administration to questions about why it's holding back from more robust support for opposition forces challenging other dictators.
What is the difference, some have asked, between the situation in Libya and the uprisings in Bahrain, Yemen, Saudi Arabia, Syria and even sub-Saharan African nations such as Ivory Coast?
The bombardment by Washington and its allies of the air defenses and troops of Moammar Gadhafi, unquestionably an international pariah, was motivated by a desire to prevent a possible slaughter of rebels fighting to end his erratic 42-year reign. There's hope among U.S. and allied leaders that the anti-government forces will move toward democracy as they appear to be after revolutions in neighboring Egypt and Tunisia
But the military intervention begs many questions and illustrates once again the stark inconsistences in an American foreign policy that tries to balance democratic ideals against pragmatic national interests.
The easy but unsatisfactory answer is that the United Nations called for action against Libya as did that nation's neighbors in the Arab League. And the U.N. also is already deeply involved in Ivory Coast where the internationally recognized president is calling for U.N. peacekeepers to use force against incumbent leader Laurent Gbagbo, who has attacked civilians and refuses to cede power.
Mark Quarterman, of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, said Obama was engaged in the "art of the possible" in Libya.
"The ability to reach a consensus on action in Libya, in the face of potential crimes against humanity," he said in a recent commentary, "is not illegitimate simply because a similar consensus cannot be reached in other circumstances."
Nicholas R. Burns, a Harvard professor who was in the upper reaches of State Department decision making for much of the past two decades, said Obama had no choice.
"With Benghazi being overrun by Gadhafi, the president had to use force," he said. "It has been done effectively. It saved those people and gave new life to the rebels."
But why not act on behalf of anti-government forces that have come under attack as they challenge entrenched autocracies in Yemen and Bahrain?
"We can't be antiseptically consistent," Burns said. "The United States has huge national security interests in those countries."
And that's where the pragmatism over national security interests comes in.
The U.S. 5th Fleet base in Bahrain allows the United States to project military power in the Persian Gulf, Red Sea and Indian Ocean. In Yemen, the long-time president works closely with Washington in the fight against al-Qaida in the Arabian peninsula.
Also at work are fears of Iran - in Bahrain and its mentor and neighbor Saudi Arabia, the world's biggest oil producer. The monarchies in both countries are deeply distrustful of their Shiite Muslim populations who are suspected of being under the influence of Iran. Arab nations dread an expansion of Iran's outsized political and military ambitions in the Gulf.
Burns, whose State Department tenure included the administration of President Bill Clinton, also recalls that many of the foreign policy decision makers now working for Obama have deep and troubling memories of the mass killings in Bosnia, Rwanda and Kosovo. Among that group are the former first lady and now Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, and current U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice, a key Africa adviser for President Clinton.
History argues forcefully that U.S. intervention could have prevented the Rwanda massacres and limited the carnage in the Balkans. That would explain pressure Obama reportedly felt from both Hillary Clinton and Rice as the U.N. resolution for a no-fly zone and other action in Libyan started coming together last week.
Beyond that, the American relationship with Israel, Washington's closest Mideast ally, always hangs above U.S. decision making in the region. Any final peace agreement among the Jewish state and its Arab neighbors depends heavily on both Saudi Arabia and Syria. Saudi endorsement of any peace plan would carry huge weight with other Arab nations.
That's especially important after the revolution that swept Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak from power. He had served as a U.S. proxy in attempts to arrange peace between Israel and the Palestinians and the wider Middle East.
What's more, Syria is still seen - despite its close ties with Iran and its support for Hezbollah forces in Lebanon - as a potential peace partner. It is desperate to win back control of the Golan Heights, captured by Israel in the 1967 war. That reality keeps Damascus in play as one of the Arab rejectionist states that could be coaxed into a peace deal.
Obama has worked assiduously since taking office to repair the U.S. image in the world, an image that was badly damaged by Washington's invasion of Iraq and its long war to defeat the Taliban militancy and its al-Qaida allies in Afghanistan and in the border region with Pakistan.
As he stepped into the Libyan conflict in a major way, Obama was eager to keep America's profile as low as possible. He has routinely said, as has Clinton, that the operation in Libya would soon be ceded to NATO control. The White House has no interest in attaching itself deeply to yet another conflict in a Muslim country.
That's easier said than done.
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EDITOR'S NOTE - Steven R. Hurst has covered foreign affairs for more than 30 years.


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Elizabeth Taylor Put To Rest in Small Ceremony at L.A. Cemetery UPDATED: Elizabeth Taylor R.I.P. THE LAST MOVIE STAR dies of heart failure March 23 2011

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Liz Taylor buried in small ceremony at LA cemetery
By SANDY COHEN | AP Entertainment Writer
  Thursday, March 24, 2011

GLENDALE, Calif. -- Elizabeth Taylor's family mourned the screen legend in a brief private funeral service Thursday at a Southern California cemetery famous for being the final resting place of Hollywood celebrities, including her good friend Michael Jackson.
Inside the sprawling Forest Lawn Cemetery, barricades blocked access to the funeral, where about four dozen family members mourned the actress during a service that lasted about an hour, said Glendale police spokesman Tom Lorenz. Five black stretch limousines transported Taylor's family to and from the funeral, but no procession was held.
The service began 15 minutes after its announced start time in observance of Taylor's parting wish that her funeral start late, her publicist Sally Morrison said.
Taylor had left instructions asking for the tardy start and had requested that someone announce, "She even wanted to be late for her own funeral," Morrison said.
Taylor died early Wednesday of congestive heart failure while surrounded by her four children at Los Angeles' Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, where she had been hospitalized for about six weeks.
Taylor, who was infamously married eight times to seven husbands, converted to Judaism before her 1959 wedding to Eddie Fisher. Jewish customs call for a burial within 48 hours of death.
The roughly one-hour service began with poetry readings by actor Colin Farrell and Taylor's family members and included a trumpet performance of Amazing Grace by her grandson, Morrison said.
The casket was draped in gardenias, violets, and lilies of the valley before its interment in the cemetery's Great Mausoleum beneath a marble sculpture of an angel inspired by the work of Italian artist Michelangelo.
In addition to Jackson, the cemetery is the final resting place for such stars as Clark Gable, Jean Harlow, W.C. Fields, Red Skelton, Gracie Allen, Walt Disney and Nat King Cole.
Taylor, the star of such films as "BUtterfield 8," "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" and "Cleopatra," won three Academy Awards, including a special one for her humanitarian work. She was an ardent and early supporter of AIDS research, when HIV was new to the industry and beyond.
"I admired Elizabeth Taylor enormously and feel heartsick losing her, especially with all of her charitable works," said Ann Berry, a fan and character actress who lives nearby and visited the cemetery with a friend to pay their respects to the star.
Several television news crews documented the service from across the street while news helicopters swirled overhead and students got out of class at the nearby Cerritos Elementary School.
Taylor underwent at least 20 major operations during her life and nearly died from a bout with pneumonia in 1990. In 1994 and 1995, she had both hip joints replaced, and in February 1997, she underwent surgery to remove a benign brain tumor. In 1983, she acknowledged a 35-year addiction to sleeping pills and pain killers, and was treated for alcohol and drug abuse at the Betty Ford Clinic in Rancho Mirage, Calif.
Survivors include Taylor's daughters Maria Burton-Carson and Liza Todd-Tivey, sons Christopher and Michael Wilding, 10 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Taylor's publicist said any details of a memorial service would likely be announced at a later date.
READ MORE
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Acting legend Elizabeth Taylor dies of heart failure in hospital after years of illness

By Donna Mcconnell and David Gardner
23rd March 2011

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  • Died surrounded by her children: Michael Wilding, Christopher Wilding, Liza Todd and Maria Burton








  • Son Michael Wilding says:  'We will always be inspired by her enduring contribution to our world'








  • Actress 'weighed less than 98 lbs after spending the final two weeks n respirator'








  • Jane Fonda leads tributes to 'kind, generous, brave' friend








  • Four children, ten grandchildren and four great grandchildren to share $600m fortune






  • Actress Dame Elizabeth Taylor has died at the age of 79, her publicist confirmed in a statement today.
    The star passed away from congestive heart failure in hospital last night having suffered from the condition since November 2004.
    She was admitted to the Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles 'for monitoring' last month.
    Her publicist confirmed: 'Legendary actress, and fearless activist Elizabeth Taylor died peacefully today in Cedars-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles.'
    The English-American star, considered one of the great actresses - and great beauties - of Hollywood's golden age, was surrounded by her children: Michael Wilding, Christopher Wilding, Liza Todd, and Maria Burton.
    Dame Elizabeth's son, Michael Wilding, said in a statement: 'We will always be inspired by her enduring contribution to our world.

    'My mother was an extraordinary woman who lived life to the fullest, with great passion, humour, and love.
    He added: 'Though her loss is devastating to those of us who held her so close and so dear, we will always be inspired by her enduring contribution to our world.
    'Her remarkable body of work in film, her ongoing success as a businesswoman, and her brave and relentless advocacy in the fight against HIV/AIDS, all make us all incredibly proud of what she accomplished. We know, quite simply, that the world is a better place for Mum having lived in it.
    'Her legacy will never fade, her spirit will always be with us, and her love will live forever in our hearts.'
    In addition to her children, she is survived by ten grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

    Dame Elizabeth was said to weigh less than 98lbs when she died after spending the last two weeks of her life on a respirator in hospital.


    LIZ TAYLOR: A LIFE ON SCREEN

    British-born actress Elizabeth Taylor at the age of twelve
    1942 - There’s One Born Every Minute – Taylor’s first appearance on the silver screen was released when she was just 10-years-old.

    1943 – Lassie Come Home – Despite being dropped by Universal after her first film Elizabeth was signed up by MGM and appeared in three films before her big break the following year.

    1944 – National Velvet – Taylor rose to fame in the smash hit playing Velvet Brown opposite Mickey Rooney at just 12-years-old

    1954 – Her busiest year saw Elizabeth star in no less than four films and at 22 years old was considered a great beauty
     Elizabeth Taylor, who holds her Cecil B. DeMille award in Beverly Hills

    1957 – Raintree County – The actress was nominated for an Academy Award for her role as Susanna Drake but she missed out on the award on the night.

    1960 – Butterfield 8 – After missing out on an Oscar three times, Taylor was awarded with an Academy Award for her portrayal of the beautiful Gloria Wandrous . She starred alongside her then-husband Eddie Fisher

    British-born actress Elizabeth Taylor presents a majestic front as the Egyptian queen
    1963 – Cleopatra – Elizabeth played the leading role in what was at the time one of the most expensive movies. Not only was she paid $1million but she also met her future husband Richard Burton.

    1966 – Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? –Taylor was awarded an Oscar for her role as Martha and starred alongside her then-husband Richard Burton.

    1970 – The Only Game In Town – By the end of the 1960’s Taylor had lost some of her pulling power at the cinema

    1982 – The Little Foxes (play) – Elizabeth made her Broadway and West End debut with a revival of Lillian Hellman’s play

    1994 – The Flintstones – The actress played Wilma’s mother in her last theatrical film
    ‘She was tiny and she was fighting for every breath,’ said a friend. 
    'She still felt that she had so much to live for.
    ‘But she was happy with her life at the end. She was happy with her family – she was at peace.’
    The actress’s four children, ten grandchildren and four great grandchildren are expected to share much of her $600 million fortune, although she is leaving some to her AIDS charity, added the friend.
    She kept handwritten diaries through much of her life and was said to have discussed a deal to publish them as an explosive memoir following her death.
    Doctors were said to be hopeful that she could return to her Bel Air mansion just days before her long-term congestive heart problem took a dramatic turn for the worse.
    Her death comes exactly 53 years after she was widowed when third husband, film producer Michael Todd, died in a plane crash.
    Dame Elizabeth turned 79 on February 27 but celebrated with her friends and family a month early as ten days later she was admitted to hospital to undergo surgery to repair a leaky heart valve.
    The Hollywood veteran, who was born in Hampstead north London, announced the news via social networking site Twitter.
    She used Twitter to relay news of her illness to supporters asking them to pray for her.
    'I'll let you know when it is all over. Love you, Elizabeth,' was one of the final messages she tweeted.
    Dame Elizabeth had struggled with her health for a number of years - and towards the end of her life was confined to a wheelchair.
    She broke her back at least five times, had three bouts of pneumonia of which one, in 1961, required a tracheotomy, and another, in 1990, nearly killed her.
    There were two hip-replacement operations and surgery to remove a benign golf ball-sized brain tumour, plus two stays at the Betty Ford clinic.

    More health troubles plagued Taylor in the late 1980s including recurring back trouble that led her to start drinking again and she developed a dependency on pain-killing drugs.
    But throughout all this Dame Elizabeth managed to retain her sense of humour.
    In 1999, when asked what she would like to see written on her gravestone, she replied: 'Here lies Elizabeth. She hated being called Liz. But she lived.'
    The actress's star burned brightly in the spotlight since finding fame in Hollywood at the age of 12.
    And her incandescent beauty stood out in the town stuffed with  starlets due to her unique violet coloured eyes.
    She earned four Oscar nominations- for Raintree County, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof and Suddenly, Last Summer - finally winning at her fourth attempt with film Butterfield 8.
    And in 1961 she became the highest-paid actress in America and the first star ever to be paid $1million for a screen appearance.
    She received the fee for the lead in Cleopatra - a lavish costume drama about ancient Rome and Egypt.
    When the film was released in 1962 it was a critical flop but earned enough at the box office to cover the vast production costs.
    Enduring love: Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor met during filming of 1963's Cleopatra - one of the most expensive films of all time
    Enduring love: Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor met during filming of 1963's Cleopatra - one of the most expensive films of all time

    Her second Oscar came in 1967 for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?.
    The last of the great Hollywood movie stars,she   became famed not just her stunning beauty or talent but also for her chequered love life.
    Dame Elizabeth married eight times to seven husbands - most notably the late Welsh-born actor Richard Burton, who she married twice.
    The warring couple, who met during filming of 1963's Cleopatra - one of the most expensive films of all time - made 12 films together.
    Scandal erupted when Taylor and Burton - both married - began an affair.
    Dame Elizabeth and Burton divorced their respective spouses and wed in 1964. He would become Taylor's fifth - and sixth - husband.
    Elizabeth Taylor, actress is pictured with her fifth and sixth husband, actor Richard Burton (died August 1984).
    Love of my life: Elizabeth pictured with her fifth and sixth husband, Welsh actor Richard Burton, who died August 1984
    Upon their engagement, Burton gave Taylor the 33-carat Krupp diamond, the first of several spectacular named gems that Taylor, who had a lifelong obsession with jewellery, would own.
    The Taylor-Burton romance was notoriously stormy and passionate. And the couple was famous worldwide for their opulent jet-setting lifestyle, with multimillion-dollar homes and private yachts.
    Throughout the relationship Burton continued to lavish extravagant jewellery on Taylor including the extraordinary Taylor-Burton, then 69.42-carat, colourless diamond, which he purchased in 1969 for $1.1million in a private sale from Cartier.
    They divorced over Burton's excessive drinking habit in 1974 after ten years together only to remarry the following year before divorcing again in 1976.
    During the relationship the couple adopted a daughter together, Maria Burton born 1 August, 1961, who Taylor remained close to after their separation.
    In a 2006 interview Taylor referred to Burton as her 'soulmate'.

    'Richard enriched my life in different ways, internal journeys into feelings and thoughts,' Taylor said.
    'He taught me poetry and literature, and introduced me to worlds of beauty. He made me laugh. He made me cry. He explored areas in me that I knew existed but which had never been touched. There was never a dull moment.
    'I loved Richard through two marriages and until the day he died.'

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    New Social Photo App COLOR iPhone Android Ready Available VIDEO STORY

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    Color: New social photo app arrives for iOS

    By Jason D. O'Grady | March 24, 2011www.zdnet.com

    Armed with $41M in pre-launch venture from Sequoia Capital, Bain Capital, and Silicon Valley Bank (which is more than they gave Google) Color Labs today launched its social photo-sharing app, Color.
    In additional to launching on the App Store Color Labs also purchased the domain color.com for a reported $350,000 where it has staked its virtual claim. (Update: It bought colour.com too, price TBD).
    The app’s concept is ridiculously simple, and probably best described by the simple description on the App Store:
    • Use Color to take photos and videos with other people who have iPhones within 150 ft to create a group album.
    • For parties, play dates, lunch? You get their photos, they get yours.
    • Share any album with Twitter and Facebook.
    • Color is a social network for your iPhone.
    I’m a fan of Instagram, so I’ll give it a shot. Although the reviews are mixed in the App Store, the app’s been out less than 24 hours and we need to give it some time to mature. Besides some nitwits don’t read the requirements then give apps one-star ratings, because they can’t read.
    An Android version of Color is also available.
    Update: I agree with Lockergnome’s Kelley Clay, Color could be a little creepy. Check the fella in the first screenshot on their App Store page. Color might want to replace that shot — if it expects to get any female users whatsoever.


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    MORE OBAMA DOUBLE-SPEAK 'kinetic military action' Libya fight is not war

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    White House: Libya fight is not war, it's 'kinetic military action'

    Washington Examiner
    By: Byron York  Chief Political Correspondent
    03/23/11
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    In the last few days, Obama administration officials have frequently faced the question: Is the fighting in Libya a war?  From military officers to White House spokesmen up to the president himself, the answer is no.  But that leaves the question: What is it?
    In a briefing on board Air Force One Wednesday, deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes took a crack at an answer.  "I think what we are doing is enforcing a resolution that has a very clear set of goals, which is protecting the Libyan people, averting a humanitarian crisis, and setting up a no-fly zone," Rhodes said.  "Obviously that involves kinetic military action, particularly on the front end."
    Rhodes' words echoed a description by national security adviser Tom Donilon in a briefing with reporters two weeks ago as the administration contemplated action in Libya.  "Military steps -- and they can be kinetic and non-kinetic, obviously the full range -- are not the only method by which we and the international community are pressuring Gadhafi," Donilon said.
    Rhodes and Donilon are by no means alone.  "Kinetic" is heard in a lot of descriptions of what's going on in Libya. "As we are successful in suppressing the [Libyan] air defenses, the level of kinetic activity should decline," Defense Secretary Robert Gates said in a meeting with reporters in Moscow Tuesday.  In a briefing with reporters the same day from on board the USS Mount Whitney, Admiral Samuel Locklear, commander of Joint Task Force Odyssey Dawn, said, "The coalition brings together a wide array of capabilities that allow us to minimize the collateral damage when we have to take kinetic operations."  On Monday, General Carter Ham, head of U.S. Africa Command, said of the coalition forces, "We possess certainly a very significant kinetic capability."  And unnamed sources use it too. "In terms of the heavy kinetic portion of this military action, the president envisions it as lasting days, not weeks," an unnamed senior official told CNN Saturday.
    "Kinetic" is a word that's been used around the Pentagon for many years to distinguish between actions like dropping bombs, launching cruise missiles or shooting people and newer forms of non-violent fighting like cyber-warfare.  At times, it also appears to mean just taking action. In a 2002 article in Slate, Timothy Noah noted a passage from Bob Woodward's book, Bush at War:
    For many days the war cabinet had been dancing around the basic question: how long could they wait after September 11 before the U.S. started going "kinetic," as they often termed it, against al Qaeda in a visible way?
    Now, White House officials are referring to the war in Libya not as a war but as a "kinetic military action."

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    Fuel Tank Fire Explosion Miami International Airport VIDEO

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    Fuel Tank Fire Now Under Control At Miami International Airport

    March 24, 201
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    MIAMI (CBS4) – The massive fire that sent fire crews rushing to Miami International Airport Wednesday night appears to now be under control.
    Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Capt. Eric Baum says a fuel tank farm exploded at around 11 p.m. on the east side of the airport near LeJeune Rd.
    There are no reports of injuries. Capt. Baum says crews were able to contain the blaze before it spread to any other structures.
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    Cargo Shipping Missouri River Biggest Season in a Decade

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    Shipping Starts on the Missouri River
    Wednesday, March 23, 2011 
     
    Cargo returns to the Missouri River this week with expectations for the biggest shipping season in a decade.
     
    Jefferson City, MO - infoZine - Today, Jefferson City’s River Terminal expects to receive 6,000 tons of cement. AGRIServices of Brunswick will start pushing more than 9,000 tons of fertilizer up the Missouri river on Wednesday, and Hermann Sand and Gravel plans to start moving freight later this week, signifying the unofficial start of the 2011 shipping season.

    The official start is April 1 when the U.S. Coast Guard places navigational buoys on the river, but Kevin Holcer of AGRIServices said, “The water levels are good enough to get our shipping season started early, and we expect to be busy through mid-December.”

    The Missouri Department of Transportation supports all waterway shipping efforts along the Missouri river.

    "Our goal is to increase the freight moved on the Missouri River, increase connections to other transportation modes, and provide economic development opportunities along the river corridor,” Dr. Ernie Perry, freight development administrator at MoDOT, said.

    photo: USGS Missouri River research vessels
    USGS Missouri River research vessels. Photo courtesy of USGS

    AGRIServices is one of a number of shipping companies that will try to bolster their efforts on the river this year.

    “We expect to increase our shipping efforts by up to 15 percent,” said Holcer. “Last year’s success brought us good momentum, and we don’t want to slow down.”
    The M/V Mary Lynn, a 3800 horse power shallow draft boat ideal for Missouri River navigation, will push eight barges up the Missouri river, beginning in St. Louis on Wednesday. This load is expected to arrive in Brunswick by Sunday.

    "The Missouri River is the best way to move freight,” said Holcer. "This is a viable shipping option that can save money, lower carbon dioxide emissions and relieve stress on our crowded freeways."

    Perry agrees, “One barge equals the same amount of cargo that fits into 70 semi-trucks or 16 rail cars.”

    Last year, about 334,000 tons of goods – the equivalent of 13,000 tractor truck loads - was shipped on the Missouri River, a 24 percent increase from the year before.

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    Missouri Artist George Caleb Bingham Moved to Franklin, MO in 1818 AP UPDATE: Painting Bought at Hermann Antique Store May Be Rare Unsigned Bingham - Missouri News

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    Dealer claims unsigned paintings are by George Caleb Bingham

    Written by Associated Press
    Thursday, 24 March 2011

    KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – The celebration of Missouri artist George Caleb Bingham's 200th birthday is being marked by the possibility that his body of work could include 10 more paintings – all unsigned – that have been discovered in recent years. Fred R. Kline, a Santa Fe art dealer and researcher, is updating online standard catalogs of Bingham's works to include the paintings of a Western scene and nine portraits. One of the standard catalogs was published in 1986 by art historian E. Maurice Bloch, who identified about 450 Bingham paintings and itemized many more that had been documented but not located, The Kansas City Star reported Monday.
    Bingham was born on March 20, 1811, in Augusta County, Va. He and his family moved to Franklin, Mo., in 1818.
    Kline's advisory panel of authenticators includes William Kloss, an art historian in Washington, D.C., and Paul Nagel, a noted Missouri historian and Bingham biographer.
    “Like any lost art, anything can be anywhere,” Kline said of his finds. “I wish they had all been in one little collection with impeccable provenance.”
    Some art historians have raised questions about Kline's conclusions.
    “Since authentication involves rigorous analysis, scientific examination, which can include testing of paint samples, X-rays and infrared technologies and consensus by several connoisseurs expert in the particular artist, it will be interesting to see what evidence supports these possible discoveries,” another Bingham researcher, Patricia Moss, told The Star.
    Kline responds that his authentications are based on a nearly 30-year career as a generalist art historian during which he has identified several unsigned lost or homeless paintings, drawings and sculptures.
    “With Bingham, I have closely studied most of his paintings in museums,” he said. “Also, I have made countless comparative studies of images and paintings, and this enables me to expertly read a good image or photograph. It is an uncommon talent, which I have cultivated.”
    Kline has posted the works he says he has authenticated as Bingham works on his website. He said they were found in private homes and for sale in various locations.
    The paintings include Horse Thief, a Western scene dating to 1852, which Kline authenticated as Bingham's six years ago. The other paintings are all formal portraits, mostly of prominent Missourians – a steamboat captain, attorneys, Civil War veterans, a banker.
    One of the portraits is owned by Kate McGonigal, a professor of sociology at Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kan. She said she found it in 2000 at an antique store in Hermann, Mo.
    Kline and his panel authenticated McGonigal's painting in 2010.
    “We think it is clearly by Bingham,” Kline said, “and actually one of his best portraits.”

    Online: www.georgecalebbingham.com
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    Unsigned Bingham paintings surprise art world

    Mar. 22, 2011
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    Kate McGonigal was a grad student at the University of Missouri in 2000 when she visited a Hermann, Mo., antique store with a professor friend.
    An old painting caught her eye, a portrait of a woman. She liked how it appeared to show its 19th century subject as a reader and writer, rather rare, McGonigal thought, for depictions of a woman of the time.
    “I had it in my little grad student apartment in Columbia,” McGonigal said the other day, “and I started noticing the detail in the woman’s dress, the lace. It’s an extremely well-executed painting.”
    Now a professor of sociology at Fort Hays State University in Hays, Kan., McGonigal developed a hunch about the maker and the subject of the unsigned, unidentified painting. And in recent months her hunch appears to have been confirmed.
    Bingo. Or rather, Bingham!
    As the art world pays tribute this month to the 200th birthday of George Caleb Bingham, the celebrated Missouri painter of riverboat men, politicians and monumental pictures of regional history, his body of known work may be growing.
    Or, as is often the case in the sometimes contentious world of art identification, it may not be.
    McGonigal’s painting is one of 10 previously unidentified artworks, a Western scene and nine portraits, ascribed to Bingham in the last few years by Fred R. Kline, a Santa Fe art dealer and researcher. Kline is publishing online updates to the standard catalogs of Bingham’s work, the second of which was published in 1986 by art historian E. Maurice Bloch. In more than four decades of work, Bloch identified about 450 Bingham paintings and itemized many more that had been documented, but never located.
    Kline’s advisory panel of authenticators includes William Kloss, an independent art historian in Washington, D.C., and Paul Nagel, a noted Missouri historian and Bingham biographer.
    “Like any lost art, anything can be anywhere,” Kline said of his 10 finds. “I wish they had all been in one little collection with impeccable provenance.”
    Some art historians, however, have questioned Kline’s conclusions.
    “Since authentication involves rigorous analysis, scientific examination, which can include testing of paint samples, X-rays and infrared technologies and consensus by several connoisseurs expert in the particular artist, it will be interesting to see what evidence supports these possible discoveries,” another Bingham researcher, Patricia Moss, told The Star.
    As it turns out, Moss, a former Kansas Citian now living in Washington state, is planning to reveal the discovery of another possible “new” Bingham today in a library presentation in Independence.
    For his part, Kline says he bases his authentications on a long career of looking closely at art, and sometimes, as in the case of Kate McGonigal’s picture, looking only at high-quality photographs of the art.
    “I have a very experienced and well-proven eye,” he said, “and, as a generalist art historian, I have successfully used connoisseurship to identify a long list of lost or homeless paintings, drawings and sculptures (all unsigned works) for at least 30 years. With Bingham, I have closely studied most of his paintings in museums.
    “Also, I have made countless comparative studies of images and paintings, and this enables me to expertly read a good image or photograph. It is an uncommon talent, which I have cultivated.”
    Margi Conrads, senior curator of American art at the Nelson-Atkins Museum, which owns significant Bingham scenes and portraits, recognizes that art identification can pose a minefield.
    “Bingham is a good example of why attributions are really hard,” Conrads said, “particularly where an artist doesn’t sign his work. It takes a lot of looking. People come up with a lot of different opinions.”
    In recent years, for example, when Conrads researched and published a new catalog of the Nelson’s American collection, she discovered she had to demote one or two portraits that had long been identified as Binghams.
    The works Kline has posted as authenticated Binghams on his website ( www.georgecalebbingham.com), all unsigned, turned up in private homes and on the market here and there.
    Kline announced about six years ago the discovery of a canvas called “Horse Thief,” a Western scene dating to 1852, which depicts its small human subjects in a vast landscape of buttes and stormy sky.
    Along with McGonigal’s painting, the other “new” Binghams include eight more formal portraits, mostly of prominent Missourians — a steamboat captain, attorneys, Civil War veterans, a banker. All the portraits display their subjects in stately poses and upper-crust garb, and they carry with them still-engaging stories.
    Evidence is mounting, for example, that the subject of McGonigal’s picture was Martha A. Livingston Lykins Bingham, known as Mattie. She was the widow of an early Kansas City mayor and she became Bingham’s third wife.
    McGonigal has learned that her painting’s sitter resembles a known photograph of Mattie Bingham.
    If true, Bingham probably painted it about 1877, the year after Johnston Lykins died and his widow, rather scandalously, moved into Bingham’s house.
    “It would be so cool if it actually is what I think it is,” McGonigal said.
    It is certainly cool for McGonigal that the Jackson County Historical Society believed enough in the picture that it’s using it on a new biography of Mattie Lykins Bingham coming out later this month.
    Kline has not agreed with McGonigal’s identification of the sitter in this painting and has stated that it more likely was painted a few years earlier.
    Of the other portraits Kline authenticated, the earliest depicts a young Columbia merchant named Frederick Moss Prewitt. In 1834, Bingham, early in his painting career, had begun to befriend a wide circle of Missouri movers and shakers. Like many others, Kline asserts, Prewitt commissioned a portrait and remained a patron for many years. Bingham, who served a term in the Missouri legislature, eventually married a Prewitt niece.
    In the 1850s, about the time Prewitt founded the first national bank organized in the state, Bingham painted Prewitt again, Kline says, and that later portrait gave him the confidence to authenticate the earlier work, which he had acquired at auction.
    “I knew Bingham often painted the same person twice,” Kline writes in an as-yet-unpublished book, “so I searched (the Bloch catalog) for a resemblance to later portraits. And there he was in the same pose 20 years later.”
    That 1850s painting of Prewitt has long been in the Nelson-Atkins collection. And the 1834 picture is now in the hands of Prewitt descendants, whom Kline tracked down.
    The subjects of the other paintings Kline has attributed to Bingham:
    •L.A.D. Crenshaw (1820-1884) and his wife Fanny Smith Crenshaw (1841-1919). Crenshaw was an early settler in Springfield, a mule trader, hardware wholesaler and, like Bingham, a native Southerner who supported the Union in the Civil War. Crenshaw’s portrait remains in the hands of descendants. His wife’s portrait hangs in the Springfield Art Museum, apparently undiscovered by Bloch.
    •Lt. Col. Levi Pritchard (1831-1901). Bingham might have painted this near life-size portrait in Jefferson City about 1862, when Pritchard was a captain in the Missouri State Militia.
    •Samuel Chilton (1808-1867) and his brother Charles Chilton (1818-1847), both of whom were attorneys in Boonville, Mo.
    •Thomas B. Hudson (1814-1867). A St. Louis attorney and politician, Hudson was a veteran of the U.S.-Mexican War and became active in the Missouri railroad industry. He became widely known for a political duel with a happy ending. As Kline recounts it, Hudson was defamed by a newspaper publisher during the 1840 presidential campaign.
    The men settled their beef but went through the motions of firing three errant shots and went on to make a big merry feast and a lasting friendship. Bingham probably painted his portrait in 1850, and the work remains in the hands of descendants.
    •Capt. Joseph Kinney (1810-1892). A steamboater and shoe merchant, Kinney built the Rivercene mansion, now a bed-and-breakfast, on the Missouri River at New Franklin, Mo.
    The painting was long identified as being by an unknown American artist, and the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, Va., deaccessioned it a year ago. Kline bought it at auction last May and matched it with a portrait Bloch included but did not definitively identify in his catalog.
    Kline and his panel authenticated McGonigal’s painting in 2010.
    “We think it is clearly by Bingham,” Kline said, “and actually one of his best portraits.”
    McGonigal said she’d heard from other Bingham experts who disagreed with that judgment, but she’s convinced she owns a Bingham.
    “There was a recent article in our local Hays daily newspaper that proclaimed, ‘Ellis woman discovers famous painting,’ ” McGonigal told The Star. “It should have been more like, ‘Ellis woman finds other people who agree with her opinion that it’s a famous painting.’ ”
    McGonigal said she was grateful that when she bought the picture — she wouldn’t say for how much — her friend lent her the money. The professor died just a few months ago.
    “A couple of years ago,” she said, “when I told him my hunch, he said: ‘Are you sure you really paid me back for that?’ ”

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    Historic Bird’s Nest Bridge Closed Temporarily Crawford County Missouri

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    Historic Bird’s Nest Bridge closed—for now 
    Written by Amy England   
    Thursday, 17 March 2011
    www.threeriverspublishing.com
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    Bird’s Nest Bridge is closed—at least for the time being—as Crawford County Commissioners do further research into options for the aging structure. The commission agreed to temporarily close the bridge at its March 8 meeting in response to concerns about the safety of the crossing.
    In late January, MoDOT completed a safety inspection of the bridge, which was built in 1914. The resulting inspection showed a number of concerns with the structure, including a “serious” condition for the deck, a “poor” rating for the superstructure and a “fair” rating for the substructure. Since that time, the commission has held several discussions on options for the bridge, with the decision to close the crossing made just last week.
    Rick Pilcher, PE District Design Liaison with MoDOT’s District 9, brought three general options to the table for commissioners at their March 8 meeting: 1) extend the life of the existing bridge, 2) close the crossing at this location, or 3) find a solution for a new crossing at this location.
    Extending the life of the bridge would be a short-term solution, probably less than 10 years. “If you extend the life of the bridge, which is minimal, you have to keep monitoring it regularly with your road crews,” Pilcher said. “If there is a change, get an inspection to ensure there wouldn’t be any problems. Also, timely repairs are critical.” He pointed out that the condition of the aging bridge could change quickly and, if such changes were discovered, the county should close the structure immediately and only reopen it after a qualified bridge inspector reported it was safe to do so.
    You can just straight-out close it,” Pilcher continued, offering the second option to the commission. “You might have the possibility of bureau funds to remove it. That could be a cost of around $100,000 to $200,000.” He noted that a cost estimate from an engineer would be needed to determine whether the federal funding option would be available. Removal of the bridge would greatly reduce the liability to the county.
    Within the second option of closure, Pilcher noted that the bridge could be left in place without allowing vehicle traffic on it, which would reduce the traffic liability to the county. But he added that the bridge would someday fall down under its own weight, and there would still be a liability of people climbing on the structure and getting hurt.
    The third option of creating a new crossing at the location is one the commission has also discussed for some time, including an investigation into the possibility of converting the nearby railroad crossing into a roadway bridge. Pilcher noted that it was difficult to estimate a cost for that idea, but suggested that it could be between $600,000 and $1.5 million. He believes a brand new bridge would cost well over that $1.5 million mark. “There are a lot of unknowns,” he cautioned. “You would need a good engineer.”
    The option of converting the railroad bridge would probably require a lot of partnerships and, therefore, a lot of effort on the county’s part. One funding source could be federal BRO monies, which MoDOT could help in obtaining. Another source could be CDBG and Delta grants, which could be obtained with assistance from Meramec Regional Planning Commission. It would also require county funding, county labor and equipment and possibly additional funding sources.
    Pilcher reminded commissioners of the Sappington Bridge project within the county, noting that there were a lot of additional partnerships in that work. “It was very time-consuming and challenging,” he noted.
    “If you want to move forward, get a quality bridge engineer and quality estimates on what to do,” Pilcher advised. “Once I know the direction the county wants to proceed, I will do my best to assist you in that direction.”
    District #1 Commissioner Richard Martin, whose road district maintains the bridge, questioned the possibility of county road crews removing the bridge on their own, so that they could then salvage the materials to raise funds for the county. Pilcher noted that was a possibility, but that if bureau funds were used the county could be reimbursed for the work done and that 80 percent of the county’s engineering fees and documented cost could be given to the county in soft-match funding towards a future bridge construction project.
    Martin also asked for Pilcher’s opinion on whether the bridge should be closed. “Truss bridges are kind of like people,” Pilcher responded. “They are hard to compare. Sappington clearly needed to be closed. Period. This bridge has a different personality, different problems. Hopefully we’ll spot those problems and have them solved before it falls in.”
    “We don’t even want to take a chance,” Martin replied. “What if we had 100 canoes going underneath? I’ve seen a difference in that bridge. I lived on that road for 17 and a half years and I’ve seen a big change. Just stand underneath and watch when a vehicle goes across.”
    Presiding Commissioner Leo Sanders also expressed some concerns with the option of converting the railroad bridge for vehicle traffic. “If we pursue that, there are unknowns,” he said. “What if we own the railroad bridge and we end up needing to tear it down?” Martin also had concerns about the possibility of lead near the railroad.
    Pilcher recommended the commissioners talk with the county attorney to better understand the liabilities involved in whatever choice they determined to make, emphasizing the difference between normal liabilities and negligent liabilities. He suggested that perhaps the county should engage an environmental agency to investigate any possible issues with the railroad before moving in that direction. He also noted that public meetings could be helpful in order to get input from county residents.
    District #2 Commissioner John Hewkin also advocated a traffic study to see how many people actually use the bridge and how far they would have to go to get around if it were not available to them.

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    Crawford County Standoff Sheriff Shoots Suspect at Close Range

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    Suspect injured in shootout with law enforcement 
    Written by Chris Case   
    Tuesday, 22 March 2011
    www.threeriverspublishing.com
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    A standoff with law enforcement officers led to the shooting of a North County man last week. He was critically injured when police returned fire on the suspect, who was being sought after it was reported that he might attempt to harm himself or someone else with a gun.
    The incident took place in the late evening hours of Thursday, March 17. After a report of a possible fight in progress at the ALPS parking lot in Cuba, the suspect sought in the incident—later identified as 27-year-old Bryan Harris—fled the scene. Authorities continued to search for Harris’ red truck, and later a report came in from the suspect’s father that Harris had jumped out of his moving truck and run into a wooded area near the intersection of highways 19 and F, north of Cuba. The father, Jerry Harris, stated that his son was suicidal and had taken medication in an effort to harm himself, and he was worried for his son’s safety.
    A search of the area ensued, involving the Crawford County Sheriff’s Department, Highway Patrol and other support agencies. Jerry Harris returned home to hear a gunshot fired from inside his residence. Harris was worried that his son had gotten home ahead of him and obtained one of his guns and might use it on himself or someone else. Upon hearing the gunfire, the father called police to the scene, and they arrived to hear another gunshot fired from inside the residence.
    Law enforcement officers formed a defensive perimeter around the home, trying to encourage Bryan Harris to exit peacefully. The man came outside, went back in, and then returned to the front porch, carrying a pistol. He held the gun to his head, continued to yell at police, and then fired a single round into the air before going back inside.
    Police reported that Harris went in and out of the house numerous times, firing several rounds of ammunition into the air or toward the ground before going into the backyard area, where he was seen with an assault rifle and a pistol. He tossed the handgun down and continued to hold the assault rifle to his head. The police tried to get him to give up his weapons and surrender peacefully, but he refused to do so.
    At one point, Harris stripped off all of his clothes and began approaching law enforcement officers. He fired his assault weapon at a county deputy at close range, and the deputy returned fire, striking the suspect in the shoulder. Harris was reportedly shot several times in a burst of gunfire. The distance between the deputy and Harris was less than 15 feet.
    Bryan Harris was flown by helicopter to a St. Louis hospital for treatment of his injuries. He was initially considered to be in critical condition, but his condition later improved and authorities believe he will survive the shooting.
    The deputy who fired the shots has been placed on temporary paid leave. An investigation of the incident is being conducted by the Highway Patrol.
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    Tanker Truck Hanging From Overpass, Texas Crews Working to Remove Dangling Rig VIDEO

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    Crews working to remove dangling tanker truck from Forth Worth, Texas overpass



    KMOV.com

    Posted on March 24, 2011


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    (KMOV)—Crews are working on pulling a dangling tanker truck off of a freeway ramp on Interstate 35-W in Fort Worth, Texas
    Authorities say the accident happened around 3:45 a.m. CT, Thursday.
    Rescue teams were able to pull the truck drivers out of the cab, after being stuck for more than an hour.
    Authorities also say a small car is pinned underneath the truck, but the condition of that driver is unknown.
    The cause of the crash is unknown. 


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    Mike Anderson Leaves Missouri Basketball for Arkansas VIDEO PRESS CONFERENCE

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    Mike Anderson leaves Mizzou for Arkansas basketball job

    12:37 AM, Mar 24, 2011
    www.ksdk.com
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    St. Louis, MO (KSDK) - The rumors and speculation can stop. Mike Anderson has accepted a job as the head coach for the Arkansas Razorbacks men's basketball team, NewsChannel 5 Sports Director Rene Knott has confirmed.
    In five seasons as the Mizzou head basketball coach, Anderson achieved a 111-56 record, including 13 wins over ranked opponents and four wins in the NCAA Tournament.  Mizzou won the Big 12 Tournament and reached the Elite 8 of the NCAA Tournament in the 2008-09 season.  That Big 12 Tournament title was the first in the school's history.
    Prior to his stint with the Missouri Tigers, Anderson coached the men's basketball team at the University of Alabama-Birmingham (UAB).  His teams appeared in three NCAA Tournaments and qualified for the NIT once.  The Blazers were Conference USA regular season co-champions in 2003-04, and made it all the way to the Sweet 16 that year.  Anderson left UAB with a 89-41 coaching record.
    In nine years as a head coach, Anderson's teams have never finished below .500.  His teams won 20 or more games seven times.
    Anderson has a special connection with the University of Arkansas.  He served as an assitant to head coach Nolan Richardson from 1985 to 2002.
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