Hermann Missouri 175 Year Anniversary 1836-2011

Hermann Missouri 175 Year Anniversary 1836-2011
Hermann Missouri 175 Year Anniversary 1836-2011

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Friday, June 3, 2011

James Arness Dies Age 88: Dodge City lawman Matt Dillon in "Gunsmoke" VIDEO CLIP "GET OUT OF DODGE"


'Gunsmoke' Star James Arness Dies at Age 88

June 03, 2011
Associated Press


James Arness, the 6-foot-6 actor who towered over the television landscape for two decades as righteous Dodge City lawman Matt Dillon in "Gunsmoke," died Friday. 
He was 88.
The actor died in his sleep at his home in Brentwood, Calif., according to his business manager, Ginny Fazer.
Arness' official website posted a letter from Arness on Friday that he wrote with the intention that it be posted posthumously: "I had a wonderful life and was blessed with some many loving people and great friends," he said.
"I wanted to take this time to thank all of you for the many years of being a fan of Gunsmoke, The Thing, How the West Was Won and all the other fun projects I was lucky enough to have been allowed to be a part of. I had the privilege of working with so many great actors over the years."
As U.S. Marshal Dillon in the 1955-75 CBS Western series, Arness created an indelible portrait of a quiet, heroic man with an unbending dedication to justice and the town he protected.
The wealth and fame Arness gained from "Gunsmoke" could not protect him from tragedy in his personal life: His daughter and his former wife, Virginia, both died of drug overdoses.
Arness, a quiet, intensely private man who preferred the outdoor life to Hollywood's party scene, rarely gave interviews and refused to discuss the tragedies.
"He's big, impressive and virile," co-star Amanda Blake (Miss Kitty) once said of Arness, adding, "I've worked with him for 16 years, but I don't really know him."
The actor was 32 when friend John Wayne declined the lead role in "Gunsmoke" and recommended Arness instead. Afraid of being typecast, Arness initially rejected it.
"Go ahead and take it, Jim," Wayne urged him. "You're too big for pictures. Guys like Gregory Peck and I don't want a big lug like you towering over us. Make your mark in television."
"Gunsmoke" went on to become the longest-running dramatic series in network history until NBC's "Law & Order" tied in 2010. Arness' 20-year prime-time run as the marshal was tied only in recent times, by Kelsey Grammer's 20 years as Frasier Crane from 1984 to 2004 on "Cheers" and then on "Frasier."
The years showed on the weathered-looking Arness, but he -- and his TV character -- wore them well.
"The camera really loved his face, and with good reason," novelist Wallace Markfield wrote in a 1975 "Gunsmoke" appreciation in The New York Times. "It was a face that would age well and that, while aging, would carry intimations of waste, loss and futility."
Born James Aurness in Minneapolis (he dropped the "u" for show business reasons), he and brother Peter enjoyed a "real Huckleberry Finn existence," Arness once recalled.
Peter, who changed his last name to Graves, went on to star in the TV series "Mission Impossible."
A self-described drifter, Arness left home at age 18, hopping freight trains and Caribbean-bound freighters. He entered Beloit College in Wisconsin, but was drafted into the Army in his 1942-43 freshman year.
Wounded in the leg during the 1944 invasion at Anzio, Italy, Arness was hospitalized for a year and left with a slight limp. He returned to Minneapolis to work as a radio announcer and in small theater roles.
He moved to Hollywood in 1946 at a friend's suggestion. After a slow start in which he took jobs as a carpenter and salesman, a role in MGM's "Battleground" (1949) was a career turning point. Parts in more than 20 films followed, including "The Thing," "Hellgate" and "Hondo" with Wayne. Then came "Gunsmoke," which proved a durable hit and a multimillion-dollar boon for Arness, who owned part of the series.
His longtime co-stars were Blake as saloon keeper Miss Kitty, Milburn Stone as Doc Adams and Dennis Weaver as the deputy, Chester Goode.
When Weaver died in February 2006, Arness called it "a big loss for me personally" and said Weaver "provided comic relief but was also a real person doing things that were very important to the show."
The cancellation of "Gunsmoke" didn't keep Arness away from TV for long: He returned a few months later, in January 1976, in the TV movie "The Macahans," which led to the 1978-79 ABC series "How the West Was Won."
Arness took on a contemporary role as a police officer in the series "McClain's Law," which aired on NBC from 1981-82.
Despite his desire for privacy, a rocky domestic life landed him in the news more than once.
Arness met future wife Virginia Chapman while both were studying at Southern California's Pasadena Playhouse. They wed in 1948 and had two children, Jenny and Rolf. Chapman's son from her first marriage, Craig, was adopted by Arness.
The marriage foundered and in 1963 Arness sought a divorce and custody of the three children, which he was granted. He tried to guard them from the spotlight.
"The kids don't really have any part of my television life," he once remarked. "Fortunately, there aren't many times when show business intrudes on our family existence."
The emotionally troubled Virginia Arness attempted suicide twice, in 1959 and in 1960. In 1975, Jenny Arness died of an apparently deliberate drug overdose. Two years later, an overdose that police deemed accidental killed her mother.

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FCC in Collusion with Marxist, Left-Wing Advocacy Groups in Campaign to Expand Government Regulation of the Internet


Documents show FCC coordinated 'Net Neutrality' effort with outside group

Washington Examiner
June 3, 2011
By: Conn Carroll

Documents made public yesterday by Judicial Watch describe extensive collusion by Federal Communications Commission officials with a left-wing advocacy group in a campaign to expand government regulation of the Internet.
The documents, obtained by Judicial Watch in a December 2010 Freedom of Information Act request, were created after Democrat appointees solidified their 3-2 control of the agency in March 2009.
Judicial Watch is a conservative nonprofit that specializes in using the FOIA and other avenues to expose corruption in government.
The coordination between FCC officials and Free Press, the advocacy group, supported a proposal for the agency to regulate access to the Internet as if it were a public utility, in the interest of ensuring "Net Neutrality."
Proponents said doing so would assure equal access for all Internet users by barring companies from offering preferred rates for higher delivery speeds. Other users, especially in communities with limited Internet access, would be forced to accept poorer service.
But critics said the proposal would actually give the FCC a tool to regulate content, and they argued that the FCC has no authority over the medium in the first place. It would be akin to forcing FedEx and UPS to treat all packages the same way the U.S. Postal Service does.
Free Press is the most vocal of a number of far-left and liberal advocacy groups that for nearly a decade have pushed numerous proposals for vastly increasing government regulation of the Internet.
The evidence of coordination between FCC Democrats and Free Press uncovered by Judicial Watch includes:
  • Emails between former Free Press president John Silver and Democratic FCC Commissioner Michael Copps from October 2010, coordinating "how we'd like to proceed during these next three months on NN [net neutrality]."
  •  Documents summarizing a phone call between Silver and Copps in which, before an FCC vote on the proposal in November 2010, Silver "emphasized that a strong net neutrality rule is critical to preserving the Internet as a vibrant forum for speech, commerce, innovation and cultural expression."
  •  Correspondence between FCC Special Counsel David Tannenbaum and Free Press Policy Director Ben Scott coordinating speakers for a taxpayer-funded series of FCC "internet workshops" that were intended to generate public support for the proposal.
Free Press was co-founded by Monthly Review editor Robert McChesney and the Nation contributor John Nichols. The Monthly Review is "an independent Marxist journal," while the Nation has long described itself as "the flagship of the left." Free Press is partially funded by George Soros' Open Society Institute.
In April 2010, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the FCC did not have the legal authority to regulate the Internet. Despite this ruling, in December the FCC voted 3-2, along party lines, to begin the Net Neutrality regulation process anyway.
As an independent agency, the FCC is required to regulate impartially. Internal FCC rules require all employees to disclose all communication made by interested parties and "directed to the merits or outcome of a proceeding" unless they fit a narrow set of exceptions (e.g., the communication "directly relates to an emergency in which the safety of life is endangered or substantial loss of property is threatened").
An FCC spokesman failed to return multiple calls seeking comment.
Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said the documents released by his organization suggest "nothing less than the Obama administration's attempt to stage a government takeover of the Internet under the guise of Net Neutrality. So it should come as no surprise that Free Press, the hard-left organization with socialist ties, is improperly driving the so-called Net Neutrality agenda from inside the Obama administration."
Fitton added that "the FCC is supposed to be an independent agency that follows the law. The American people should be deeply troubled by the fact that the Obama administration, on issue after issue, seems to be run by shadowy leftist organizations."
Click Here to Read More.



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Player of the Year is Ryan Cooper (Owensville) Justin Wurtz (Hermann) Dakota Debroeck (Owensville) Named 4 Rivers Conference Baseball - 2011 1st Team

June 3, 2011

2011 Four Rivers All-Conferece Baseball Selections

4 Rivers Conference Baseball - 2011 1st Team
Pitchers: **Josh Moore (Pacific), **Tyler Thompson (Union), Austin Peirick (New Haven), and Andrew David (Pacific)
Catchers: **Ryan Cooper (Owensville), Matt Jones (Sullivan), TJ Johnson (Union)
Infielders: **Dakota Debroeck (Owensville), **Ryan Jones (Pacific), **Austin Coleman (Sullivan), Justin Wurtz (Hermann), Colton Liebenguth (Sullivan), Justin Zimmerman (Union)
Outfielders: **Austin Mathis (Pacific), **Tyler Schatz (Sullivan), Matt Strothkamp (Pacific), Travis Sanders (St. Clair)
Utility: Lucas Budnik (Hermann)
** Unanimous Selection

Player of the Year - Ryan Cooper ... Catcher ... Owensville ... Senior

4 Rivers Conference Baseball - 2011 2nd Team
Austin Madden, IF (New Haven) ... Garrett Schoenfeld, OF (New Haven) ... Brady Branson, Utility(Owensville) ... Wyatt Loague, Pitcher (Owensville) ... Joe Sedlock, Catcher (St. Clair) ... Jacob Ford, Utility (St. James) ... J.C. Beckett, IF (Sullivan) ... Seth Mesey, P (Sullivan)

4 Rivers Conference Baseball - 2011 Honorable Mention
Brett Houska, Catcher (Hermann) ... Alex Missey, Pitcher (Owensville) ... Cody Coffman, IF (Pacific) ... Josh Conley, IF (Pacific) ... Brendan Murphy, Pitcher (St. Clair) ... Jeff Moore, IF (St. Clair) ... Lee Steavens, P (St. James) ... Robert Hughes, IF (St. James) ... Steven Benton, IF (St. James)

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Flooding Could Rival 1993 Missouri River Levels: Mid to Late June 2011


Flash Flood Warnings Issued For Parts Of Missouri


FRANKLIN COUNTY , MO (KTVI-FOX2Now.com)— A warning for Franklin County residents who live along the Missouri River to get prepared for possible flooding later this month. County Emergency Management Director Abraham Cook said, "Worried, yes because there's always a potential for a loss of life, property we never want to see that we are taking steps to educate people."

Water from dams and reservoirs up north will soon be released. Cook said, "It's something we definitely have to keep an eye on." The river level in Washington Missouri could rise to near the level of the Great Flood of '93. David Wells, a resident remembered that flood, "Water was everywhere that's all I can remember it was pretty bad you couldn't get down in here."

Officials are telling people to have a plan, a place to go to and insurance in order. The next flood could cause lot of problems. Connie Parmeley said, "I'm up on high because I already lost a house in the flood. So I'm up high...I've learned my lesson yeah very much so."

State Readies for Slow Disaster

Missouri News Horizon

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Joplin tornado struck in the blink of an eye. The state’s next natural disaster could take at least a couple of weeks.
The State Emergency Management Agency’s operations manager John Campbell says communities all up and down the Missouri River are getting ready for floods.
“We’ve got a number of counties that are making preparations, requesting sandbags, and additional people, and I know a lot of folks are leaning forward to do the best they can to be prepared,” said Campbell.
It could be up to two weeks before the extent of flooding will be known. And he says any rain between now and the opening of the flood gates on the upper Missouri on June 14 will effect how bad the flooding will be.
“If it falls at the wrong time in the wrong place, then it aggravates a flooding situation, taking it from what might be a minor flood, into a disastrous flood,” he said.
Water from record snow melt run-off and heavy spring rains in the upper Missouri River basin have the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers predicting some of the highest river levels ever along the lower river basin for Nebraska and Iowa, through Kansas and Missouri. The levels are expected to come up quickly once floodgates at the Gavins Point Dam in South Dakota are fully opened on June 14, causing water to rush into the lower Missouri River basin at a rate of 150,000 cubic feet per second.
And this will be no flash flood. The Corps of Engineers in a news release said it expects that flow to continue for several months, and for river levels to remain higher than normal even into next winter.
The corps and the National Weather Service have not been able to accurately predict flood levels due to the uncertainty of rain over the lower basin. On Wednesday, the corps released a flood forecast chart for the entire lower Missouri basin with best and worst case scenarios. The worst case scenarios include average rain totals from the last four summers, which have been higher than normal. The chart includes a river crest ranges from three to as much as seven or eight feet.
For instance, the river level at Jefferson City may top out at 27 feet, which would cause some flooding in low lying areas but would not top the city’s main levee. But under a rainy scenario, the river could top out at 35 feet, more than five feet above the levee top and damage could be severe and wide spread.
“We’re just trying to put out the word to emergency management people what to be prepared for,” said corps spokesperson Diana McCoy.
Campbell said requests for sand bags, pumps and manpower are already coming in to his office in Jefferson City. Last year, despite dire predictions, flood waters only reached as far as Glasgow on the Missouri. This time, Campbell said it looks like towns further down river will be in for flooding of some kind.

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UNEMPLOYMENT UP: Job Growth Slows Sharply in May 2011


Employment growth slows sharply in May

June 3, 2011
By Lucia Mutikani


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Employers hired far fewer workers than expected in May and the jobless rate rose to 9.1 percent as high energy prices and the effects of Japan's earthquake bogged down the economy.
Nonfarm payrolls increased 54,000 last month, the weakest reading since September, the Labor Department said on Friday. Private employment rose just 83,000, the least since last June, while government payrolls dropped 29,000.
Economists had expected payrolls to rise 150,000 and private hiring to increase 175,000 in May. The government revised employment figures for March and April to show 39,000 fewer jobs created than previously estimated.
The job creation slowdown confirmed the economic weakness already flagged by other data from consumer spending to manufacturing. It could stoke fears about the depth and duration of a slowdown that started early in the year.
"It is likely that this will be a soft patch in the coming months but overall it will probably be a soft patch rather than a double-dip recession or something worse," said Sean Incremona an economist at 4CAST in New York.
The Labor Department said severe weather last month, including tornadoes and flooding, in the Midwest and the South did not materially affect data collection.
It also said that while some workers in those regions may have been temporarily displaced from their jobs, it found "no clear impact of the disasters on the national employment and unemployment data for May."
The employment report provides one of the best early reads on the health of the U.S. economy and it regularly sets the tone for global financial markets.
U.S. stock index futures fell sharply, while Treasury debt prices added to earlier gains and interest rate futures rose, signaling that traders believe the Federal Reserve will stick with its ultra-low rate policy for a while.
The dollar fell against the yen and Swiss franc.
While the recent string of weak data has sparked talk about the need for the Fed to extend its asset purchasing program when it expires this month, analysts believe policymakers will take the soft payrolls report in stride.
Officials at the U.S. central bank regard the current downshift in the economy as temporary.
The Fed has been mapping out a strategy on how to start removing some of the massive stimulus it has lent the economy, and officials have made clear the bar for a further easing in monetary policy is high.
High gasoline prices, bad weather and disruptions to motor vehicle production because of a shortage of parts from Japan after an earthquake in March have been blamed for the lull in economic activity.
"There are good reasons to suppose the third quarter will be better because we have seen some easing in commodity prices, gasoline prices are starting to come down and the bad effects on vehicle production of the Japanese problems will start to unwind," said Nigel Gault, chief U.S. economist at IHS Global Insight in Lexington, Massachusetts.
High gasoline costs hurt consumer spending in the first quarter, restricting economic growth to a 1.8 percent annual pace after expanding at a 3.1 percent rate in the October-December period.
The economy has regained only a fraction of the more than 8 million jobs lost during the recession. Economists say payrolls growth above 300,000 a month is needed to make significant progress in shrinking the pool of 13.9 million unemployed Americans.
The unemployment rate rose to 9.1 percent last month from 9.0 percent in April as some discouraged workers who had been inspired by the pick-up in hiring in April re-entered the labor market.
"There is so much slack in the labor market it's going to take a long time to get the unemployment rate down to between 6 and 7 percent. That's going to take years," said Stephen Bronars, a senior economist at Welch Consulting in Washington.
That could be bad news for President Barack Obama, whose chances of re-election next year could hinge on the health of the economy, particularly the labor market.
The employment report showed weakness across the board, with the private services sector adding 80,000 jobs last month after increasing payrolls by 213,000 in April.
Within the private services sector, leisure and hospitality fell, showing no boost from McDonald's recruitment of about 50,000 new staff in April, which was after the survey period for that month's payrolls. Spring is traditionally a strong hiring period for McDonald's.
Retail employment, which recorded its largest increase in 10 years in April, fell 8,500 last month. Manufacturing payrolls growth contracted 5,000 last month, the first decline since October, while construction employment rose 2,000.
The report showed the average work week steady at 34.4 hours and few signs of wage inflation, with average hourly earnings rising 6 cents.

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TSA Budget Slashed, Texas Grope Ban Rebound


TSA On The Ropes; Budget Slashed, Texas Grope Ban Returns

Paul Joseph Watson
June 3, 2011

Days after a top TSA official conceded that the agency would be forced to reconsider its policies in the aftermath of a nationwide backlash against invasive screening procedures, the agency was dealt another two huge blows yesterday with the news that the TSA budget would be slashed by $270 million, in addition to the return of a bill in Texas that would make grope-downs a felony.
The Texas bill that would have made invasive TSA pat-downs in the state a felony, legislation that was nixed after the Justice Department issued a threat to shut down Texas airports and impose a federal blockade, has risen again like a phoenix from the flames.
Texas Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst, the man responsible for turning Senators away from the bill which had looked set to pass having sailed through the House unanimously, has reversed his position and “asked Gov. Rick Perry to include the measure in a special session of the Texas legislature,” reports The Hill.
Texas state Rep. David Simpson (R), one of the main backers of the bill, told visitors to his Facebook page that Dewhurst has had a “change of heart,” which may have something to do with the firestorm of criticism the Lt. Governor received after his actions, in addition to promises by Simpson and others to oppose Dewhurst’s future political aspirations in the state.
“The Lt. Gov. sent a letter to Gov. Perry asking him to include the TSA bill HB 1937 in the special session!,” Simpson wrote on the website. “Please call the Governor and tell him you agree with Lt. Gov. Dewhurst!”
There shouldn’t even be a debate as to whether or not TSA workers can stick their hands down your pants or fondle a woman’s breasts. Not even a police officer or an FBI agent can legally lay a hand on you unless it’s in the course of an arrest. Though welcomed, there isn’t even any need for a law to be passed in Texas, all state police have to do is enforce existing laws.
As Steve Wagstaffe, the District Attorney in San Mateo County, told Alex Jones last year, merely touching someone against their will is a felony in California, just as it is in Texas and across the country.
“If it is skin to skin, if someone were to take their hand and put it underneath somebody’s blouse and touch someone inappropriately and go skin to skin, that’s a felony, and if it’s done simply over the clothing, according to California law, that’s a misdemeanor,” said Wagstaffe.
If police merely did their job and enforced existing laws by arresting TSA agents who molest Americans, whether that be in airports, at train stations, highways, bus terminals, prom nights or wherever else TSA workers are used, then there would be no need for new legislation.
In a related story, the number of TSA screeners groping children and searching babies’ diapers at security checkpoints not just at airports, but also proms, highways, train stations and bus depots, is set to be cut by 10 per cent after the Republican-controlled House voted 219 to 204 to cut the Transportation Security Administration’s budget by $270 million, a move opposed by Democrats and union leaders.
The cut was part of a homeland security budget bill for fiscal year 2012. The House also voted 218 to 205 to prevent the TSA from collective bargaining with its workers. Both amendments now move to the Senate.
The deluge of negative press that the TSA has been forced to endure over the course of the last year is finally starting to cause cracks in the facade of the federal agency.
As we reported yesterday, TSA Field Operations Manager Scott Johnson said that the agency was considering changing its screening techniques during a meeting with lawmakers in Alaska.

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Facebook Using Minors' Names, Pictures for Marketing Ads Sparks Lawsuit


Facebook ‘likes’ touch off lawsuit

June 3, 2011

EAST ST. LOUIS • The seemingly innocent computer clicks of teenagers "liking" a product on Facebook has touched off a legal fight over whether the social networking giant can allow those clicks to drive advertising.
St. Louis law firm Korein Tillery sued Facebook this week in U.S. District Court in East St. Louis, claiming minors' names and pictures are being used for advertising and marketing without parental approval. The suit, seeking class action status, is similar to at least two others filed against Facebook in other states.
The lawsuit names as plaintiffis Melissa Dawes and Jennifer DeYong, two Madison County mothers who the firm says are upset about Facebook exploiting their children for corporate interests.
Facebook has become fertile ground for advertisers hoping to connect with young people but also has faced increasing questions about protecting its users' privacy and personal information.
The site has harnessed its power by allowing its 500 million active users to endorse companies, products and services that advertise on the site.
All users are able to click a "like" button on a company's Facebook page, which is then announced to the users' friends via the "news feed." The user's name and profile picture is then visible to friends who visit the company's Facebook page.
Teens, like adults, are also able to "like" various advertisements and Facebook pages, ranging from designer jeans to the latest Lady Gaga album.
The issue the lawsuit poses is whether those teens' parents need to sign off before their kids' "likes" are used to drive business.
Facebook scoffed at the suit on Thursday.
"We believe this suit is completely without merit, and we will fight it vigorously," said Andrew Noyes, a Facebook spokesman.
Similar suits have been filed in New York and California.
Asked what damage has been done because of the advertising, Steven Katz, an attorney with Korein Tillery, said it is "the invasion of privacy for commercial interests."
Dawes and DeYong could not be reached for comment. Katz declined to discuss his clients, saying they wanted to protect their privacy.
Korein Tillery has a history of big-money class action suits, including a $10 billion trial verdict against Philip Morris in 2003.
Facebook declares to users when they register that "your name and profile picture may be associated with commercial, sponsored, or related content (such as a brand you like) served or enhanced by us. You give us permission to use your name and profile picture in connection with that content, subject to the limits you place."
Users have to OK the non-negotiable statement to register.
The lawsuit filed Wednesday states that minors lack the capacity to consent and agree to such terms. The suit estimates that more than 14 million U.S. residents younger than 18 are Facebook users.
Aaron M. Zigler, another Korein Tillery lawyer, said parental approval is critical.
"A 16-year-old can't get a tattoo," he said, "or get a credit card."
Marc Rotenberg, executive director for Washington-based Electronic Privacy Information Center, said the suit poses a "fascinating case."
The inability to use a person's name or likeness for commercial purposes without their consent "is one of the most well-established privacy claims in the United States," said Rotenberg, who also teaches information privacy law at Georgetown University. "It's not at all clear that Facebook can assume it has the right to make use of a minor child's image for its own commercial benefit."
Such lawsuits date back to 1905, when the Georgia Supreme Court ruled that a man's right to privacy was violated when an insurance company used his picture in a newspaper ad without his permission.
"Regarding Facebook, the company has always pushed the envelope on the use of its users' images for commercial purposes," Rotenberg said.

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Missouri River Flood: Bismarck RAW VIDEO North Dakota Garrison Dam Spillway Opened For First Time


Bismarck Flooding:

The Latest

June 3, 2011


Aerial view of the east bank of the Missouri River from a North Dakota National Guard Kiowa OH-58 helicopter in the vicinity of Bismarck, N.D., on June 1, 2011. When this video was taken, the river was at about 15.84 feet with a garrison release flow of 92,500 cubic feet per second. About 1,300 North Dakota National Guard members are on duty helping with flooding operations in the Bismarck-Mandan area.
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The Missouri River could reach its peak in Bismarck and Mandan within two weeks. Army Corps of Engineers project manager Todd Lindquist says he's expecting water releases from the Garrison Dam to reach 150,000 cubic feet per second by June 17. The flows are now about 100,000 cubic feet per second. Once water leaves the dam, it takes about 30 hours to reach Bismarck. Lindquist says the river's expected crest is still 20.6 feet, even though water releases have increased. He says the force of the extra water is making the river channel deeper. Bismarck Mayor John Warford says dike protection in Bismarck will be close to 22 feet. North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple says there have been enough sandbagging volunteers to allow stockpiling of extra bags.

BISMARCK, ND - North Dakota's Garrison Dam opened its emergency spillway gates for the first time Wednesday, and the river is expected to rise for the next several days.

Army Corps of Engineers project manager Todd Lindquist says the gates are being used because Lake Sakakawea has almost reached its water storage limit.  The gates have never been used to dump water out of Lake Sakakawea since the dam began operating in the 1950s. Lindquist says the release will be controlled by opening the gates by about a foot.

There are 28 gates and they'll be opened in groups of seven.

The dam's water releases are to gradually rise from 85,000 cubic feet per second Tuesday to 120,000 cubic feet per second on Sunday. The river is almost at its 16-foot flood stage.
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States Seek TSA Groping Stand-Down: Texas, Utah, Alaska Question Pat-Down Policy


TSA Caving To Pat Down Pressure?

TSA manager tells Alaska Senator that agency is considering changing its policies
Paul Joseph Watson
Prison Planet.com
June 3, 2011

Following pressure from lawmakers that resulted in the Department of Justice resorting to threats of federal blockades last week to stymie a bill in Texas that would have made TSA groping a felony, a top Transportation Security Administration official has indicated that the agency might be about to cave on its aggressive pat down procedures.
During a roundtable session in Anchorage Alaska hosted by U.S. Sen. Mark Begich, D-Alaska, TSA Field Operations Manager Scott Johnson said the agency was “considering changes in its screening techniques,” reports the Associated Press.
Instead of groping young children and searching babies’ diapers, the TSA is looking at treating passengers differently based on their potential risk, a policy that would “rank populations of air passengers as more or less potentially dangerous.”
“There are probably people that we have to take a closer look at than others,” said Johnson.
However, subjecting individuals deemed suitable for a “closer look” by the TSA to more aggressive screening may have little to do with stopping terrorists considering the fact that the TSA apparently judges the biggest threat to be journalists who criticized the agency and were then put on a watch list as a form of punishment.
“This whole idea of risk assessment … trying to determine what’s high risk, what’s a low risk, how they manage that, I think was a good statement and a new policy that they have,” said Senator Begich, noting that body scanners which do not show intimate details of a person’s naked body are in the pipeline. However, worries about the radiation threat posed by such devices, an even bigger concern, were not addressed.
The round table session was organized by Republican State Rep. Sharon Cissna’s United States for Travel Freedom Caucus, a group that is pushing for legislation to be enacted across the country that would ban TSA molestation.
Cissna, a 68-year-old cancer survivor who suffered molestation and abuse in her youth, made shock waves back in February when she refused to submit to a TSA grope-down and was subsequently prevented from flying from Seattle, Washington to her home in Alaska.
“It’s a paradigm shift that has gone on here, where suddenly it’s all right to teach kids that it’s all right to have strangers touching them in the most personal places,” she said.
Last week, the Department of Justice and the TSA used financial terrorism to nix HB 1937 in Texas, a bill that would have made it “A criminal act for security personnel to touch a person’s private areas without probable cause as a condition of travel or as a condition of entry into a public place,” shortly before the legislation looked to be on its way to passage in the Senate having passed the Texas House unanimously.
The DOJ and Homeland Security intimidated lawmakers into dropping the bill after they threatened to shut down all the airports in Texas and prevent any commercial flights from operating out of or entering the state.
While any change in policy by the TSA should be welcomed, let’s not forget that following the national outcry at the end of last year against intrusive airport screening that was spearheaded by the Drudge Report, John Pistole’s promise that the TSA was looking at making the process “less intrusive” was never fulfilled, and if anything the grope-downs became more aggressive, with TSA goons directly sticking their hands down people’s pants.

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Missouri Budget Woes: May revenue numbers 'not good,' raise economic concerns

Missouri's May revenue numbers 'not good,' raise economic concerns
By Jo Mannies, Beacon political reporter

Missouri Budget Director Linda Luebbering acknowledged today that she's concerned about an unexpected decline in individual income-tax collections in May, which could signal a troubling cooling of the state's economic picture, after roughly a year of good news.
"The numbers aren't good,'' Luebbering said, referring to a drop of 1.4 percent in individual income tax collections, compared to April. "I'm hoping it's not a trend but a one-time blip."
She speculated that the decline could be the result of employees working fewer hours or more people taking part-time work. "We haven't seen a down-tick in jobs,'' she explains.
She noted that May 2010 also was down from May 2009, observing that something may be unusual, in general, about the month.
Luebbering (right) added that she's more concerned about the individual income-tax collection drop than May's overall decline of 3.92 percent, compared to a year ago. That's because most of the overall decrease is due to Missouri's swifter payments of 2010 tax refunds, compared to the 2009 refunds.
As a result, June's tax refund payments are expected to be down, she said, evening out the picture.
With the decline, the net general revenue collection for May was $589.7 million, compared to $613.8 million in May 2010.
Overall, this fiscal year's general revenue collections are up 2.7 percent compared to a year ago -- but that's down from the 3.6 percent increase built into the budget. With only weeks to go before the fiscal year ends June 30, the budget director said this month will need to see "pretty darn'' strong numbers to end the year on target.
Still, Luebbering does not expect Gov. Jay Nixon to make any last-minute budget cuts to guarantee that this fiscal year ends up balanced, as required by Missouri's constitution.
Perhaps mindful of May's less-than-stellar numbers, Nixon was in Columbia touting the strength of the state's economy.
Nixon (left) does expect to make budget withholdings of at least $110 million for the fiscal year that begins July 1. 
Luebbering said that the General Assembly's decision to eliminate the state's franchise tax on businesses will cost the state $24 million in the coming fiscal year. An additional $34 million will need to be trimmed, she added, because the budget had assumed some accelerated tax payments due to a proposed tax amnesty that the legislature failed to enact.
In addition, she said, the state will need $50 million to cover its share of disaster-relief costs prompted by the tornado in Joplin, Mo., that killed at least 138 people.
As for fiscal year 2012, which begins July 1, that state budget is built on a predicted revenue growth of 4 percent. Luebbering hopes that doesn't turn out to be too optimistic.
Here's the state detailed tax collections, by category:
Individual income tax collection
Increased 2.5 percent for the year, from $5.03 billion last year to $5.15 billion this year.
Decreased 1.4 percent for the month.
Sales and use tax collections
Increased 0.3 percent for the year from $1.63 billion last year to $1.64 billion this year.
Increased 1.1 percent for the month.
Corporate income and corporate franchise tax collections
Increased 10.1 percent for the year, from $417.3 million last year to $459.5 million this year.
Increased 196.2 percent for the month.
All other collections
Increased 18.9 percent for the year, from $409.1 million last year to $486.4 million this year.
Increased 34.6 percent for the month.
Increased 6.5 percent for the year, from $1.21 billion last year to $1.28 billion this year.
Increased 187.2 percent for the month.

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