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Flooding Continues on the Mississippi River As Summer Forecast Calls for Frequent Storms Throughout Midwest
Flood waters from the Mississippi River continue to cover the Leonor K. Sullivan Boulevard at Laclede's Landing and the Gateway Arch.
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), May 4, 2013 - AccuWeather issues a summer outlook for the U.S. every year, focusing on the major highlights of the season.
Most areas from the Mississippi Valley to the mid-Atlantic coast will have more days with rain and near-normal temperatures this summer, while heat and drought build over much of the West.
Many areas in the Eastern states will have good growing conditions with lower cooling bills for the Midwest. Lower temperatures in much of the Mississippi Valley and the east should result in a lower-than-average number of tornadoes for the year.
Crops in most areas should have plenty of moisture, but in some cases conditions could be less than ideal due to persistent wetness. Flooding problems that developed in part of the area during the spring could continue or expand to new locations into the first part of the summer.
During the second half of the summer, the pattern will begin to change. Moisture from the Gulf and the Atlantic are likely to come into play allowing two things. One would be more liberally spread shower and thunderstorm activity, which would limit temperature extremes. The second would open the door for impact from one or more tropical systems.
AccuWeather.com will release its 2013 Hurricane Season Forecast on May 15.
Letter Carriers Work to Stamp Out Hunger in St. Louis
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), May 4, 2013 - On Saturday, May 11, 2013, the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) and the Campbell Soup Company ask you to help Stamp Out Hunger in St. Louis. Now in its 21st year, the annual food drive has grown from a regional to a national effort that provides assistance to the millions of Americans struggling to put food on the table.
The Stamp Out Hunger food drive, held on the second Saturday in May, has become the nation's largest single-day food drive benefitting Feeding America, the nation's largest domestic hunger-relief organization. In 2012, generous Americans donated 70 million pounds of food, which marked the ninth consecutive year that at least 70 million pounds were collected by letter carriers.
"We're incredibly excited for the 21st year of the Stamp Out Hunger food drive," said Postmaster Cathy Vaughn. "We're asking residents for their support to make this year the most successful in the drive's history. It's so easy to make a donation: simply leave a bag of non-perishable food items by your mailbox to help neighbors in need. That's all it takes."
The need for food assistance exists in every community in America, no matter how rich or poor. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, more than 50 million Americans are food insecure, meaning they live at risk of hunger. Perhaps most alarming is the fact that nearly 17 million children in America are struggling with hunger.
Campbell Soup Company and its partners are producing post cards and shopping bags that will be delivered to more than 75 million homes across the country as a reminder to participate in the drive. In addition, Campbell will again support this year's food collection effort by donating one million pounds of food to Feeding America member food banks.
To participate in the annual Stamp Out Hunger food drive in St. Louis, residents are encouraged to leave a sturdy bag containing non-perishable food items, such as canned soup, canned vegetables, peanut butter, pasta, rice or cereal, next to their mailbox prior to the time of regular mail delivery on Saturday, May 11. St. Louis' letter carriers will collect these food donations as they deliver the mail.
Missouri ranked 30th among Bicycle Friendly States
ST. LOUIS, MO, (SLFP.com), May 4, 2013 - In honor of National Bike Month, the League of American Bicyclists has released its latest Bicycle Friendly States ranking. In the sixth annual assessment, Missouri achieved a #30 ranking nationally, while placing #6 in the Midwest.
"We are encouraged to see significant progress in top states like Washington, Delaware, Colorado and Oregon," said Andy Clarke, president of the League of American Bicyclists. "But, as the scores clearly highlight, there's much work to be done in critical areas like infrastructure and planning in every state."
The Bicycle Friendly States Ranking is now even more comprehensive, capturing more information than ever before and delving more deeply into the issues embedded in becoming a more bicycle friendly state.
Missouri's #30 ranking was based on a number of key indicators, including infrastructure and funding that provide on-the-ground bicycle facilities; education and encourage programs that promote cycling; and passage and enforcement of bicycle-friendly laws that make it safe and comfortable for people of all ages to ride.
"Most of the recommendations in the report can easily be adopted by cities, metro planning organizations, or statewide--and these are things that really improve our cities and neighborhoods for bicycling," said Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation Executive Director Brent Hugh.
The report's key recommendations for Missouri:
- Remove current restrictions on state transportation funds that disallow funding of bicycle facilities
- Adopt and implement Complete Streets policies
- Adopt a statewide bicycle plan
- Adopt statewide and local laws making it unlawful to harass, taunt, or throw objects at bicyclists
"We're seeing more people bicycling in Missouri than ever before," said Hugh. "And both cities and state agencies like MoDOT are gradually working to improve conditions for bicycling. But frankly, we've got to step up our game. Other states are improving faster than we are."
Missouri's ranking in previous years has ranged from 28th to 17th. The year's ranking of 30th is the lowest ranking Missouri has received in the six years of the Bicycle Friendly State program.
The Bicycle Friendly State program is more than an annual assessment. Throughout the year, League staff will work actively with state officials and advocacy leaders to help Missouri identify and implement the programs, policies and campaigns that will improve conditions for bicyclists.
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