A small town on the bluffs above the Mississippi River, Herculaneum, Missouri, was always a company town. The company, Doe Run, is the largest lead producer in North America, trucking in lead from Missouri’s rich mines to a 120-year-old smelter on the river. For 25 years, the smelter didn’t meet federal air standards for lead, and now, after decades of battling government regulators and angry parents, Doe Run is leaving town at the end of next year.
In Missouri state prisons, about 60 percent of inmates have kids. That’s 18,000 moms and dads behind bars – and tens of thousands of kids on the other side. To help those parents and kids connect, volunteers make their way through the metal detectors each month with big tubs of blank tapes and CDs, stamped envelopes, and lots of children’s books.
Missouri is fertile ground for payday lenders. With some of the loosest regulations in the nation, it’s among the states with the most payday lending stores per capita. Now, the payday lending industry in Missouri is fighting for its life, as activists aim for the November ballot to try to rein in these lenders they say trap the working poor in a cycle of debt.
Ever since Mormon prophet and founder Joseph Smith revealed the Book of Mormon in 1830, his followers have struggled for acceptance. If you want to understand the “why” behind this rocky relationship, the rolling farmland of northwest Missouri might be the best place to start — the birthplace of the human race, according to Joseph Smith, and the place where Christ will first step down in the second coming.
In Joplin, Missouri, runners are gearing up for the city’s second annual marathon tomorrow. Some local runners say having a goal to shoot for helped them carry on, after they lost everything in last May’s devastating tornado.