Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear is urging U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell to sponsor and pass legislation that would force the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to release water from the Missouri River to raise levels on the Mississippi. Drought conditions there could soon halt barge traffic. Beshear sent a letter to McConnell and U.S. Sen. Rand Paul Wednesday asking them to take action quickly. If the Mississippi continues to drop there could be negative economic consequences.
Meteorologists say the remnants of Tropical Storm Isaac could bring welcome rain to some states in the Midwest this week, although it is unlikely to break the drought that gripped the region. States in the Mississippi River valley are the most likely to benefit from the storm. Some areas are more than a foot of rain short this year. The National Weather Service predicts 2 to 6 inches of rain later this week. Heavy showers could also aid traffic on the Mississippi River, which has seen temporary closures due to low water conditions.
The city of Murray faces an all-too-common problem these days: a steady demand for services while facing the necessity of budget cuts. For other communities in the country, the outlook isn’t quite so grim. And what they’ve done, or not done, could be instructive. So, we looked for a city similar to Murray and came up with Oxford, Mississippi, home of the University of Mississippi. Both cover 10 square miles; they were incorporated within seven years of each other; and both are located in counties south of another county named Marshall.