Mississippi River

Allison Crawford

Farmers, fishermen, business owners, park managers and government officials from Kentucky counties along the Mississippi River met Thursday at Columbus-Belmont State Park for a National Geographic workshop on geotourism, which focuses on the distinctive geographical character of a place. 

The rare winter floodwaters that have already claimed the lives of 18 people in Missouri are continuing to swell, prompting the evacuation of several towns along the Mississippi River. Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has activated the National Guard to help fight the floods.

Joseph Leahy of St. Louis Public Radio, citing the governor's office, reports that 12 of the flood-related deaths were caused by vehicles being swept from inundated roadways.

The U.S. Coast Guard is continuing efforts to clean up an oil spill along a stretch of the Mississippi River near Columbus, Ky., after two tow boats — one carrying about 1 million gallons of a potentially toxic petroleum product — collided earlier this week.

NOAA, via http://response.restoration.noaa.gov/

The Mississippi River near Columbus, Ky. remains closed to traffic following a Wednesday night tow boat collision that dumped more than 120,000 gallons of waste oil into the waterway.

Assessment and clean-up is underway, but it’s a complicated process compared to cleaning up an oil spill in the ocean.

Jay-P / Flickr (Creative Commons License)

The U.S. Coast Guard has shut down a portion of the Mississippi River after a tow boat collision last night released and what could be thousands of gallons of clarified slurry oil into the water. The slurry oil is a partially refined product used in gasoline production.  The Coast Guard reports up to 250,000 gallons could have been released at the crash site near Columbus, Kentucky.

Updated at 3:45 p.m. ET

The U.S. Coast Guard has shut down a section of the Mississippi River south of Paducah, Ky., after two tow boats collided, causing an oil spill of unknown size.

In a statement, the Coast Guard said that the collision occurred Wednesday at 8:22 p.m. at Mile Marker 937, just north of Columbus, Ky.

Wickliffe Mounds State Historic Site / Facebook

Over 700 years ago, before the time of Daniel Boone and even Columbus, a community of ancient Native Americans thrived in a network of villages lining the Mississippi River. This weekend, children and adults alike can glimpse into that past at Wickliffe Mounds State Historic Site with a Mississippian Culture Gorget (pronounced 'gor-jet') Workshop. Park Manager Carla Hildebrand and Park Programmer Jessica Crisp speak with Kate on Sounds Good about the workshop and guided tour this Saturday.

Wikimedia Commons, Public Domain

Highway 91 goes north from Marion, Kentucky to the Ohio River, where there's a small ferry crossing to Cave-In-Rock, Illinois. That limestone cave, now a feature of a small state park along the banks of the river, was said to have harbored vicious river pirates at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries, including the infamous Harpe Brothers. Dr. Mark Wagner, interim director and staff archeologist of Southern Illinois Carbondale's Center for Archeological Investigations, says that historical record only places one particular pirate there and his name was Samuel Mason. Kate Lochte speaks with Dr. Wagner on Sounds Good to learn more about the fearsome figure who prowled the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers.

hickmanriverport.com

Hickman, Kentucky’s Elvis J. Stahr Harbor will receive $625,000 for dredging as part of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ efforts to improve Mississippi River ports.

Hickman/Fulton County  Riverport Authority director Greg Curlin says the funding will allow for dredging about half of the harbor. He says securing funding for dredging is always a battle, but is necessary to keep the harbor navigable and open.

The Dorena-Hickman Ferry/Facebook

Hickman, Ky. Mayor David Lattus is in Washington D.C. as part of the Mississippi River Cities & Towns Initiative, which aims to create a coordinated voice and bring national attention back to the country’s longest river.

The group is asking Congress to fully fund $200 million in the fiscal year 2016 budget for the federal pre-disaster mitigation program.

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