Mississippi River

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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.


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.

A coalition of ninety environmental groups and over twenty community leaders in Illinois, Missouri and Kentucky are urging President Obama to block the Army Corps of Engineers from completing a $165 million  levee project in Missouri’s bootheel.

 Seymour Bluffs is an American Bald Eagle who travels back in time to an Illini Indian village located along the Mississippi River and helps the natives resolve a problem with the mysterious Piasa Bird in the children's book by author Phyllis Bechtold. On Sounds Good, Kate speaks with Bechtold about her upcoming presentation on May 31 at Wickliffe Mounds State Historic Site, and the life-sized Seymour Bluffs who will be on-hand to help Bechtold autograph her books for sale in this children's event.

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Native Americans now called Mississippian culture lived at the confluence of the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers around 1100 to 1350 AD. Wickliffe Mounds State Historic Site offers a window on this ancient community. Park Manager Carla Hildebrand spoke with Kate Lochte about this season's opening, Tuesday, April 1. 

Mayors from cities along the Mississippi River are calling on Congress to increase U.S. Army Corps of Engineers funding to keep commerce flowing on the waterway.

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National Weather Service meteorologists say the flood-swollen Mississippi River is going down, but it will be some time before things dry out.  The waterway has crested from Iowa through southern Missouri and Illinois but remains above flood stage at many spots.  Hundreds of thousands of acres of farmland are under water and hundreds of roads remain closed.  The river is still 10 feet above technical flood stage at Cape Girardeau, Missouri and Grafton, Illinois.

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The National Weather Service is issuing flood warnings in Kentucky and Tennessee as the Mississippi River starts to slowly rise from northern floodwaters, but officials say the rising water should not have a significant impact.

NWS Meteorologist Marlene Mickelson in Memphis says the lower part of the Mississippi River will see elevated levels through the next two weeks.

Mississippi River shippers say they're returning to handling full loads because the drought-ravaged waterway has benefited from winter storms and aggressive rock-clearing.

The Army Corps of Engineers and the Coast Guard say the crisis is over with water levels rising and rocks cleared to deepen the channel. The corps recently removed riverbed rocks from a treacherous stretch south of St. Louis, and it says recent snow and rain have helped raise the Mississippi.