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The Two-Way
4:23 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Low Waters Close 11-Mile Stretch Of Mississippi River

A tow pushes a barge past a sandbar on the Mississippi River near the confluence with the Missouri River north of St. Louis., on Friday. Many sandbars normally under water on the two rivers are now exposed as the drought has caused river levels to drop.
Jim Salter AP

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 4:27 pm

An 11-mile stretch of the Mississippi River was closed today because of low waters levels.

The AP reports:

"Coast Guard spokesman Ryan Tippets told The Associated Press on Monday that the stretch of river near Greenville, Miss., has been closed intermittently since Aug. 11, when a vessel ran aground.

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It's All Politics
4:01 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Issue Of Abortion Back In Spotlight In Swing States

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 6:15 pm

With women's issues front and center again in the presidential campaign, a bus tour through several swing states kicked off Monday in opposition to President Obama's views on abortion.

At the same time, the Obama campaign launched a new TV ad — aimed at some of the same voters in some of the same key states — criticizing Republican Mitt Romney and his running mate, Paul Ryan, on the issue.

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Participation Nation
3:33 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

A Simple Gesture In Paradise, Calif.

Cool green bags of food for the hungry from A Simple Gesture.
Courtesy of A Simple Gesture

In 2010, my wife Karen and I — inspired by the Ashland Food Project in Oregon — founded A Simple Gesture in Paradise, a small northern California town.

Simply stated: We give a donor a cool green shopping bag. Every time she goes shopping for her own groceries she buys one extra non-perishable item and puts it in the cool green bag. Every two months a volunteer picks up the bag at the home and gives her another.

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Environment
3:20 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Wood Energy Not 'Green' Enough, Says Mass.

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 5:02 pm

Wind and solar get lots of attention, but another kind of renewable power actually creates more energy in our country --wood. The state of Massachusetts on Friday decided that these plants aren't green enough to get some special breaks.

Remembrances
2:58 pm
Mon August 20, 2012

Comedy's Self-Deprecating Pioneer Phyllis Diller Dies

Diller poses with a photo at her Los Angeles home in 2005.
Chris Pizzello AP

Originally published on Mon August 20, 2012 5:02 pm

A queen of comedy has died. Phyllis Diller had audiences in stitches for more than five decades with her outlandish get-ups and rapid-fire one-liners. She died at her home, where she had been in hospice care after a fall. She was 95.

Diller was glamorously outrageous — or at least the character she created was glamorously outrageous, the one who wore wigs that made her look like she had her finger in an electrical outlet, who wore gaudy sequined outfits. She was known for her laugh and those nasty jokes about her dimwitted husband, "Fang."

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