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Cuts to Missouri River may threaten Mississippi

ST. LOUIS – The Army Corps of Engineers on Friday began reducing the flow from a Missouri River reservoir, a move expected to worsen low water conditions on the Mississippi River and potentially bring barge traffic to a halt within weeks.

The Missouri flows into the Mississippi around a bend just north of St. Louis. One result of this year’s drought, the worst in decades, has been a big drop in water levels on both rivers.

The corps announced earlier this month that it would reduce the outflow from the Gavins Point Dam near Yankton, S.D., to protect the upper Missouri River basin. That drew an outcry from political leaders and businesses downstream, who warned that allowing the Mississippi to drop more could have devastating economic consequences.

By midday Friday, the flow that had started at 37,500 cubic feet per second had been cut to 35,500 cubic feet per second.

“We’re hoping Mother Nature brings some snow this winter,” said corps spokeswoman Monique Farmer, “but we’ve been told to expect low, stable conditions, that it’s probably going to remain dry.”

Shares climb before BlackBerry 10 unveiling

TORONTO – Shares of Research in Motion Ltd. jumped nearly 14 percent Friday as investors seemingly grew more optimistic about a February launch of the Canadian company’s much-delayed BlackBerry 10 smartphones.

RIM will release the latest version of its smartphone “not too long” after a Jan. 30 launch event, Kristian Tear, the company’s chief operating officer, has said.

The new phones are seen as critical to RIM’s survival as the smartphone pioneer struggles to hold on to customers who are abandoning BlackBerrys for iPhones and Android phones.


 

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