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Montana electric linemen ready to help in natural disasters


Natural disasters often times help bring teams together that may not work with each other on a normal basis.

While many Montana electrical companies will not be heading to Florida this time around due to distance, they are always willing to answer the call.

Electric companies and co-operatives in Montana have not received the request.

But they’ve seen it in Montana before with crews from in state and out of state helping to get electricity back.

While no linemen are on their way to Florida yet, they have a good sense about how mutual assistance or mutual aid will work in Florida.

When states suffer severe power outages like those expected in the Sunshine State, local electric companies and co-ops often call for help from around the country.

“It’s a standing mutual aid agreement,” said Brandon Wittman, Yellowstone Valley Electric Cooperative C.E.O. & general manager. “Makes it more efficient to there’s no haggling over what’s the price for this alignment from this co-op versus this co-op and that sort of thing.”

Wittman has experience as a lineman in emergency situations.

“You get all hands on deck and everybody really starts pulling the rope in the same direction,” Wittman said. “And there’s a lot of camaraderie and guys just really want to help folks get lights back on in short order.”

Recently, crews from cooperatives have responded to emergencies caused by flooding in Carbon, Stillwater and Big Horn counties.

“Lineman’s a brotherhood,” said Ryan Hall, Montana Electric Cooperatives Association communications director. “You’ll hear them say that a lot. And especially within subsets like cooperatives with them doing the same training and same classes. A lot of those guys know each other and are familiar with each other. And again, mutual aid has happened enough, several of them have seen each other before.”

Hall said the association is made up of 25 co-ops, including Yellowstone Valley.

“As of right now I’ve heard back from over half of our managers and none of them have received a call or request for assistance,” Hall said.

But he does say many would be happy to answer the call if needed.

Beartooth Electric Co-op has also not sent any workers to Florida.

Wittman says it’s most efficient for crews within 500 miles to respond.

Requests to co-ops would come through the National Electric Cooperative Association.

NorthWestern Energy also has not received a request.

Jo Dee Black, NorthWestern public relations specialist, says that request would come from Edison Electrical Institute (EEI).

She sent a written statement:

“Our thoughts are with all those impacted by Hurricane Ian, a dangerous and powerful storm. NorthWestern Energy is monitoring the mutual assistance needs. Based on the extent of the needs of the energy companies in that area for damage recovery, NorthWestern Energy will evaluate sending our crews or releasing contractors from work for NorthWestern Energy to support the efforts to repair damage caused by Hurricane Ian and restore energy service. Mutual assistance is a hallmark of the energy industry.”

“There’s a sense of helping your neighbor,” Hall said.

“Just that spirit of trying to help is pretty impressive,” Wittman said.





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Volunteers, help needed in renovating storm-damaged gym



A 100-year-old church is asking the community for help as they embark on a huge renovation.The June storms ripped through the roof at Holy Cross and flooded the gym.They said insurance won’t cover everything they want to do and they hope you’ll help.Outside Holy Cross parish you’ll hear the sounds of roofers working.“The June storms actually damaged all of our roofs, a lot of our guttering, some of the framework around the windows, screens, things like that. But one of the worst parts was the water that came in,” said Dan Maher, Holy Cross trustee.Maher said water poured into the historic Holy Cross gym seeping into the original flooring.“It actually came down and settled in the gymnasium and caused the floor to buckle,” Maher said.They said it’s been sanded down so much over the years, the wood can’t be saved.”We were unable to individually piece woodwork together to repair it so the whole floor has to come out,” Maher said.To make it worse, water leaked into the cafeteria below.Maher said maintenance was able to get that cleaned up, but the bill for the project is getting bigger.”We have a floor to take out. We have a ceiling to remove. We have bleachers to replace and concession stands and then bring the new floor in,” Maher said.They’re going to refinish the woodwork in the original gym ceiling since they’ll already be starting a project, but parish members will be doing it all themselves to help with the cost.”We’ll start on a Friday night after school that’s out. We’ll work all through the weekend, clean up Sunday afternoon to leave this place back in business for the kids’ PE classes each Monday morning,” Maher said.And they’re on a time crunch it has to be done before the annual holiday basketball tournament in December a major fundraiser for the school.They’re asking for all the help they can get or heavy machinery, like lifts.”If you’re inclined with tools and can help us disassemble the bleachers or tear apart the concession stands. We’ll be looking for people to help with that. Plus people to help pick the debris outside to the dumpster every night,” Maher said.They said insurance is only covering about two-thirds of the cost.They have faith they can get it all done.“This is just the physical plant that got damaged. It’s not the heart of the parish. This we can fix,” Maher said.The work begins on Friday and will go on every weekend until it’s finished.The church is also accepting monetary donations through the parish rectory.They said there’s something for all ages if you can help. The church is off 48th and Woolworth.

A 100-year-old church is asking the community for help as they embark on a huge renovation.

The June storms ripped through the roof at Holy Cross and flooded the gym.

They said insurance won’t cover everything they want to do and they hope you’ll help.

Outside Holy Cross parish you’ll hear the sounds of roofers working.

“The June storms actually damaged all of our roofs, a lot of our guttering, some of the framework around the windows, screens, things like that. But one of the worst parts was the water that came in,” said Dan Maher, Holy Cross trustee.

Maher said water poured into the historic Holy Cross gym seeping into the original flooring.

“It actually came down and settled in the gymnasium and caused the floor to buckle,” Maher said.

They said it’s been sanded down so much over the years, the wood can’t be saved.

“We were unable to individually piece woodwork together to repair it so the whole floor has to come out,” Maher said.

To make it worse, water leaked into the cafeteria below.

Maher said maintenance was able to get that cleaned up, but the bill for the project is getting bigger.

“We have a floor to take out. We have a ceiling to remove. We have bleachers to replace and concession stands and then bring the new floor in,” Maher said.

They’re going to refinish the woodwork in the original gym ceiling since they’ll already be starting a project, but parish members will be doing it all themselves to help with the cost.

“We’ll start on a Friday night after school that’s out. We’ll work all through the weekend, clean up Sunday afternoon to leave this place back in business for the kids’ PE classes each Monday morning,” Maher said.

And they’re on a time crunch it has to be done before the annual holiday basketball tournament in December a major fundraiser for the school.

They’re asking for all the help they can get or heavy machinery, like lifts.

“If you’re inclined with tools and can help us disassemble the bleachers or tear apart the concession stands. We’ll be looking for people to help with that. Plus people to help pick the debris outside to the dumpster every night,” Maher said.

They said insurance is only covering about two-thirds of the cost.

They have faith they can get it all done.

“This is just the physical plant that got damaged. It’s not the heart of the parish. This we can fix,” Maher said.

The work begins on Friday and will go on every weekend until it’s finished.

The church is also accepting monetary donations through the parish rectory.

They said there’s something for all ages if you can help.

The church is off 48th and Woolworth.



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Gubernatorial candidate Mark Ronchetti home shot with pellets


WE’LL HAVE THE LATEST UPDATES AS THE STORM PROGRESSES. REPUBLICAN GUBERNATORIAL CANDIDATE MARK KRONK AT HIS HOME WAS VANDALIZED AND HIS FAMILY IS GRATEFUL NO ONE WAS HURT. ACTION 7 NEWS REPORTER JOHN CARDINAL LEE IS HERE NOW WITH DETAILS. YES, SHOWING, DOUG, THE INCIDENT HAPPENED LAST WEDNESDAY WHEN SOMEONE SHOT AIRSOFT PELLETS AT RON KENNEDY’S GARAGE AND BROKE A WINDOW. RON CADDIE SAYS IT HAPPENED IN THE AFTERNOON WHEN NO ONE WAS HOME ON WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 21ST, MARK RONCHETTI RECEIVED A CALL HE WASN’T EXPECTING. YEAH, I GOT A CALL FROM MY WIFE WHO SAID, HEY, YOU KNOW, SOMEONE’S COME BY AND SHOT OUT THE WINDOWS IN OUR GARAGE. AND SO WHEN YOU HEAR THAT AND AND KNOWING THE ENVIRONMENT THAT WE’RE IN RIGHT NOW, I IMMEDIATELY KIND OF DROPPED EVERYTHING AND WE TRIED TO FIGURE OUT WHAT WAS GOING ON. AND THE HOME’S GARAGE DOOR HAD BEEN HIT WITH AIRSOFT PELLETS. NO ONE WAS HOME WHEN IT HAPPENED OUT. THERE ARE THESE KIND OF PELLETS THAT THAT WERE SORT OF ALL OVER THE PLACE. SO CLEARLY THEY KIND OF SPRAYED ALL ACROSS THE GARAGE AND EVENTUALLY GOT THEMSELVES A BROKEN WINDOW OUT OF IT. RON KENNEY AND HIS WIFE CALLED POLICE. ACCORDING TO THIS CALL LOG, POLICE ARRIVED AT THE HOME 3 HOURS AFTER THE INITIAL CALL WAS MADE. NO POLICE REPORT WAS FILED, ACCORDING TO RON CADDY. THE END OF THE DAY, WE CLEAN IT UP AND WE REALIZE HOW MUCH STUFF OUR POLICE OFFICERS HAVE TO DO AND HOW MANY OTHER NEW MEXICANS ARE STRUGGLING WITH THINGS THAT ARE WORSE THAN THIS. SO OUR THOUGHT WAS, OKAY, LET’S TAKE SOME STEPS, LET’S DO SOME THINGS ON OUR END THAT WE CAN DO TO PROTECT THINGS. A LITTLE BIT MORE. WE’VE DONE THOSE BEHIND THE SCENES AND THEN LET THE POLICE OFFICERS DO WHAT THEY NEED TO DO. WHILE THE FAMILY IS SHAKEN UP ABOUT THE INCIDENT, RON KEDDY SAYS HE’S COUNTING HIS BLESSINGS. I’M CONCERNED BECAUSE WE ARE NOW DESCENDING INTO A LAWLESS STATE WHERE ANYTHING GOES. AND SO YOU FEEL FORTUNATE IN A SITUATION LIKE THIS THAT IT WASN’T WORSE. BUT IN A WAY, WE’VE COME ALONG SO FAR THAT YOU DON’T FEEL MAD ANYMORE BECAUSE YOU SORT OF EXPECT IT SOMETIMES, BUT IT DOESN’T HAVE TO BE THIS WAY. AND WE FOUND OUT ABOUT THE INCIDENT THROUGH A TIP AT FIRST. RON PETTY WAS RELUCTANT TO TALK ABOUT THE ISSUE WITH US AS HE WAS WORRIED ABOUT THE SAFETY OF HIS FAMILY.

Gubernatorial candidate Mark Ronchetti’s home shot with pellets

On Wednesday, Sept. 21, Republican Gubernatorial candidate Mark Ronchetti received a call he wasn’t expecting. “I got a call from my wife who said someone’s come by and shot out the windows on our garage. So, when you hear that and know the environment we are living in right now, I immediately dropped everything, and we tried to figure out what was going on,” Ronchetti said. The home’s garage door had been hit with air-soft pellets. No one was home when it happened. “There were pellets that were sort of all over the place. So clearly, they sprayed across the garage and got themselves a broken window out of it,” Ronchetti said. Ronchetti and his wife called the police. According to call logs, police arrived at the home three hours after the initial call was made. No police report was filed according to Ronchetti. “At the end of the day, we clean it up and we realize how much stuff our police officers must do, and how many other New Mexicans are struggling with things that are worse than this. So, our thought was, okay, let’s take some steps. Let’s do some things on our end that we can do to protect things a little bit more, we’ve done those,” Ronchetti said. While the family is shaken up by the incident, Ronchetti said he’s counting his blessings. “I’m concerned because we are now descending into a lawless state where anything goes. So, you feel fortunate in a situation like this that it wasn’t worse. In a way, you don’t feel mad anymore because you expect it sometimes, but it doesn’t have to be this way,” Ronchetti said. KOAT found out about the incident through a tip. At first, Ronchetti was reluctant to talk about the issue with us as he was worried about the safety of his family.

On Wednesday, Sept. 21, Republican Gubernatorial candidate Mark Ronchetti received a call he wasn’t expecting.

“I got a call from my wife who said someone’s come by and shot out the windows on our garage. So, when you hear that and know the environment we are living in right now, I immediately dropped everything, and we tried to figure out what was going on,” Ronchetti said.

The home’s garage door had been hit with air-soft pellets. No one was home when it happened.

“There were pellets that were sort of all over the place. So clearly, they sprayed across the garage and got themselves a broken window out of it,” Ronchetti said.

Ronchetti and his wife called the police. According to call logs, police arrived at the home three hours after the initial call was made. No police report was filed according to Ronchetti.

“At the end of the day, we clean it up and we realize how much stuff our police officers must do, and how many other New Mexicans are struggling with things that are worse than this. So, our thought was, okay, let’s take some steps. Let’s do some things on our end that we can do to protect things a little bit more, we’ve done those,” Ronchetti said.

While the family is shaken up by the incident, Ronchetti said he’s counting his blessings.

“I’m concerned because we are now descending into a lawless state where anything goes. So, you feel fortunate in a situation like this that it wasn’t worse. In a way, you don’t feel mad anymore because you expect it sometimes, but it doesn’t have to be this way,” Ronchetti said.

KOAT found out about the incident through a tip. At first, Ronchetti was reluctant to talk about the issue with us as he was worried about the safety of his family.



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Ex-FBI Official Who Led Unabomber Task Force Decries Deployment of SWAT Teams for January 6 Arrests


by Natalia Mittelstadt

 

The man who led the FBI Unabomber task force — which ultimately arrested violent suspected terrorist Theodore Kaczynski without deploying a tactical team — is now decrying the use of SWAT teams to arrest Jan. 6 defendants for misdemeanors and warning of the politicization of the bureau.

The FBI doesn’t use SWAT teams for misdemeanors and has rarely used them to arrest nonviolent offenders, said Terry Turchie, former deputy assistant director of the Counterterrorism Division of the FBI, in an interview with Just the News.

Certain criteria must be met to use SWAT, such as the subject of an arrest warrant having a history of violent behavior and owning a firearm, Turchie explained.

FBI whistleblower Stephen Friend says the bureau suspended him from his job recently for raising a range of concerns about the FBI’s and DOJ’s conduct in the Jan. 6 investigation, including the bureau’s use of SWAT teams to arrest Jan. 6 defendants facing misdemeanor charges, thus violating, he alleges, the bureau’s Domestic Investigations and Operations Guide and creating potentially unsafe encounters.

Turchie shares Friend’s concern about the use of SWAT teams in these cases.

“The more you escalate the use of force, the more you take a chance of having possible injuries in some catastrophic failure of agents and civilians alike,” he said.

In his experience, there were even violent cases where SWAT wasn’t used in order “to keep the temperature down,” Turchie added.

Turchie, who led the Unabomber task force, explained how the arrest of Kaczynski occurred without the use of tactical teams.

FBI agents went to Kaczynski’s cabin in Montana to execute a search warrant. While arrests aren’t typically made when executing a search warrant, this “instance was different because we were looking for someone who was unidentified and committing violent acts for 18 years,” Turchie recalled.

While they didn’t use SWAT or HRT teams to arrest Kaczynski, they did pick specific FBI agents from the San Francisco field division who were on a SWAT team, he recounted. However, they were nearby just “to seal off the geographical area around the cabin so he couldn’t escape,” not to make the arrest, he said.

A “low-key” arrest “fooled” Kaczynski, Turchie said, because the FBI sent Forest Service Special Agent Jerry Burns, whom he knew, with two FBI agents. Burns claimed the agents were mining company employees asking about a survey they were doing on the copper mines. Kaczynski had been annoyed by mining companies looking at old abandoned copper mines in the area, so the ruse led him to open the door.

After seeing the three agents, Kaczynski said he was going to get his coat. But as he started to close his door, senior FBI agent Tom McDaniel pulled him out of the cabin, and they began fighting. The other FBI agent, Donald Max Noel, pulled out his weapon and pointed it at Kaczynski, identifying himself as FBI and telling the Unabomber to stop, which he did.

“This was a very, very violent terrorist, and he was becoming more unstable,” Turchie said. “Even there, we didn’t use the SWAT team for the arrest.”

Turchie said that using SWAT for the Jan. 6 misdemeanor arrests is sending a message that’s designed to scare people.

The message from the FBI, he said, is: “You don’t speak up and get involved with the wrong political side, or we’ll teach you a lesson.”

Turchie warned of the increasing politicization of the FBI, citing the depoyment of SWAT teams to arrest nonviolent people like former Trump adviser Roger Stone and pro-life activist Mark Houck. 

The FBI wasn’t political when he left in 2001, shortly before 9/11, Turchie recalled. Recently, however, “easy cases” such as Trump-Russia and Hillary Clinton’s emails were “messed up” because the FBI “politicized” them, he said, which “should’ve never happened.”

Former FBI Supervisory Special Agent Jeff Danik told “Just the News, Not Noise” TV show on Monday that declining public trust in the FBI is “a disaster” for agents trying to do their jobs.

“The number one thing an FBI agent has to be able to do is talk to people, gain their trust, and get them to cooperate,” said Danik. “And that’s true of witnesses, targets, subjects, foreign intelligence officers, even prosecutors … Any kind of aura, where a person you contact comes in contact with you with some suspicion about you, it definitely hinders your job performance, ability to get the job done.”

Gerry Mullen, who was an FBI agent for more than 21 years, told Just the News that the only misdemeanor case he ever worked was regarding stolen valor. With nonviolent felony offenders, rather than the FBI using a SWAT team, the offender would receive a summons, he said.

Noel, one of the two agents involved in the arrest of the Unabomber, told Just the News that while the Jan. 6 Capitol riot “was terrible and never should’ve occurred,” the most dangerous period of time in the U.S. for domestic terrorism was in the late 1960s, early 1970s. In 1972, for instance, there were 1,507 domestic bombings, he said.

Just the News interviewed nine retired FBI agents over two days, nearly all of whom said they had never heard of the FBI working on misdemeanor cases. A couple of them even noted that they would have been laughed at by the U.S. Attorney’s Office if they had brought them a misdemeanor case.

All of the retired agents were concerned about the use of SWAT teams to make arrests of the Jan. 6 defendants. Many expressed concern over the politicization of the bureau by FBI headquarters while noting that FBI field agents are good at their jobs.

The FBI didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Tuesday.

 – – –

Natalia graduated from Regent University with Bachelor of Arts degrees in Communication Studies and Government.

 

 

 





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Local civil rights activist arrested for elder neglect; Body cam footage released



OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A well-known activist has been released from the jail he often speaks out against. He now faces charges including elder abuse, neglect and exploitation.

Michael Washington was booked into the Oklahoma County Detention Center on Monday and is now out of jail.

Wednesday, body cam footage and court documents revealed what police found at 94-year-old Katherine Burkhalter’s OKC home in July.

Police: These living conditions are deplorable

Washington: In my house?

Police: We are taking her

Washington: You ain’t taking taking a g****** thing.

Police: She’s leaving this facility

Washington: I want to see your chief, supervisor, and all that.

Washington told News 4 he’s cared for Katherine for 10 years while living with her for free.

According to court documents, Police said nurses called them when Washington wouldn’t let them inside to care for Katherine. The woman’s son was also there.

“I am the one who called the police. I was belligerent when I saw his face. I said, ‘Boy, you’re not getting in this doggone house. It’s been 11 years since you’ve seen your mother,’” said Washington.

Washington told News 4 he told hospice nurses to call the police and that’s how they could get inside.

“We need to get in there and give her some fluids,” said a police officer on the body camera footage.

Court documents showed Katherine’s “vital signs were dangerously low.” “Katherine was less than 70 pounds and was described as malnourished.” 

“When they pulled her out, it was 105 degrees in the house with a working air conditioner,” said Byron Burkhalter, Katherine’s son. “The last time we could tell that she had been changed was three days before. She was in her own fluids.”

 “[Hospice comes] in three, four times a day. And at that time for her to come in it was [the nurse’s] time to change,” said Washington.

Court documents said Washington would leave Katherine when she needed constant care.

Police: Without you being here, there has to be someone 24/7.
Washington: She already…

Police: It doesn’t matter. That’s neglect.

Police: I’m going to have an ambulance come and transport her to the hospital. If you want to come meet us at the hospital. Once the doctors decide what’s going on with her condition, then we’ll go from there.

Washington: Now we’re talkin’.

Off camera, Katherine’s son said his mother gained 17 pounds since she left the home.

“Haha! That is a joke! Haha! ‘They’re saying’ Where’s their proof at?” said Washington. “If she did, maybe they have some substances that they can give her.”

“These nurses, coming in here daily, two or three times a day for six months, didn’t feel that at that time she needed to leave. Somebody wasn’t doing their job then. It seems like, to me, they should be in jail,” said Washington.

Washington said he plans to file a lawsuit against the city, officers, and Katherine’s son.



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PC’s Late Night Madness Schedule Set


Providence College Men’s and Women’s Basketball To Host Late Night Madness on Saturday (Oct. 1) at the Amica Mutual Pavilion in Providence.  Doors will open at 6 p.m.  The student dance events will begin at 7 p.m.  The men’s and women’s basketball teams will be introduced at 8 p.m. and there will be a three-point shooting contest.  At 9 p.m. Khalid will perform.





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Westwood H.S. arrested for bringing knife to school


Richland Co., SC (WOLO) — The Richland County Sheriff deputies have arrested a Westwood High school student for allegedly bringing a knife to school. The 17-year-old student is charged with carrying a weapon on school grounds after authorities say a resource officers responded to the front of the school when an administrator saw the student with the knife during dismissal earlier this afternoon.

There is no evidence that any students or staff were presented or threatened with the knife.

 





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Window fitter targeted vulnerable elderly couple in £4,500 patio doors con | UK | News


According to Teesside Live, Michele Stowe, prosecuting on behalf of Stockton Council at Teesside Magistrates’ Court, said the complainant had worked and saved for a long time for the work required. But after taking the money, Wilson, 46, failed to carry out the job.

Mr Stowe said: “He (Wilson) knew at the time he got the money he had financial problems and quite clearly had no intention of ordering the doors.” The court heard how Wilson was now working for the company Safestyle UK and earning “quite a substantial amount of money”.

The defendant pleaded guilty last month to engaging in a commercial practice which involved misleading the householders and providing false information between August 7, 2020, and February 23, 2021. The charge was brought by Stockton Council under unfair trading regulations.

David Dedman, mitigating, said Wilson, of Paddock Green, Wynyard, was of previous good character and also pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity. He said Wilson had been self-employed at the time of the offence and wanted to pay the money he had taken under false pretences back.

Mr Dedman said: “He got himself into financial difficulty and he wanted to do this to get the money to pay a debt. He was robbing Peter to pay Paul. Unfortunately, this family were at the end of a domino effect of financial difficulties.”





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Missouri Department of Agriculture News Release




JEFFERSON CITY


The Missouri Department of Agriculture announced today that 16 projects will receive funding through the Food Insecure Urban Agriculture Matching Grant. The competitive grant program will provide up to $50,000 per project to address food insecurity in urban areas.

“With the increase in urban agriculture operations throughout the state, these funds are incredibly valuable in addressing food insecurity,” said Director of Agriculture Chris Chinn. “Partnerships like this allow urban citizens the opportunity to consume healthy, safe agriculture products.”

Grant funds may be used to increase food production and availability within an urban area; demonstrate growth of local economic communities; increase local economic impact; increase availability of food to local residents; or enhance already established areas within a community and provide assistance to the community.

The following projects were awarded grant funding in 2022:

A Red Circle, St. Louis
Better Family Life, Inc. (BFL), St. Louis
Community Grocers, Kansas City
Global One KC – Staroyce N. Nealy, Kansas City
Green Acres Urban Farm & Research Project, Kansas City
Joplin Empire Market, Joplin
KC Community Gardens, Kansas City
Linwood Property Inc. (LPI), Kansas City
Pendleton Heights Neighborhood Association, Kansas City
Propel Kitchens, St. Louis
Ramsey Garden at Quinn Chapel A.M.E., Jefferson City
Springfield Community Gardens, Springfield
St. Joseph Community Garden, St. Joseph
St. Peter & All Saints Episcopal Church, Kansas City
The Fit & Food Connection, St. Louis
Urban Harvest STL, St. Louis

More information about the Food Insecure Urban Agriculture Matching Grant can be found at Agriculture.Mo.Gov. To learn more about the Missouri Department of Agriculture and other financial assistance, please visit Agriculture.Mo.Gov.





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