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NATIONAL BRIEFS


NATIONWIDE: Will old levees hold up?

Floodwaters leaking past an old earthen levee in the river town of Poplar Bluff, Mo., highlight a larger problem for much of rural America: Scores of flood walls built decades ago by farmers are increasingly susceptible to failure. Many are little more than piles of compacted dirt built mainly to protect crops. Now they shield entire communities, and are managed by localities that have little to no money for repairs. The Poplar Bluff levee is one of more than 100 across the country listed as unfit for use in the government's most recent report on the structures. More rain fell yesterday, but today and tomorrow should be dry, and the rivers should begin to recede.


ARIZONA: Car drives over canyon rim

National Park Service rangers were trying to figure out how a car left a roadway and plunged into the Grand Canyon, narrowly avoiding a fatal free-fall to the bottom of the gorge. The car ended up lodged against a tree 200 feet below the South Rim, park spokeswoman Maureen Oltrogge said. Another precipice began just 10 feet beyond where the car stopped. The 21-year-old driver was found along a stretch of Desert View Drive about 7:45 p.m. Monday. The man said he had accidentally driven over the edge and had extricated himself and climbed up to the rim to seek help. The driver was treated at Flagstaff Medical Center for nonlife-threatening injuries, Oltrogge said. The crash happened about 6 miles east of the Grand Canyon Village, near a spot known as Twin Overlooks.


INDIANA: Parenthood funds blocked

Indiana is poised to become the first state to cut off all government funding for the Planned Parenthood organization, providing a significant victory for the anti-abortion movement but presenting a political predicament for Gov. Mitch Daniels, as he considers running for president. The House voted 66-32 Wednesday to approve a bill cutting the $3 million in federal money the state distributes to the organization for family planning and health programs.

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