With nearly two million five hundred thousand dollars yet to spend and one million dollars' worth of contracts in force, the United States engineering office in Kansas City, Mo., has planned the greatest amount of work for the coming year that has ever been done on the Missouri river, to make a six-foot channel from Kansas City to St. Louis. By the time the work is well under way several thousand men will be at work. Already a large number of the shallow spots in the river have been deepened, and the steamboats are carrying full cargoes and many sightseers from one city to the other. More boats are being added to the fleet, and the revival of river traffic is bringing new life to many of the older river towns, while the farmers in the bottoms are profiting. Their wheat and corn, which frequently had to he hauled long distances to the railroads, is now piled up on the bank, loaded on the boats, and shipped to St. Louis. Besides the haul to the railroad, they get their grain carried to market for one fifth less than the railroads charge. From St. Louis to Kansas City the freight offered is frequently in excess of the capacity of the steamers, and it is necessary to divert the cheaper and heavier shipments to the railroads.

The state railroad commission of California ordered reductions last week in the express rates of Wells-Fargo & Co., amounting to a cut of seven hundred and fifty thousand dollars from present annual revenues. Every rate of the company in the state is abolished by the order. Which becomes effective Oct. I, and over three million new rates, devised by the commission on a ten-mile zone basis, are to become effective at that time. The express company is to operate six months on the commission's rates, which are, on the average, 15 per cent below those heretofore exacted, and then submit a statement of its carnings, if it feels the rates not justified. At present, the commission finds, the company makes a net yearly profit of $8 42.097 on a property valuation estimated at $613,233. or 136 per cent on its investment. The decision follows two and a half years of investigation, during which over two million three hundred thousand today-bills were scrutinized.

August 16, 1913

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