Today’s quick hits, Oct. 14, 2022

‘Feeding Our Future’ pleas: Three of the 49 people accused of a $250 million child-nutrition fraud scheme in Minnesota pleaded guilty in federal court to wire fraud and face prison sentences ranging from about two years to nearly five years. (Sahan Journal)

Kroger-Albertsons merger expected: Kroger, which with nearly 2,800 stores is the largest U.S. grocery chain, could announce the all-cash purchase of smaller rival Albertsons as early as Friday. (CNBC)

Ukraine grain exports jeopardized: Russia might not extend the four-month Black Sea grain export agreement when it expires next month, said the Russian ambassador to the United Nations. (Politico)

Ornithologist, ecologist earn MacArthurs: Joseph Drew Lanham, an ornithologist, naturalist, and writer, and Robin Wall Kimmerer, a plant ecologist, educator, and writer, were among 22 people awarded $800,000 MacArthur Foundation “genius” grants. (MacArthur Foundation)

Drought area grows: With September’s dry weather continuing into October, 55.41 percent of the continental United States was in drought this week, the most extensive coverage since the second week of April. (U.S. Drought Monitor)

Extend formula ‘flexibilities’: The USDA extended through the end of December a funding flexibility that allows states to substitute alternative infant formulas for WIC recipients if the usual size, form, or brand of formula from Gerber or Reckitt Mead Johnson is not available. (USDA)