Missouri seeing effects of declining casino visits
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - A recent decline in Missouri's casino revenues is raising questions among lawmakers about the extent to which the state can continue to rely on gambling to fund key programs.
Attendance at Missouri's 13 casinos is down almost 9 percent from last year.
Missouri relies on two sources of casino revenues. A portion of a per-patron fee is used to pay for the operations of the Missouri Veterans Commission, which oversees seven nursing homes. A state tax on casino revenues helps fund public schools.
The House has approved an additional $22 million for public schools because of the funding shortfall and lawmakers are considering a temporary funding boost to help the veterans' homes.
State officials are citing this winter's cold weather among the causes for the revenue decline.
Missing St. Louis mural found in renovation
ST. LOUIS (AP) - A 28-foot-long mural that graced St. Louis Union Station starting in the 1940s was thought to be lost. It turns out it was just hiding.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the mural "Commerce on the Landing" was painted by Chicago artist Louis Grell and mounted over the station's ticket counter in 1942. At some point it was taken away. No one was sure what happened to it.
About a month ago, workers involved in the $66 million renovation of Union Station and its hotel found the mural behind a false wall near Grand Hall. It was unveiled to the media this week.
Plans call for the three panels of the mural to be cleaned up and mounted over the hotel registration desk, just off the Grand Hall.
MARTIAL ARTS INSTRUCTOR-ABUSE
Martial arts teacher gets 90 years for sex abuse
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) - A martial arts instructor from southwestern Illinois has been sentenced to 90 years in prison for sexually abusing three young students.
The Belleville News-Democrat reports 20-year-old Christopher Horton of Highland, Illinois was sentenced on Friday by U.S. District Judge David Herndon.
Horton pleaded guilty in October to five counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and one count of attempted sexual exploitation of a child.
Federal prosecutors say Horton recorded video of himself committing sex acts on students ages 6, 8 and 10. Horton taught martial arts to the victims at a Belleville studio.
Police questioned Horton after someone discovered one of the videos and contacted law enforcement. Prosecutors say they recovered 57 video files from Horton's cell phone.
He also was ordered to pay $3,250 restitution.
MIDWEST HISTORY REVIVAL
Historians seek revival of studying the Midwest
OMAHA, Neb. (AP) - A group of historians is warning of the loss of Middle America's contemporary history and calling for a revival of academic study of the Midwest.
The group is launching a new academic journal of Midwest history next month and a new Midwest history association in the fall - the first in decades with that sole focus.
Jon Lauck is the chairman of the Midwest History Working Group and author of "The Lost Region: Toward a Revival of Midwestern History."
He says that with no Midwest-focused academic association or journal, there is "a huge disincentive to write any kind of formal academic research about the Midwest, because there's no place to send it."
MVC-SHOT CLOCK WOES
Shot clocks turned off to start second semifinal
ST. LOUIS (AP) - The second semifinal of the Missouri Valley Conference tournament began with both shot clocks turned off.
One of the clocks has shorted out the last two days. There was a short delay in the opening minute of a quarterfinal game between Illinois State and Missouri State on Friday.
Second-seeded Indiana State and Southern Illinois, the sixth seed, were at center court for the opening tip-off Saturday when the clock went blank. After initial repair attempts failed, the decision was made to turn off the functioning shot clock.
The game was delayed again with 16:45 to go while officials checked a play against a functioning shot clock on a ribbon board just below the upper bowl of the Scottrade Center.
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