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Lawmaker says Olympic prizes shouldn't be taxed

Thursday, 20 February 2014 09:47 Published in Local News
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - An Illinois lawmaker says Olympic athletes who win medals shouldn't have to pay state tax on their awards.
State Sen. Julie Morrison is sponsor of legislation approved by a Senate committee Wednesday that would waive the tax.
Morrison is a Democrat from the Chicago suburb of Deerfield who says she represents many of Illinois' Olympic athletes. She says Olympic athletes proudly represent Illinois and the U.S. and "we should honor them for their commitment."
 Morrison says exempting Illinois' taxes on the prizes is "one small way to show our appreciation."
Olympians who win a gold medal also receive $25,000. Silver medalists win $15,000, while bronze medalists earn $10,000.
The legislation also applies to Para-Olympians.  It could be considered by the full Senate as early as Thursday.

Warrants forgiven this week for non-violent offenders

Thursday, 20 February 2014 09:34 Published in Local News
Anyone with a warrant for a nonviolent ordinance violation is getting a break in St. Louis city.  
Offenders can turn themselves in to the Municipal Court this week to receive a new court date on the spot instead of being booked into jail.  From 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.this week, individuals who believe they have a warrant can go to the St. Louis City Municipal Court at 1520 Market Street to cancel warrants and get a new court date. The cost is $35 regardless of the number of warrants.
Warrant forgiveness is good only for City ordinance violations, including but not limited to truancy, nuisance, moving and non-moving violations. People with state charges or DUI/DWI charges are not eligible for warrant forgiveness. Other charges may have a reduced bond.
People can check whether they have a warrant out for their arrest by searching for their name, date of birth and zip code on the City Court's website.

TICKET SOLD IN CALIF. WINS $425M POWERBALL JACKPOT

Thursday, 20 February 2014 06:33 Published in National News

MILPITAS, Calif. (AP) — The lone winning ticket for the $425 million Powerball jackpot was sold at a convenience store in central California, but there was no immediate word on who may have won one of the largest lottery jackpots in U.S. history.

The winning numbers drawn Wednesday night were: 1, 17, 35, 49, 54 and a Powerball of 34.

California lottery officials said the ticket was sold at Dixon Landing Chevron in Milpitas, a city about 10 miles north of San Jose. The business will receive $1 million for selling the winning ticket.

Rajwinder Singh, an employee at the Chevron store, said late Wednesday that he believed he was probably the person who sold the winning ticket.

"I've been here working from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.," he told The Associated Press. "I hope I'll find out soon."

Early Thursday morning, the scene was quiet with just few customers at the 24-hour store and gas station just off Interstate 880, a region of corporate office in the Silicon Valley area.

The ticket was the only one to match all the winning numbers, Powerball officials said late Wednesday.

The jackpot was estimated at $425.3 million, with a cash payout option of $242.2 million. It's one of the largest lottery jackpots in U.S. history — but still far from the record.

A ticket for the nation's second-largest lottery prize ever was also purchased in the area. In December, two winning tickets were purchased in San Jose, Calif., and Atlanta, for a $636 million Mega Millions prize.

The nation's biggest lottery prize was a $656 million dollar Mega Millions jackpot in 2012. The biggest Powerball jackpot was a $590.5 million last May.

Wednesday's drawing also saw 17 tickets match enough numbers to win $1 million, and one ticket won a $2 million prize, according to a statement from Rose J. Hudson, chair of the Powerball Game Group and President of the Louisiana Lottery.

"Here's a bit of advice for all of those big Powerball winners: If you haven't already, sign the back of your tickets and store them in a safe place," Hudson said. "Use the claim time period to consult trusted financial and legal professionals; then you'll be prepared to bask in an amazing Powerball winning experience!"

Changes to top lottery games have created bigger jackpots in shorter periods of time. More than half of the top 10 prizes in U.S. lottery history have occurred since 2012, according to statistics provided by the Multi-State Lottery Association.

Powerball's game changes in January 2012 included an increase in ticket price from $1 to $2. Starting jackpots went from $20 million to $40 million, and pots increased by more money with each roll. Mega Millions also went through a revamp that included decreasing the odds of winning the top prize to 1 in about 259 million.

Powerball is played in 43 states, Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The odds of matching all six numbers in the game are 1 in about 175 million.

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