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Colin Jeffery

Colin Jeffery

Historians seek revival of studying the Midwest

Sunday, 09 March 2014 10:05 Published in Local News

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."

Martial arts teacher gets 90 years for sex abuse

Sunday, 09 March 2014 10:03 Published in Local News

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.

Missouri sees effect of declining casino revenue

Sunday, 09 March 2014 10:02 Published in Local News

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.

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