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Colin Jeffery

Colin Jeffery

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri senators are going forward with a two-prong funding plan for public schools that bases their state aid on the strength of the economy.
 
A Senate panel agreed Monday to the basic approach of the House school funding plan but tweaked its specific dollar amounts.
 
The House plan would add $122 million to Missouri's $3.1 billion in basic aid for school districts. But it would authorize an increase of up to $278 million if revenues meet Gov. Jay Nixon's more optimistic projections.
 
The Senate Appropriations Committee decided to provide a minimum $115 million increase, leaving a larger portion of the potential $278 million increase dependent upon improved revenue collections.
 
Senators typically change the House budget plan. Negotiators from the two chambers must work out their differences by early May.
 

   The St. Francois County Sheriff's Office is now investigating Monday's fatal fire near Park Hills as a double homicide.

   Firefighters arrived about 4:30 a.m. to find the home on Halter Lane fully involved.  Authorities say flames were too intense to try to attempt a rescue.  

  Firefighters later found the body 50 year old Stanley Halter on a back porch and that of 46 year old Tammy Halter in the kitchen.  The couples children were not home at the time of the fire.  

   Authorities aren't releasing the couples cause of death, only saying that the autopsies gave them reasonable cause to pursue a homicide investigation.

   Park Hills is about 65 miles south of St. Louis.

ST. LOUIS (AP) - A disgraced Illinois judge at the center of a courthouse drug scandal is getting time to square away things before serving a two-year sentence on heroin and gun convictions.
 
But exactly where Michael Cook will spend his time behind bars remains murky.
 
A filing by U.S. District Judge Joe Billy McDade shows the former St. Clair County judge must surrender by May 28 to whatever lockup the Federal Bureau of Prisons slots for him.
 
McDade also recommends that Cook be placed in a prison in Florida, Alabama or South Carolina.
 
Cook was sentenced last month.
 
He resigned last year. He was charged after the cocaine-overdose death of a fellow judge while the two were at the Cook family's hunting cabin.

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