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Colin Jeffery

Colin Jeffery

Kansas City couple claims $71.5 million Powerball prize

Monday, 30 December 2013 13:32 Published in Local News
PLATTE WOODS, Mo. (AP) - A Kansas City couple is having a very happy holiday season after winning a $71.5 million Powerball jackpot in the Christmas night drawing.
 
   The Missouri Lottery said Monday in a news release that 49-year-old Kevin Carlson and his wife claimed the prize Thursday. Carlson celebrated his birthday the next day and already has quit his job as a mechanic. His wife, whose name was not released, plans to keep working.
 
   Carlson says he "went nuts" when he realized the ticket was a winner. He had bought it at the Autobahn BP store in Platte Woods where he regularly stops for coffee.
 
   The couple plan to use the money to pay bills, help their grown children and take a trip for their upcoming 30th wedding anniversary. Carlson also wants a 1968 Camaro.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois will end the year with overdue bills totaling $7.6 billion.
 
Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka's office says the amount is about 16 percent less than the $9 billion owed at the end of 2012. That's according to a Monday story in the Rockford Register-Star.
 
Topinka spokesman Brad Hahn says it's unclear how the landmark pension-reform package adopted this month will affect the backlog.
 
For one thing, retired teachers and other educators have filed a lawsuit over the plan to save $160 million over 30 years by cutting benefits. They say it's unconstitutional.
 
Hahn says the backlog benefited this year from $1.3 billion in tax revenues that officials didn't expect.
 
Topinka's office had predicted as late as a month ago that the year-end backlog would be closer to $9 billion.
 

Federal government ends extended jobless benefits

Saturday, 28 December 2013 10:53 Published in National News

WESTMINSTER, Calif. (AP) — The end of unemployment checks for more than a million jobless Americans has driven people to consider selling cars, moving and taking minimum wage work after already slashing household budgets and pawning personal possessions.

The change affected 1.3 million people on Saturday and will affect hundreds of thousands more who remain jobless in the months ahead.

The Obama administration and Democrats in Congress want to continue the program but the extensions were dropped from a budget deal earlier this month. Republican lawmakers have balked at the program's $26 billion annual cost.

Greg and Barbara Chastain of Huntington Beach, Calif. say they have exhausted their state unemployment benefits since losing work in June and now may uproot their family and move to save on rent.

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