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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - A study contends that Illinois wears a "scarlet letter" when it borrows money - which has cost at least $80 million over a five-year period.
 
The review by the University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs estimated the state's "risk premium" in selling bonds to raise money. This cost is on top of additional interest charges paid because of Illinois' worst-in-the-nation credit rating.
 
The study found that on bonds sold from 2005 to 2010, bond-buyers demanded the premium based only on the state's fiscal reputation. It notes the Prairie State's credit rating has fallen further since 2010.
 
Authors of the study collected data on all state general obligation bonds sold during the period and calculated interest charges above the extra paid based on credit rating.
Monday, 10 March 2014 13:33
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri farmers will get a larger property tax bill for their land starting in 2015.
 
Property tax for agricultural land is based on its productive value. Farms are divided into eight groups based upon land quality, with the best in Grade 1 and the worst in Grade 8.
 
The Missouri Tax Commission has recommended increasing the productive values for all farms by about 5 percent. State lawmakers' deadline to reject that proposal was this past weekend. It means the new values will be in place for the 2015 and 2016 tax years.
 
The tax commission estimates the change will mean about 10 cents more tax per acre. The commission says the last change in productive values took effect in 1995.
Monday, 10 March 2014 13:32
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Monday, 10 March 2014 11:36
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - A preliminary hearing date is now set for Craig Michael Wood, the middle-school football coach accused of kidnapping and killing a 10-year-old girl in Springfield, Mo.
 
A judge last week scheduled Wood's preliminary hearing for 9 a.m. April 2 at the Greene County Courthouse. Wood remains jailed without bond. The purpose of a preliminary hearing is to determine if there is enough evidence for a case to go to trial.
 
Fourth-grader Hailey Owens was killed in February. Police say she was walking near her Springfield home when she was abducted. Authorities say her body was found in Wood's basement later that day.
 
Monday, 10 March 2014 11:24
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