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 EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) - A Pennsylvania-based real estate investment trust is buying the Casino Queen's real-estate assets in East St. Louis for $140 million.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the properties being bought by Gaming and Leisure Properties Inc. include the 38,000-square-foot casino, 157-room hotel and the park for recreational vehicles.

Based in Wyomissing, Pa., Gaming and Leisure Properties was spun off last month by Penn National Gaming Inc.

The employee-owned Casino Queen will lease the property back from the Gaming and Leisure Properties for about $14 million a year.

The Illinois Gaming Board must approve of the sale, which is expected to be finalized early next year.

 

Tuesday, 10 December 2013 09:29
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   The construction of a trench designed to keep the slow smoldering fire at the Bridgeton Landfill away from radioactive soil buried at the West Lake Landfill may have hit a snag.  The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that EPA testing has revealed more radioactive material at West Lake.  

   The paper reports that Florissant City Engineer Tim Barrett wrote about the newly discovered materials in a letter to Mayor Thomas Schneider.  Barrett wrote that the EPA is expected to release a report on the new findings later this week.  

   Barrett also wrote that the location of the radioactive materials and the results of additional testing will determine how and where the trench will be built. 

 

Tuesday, 10 December 2013 04:26
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   SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Illinois fire officials are offering tips for a safe holiday season.

   The Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal says there were a dozen fires linked to holiday decorations, Christmas trees and other recreational materials in December 2012. That resulted in more than $85,000 of damage.

   State Fire Marshal Larry Matkaitis says one of the keys to safety is to avoid overloading extension cords. His office also recommends using lights that have a label of an independent testing laboratory and knowing whether they're designed for indoor or outdoor use.

   Fire officials say if you have a real Christmas tree, make sure it's watered. Also, make sure the tree isn't blocking an exit and is at least three feet away from a heat source.

   

 
Tuesday, 10 December 2013 03:13
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   Illinois Governor Pat Quinn says the state will build or rehabilitate nearly 1,500 affordable housing units statewide.

   The Chicago Democrat said in a statement yesterday the apartments will ensure working families, seniors and people with disabilities have quality, affordable housing.

   The work will be financed through a federal housing tax credit and the Illinois Housing Development Authority's Preservation Now program.

   Residents must earn at or below 60 percent of the area median income to qualify for the units. That's about $35,000 in the Chicago area.

   In Edwardsville, an existing independent living development serving seniors and people with disabilities will be rehabilitated, and a new wing built, creating and preserving 70 affordable apartments.  

   In Aurora, the state plans to acquire and rehabilitate 40 vacant single-family homes. In Chicago, a 106-unit development for seniors will be built on the site of an abandoned building and unused tennis courts.

   Units also are planned for the Bloomington-Normal area, Galesburg, Marion and Springfield.

 
Tuesday, 10 December 2013 02:14
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   KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - A panel of federal judges has stayed a Missouri man's execution a little more than a day before he was set to die.

   Allen Nicklasson had been scheduled to be put to death at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday for killing businessman Richard Drummond in 1994.

   But late Monday a three-judge panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals voted 2-1 to stay the execution on Nicklasson's claims of ineffective counsel.

   A stay such as this in a death row case is not unusual and does not mean the execution ultimately will be scuttled.

   The state is expected to appeal the decision to the full appeals court.

 

Tuesday, 10 December 2013 00:57
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   When the state of Missouri presents it's economic package to Boeing Tuesday, it'll include an extra tax incentive from St. Louis County.  

   Monday night, the County Council unanimously approved a preliminary package that could be worth as much as $1.8 billion if Boeing agrees to build the 777X commercial airliner near Lambert Airport.  The specific form of the incentives will take has not yet been determined, but could include TIFs, or tax increment financing.

   Both County Executive Charlie Dooley and St. Louis Mayor Francis Slay addressed the County Council last night in an effort to win the incentives.  Both made the case that the number of jobs the plant would bring would mean a significant economic boost to the region.  Production of the plane could bring as many as 8,000 new jobs to the St. Louis area.  

   With the county incentives and the tax breaks approved by state lawmakers last week, Missouri's bid to win the plant is worth nearly $3.5 billion over 20 years.   

   More than a dozen communities are vying for the new Boeing plant.  The aerospace company is expected to make a decision in January 2014.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013 00:40
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A 22-year-old Collinsville man has been missing for two weeks.

Police say Joseph Hartsoe was last seen on November 25. He was last seen wearing a gray t-shirt, dark blue jacket and dark gray coat. Police say Hartsoe has a history of substance abuse.  

If you have any information on his whereabouts, please call (618) 301-4444. 

 

Monday, 09 December 2013 17:23
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NEOSHO, Mo. (AP) - A 34-year-old southwest Missouri woman has been sentenced to four years in prison after pleading guilty in the methadone overdose death of her 22-month-old son.

Elizabeth Farnam, of Granby, pleaded guilty in September to second-degree involuntary manslaughter in the June 2012 death of Logan Crow.

A toxicology report showed the toddler died from an overdose of methadone, which is prescribed mainly to treat heroin addiction. Investigators said Farnam had obtained the drug illegally.

Farnam told police at the time that she dropped a methadone pill while Logan was sitting on her lap during a church meeting. The toddler began sweating profusely on the drive home and was put down for an afternoon nap, but wasn't checked until the next morning.

KOAM-TV reports Farnam was sentenced Monday in Newton County.

 

Monday, 09 December 2013 17:22
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The owner of the popular Hidden Valley Ski Area is hoping for another record-setting season. 

The St. Louis Business Journal reports that Hidden Valley saw a record 85,000 guests in the 2012 season. That is nearly double the amount from 2011. This year, the slopes are opening 10 days earlier than last year. H

idden Valley's hill has a 310-foot vertical drop and offers 30 acres of skiable land. The resort also has a snow machine that can make a foot of snow in 24 hours. Peak Resorts owns Hidden Valley and 13 ski areas in six states.

 

Monday, 09 December 2013 17:21
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Missouri's proposed incentive package, designed to lure more Boeing jobs to St. Louis, will get its final touch Tuesday.

Governor Nixon will sign the bill at the James S. McDonnell Planetarium at 10:30 AM. Joining the governor for the signing: local lawmakers, labor leaders, and representatives of the Missouri Aerospace Training Consortium. The bill, passed by the General Assembly last week, authorizes up to $1.7 billion in incentives over 20 years.

The legislation was the product of a special session that Nixon called.

Monday, 09 December 2013 17:07
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