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Colin Jeffery

Colin Jeffery

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - A special prosecutor has been appointed to investigate allegations that a 14-year-old cheerleader was sexually assaulted by an older classmate who plied her with alcohol.

Daisy Coleman also alleges that a second 17-year-old boy recorded the January 2012 incident in Maryville using cellphone video.

Circuit court clerk Elaine Wilson says Jackson County prosecutor Jean Peters Baker has taken on the case.

Felony charges against both boys were dropped last year after Nodaway County prosecutor Robert Rice says Daisy and her family stopped cooperating with the investigation.

Melinda Coleman, Daisy's mother, says the family never stopped cooperating but looks forward to answering questions in a new review of the case.

 

CHICAGO (AP) - Illinois Senate President John Cullerton says the state's $97 billion pension shortfall isn't as dire as some people are describing.

The Chicago Democrat told WGN Radio that the pension shortfall is not an imminent crisis, but that finding a solution can help keep Illinois' income taxes down.

Cullerton made the remarks as lawmakers head back to Springfield to begin their fall veto session Tuesday. They face considerable pressure to deal with the pension problem, considered the nation's worst. But a bipartisan committee working on reform is split over a plan that saves $138 billion over 30 years.

Cullerton says the state has been putting more money into its pension systems in recent years under a 1996 law.  He says he wants to lower the annual amount the state pays in.

 

FULTON, Mo. (AP) - Lawmakers on both sides of the political aisle agree that Missouri's state hospital for the most severely ill and dangerous mental health patients is in dire need of repair, but it remains unclear just how to come up with the more than $200 million needed to replace the crumbling Fulton State Hospital.

The facility is Missouri's only maximum security psychiatric hospital. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that some of the buildings on the 95-acre site are completely abandoned. Others are in such bad shape they raise safety concerns for patients and staff.

Republican state Sen. David Pearce of Warrensburg heads an interim Senate committee reviewing state building repair needs. He says many of the state's more than 6,000 buildings need fixing, but dollars are scarce.

 

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