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ST. LOUIS (AP) - A nonprofit federal data tracker says the U.S. government filed a record number of health-care fraud cases during the latest federal fiscal year.
 
Southern Illinois federal prosecutors helped lead the way in pursuing charges against such white-collar scammers.
 
The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse at Syracuse University says in a new report that 377 new prosecutions were opened during the fiscal year ending last October. That's up 3 percent from the previous year and 7.7 percent from five years ago.
 
The clearinghouse says prosecutions that the U.S. Attorney's Office in southern Illinois opened led the nation per-capita. That's more than eight times the U.S. average.
 
Those behind the report say the latest numbers may reflect that federal authorities are devoting more resources toward attacking health-care fraud.
 
Wednesday, 15 January 2014 13:42
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KTRS, St. Louis - The Millennium Hotel in downtown St. Louis has just one week left before it closes its doors.

 

Management says the hotel would need $80 million in upgrades to keep the hotel open, but no investors stepped up with the money. City officials say Millenium's owners will maintain water and utilities while the city determines the future of the building--there are currently no plans to tear it down.

 

80 employees will lose their jobs when the hotel closes in one week. The Millenium was once the largest hotel in St. Louis, but only 164 rooms remain in service.

Wednesday, 15 January 2014 13:36
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TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - The federal prosecutor who helped convict former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is being asked to investigate the apparent political payback scandal involving New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's administration.
 
The New Jersey Assembly tapped former assistant U.S. Attorney Reid Schar, who helped convict Blagojevich of corruption, as special counsel Wednesday.
 
The special counsel will advise a legislative committee investigating a plot that shut down lanes to the George Washington Bridge for four days in September.
 
The shutdown caused massive traffic jams in the town of Fort Lee. The plot apparently was hatched as a political vendetta, possibly against the town's Democratic mayor for not endorsing the Republican governor's re-election.
 
Four members of Christie's circle have been fired or resigned.
 
Christie, a possible 2016 presidential candidate, has apologized.
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Thousands of immigrants living in the U.S. illegally now have Illinois driver's licenses.
 
The Illinois Secretary of State's office says more than 12,000 immigrants have received licenses since December under a new state law.
 
Immigrants can currently take license tests at 14 locations across the state. Secretary of States spokesman Dave Druker says 36 locations will offer license tests by the end of the month.
 
The licenses are valid for three years and may be used only for driving. They can't be used as identification for activities like boarding a plane, voting or buying a firearm.
 
Supporters say the law will save Illinois motorists money and make roads safer. Critics say the state should be cracking down on immigrants who entered the country illegally.
 
Wednesday, 15 January 2014 12:59
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