ST. LOUIS (AP) - Casinos across Missouri are reporting decreased revenue this summer, continuing a trend seen at most of the state's 13 riverboat gambling sites last year.
Overall revenues for July were more than $9.5 million less than in July 2012, a 6.3 decline. That means nearly $2 million less for state education spending derived from a gambling tax compared with this time last year. The local governments where the casinos are located will also receive less money from casino admission fees.
The Lumiere Place in downtown St. Louis reported the steepest drop, at 18 percent. Kansas City's Ameristar recorded a 10 percent revenue drop.
Pinnacle Entertainment wants to sell the Lumiere property in response to federal antitrust issues related to its planned purchase of Ameristar Casinos.
Some thought he had been an angel, others a ghost, but a mysterious priest who seemed to just appear at a horrific accident scene on Highway 19 near Center, Missouri last week is real. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Jefferson City issued a statement Monday identifying him as Fr. Patrick Dowling of Columbia.
Fr. Dowling has been the subject of speculation since arriving with anointing oils and praying with rescuers and 19-year-old Katie Lentz, of Quincy, Illinois, who was trapped in her mangled car. Then he had seemed to disappear.
The diocese says Fr. Dowling came across the scene while driving between morning Mass assignments.
Fr. Dowling wrote about the August 4 accident in the comments section of story about the crash on the National Catholic Register website. Here is what he wrote:
“I had Mass in Ewing MO as the regular priest was sick. As I was returning, I arrived at the scene. The authorities were redirecting traffic. I waited till it was possible to drive up closer. I parked behind a large vehicle about 150 yards from the scene. I asked the Sheriff’s permission and approached the scene of the accident. I absolved and anointed Katie, and, at her request, prayed that her leg would not hurt. Then I stepped aside to where some rescue personnel and the pilot were waiting, and prayed the rosary silently. I left when the helicopter was about to take off, and before I got to my car it was on its way to Quincy. I was amazed at the calmness of the two Highway patrol men. The sergeant was completely in control, amazingly calm. Everybody worked as harmoniously as a Swiss watch despite the critical nature of the scene. I gave my name to one of the authorities, perhaps to the sergeant of Highway Patrol, explaining that I was returning having celebrated Mass at Ewing. It was the sergeant who, at the Sheriff’s request, gave me Katie’s name as I was leaving, so I could visit her in hospital—I assumed she would be taken to Columbia. I think there may have been angels there too and, in this context, I congratulate the fire team from New London and Hannibal, the Sheriff/deputies of Ralls County, the Highway Patrol personnel, the helicopter team, the nurses and all who worked so professionally. God has blessed your work. I hope the credit goes where it is due.”
A relief fund is now accepting donations to benefit families affected by flooding in one part of southern Missouri.
The fund was established by the Meramec Regional Community Foundation. All donations will be directed toward relief efforts in Pulaski County. The hardest hit area was Waynesville--with a population of around 5,000. The initial donation was made by the Community Foundation of the Ozarks.
You can donate by clicking here and then typing "Pulaski County Flood Relief Fund" in the field for the fund or program you're donating to.
You can donate by check as well: Mail checks to
Pulaski County Flood Relief fund to Meramec Regional Community Foundation,
4 Industrial Dr.
St. James, Mo. 65559.
A Missouri company tested a bullet-proof shelter in a school for the first time Wednesday.
A Christian School in western Missouri served as the testing grounds for the shelter. Teachers were excited to see the shelter was shot several times with armor piercing rounds and the bullets showed no signs of penetrating the steel.
The same shelter could also be used for protection during a tornado.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - A southwest Missouri woman is dead after another round of torrential downpours caused flash flooding.
McDonald County emergency management director Greg Sweeten says the woman died early Thursday when her car was swept off Missouri Route 90 near the town of Jane, Mo. Sweeten says normally-dry Brush Creek came up suddenly.
The National Weather Service says parts of southwest Missouri got 10 inches of rain overnight. The town of Hollister was especially hard hit, with about 100 buildings damaged. More than two dozen people had to be rescued from homes, mostly mobile homes, in Hollister, which is near Branson in Taney County.
The weather service says more heavy rain is likely for southern Missouri in the coming days.
HOLLISTER, Mo. (AP) - Flash flooding is prompting water rescues and damage to buildings in southwest Missouri.
Flash flooding was reported in southern Barry and Stone counties, including Roaring River State Park, after an estimated 6 inches of rain fell early Thursday.
Western Taney County Fire Chief Chris Berndt told KYTV rescue workers have evacuated three areas along Turkey Creek, where waters washed one or two mobile homes downstream. Berndt says several businesses and homes in Hollister have water damage.
The Southern Stone County Fire Protection District reports it has evacuated 22 people from a campground near Blue Eye. Campgrounds in Roaring River State Park in Barry County also are being evacuated. No injuries have been reported.
Interstate 44 near Jerome reopened Thursday. More than 40 roads, mostly in central Missouri, are closed.
A study by a North Carolina think tank concludes that a state-wide smoking ban would not harm Missouri bars and restaurants.
While several local governments bar indoor smoking in public, there's no state-wide ban. Opponents to a ban often argue that it would reduce revenue and employment at bars and restaurants.
Researchers with RTI used sales and tobacco tax data from 216 cities and counties in 8 states over 11 years. They projected that seven of the states, including Missouri, would have no economic impact, and West Virginia would actually see an employment boost.
The study was funded by the CDC.
Illinois already bars smoking in bars and restaurants.
Westbound I-44 is closed for 14 miles between mile markers 172 - 186 between Rolla and Waynesville due to flooding.
Floodwaters from the Gasconade River have closed all lanes of Interstate 44 from mile marker 172 to mile marker 186 near Jerome in Phelps County.
Motorists and commercial motor carriers traveling eastbound on I-44 are asked to exit at mile marker 69 and take Route 360 to Route 60 at Springfield to Route 63 at Cabool to get back on to I-44 at Rolla. Travelers westbound on I-44 should take Route 63 at Rolla to Route 60 at Cabool to Route 360 to get back on to I-44 west of Springfield.
The Missouri Department of Transportation has put up barriers at the closures, as well as signs to mark the detours.
“We will continue to monitor these areas until the floodwaters recede,” said MoDOT Central District Engineer David Silvester.
Drivers are encouraged to check MoDOT’s Traveler Information Map, located at www.modot.org, or call the department’s toll free number, 1-888-ASK-MODOT, to get updated information on road conditions.
Motorists should take extra care in their travels during this time and never attempt to get around roadway barricades or drive across flooded roadways. MoDOT also recommends allowing extra travel time if detours are necessary.
An evacuation order is in effect in Waynesville near Fort Leonard Wood where a young boy was swept away by flood waters and killed yesterday and a woman, believed to be his mother, remains missing.
Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has declared a state of emergency in central and southern Missouri where more heavy rain fell overnight and more than 100 homeowners watched in vain as water inundated their homes. The area already swamped by flash flooding yesterday (Tuesday) is again under a flash flood watch until 10 a.m.
In the KTRS listening area that includes St. Francois, St. Genevieve and Washington Counties in Missouri, and Randolph County in Illinois. The National Weather Service reports that the heaviest rainfall is again just northeast of the Waynesville and Fort Leonard Wood areas, but Farmington, Eldin, Rolla and Ironton are also being inundated.
ST. LOUIS (AP) - A long-delayed project to close a huge levee gap and improve drainage in southeast Missouri is moving forward.
The Army Corps of Engineers on Tuesday announced plans for public meetings to discuss a proposed environmental impact statement for the St. Johns Bayou and New Madrid Floodway project. Meetings will be Aug. 27 in East Prairie, Mo., and Aug. 28 in nearby Cairo, Ill.
The levee holds back the Mississippi River from agricultural land in the Missouri Bootheel region, but it has a 1,500-foot gap.
A $100 million project that also includes drainage improvements in the Missouri towns of Charleston, East Prairie and Sikeston was given the go-ahead in 2006 but halted a year later over concerns raised by environmentalists. A federal judge agreed to put the project on hold.
FREDERICKTOWN, Mo. (AP) - Twenty-four years after a 14-year-old girl disappeared from near her eastern Missouri home, leads still trickle in concerning the disappearance of Gina Dawn Brooks.
Gina was last seen on Aug. 5, 1989. Her red bicycle was found on the street in her hometown of Fredericktown. There were reports of a light blue, gray or green station wagon at about the time a witness heard a scream in the neighborhood.
FBI spokeswoman Rebecca Wu told the Daily Journal newspaper in Park Hills, Mo. that new information still comes in from time to time, and agents investigate every tip.
Bryant Squires reportedly made a deathbed confession in 1996, indicting an associate, Nathan "Danny" Williams, but first-degree murder charges against Williams were eventually dropped due to lack of evidence.