Missouri Minute: Winter storm disrupts holiday travel; state colleges report $1.4 billion in maintenance needs

Here are today’s top headlines from across Missouri:

Winter storm disrupts holiday travel, knocks out power for thousands

Snow and high winds threw travel across parts of Missouri and neighboring states into disarray Sunday on one of the busiest travel days of the year. Kansas City International Airport suspended all departures and arrivals for more than four hours Sunday afternoon due to low visibility, leading many flights to be canceled or delayed. Read more

State colleges, universities report $1.4 billion in maintenance needs

State-run colleges and universities in Missouri have more than $1.4 billion in deferred maintenance, according to a new report from the Missouri Department of Higher Education. The report concludes that reductions to state funding for higher education in recent years “have had a negative impact on deferred maintenance.” Read more

Duck boat business settles first lawsuit from Branson accident

The owner of the duck boat that sank on Table Rock Lake in July, killing 17 people, has settled the first lawsuit stemming from the accident. William Bright, 65, and Janice Bright, 63, from Higginsville, died when the boat sank amid stormy conditions on July 19. Their daughters filed a lawsuit later that month, alleging that four plaintiffs were negligent in their parents’ deaths. Read more

State budget chief optimistic despite revenue decline

Missouri’s general-revenue income for the first four months of the current fiscal year is down about $110 million, or 3.9 percent, from a year ago. State officials say federal tax cuts are the primary culprit. Despite the decline, Dan Haug, the state’s budget director, said he’s optimistic numbers will rebound in the second half of the fiscal year. Read more

Bingo organizers hope for financial boost after ballot win

Bingo backers in Missouri hope voter-approved changes to how the game is regulated in the state will reverse a downward trend in the number of games that are offered. That could provide a boost to the charitable and religious groups that Missouri law dictates bingo games must benefit. Read more

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