Morning headlines: Monday, March 26, 2012
Corps plans to hire private companies to restore Birds Point
The corps set off explosions at three spots on the levee last May to relieve pressure on the floodwall in Cairo, Ill.
The Southeast Missourian reportsthe corps will be looking in the next two weeks for three firms to bid on the projects.
The corps halted its floodway repairs in December after spending $20 million to shore up the levee to 55 feet of flood protection at each of the blasting spots.
Project engineer Maj. Jon Korneliussen says the private companies will bid to work on each breach. He said private firms are being brought in because of the large number of projects the corps is facing.
Measure in Mo. Senate could change requirement on DNA samples
The legislation would require crime labs to dispose of a suspect's DNA sample within four months if a prosecutor decides not to file charges.
Anyone registering as a sex offender would have to provide a DNA sample, as would some out-of-state offenders who transfer to Missouri prisons to serve their sentences.
The legislation, sponsored by Lee's Summit Republican Will Kraus, has been endorsed by the Senate Judiciary Committee and could be debated by the full Senate in the coming weeks.
Ill. lottery ticket sales booming
Illinois Lottery officials say the first day of online lottery tickets brought in more than $15,000 in sales.
On Sunday, Illinois became the first state to offer the games of chance online. The first ticket was bought at 7:03 a.m., just minutes after Mega Millions and Lotto tickets became available online. Within hours, hundreds of people had purchased tickets.
Lottery officials say they believe the pace of sales will be fast until Tuesday evening. That's when the Mega Millions drawing takes place. The estimated jackpot is $356 million.
Those who want to play online have to register and verify their age. Online sales got a federal OK in December when the Justice Department reversed itself on allowing Internet gambling. Other states are considering similar programs and are closely watching Illinois.