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Missouri at 2 p.m.
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KANSAS CITY — A marathon spelling bee between two Kansas City-area students who exhausted the initial word list last month ended after 29 more rounds Saturday when the eventual runner-up stumbled over the word "stifling." For more than an hour, seventh-grader Kush Sharma and fifth-grader Sophia Hoffman went toe-to-toe in the continuation of the Jackson County Spelling Bee, which began two weeks ago but had to be extended after the two breezed through the word list provided by the Scripps National Spelling Bee, then 20 more words picked out of the dictionary. By Bill Draper. SENT: 440 words.
STATE GOVERNMENT AND POLITICS:
JEFFERSON CITY — A recent decline in Missouri's casino revenues has created funding shortfalls for public schools and state-run veterans' nursing homes, raising questions among lawmakers about the extent to which the state can continue to rely on gambling to fund some key programs. Underlying the concern is an uncertainty over whether the shortfall is a temporary event caused by a cold winter, the economy and increased casino competition from neighboring states, or whether it is the start of a long-term trend. By Jordan Shapiro. SENT: 640 words.
ST. LOUIS — A 28-foot-long mural that graced St. Louis Union Station starting in the 1940s was thought to be lost. It turns out it was just hiding. The mural "Commerce on the Landing" was painted by Chicago artist Louis Grell and mounted over the station's ticket counter in 1942, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported (http://bit.ly/O2OCBq). At some point it was taken away. No one was sure what happened to it. SENT: 337 words.
MIDWEST HISTORY REVIVAL
OMAHA, Neb. — A quick glance of the history departments of universities in the Midwest will reveal courses of study ranging from the American South to Asian, European and African cultures — even gender and race. What you're not likely to find is a course on Midwest history. By Margery A. Beck. SENT: 820 words.
AP Photos NENH102, NENH103, NENH101.
WEEKEND FEATURE EXCHANGE:
CASSVILLE — Leo Steinbrecher didn't expect to blend into the crowd at Saturday's trout opener at Roaring River State Park. When you're almost 93 years old, you have a few wrinkles and you walk slowly ... well, let's just say it wasn't hard to tell which of the 1,600 fishermen who showed up early at the trout stream had seniority. By Brent Frazee, The Kansas City Star. SENT: 730 words
ST. LOUIS — It was go time. The Clayton Greyhounds and the Ladue Rams were in the regional soccer playoffs, and the neighboring high school rivals were competing hard for bragging rights. Clayton sophomore Sam Schneider was playing striker, a key scoring position constantly under attack by defenders. The game was intensely physical, and Sam took four hard falls and pushes to the ground. But he kept playing. Not once did anyone think Sam had suffered a concussion, because nobody on the sidelines saw him take a hit to the head. By Nancy Cambria, St. Louis Post-Dispatch. SENT: 940 words.
FEEDING THE HUNGRY
CAPE GIRARDEAU — The saying "Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime," could be applied to the Mission Task Force, formed by Cape Girardeau siblings Maddox and Brock Murphy. The two, who attend St. Andrew Lutheran Church, were challenged by their pastor, the Rev. Paul Short, last year to raise funds so a pastor in Guatemala could buy a truck to deliver supplies to a school. Their mother, Linda Murphy, said church members older than 10 were given $10 and asked to multiply it and bring it back to the church for the truck purchase. By Ruth Campbell, Southeast Missourian. SENT: 860 words.
BKC--T25-MISSOURI ST-WICHITA ST
ST. LOUIS — Second-ranked Wichita State is 32-0 entering a semifinal matchup against Missouri State in the Missouri Valley Conference tournament. Missouri State came closest to beating the Shockers, losing in overtime at home in January. By R.B. Fallstrom. UPCOMING: 700 words, photos, hometown lead on losing team. Game starts 1:30 p.m. CT.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Missouri and Tennessee attempt to keep their NCAA tournament hopes alive as they square off at Thompson-Boling Arena in the regular-season finale for both teams. By Steve Megargee. 700 words. The game starts at 4 p.m. ET.
DENVER — The St. Louis Blues enter a Saturday matinee game with the Colorado Avalanche with a slim lead in the Central Division. The Avs are just three points behind. By Pat Graham. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game time is 3 p.m. ET.
JUPITER, Fla. — The St. Louis Cardinals and Washington Nationals play a spring training game. UPCOMING: 650 words, photos. Game starts 1:05 p.m. ET.
PHOENIX — Third baseman Aramis Ramirez is scheduled to make his first start since offseason surgery when the Milwaukee Brewers host the Kansas City Royals in a spring training game. UPCOMING: 500 words, photos. Game starts 1 p.m. MT.
— ROYALS-ROTATION — James Shields and Jason Vargas will start the Kansas City Royals' first two games of the season at Detroit.
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MARKETPLACE: Calling your attention to the Marketplace in AP Exchange, where you can find member-contributed content from Missouri and other states. The Marketplace is accessible on the left navigational pane of the AP Exchange home page, near the bottom. For both national and state, you can click "All" or search for content by topics such as education, politics and business.
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