County parks audit finds spending on vehicles during budget crisis
An internal audit of the St. Louis County Parks Department has found the department spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on new vehicles, even as county executive Charlie Dooley was threatening to close parks and lay off employees.
State Auditor Tom Schweich has given the agency that oversees Missouri's state parks low marks for its documentation and oversight procedures.
The Division of State Parks, within the Department of Natural Resources, oversees the state's 85 parks and historical sites. The sites bring in about $9 million annually, with about $1.7 million coming from 16 companies that provide food, lodging and other concessions at some of the parks. The division also administers the state parks sales tax, which totals about $38 million a year.
Child abusers could face tougher penalties under Mo. legislation
People who injure or kill a baby by shaking the child could face tougher penalties under legislation moving through the Missouri House. The House has endorsed a measure expanding Missouri's child abuse law to specifically cover causing a baby's death or injury by shaking.