JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A new report says Missouri’s economy and budget stand to take a big hit if officials in Washington don’t reach a deal to avert the so-called “fiscal cliff.” The Federal Funds Information for States says Missouri could lose $1 billion of defense spending on contracts and military institutions if federal spending cuts take effect in the new year.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A 31-year-old Kansas City man was sentenced to life in prison without parole after he was convicted in a cocaine trafficking operation. Theodore Wiggins received the mandatory sentence because of his previous drug convictions.

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A Missouri state senator is pushing for tougher seat belt laws. Joseph Keaveny of St. Louis plans to introduce legislation raising the current $10 fine for people who don’t buckle up.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — A train loaded with holiday cheer is finishing its journey through the South and Midwest. The Kansas City Southern Holiday Express Train started its trip in Texas last month and will make a stop in Joplin today and Drexel on Thursday. It’ll finish its route on Friday in Kansas City.

ST. CHARLES, Mo. (AP) – An eastern Missouri man has been sentenced to life in prison for killing a former St. Louis Rams player. Twenty-two-year-old Jevone Little of St. John was sentenced yesterday in the 2010 death of 26-year-old Brandon Joyce in St. Charles. Joyce was on the Rams offseason roster in 2010.

ST. LOUIS (AP) – St. Louis police are investigating the death of a man whose body was found in a city street. Police were called last night and told a man had been struck by a vehicle. But officers determined the man had apparently been stabbed and possibly dumped at the scene. The victim has not yet been identified.

CREVE COEUR, Mo. (AP) – A group that questions the government’s official version of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks is expected to get an Adopt-A-Highway sign next year. The “St. Louis 9-11 Questions Meet Up Group” has agreed to keep clean a stretch of Olive Boulevard in Creve Coeur. Group organizer Donald Stahl believes the World Trade Center towers may have been brought down by a controlled demolition.

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) – A Missouri man who prosecutors say drove to Maine intending to kill his estranged wife has waived his right to a detention hearing. Benjamin Lee appeared in a federal court yesterday to face two counts of interstate stalking. The 52-year-old Lee was also ordered to undergo a competency evaluation.