JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich (shwyk) says some agencies rushed to spend money near the end of the budget year. Schweich’s report examines the end-of-year spending by five state agencies during the 2011 and 2010 budget years. The auditor says he did not find waste or fraudulent spending. But he says there were instances when agencies stockpiled inventories of stamps or bought items like handheld radio phones or computer systems that were not needed until later. Schweich says that by purchasing the items at the end of the fiscal year, the agencies were able to avoid “lapsing” the money, which would put it back into a general revenue pool to be spent by the state in the next year.

BRANSON, Mo. (AP) — A 12-year-old boy is in the custody of juvenile authorities after a fatal fire near Branson. Taney County Sheriff Jimmie Russell says the boy was taken into custody after the fire Sunday at a mobile home just outside Branson city limits. Russell would not say if the child was related to the victim, who has still not been identified.

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — A southwest Missouri newspaper is suing a school district for failing to disclose how much money it paid to settle a federal lawsuit filed by a student who said she was sexually abused. The Springfield News-Leader filed the lawsuit Monday against the Republic School District. It seeks more information about a settlement paid to the girl’s family to close the case in November. School officials say they can’t provide any information because a federal judge has sealed the case. Attorneys for the newspaper say Missouri law requires governmental bodies to disclose how much money they spend. The girl and her family sued the school district in July 2011, claiming the school failed to protect her after she reported being raped multiple times over two years by a fellow student.

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Missouri’s economy grew at a slower pace than nation’s this past year. New federal Commerce Department figures released today show Missouri’s economy in 2011 grew by just 0.04 percent when adjusted for inflation. That compares with a national average of 1.5 percent. Nearly every sector of Missouri’s $250 billion economy either shrank or grew slower than average this past year.

WASHINGTON (AP) — World War Two veterans Josephine and Murray Bussard are commemorating the 68th anniversary of D-Day in side-by-side wheelchairs at the memorial honoring their service. The octogenarian couple from Springfield, Missouri was among the nearly 200 veterans who were flown in from six states for today’s visit to the World War Two Memorial in Washington D.C.

NEW MADRID, Mo. (AP) — An investigation continues into the death of a southeast Missouri jail inmate, apparently at the hands of other inmates. 50-year-old John Wayne Reynolds Junior died following an assault last night at the New Madrid County jail.

HANNIBAL, Mo. (AP) – A 9-month-old Yorkie named Rambo wasn’t about to leave without his master, even if it meant waiting alone at a Missouri rest area for two days. Arkansas trucker Michael Siau stopped at the rest area near Hannibal on Friday. Rambo jumped out of the rig, but Siau, thinking the dog was in the back asleep, didn’t realize it. Siau made it all the way to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 170 miles to the north, before he realized Rambo was gone. After several frantic calls, a Hannibal animal control officer found the little dog on Sunday. He was still at the rest stop, patiently waiting for his owner. Siau and Rambo were reunited Tuesday.