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Missouri's parks limited but open

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- The Missouri Department of Natural Resources is keeping state parks open amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The department will try to limit visitors' interaction with rangers and other park staffers, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.

"Out of an abundance of caution, Missouri Department of Natural Resources announces Missouri State Parks will temporarily close visitor centers, park offices and site offices to walk-in foot traffic through April 30," the department announced.

State park workers will be on-site to answer questions and sign in campers. Signs will direct guests to restrooms and other services.

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The changes took effect Friday in a move to curtail the spread of the coronavirus. Campgrounds, all day-use areas, boat ramps and trails remain open.

"We've basically limited our walk-in traffic to our indoor spaces," said Missouri State Parks Director Mike Sutherland.

The department has stopped taking reservations for picnic pavilions and group camping sites where large groups might gather. Nature programs and tours at historic sites also have been suspended.

Files: Resort often broke labor laws

BRUNSWICK, Ga. -- Newly released documents show a coastal Georgia resort violated labor laws more than 500 times and underpaid employees.

The Brunswick News obtained the documents relating to violations at the Sea Island Resort this month through a Freedom of Information Act request of the U.S. Labor Department.

The investigation into the resort lasted more than two years. It found 240 violations of record keeping for workers younger than 18, 167 instances of failure to pay overtime, 98 violations for failure to pay minimum wage and one occurrence of failure to keep accurate records. There was $45,849 in unpaid overtime and $1,073 in unpaid minimum wages.

Documents show Sea Island told investigators in October 2017 that the company wasn't aware that it needed to have documents proving how old its workers were on hand.

Sea Island told the department in March 2018 that its own review showed it owed employees $60,000 for overtime. According to the Labor Department, the enforceable total was $46,922, which Sea Island agreed to pay by April 20, 2018.

Reward $10,000 in killing of crane

NEW ORLEANS -- The reward for information leading to the person or people responsible for killing an endangered whooping crane has increased to $10,000, according to wildlife officials in Louisiana.

Donations from various groups have doubled the reward, according to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.

The body of a 1½-year-old crane was found Nov. 15 in a rice and crawfish field in the town of Elton in Jefferson Davis Parish. A necropsy determined that it had been shot that day or the previous day.

A $6,000 reward is also still being offered for information leading to the arrest and conviction of whoever killed a whooping crane in November 2018.

Whooping cranes are among the world's most endangered birds. The Louisiana wildlife agency and its partners have reintroduced more than 150 into the state since 2011, the agency says.

There are now about 75 birds in Louisiana's flock, including three that hatched in the wild.

A Section on 03/22/2020

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