- Associated Press - Thursday, April 14, 2016

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - The Missouri Senate is missing the large wooden gavel used to call the chamber to order.

Senate leaders said Thursday that the gavel was last seen March 18, the day after lawmakers left Jefferson City for their annual spring break. A staff member noticed it was gone March 22 from its usual resting place on the Senate dais.

Some senators at first wondered if it was a prank. But if so, they are no longer amused.

During a Senate Administration Committee on Thursday, senators said they fear the gavel has been stolen.

Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard says he’s unsure of the value of the handmade gavel. He is most upset that someone would take something from the Senate chamber.

Senators have been using a smaller, backup gavel.

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