- Associated Press - Friday, November 18, 2016

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri lawmakers are questioning whether the decision by state Departments of Natural Resources and Conservation officials to loan public artifacts to a private museum owned by the founder and CEO of Bass Pro Shops amounted to pay-to-play.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (https://bit.ly/2g3Q5cE ) reports Johnny Morris owns Ancient Ozarks Natural History Museum in Branson. Morris requested to borrow some of the artifacts from a Missouri State Museum facility for his own museum and later made a $50,000 donation to the state parks foundation.

State parks director Bill Bryan told a House of Representatives panel Thursday that the loan was a private-public partnership. Bryan denies Morris’ donation had anything to do with the loan.

Some panel members say they will look into how the foundation is spending the money Morris contributed.


Information from: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, https://www.stltoday.com

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