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What about all those medals on Gen. Clark?

Question: When retired Gen. Wesley Clark is shown in uniform on TV, the exposure is never long enough for me to get a good look. Can you list his medals?

Answer: Clark received the Defense Distinguished Service Medal (five awards); Distinguished Service Medal; Silver Star; Legion of Merit (four awards); Bronze Star Medal (two awards); Purple Heart; Meritorious Service Medal (two awards); Army Commendation Medal (two awards); NATO Medal for Service with NATO Operations in Relation to Kosovo; NATO Medal for Service with NATO Operations in Relation to the Former Republic of Yugoslavia.

Clark, a Rhodes scholar, is a 1966 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y.

Lots of spare change

Question: Are banks obligated to convert coins to paper money? I have a lot of change but can't find a bank with a machine that will take them.

Answer: U.S. coins and currency are legal tender, but there's no federal requirement for commercial banks or other financial institutions to accept coins in exchange for currency, said Pierce Nelson of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta.

In the past, most commercial banks accepted loose coinage for deposit or exchange, but now many banks require customers to roll the coins for these transactions.

Keeping assets fluid

Question: My wife and I just returned from Tunica and Biloxi, Miss. It seems as if all the casinos are floating in water. Is there some law that says they can't be on land?

Answer: Yes. The Mississippi Gaming Control Act, passed in June 1990 by the Mississippi Legislature, legalized casino gambling but restricted it to land-based (dockside) riverboats.

The first vessels docked in 1992 and have expanded to locations in counties along the Mississippi River and the Gulf Coast.

The first riverboats gave way to huge permanently moored barges as the state allowed looser interpretations of the law. Tunica's casinos, for example, sit on levee land, some more than a mile away from the river, but they're technically on the water because builders dug channels from the Mississippi River inland, floated the casino barges into position, then filled in the channels behind them.

Have a question about the news? Call Colin Bessonette at (404) 222-2002 or write to him at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, P.O. Box 4689, Atlanta, GA 30302, or e-mail him at q&aajc.com.

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