MARCH 31, 2014

RIVER RADIO NEWS 033114

 

POPLAR BLUFF MAN FACES ARMED CRIMINAL ACTION CHARGE

 

A Poplar Bluff man is facing a charge of armed criminal action.

 

According to the Poplar Bluff Police Department, 28 year old Darrin L. Lee was arrested Friday night on a charge of armed criminal action.

 

The Daily American Republic is reporting that Lee allegedly forced his way into an apartment with a knife, threatened his ex-girlfriend, and refused to let people leave before he was arrested.

 

 

POPLAR BLUFF MAN CHARGED WITH POSSESSION OF METH AND DRUG PARAPHERNALIA

 

A Poplar Bluff man is facing charges after allegedly being found with methamphetamine on Saturday.

 

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, 46 year old Thomas E. Greer is facing felony charges of possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.

 

Greer was taken into custody shortly before 4:30 pm Saturday afternoon in Butler County.

 

 

PUXICO WOMAN ARRESTED ON METHAMPHETAMINE CHARGE

 

A Puxico woman is facing multiple felony charges in connection to her arrest Friday morning.

 

According to the Highway Patrol, 29 year old Megan N. Engram was taken into custody Friday morning in Stoddard County on felony charges of possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.

 

Engram is also facing a charge of possession of marijuana.

 

 

SIKESTON MAN FACING COCAINE CHARGES

 

A Sikeston man is facing charges after allegedly being found in possession of marijuana and cocaine.

 

According to the Highway Patrol, 23 year old Ethan W. Adams was arrested in Stoddard County Friday afternoon on felony charges of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and possession of controlled substance, cocaine.

 

Adams is also charged with possession of less than 35 grams of marijuana and unlawful use of drug paraphernalia.

 

 

MAN ARRESTED IN SHANNON COUNTY FOR POSSESSION OF METH

 

One man is facing multiple drug charges in connection to his arrest Sunday evening in Shannon County.

 

27 year old Daniel B. Dooley, of Winona, is charged with possession of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia, and felony possession of methamphetamine, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

 

 

JUSTICE OF THE PEACE CHARGED FOR HITTING A JUDGE

 

A Greene County justice of the peace has been charged with felony second-degree battery for allegedly hitting the county judge.

 

Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington said in a news release that 57-year-old Ronnie Wood was charged following a state police investigation into allegations that Wood pushed and struck County Judge Jerry Shipman in January at a meeting where county officials were discussing road improvements in the county.

 

The charge is a felony because of the 72 year old Shipman’s age.

 

Ellington said he assigned the case to deputy Prosecutor Mike Trail in Clay County to avoid any conflicts of interest by the Greene County deputy prosecutor’s office.

 

 

ONE IN CUSTODY FOLLOWING KENNETT APARTMENT FIRE

 

Authorities have a person of interest in custody in connection to an apartment fire in Kennett.

 

According to KFVS, the fire destroyed an eight unit apartment building on South Vanderventer early Sunday morning. The fire is believed to have been started intentionally.

 

The name of the person arrested has not yet been released.

 

 

LONG TERM HIGHWAY PROJECT BEGINNING TODAY IN RIPLEY AND CARTER COUNTIES

 

Highway 21 in Carter and Ripley Counties will be reduced to one lane beginning today so contractor crews can perform asphalt overlay and shoulder work.

 

The work zone is located from US 60 in Carter County to US 160 in Ripley County.

 

Weather permitting, work will take place today through Saturday, November 1st, from 7 am to 6 pm, including weekends as necessary.

 

 

WORK SCHEDULED TO BEGIN TODAY ON HIGHWAY 60 IN CARTER AND SHANNON COUNTIES

 

Crews with the Missouri Department of Transportation will be in Carter and Shannon Counties this week for pavement repairs on Highway 60.

 

Highway 60 will be reduced to one lane from Route P in Carter County to Route DD in Shannon County. Work is scheduled to be done from 7:30 am to 4:30 pm daily through Thursday.

 

 

DELAYS TODAY ON HIGHWAY 67 FOR SHIFT TO FOUR LANE

 

Officials with the Missouri Department of Transportation say there will be a slight delay for motorists today on Highway 67 in Butler County.

 

Traffic will shift to the new four-lane section of Highway 67 from County Road 323 to south of Highway 160/158, beginning at 10 am. The new interchange at Harviell will also open.

 

During the traffic shift, the Missouri State Highway Patrol will stop traffic for approximately 20 minutes as crews modify traffic control. Traffic on the existing Highway 67 north and south of Harviell will not have an outlet to the new pavement at this time. In addition, east and westbound traffic will be restricted.

 

Existing lanes of Highway 67 from County Road 323 to Highway 160/158 will be signed as Route C. The north end of Route C will remain closed for approximately two months, as work is completed at the intersection of Highway 67, Route C and County Road 323.

 

 

BILL WOULD PHASE OUT SOME ELECTRONIC VOTING MACHINES

 

The Missouri Senate has passed a bill to require local elections authorities to phase out the use of some electronic voting machines.

 

Under the measure, Missouri voters could only use an electronic ballot machine that produces a paper trail of marked votes.

 

The legislation allows other types of electronic voting machines currently in use to remain at polling places. But it prohibits local election authorities from replacing those machines because of a malfunction or wear and tear.

 

The bill, passed with a 22 to 11 vote on Thursday, also declares the paper ballot as the official ballot of Missouri elections.

 

 

MISSOURI SENATE APPROVES BILL THAT WOULD INCREASE FINES IN CERTAIN TRAFFIC CASES

 

A bill passed by the Missouri Senate would impose tougher penalties on drivers who run stop signs, if they cause crashes resulting in injury or death.

 

The legislation would increase fines and require the suspension of driver’s licenses in certain cases of failing to yield the right of way.

 

The bill would set a minimum fine of $500 and raise the maximum to $1,000 instead of the current $200 for violations resulting in injuries.

 

For serious injuries, there would be a new minimum fine of $1,000, and the maximum would rise to $3,000 from the current $500.

 

For violations resulting in fatalities, there were be a new minimum fine of $5,000, and the maximum would be raised to $10,000 from the current $1,000.

 

The bill now goes to the House.

MARCH 28, 2014

RIVER RADIO NEWS 032714

JONESBORO MAN CHARGED WITH RAPE AND SEXUAL ASSAULT

A Jonesboro man is scheduled to appear in court today following his arrest on Wednesday.

According to KAIT, 36 year old Don Fitzgerald Black is facing charges of second degree sexual assault and rape.

Black was arrested on Wednesday following an alleged incident that involved multiple children.
PUXICO MAN ARRESTED FOR STEALING CHARITABLE MONEY

A Puxico man has been arrested after being accused of stealing jars of money being collected to assist an area family.

According to Puxico Marshal Johnny Clark, 49 year old Bobbi Wegener was caught on camera taking the jars.

Clark say Wegener was issued a summons and was later was arrested on two probation parole warrants on original charges of assault and receiving stolen property.
SEARCH OF HOME LEADS TO ARREST OF TWO PUXICO RESIDENTS

The search of a home in Puxico has led to the arrest of two residents.

According to Puxico Marshal Johnny Clark, officers responded to a domestic dispute call last week at a home on Bedford Street. Upon arrival, officers spoke to a 14 year old girl, who had a bite mark on her arm.

During a search of the home, police discovered drug paraphernalia and a white substance.

Officers arrested 31 year old Denise Payne and 22 year old Rocky Jerls. Payne is facing charges of assault and child endangerment.

Clark says both suspects tested positive for methamphetamine, THC and barbituiates.
CAPE GIRARDEAU MAN ARRESTED ON MULTIPLE FELONY CHARGES

A Cape Girardeau man is facing multiple felony charges following his arrest Thursday afternoon in Cape Girardeau County.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, 23 year old Christopher A. Shepard is facing felony charges of fleeing a lawful detention; interfering with a felony arrest; possession of drug paraphernalia; possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine; and property damage.

Shepard also reportedly had warrants from the Cape Girardeau Police Department, the Marble Hill Police Department, and Cape Girardeau County.
REPAIRS TO BUCK HOLLOW ACCESS COMPLETED

Buck Hollow Access on the Jacks Fork River is open again to the public.

The access had been closed since last spring due to flooding that caused severe erosion.

According to a release from the Ozark National Scenic Riverways, the road surface and drainage at the site have been improved, and the access was also altered to provide a safer gradient. In addition, seven new parking slips were added between the river access and the restroom facility.

More information is available online at nps.gov/ozar.
NEW SECTION OF 67 SOUTH OPENING MONDAY

The Missouri Department of Transportation says they will be opening a portion of the new Route 67 on Monday.

MODOT Engineer David Wyman says the Department will opening Route 67, from County Road 323 to south of Route 160/158 at 10 am. The new section will include opening the new interchange at Harviell.

Wyman says traffic will be stopped for approximately 20 minutes while crews modify the traffic control to accommodate the switch.

Exisiting Route 67, north and south of Harviell, will not have an outlet to the new roadway during this time. All traffic headed north or south will need to utilize the new pavement. In addition, eastbound and westbound traffic will be restricted.
MODOT OFFERING TWO BRIDGES FOR FREE

If you need a bridge, the Missouri Department of Transportation might be able to help you.

The Highway 51 Bridge over Little Whitewater Creek in Bollinger County and the Highway 61 Bridge over Hughes Creek in Cape Girardeau County are available for relocation and reuse by others, free of charge.

According to Modot, both bridges are scheduled to be replaced in 2015.

Anyone interested in obtaining a historic bridge must submit a detailed proposal describing the dismantling and relocation plan, cost and future use. A proposal checklist is available online. Proposals should be submitted no later than June 2nd.

Details about both bridges can be viewed online at www.modot.org/freebridges/.
MISSOURI HOUSE PASSES 26.6 BILLION DOLLAR BUDGET

The Missouri House has passed a $26.6 billion state budget that ties the amount of an increase in funding for public schools to increases in state revenue.

The chamber approved 13 bills Thursday comprising the state’s operating budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1. The spending plan now moves to the Senate.

For public schools, the budget provides a $122 million increase from the $3 billion they now receive in basic aid. But if revenues meet more optimistic projections from Gov. Jay Nixon’s administration, the increase would be $278 million.

House members used a similar two-tier approach for public colleges and universities. The budget does not include funding to expand the Medicaid health care program.

Lawmakers have until early May to approve a budget.
BREASTFEEDING BILL GIVEN APPROVAL BY MISSOURI HOUSE

Nursing mothers could not be penalized for breast-feeding in public nor be required to serve on juries under legislation advancing in the Missouri House.

The House approved the measure 150 to 0 on Thursday, and it now moves to the state Senate.

Nursing mothers would be excused from jury duty with a written note. The bill also states breast-feeding in public or private would not count as sexual conduct or be considered public indecency or obscenity. Local governments could not enact ordinances that restrict breast-feeding.
FINANCING FOR STATE BUILDING IMPROVEMENTS GIVEN PRELIMINARY APPROVAL BY MISSOURI SENATE

Missouri senators have endorsed a plan that could help finance hundreds of millions of dollars of improvements to state buildings.

Sponsoring Senator Mike Parson said the measure given initial approval Thursday would authorize $600 million of revenue bonds to be issued by the Board of Public Buildings.

He said about one-third of that would go to replace old buildings at a state mental health hospital in Fulton. Parson said another third would go toward a backlog of repairs at state buildings, and the final third toward repairs at public colleges and universities.

The bill had been stalled for several weeks in the Senate because some Republicans opposed raising the state’s debt limit. But they relented Thursday. The bill won preliminary approval by a 26 to 7 vote.

MARCH 27, 2014

RIVER RADIO NEWS 032714

 

ANNISTON MAN CHARGED WITH CHILD MOLESTATION

 

Authorities have an Anniston man in custody in connection to a sexual abuse investigation.

 

According to KFVS, 29 year old Scottie Leon Tidwell allegedly admitted to authorities to engaging in multiple sex acts with a 12 year old child.

 

Tidwell has been charged with first degree statutory sodomy, three counts of first degree child molestation, and two counts of first degree statutory rape.

 

 

PARAGOULD SHOOTING SUSPECT TAKEN INTO CUSTODY

 

One man is under arrest following a shooting earlier this week in Paragould.

 

According to authorities, Caesar Johnson has been arrested in connection to a shooting on Monday that injured two men.

 

The US Marshall’s Service, Craighead County Sheriff’s Department and Bay Police Department assisted with the arrest.

 

 

MAN ARRESTED IN CONNECTION TO ALLEGED RAPE OF CHILD

 

A Northeast Arkansas man is facing charges in connection to the alleged rape of a child.

 

According to KAIT, 23 year old Kevin Maget, of Jonesboro, is accused of sexual assaulting a 12 year old child.

 

Maget was arrested Tuesday and charged with rape of a person less than 14 years of age.

 

 

HAYTI WOMAN CHARGED WITH POSSESSING CONTROLLED SUBSTANCE AT CORRECTIONAL FACILITY

 

A Hayti woman is facing a felony charge of possession of a controlled substance at a correctional facility.

 

According to the Highway Patrol, 43 year old Stacey R. Fulton was arrested Wednesday afternoon in New Madrid County.

 

She is also facing a charge of driving while intoxicated, drugs.

 

 

NORTHEAST ARKANSAS CITY FINED OVER $45,000

 

The city of Bono has been fined over $54,000 for violating the federal overtime wages law and for poor record keeping.

 

City Attorney Jeff Scriber told The Jonesboro Sun that the city is being fined $54,062 for violating the overtime wage laws with the police department. The city has 90 days to pay the fine.

 

The U.S. Department of Labor began investigating when former Police Chief Robert Jones said the city had failed to follow the law about paying overtime to city police officers. Jones made the comment after being fired for insubordination.

 

Mayor Billy Stephens said he’ll examine the city’s budget to find where to get the money to pay the fine.

 

 

GODSPELL TO BE PERFORMED NEXT MONTH AT TINNIN CENTER

 

Tickets are on sale for an upcoming performance of “Godspell” at the Tinnin Fine Arts Center.

 

The show will be presented by Center Stage, Three Rivers College’s theater company, on April 11th, 12th, and 13th.

 

“Godspell” is a musical retelling of the Gospel according to St. Matthew, following Jesus Christ and his apostles from the beginning of his ministry through his death.

 

The performances on April 11th and 12th will both begin at 7 pm. The April 13th performance will start at 2:30 pm.

 

Tickets can be purchased at the Poplar Bluff Chamber of Commerce, the Financial Services office at the Three Rivers Poplar Bluff Campus, online at trcc.edu/tinnin, or at the door. Tickets are $10, or $5 with a valid Three Rivers student ID.

 

 

TWO THREE RIVERS STUDENTS NAMED TO MISSOURI ALL-ACADEMIC TEAM

 

Two Three Rivers College students have been named to the Phi Theta Kappa All-Missouri Academic Team.

 

Members of the All-Missouri Academic team are selected from nominations submitted by each of the state’s community colleges and students are chosen for their outstanding academic performance and service to the college and community.

 

The two students chosen were Dustin Chaney and Megan Cook. Chaney is pursuing an associate of arts degree in elementary education, while Cook is studying to become an occupational therapy assistant.

 

 

INCOME TAX CUT ENDORSED BY MISSOURI SENATE

 

Missouri senators have endorsed an income tax cut that could eventually waive an estimated $464 million annually in state revenues.

 

The legislation given initial approval Wednesday would cut taxes by half of the amount originally proposed by a Republican-led committee.

 

It could gradually cut the state’s top individual income tax rate to 5.5 percent from the current 6 percent. It also could phase in a 25 percent deduction for business income reported on individual income tax returns, and add a $500 tax deduction for lower-income individuals.

 

The tax cuts could not take effect until 2017, and only then if state revenues grew by at least $150 million.

 

The bill does not contain Governor Jay Nixon’s proposals to make the tax cuts contingent on full school funding and new tax-credit limits.

 

 

WELFARE CHANGES GIVEN FIRST APPROVAL BY MISSOURI HOUSE

 

Missourians could lose welfare benefits if they go too long without using them in the state under legislation advanced by the House.

 

The House gave the measure first-round approval Wednesday. It needs a second vote before moving to the state Senate.

 

Recipients of Temporary Assistance for Needy Families would be warned of possible suspensions if they go 60 days without using their electronic benefit card in Missouri.

 

The Department of Social Services would suspend accounts if benefits went unused in Missouri after 90 days. State officials would investigate whether a recipient is a Missouri resident.

 

A state audit in December identified 366 cases in which recipients used $461,000 of benefits exclusively out of state for at least three months.

MARCH 26, 2014

RIVER RADIO NEWS 032614

 

CHARLESTON MAN IN CUSTODY ON MURDER CHARGE

 

A Charleston man has been taken into custody for murder.

 

Few details have been released at this time, but it is known that 19 year old Evan M. Herandez was arrested by the Missouri State Highway Patrol yesterday shortly before 11 am on a Mississippi County Warrant for first degree murder and a Mississippi County Warrant for armed criminal action.

 

We’ll bring you more details on this story as they become available.

 

 

KENNETT MAN SENTENCED IN RAPE CASE

 

A Kennett man has been sentenced to 50 years in prison on sex charges.

 

Authorities say James Jarrett received the sentence Tuesday after being found guilty of rape and two counts of sodomy.

 

Jarrett was accused of sexually assaulting a 17 year old girl, a 13 year old girl and a 12 year old boy in 2010.

 

 

PARAGOULD POLICE HAVE SUSPECT IN SHOOTING THAT INJURED TWO

 

Police in Paragould, Arkansas say they have a lead in the case of a Monday night shooting that injured two men.

 

Authorities say the incident happened just after 8:30 pm Monday at an apartment in Pecan Grove.  Both victims were taken to area hospitals for treatment.

 

Police say the investigation is ongoing.

 

 

POPLAR BLUFF MAN ARRESTED ON DRUG CHARGES

 

A Poplar Bluff man has been arrested on drug related charges.

 

The Missouri State Highway Patrol reports that 30 year old Adam W. Wuesthoff was taken into custody yesterday afternoon in Ripley County.  He has been charged with possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.

 

 

 

OVER 10,000 TIRES BURNING IN MISSISSIPPI COUNTY

 

A fire at a Mississippi County Highway Department site started yesterday evening and is still burning.  Authorities say the site is where old tires are collected and stored, and that at least 10,000 tires are fueling the fire.

 

KFVS reports that representatives with the Department of Natural Resources were on the scene yesterday and will return today.

 

 

JONESBORO WOMAN WRITES BAD CHECKS FOR THOUSANDS TO SEND TO SCAM ARTISTS

 

A Jonesboro, Arkansas woman has been charged with theft after she allegedly wrote bad checks worth thousands of dollars and sent the money to scam artists.

 

Authorites say 69 year old Linda Kay Panneck was taken into custody Monday afternoon.  They say since March 16th, Panneck wrote checks worth over $5000 on an empty account.

 

The woman’s husband told investigators that his wife had been sending all of her money to Jamaica and other countries, in an attempt to collect sweepstakes winnings.

 

According to authorities, the bank involved has decided not to pursue charges and Panneck has been released.

 

 

MISSOURI SENATE ENDORSES HEALTHY EATING PROGRAM

 

Legislation to give food stamps users an incentive to buy pharmacy healthy foods at farmers markets has been endorsed by the Missouri Senate.

 

Under the bill advanced Tuesday, the state would create a test program for participating markets where food stamp users could be reimbursed up to $10 per week for buying meat, fruit and vegetables.

 

The provision was attached to a broader bill that would give a state and local sales tax exemption for goods purchased at farmers markets.

 

Supporters say the reimbursement program would cut down on obesity in low-income households and reduce costs for obesity-related illnesses.

 

The bill needs one more affirmative vote before moving to the House.

 

 

MISSOURI AUDITOR DRAWS NO DEMOCRATIC OR REPUBLICAN OPPOSITION

 

Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich will be running for re-election without any Democratic or Republican opposition.

 

Missouri’s candidate filing period ended Tuesday afternoon with Libertarian Sean O’Toole and Constitution Party candidate Rodney Farthing as Schweich’s only challengers.

 

The Republican auditor is seeking his second four-year term. Schweich’s campaign team said this marks the first time since at least 1878 that Democrats have failed to field a candidate for a statewide office in Missouri.

 

A total of 429 candidates filed for federal and state offices. That’s the lowest number in at least a couple of decades.

 

Missouri’s 2014 ballot will include races for half the state Senate and all of Missouri’s U.S. and state House seats. There is no election for U.S. Senate, governor or most other statewide executive offices.

 

 

MISSOURI SENATE ENDORSES TAX EXEMPTION FOR OLDER CARS

 

Missouri senators have endorsed legislation that could make it cheaper to buy older cars.

 

The bill given first-round approval Tuesday would exempt decade-old cars with a price under $15,000 from sales taxes on the titling of the motor vehicle. Under the measure, a 2004 model bought in 2014 would be exempt from state and local sales taxes.

 

The measure is sponsored by Republican Sen. Mike Parson, of Bolivar. Parson says vehicles in service for 10 years have already had taxes paid on them.

 

The bill needs a second affirmative vote in the Senate before moving to the House.

 

 

HOUSE REJECTS FUNDING FOR MEDICAID EXPANSION
The Republican-led Missouri House has rejected a Democratic attempt to expand the state’s Medicaid health care program for the poor.

 

Democrats on Tuesday sought to include funding for Medicaid expansion in the budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1. Supporters argue the expansion would improve health care access for low-income Missourians and note the federal government would pick up the cost for the first two years.

 

The Republican-led Legislature has repeatedly rejected Medicaid expansion proposals during the past two years. Many have cited concerns about the potential long-term costs to the state.

 

Missouri’s Medicaid program currently covers about 830,000 people at an annual cost of about $9 billion.

 

RIVER RADIO NEWS MARCH 25, 2014

RIVER RADIO NEWS 032514

 

WOMAN DIES IN PARAGOULD FACTORY ACCIDENT

 

Officials say a woman has died while working at a food packaging plant in Paragould.

 

Few details have been released at this time, however, it is known that Lori Turner was fatally injured Sunday evening during an unspecified incident at Anchor Packaging.

 

 

TWO BROTHERS ARRESTED IN CONNECTION WITH SIKESTON BAR SHOOTING

 

A second person has been taken into custody in connection with a weekend shooting at a Sikeston bar that injured four people.

 

Witnesses initially identified the shooter as 32 year old Antonio Marcel Flenoid, of Sikeston.  Flenoid was arrested early Saturday morning.

 

According to police, one of the shooting victims and a witness approached law enforcement on Sunday, saying they believed the shooter was actually Antonio Flenoid’s brother, 32 year old Ericonta Flenoid, also of Sikeston.  The two reported that Antonio and Ericonta look alike.

 

Authorities then took Ericonta Flenoid into custody at a home on W. Gladys Street, at which time they discovered him to be in possession of a handgun with the serial numbers filed off.  Ericonta Flenoid has been charged with four counts of first degree assault and armed criminal action.

 

 

CAPE MAN ARRESTED AFTER WAVING GUN DURING ARGUMENT

 

A Cape Girardeau man is facing a weapons charge after being accused of waving a gun around after an argument.

 

According to authorities, 54 year old Percy J. Parrow has been charged with unlawful possession of a firearm.

 

They say a witness told officers that Parrow had been in a verbal argument with someone, when he pulled out a handgun and began waving it around.

 

Officers responded to the area and found Parrow, who appeared to be intoxicated.  Police say they saw Parrow fall down between two vehicles, and that they located a handgun on the ground near where he had fallen.

 

 

NORTHEAST AKANSAS JUDGE ADMONISHED

 

A Northeast Arkansas judge has been admonished by the Arkansas Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission.

 

Authorities say Craighead County District Judge Keith Blackman received the admonishment for imposing a fee on some criminal defendants who changed their pleas.

 

The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette reports that commission director David Sachar says in a letter to Blackman that the judge violated rules on impartiality, fairness and compliance with the law.

 

Blackman charged a $35 fee to some defendants who changed their pleas from not guilty to guilty. Blackman called the fees a “witness fee” and a “contempt fee.” He told the commission that the fee was intended to prevent people from abusing the legal process.

 

 

THREE RIVERS INSTRUCTOR RECEIVES “EXCELLENCE IN TEACHING” AWARD

 

An instructor at Three Rivers College has received a statewide award  for innovation and quality teaching.

 

Greg Hicks, Instructor of Business at Three Rivers College, received the Governor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching at a Missouri Community College Association awards luncheon in Jefferson City. The award is given to the top community college instructors in Missouri each year.

 

Hicks has taught at Three Rivers for over 25 years, specializing in information systems and technology.

 

In addition to the award, Hicks will receive a proclamation from Missouri Governor Jay Nixon celebrating his achievement.

 

 

COUNTY JUDGE SEES ARKANSAS MILL WORK BY MID-JUNE

 

The Mississippi County judge says he expects construction to begin by mid-June on a $1.1 billion steel mill near Osceola.

 

An administrative law judge last week cleared a hurdle for the plant, and County Judge Randy Carney told the Jonesboro Sun on Sunday that he expects hiring to begin in May.

 

Big River Steel plans to hire up to 600 people for the plant, though about 2,000 workers will be used during construction.

 

Neighboring Nucor Steel had challenged pollution-control permits for the proposed mill, saying they didn’t meet state or federal standards. An administrative law judge rejected the challenge last Thursday.

 

Arkansas anti-pollution board has a meeting Friday but a spokeswoman said Monday the matter is not on its agenda.

 

Nucor has said it would appeal an adverse decision.

 

 

MISSOURI AUDITOR QUESTIONS CHILD CARE SPENDING

 

Missouri’s auditor is raising concerns about state payments to subsidize child care costs for lower-income families.

 

Auditor Tom Schweich criticized the state Social Services Department for not having enough quality control over the payments. The findings were included in an audit issued Monday of nearly $12 million in federal funds received by Missouri.

 

Schweich found that one-third of the payments reviewed by his office were not supported by proper documentation or were not in compliance with department guidelines.

 

The audit also questioned five welfare cases where benefits were paid to recipients who might not have been eligible for the program.

 

In a response included with the audit, the department says it “partially agrees” with Schweich’s conclusions on the child care payments. It agrees with the audit’s welfare findings.

 

 

MISSOURI HOUSE OKs SUNDAY MOTORCYCLE SALES

 

The Missouri House has advanced legislation allowing Sunday sales of motorcycles at dealerships.

 

Missouri law now prohibits the sale of cars, trucks and motorcycles on Sunday. The House legislation would be limited to motorcycles.

 

Proponents said the measure would make Missouri more competitive with states that allow dealerships to sell motorcycles on Sunday. Some dealers in western Missouri told lawmakers they were losing sales to competitors in Kansas.

 

House members approved the legislation by voice vote on Monday. It needs another affirmative vote before moving to the state Senate.

 

 

MISSOURI GOP SENATORS VOW TO BLOCK MEDICAID EXPANSION

 

In case there was any doubt, several Republican state senators are making it clear that there will be no expansion of Medicaid eligibility this year in Missouri.

 

Five GOP senators took to the Senate floor Monday as the Legislature returned from spring break to say they will block any attempt to expand Medicaid eligibility during the session that ends in mid-May.

 

Their strong pronouncement came a day before a House committee is to hear testimony on a proposal that would expand Medicaid coverage to thousands of lower-income adults, partly by subsidizing their enrollment in private health insurance policies. The House legislation would link the Medicaid expansion to a broader overhaul of the program.

 

States that expand Medicaid eligibility can get extra federal money under President Barack Obama’s health law.

 

 

HOUSE OKs INCENTIVE FOR BUSINESSES COMING TO MISSOURI

 

Missouri House members have approved legislation that would create an incentive for business to relocate to the state.

 

The measure would offer businesses a tax credit worth up to 20 percent of their eligible expenses for coming into Missouri. The incentive program would be capped at $10 million annually.

 

Sponsoring House member John McCaherty says the intent is to limit the incentives to businesses that previously have been in Missouri, left and now are returning.

 

The House had delayed a vote on the bill because of concern that it would apply more broadly. Changes were made, and the bill was approved 136-17 on Monday. It now moves to the state Senate.

RIVER RADIO NEWS MARCH 24, 2014

RIVER RADIO NEWS 032414

 

SUNDAY CRASH IN LAWRENCE COUNTY CLAIMS LIVES OF TWO FROM VAN BUREN

 

A weekend traffic crash has claimed the lives of two Van Buren residents.

 

Authorities say the accident happened shortly before 4 am yesterday in Lawrence County, Missouri, when a vehicle being driven by 30 year old John A. Stephens crossed the center line and hit a truck head on.

 

Stephens and a passenger, 27 year old Lori L. Stephens, also of Van Buren, were fatally injured and pronounced dead at the scene.

 

Three children in the Stephens’ vehicle, a seven year old, a five year old and a four year old, all from Ordway, Colorado, were also killed.

 

The crash happened on Route H, three miles southwest of Mt. Vernon.

 

 

WEEKEND SHOOTING AT SIKESTON BAR INJURES FOUR

 

Four people are recovering from non-life threatening injuries after a weekend shooting incident at a Sikeston bar.

 

According to authorities, the shooting happened early Saturday morning at Cronies Bar and Grill.

 

When officers arrived at the scene, they found two people with gunshot injuries and learned from witnesses that two other people had also been shot and had already left the scene seeking treatment.

 

Witnesses told investigators that 32 year old Antonio Marcel Flenoid, of Sikeston, had approached a group of people in the bar, pointed a handgun at a man and fired multiple shots.

 

Police later located and arrested Flenoid at an area home.  He has been charged with four counts of first degree assault and armed criminal action.

 

 

ST. LOUIS MAN ARRESTED DURING CAPE COUNTY HOME INVASION

 

A St. Louis man has been taken into custody after being arrested at the scene of a Cape County home invasion.

 

According the Cape Girardeau County Sheriff’s Department, the incident happened at around 6 pm Friday at a home on County Road 411.  They say they received a call from a woman who said a black male had broken down the door and entered her home.

 

Responding deputies found the man in the home with a knife and belt in his hands.  The woman told officers that the man had threatened to kill her.

 

Deputies arrested 32 year old Demetrius A. Fayne.  He has been charged with first degree burglary, armed criminal action, resisting arrest and knowingly burning.

 

Officials say that during the arrest, Fayne received a cut on his head.  He has been hospitalized, but remains in police custody.

 

 

SHOOTING AT CHARLESTON PARTY LEAVES TEEN DEAD

 

A weekend shooting at a party has left a Charleston teen dead and another person injured.

 

According to authorities, the incident happened Friday night at a home on South Locust Street in Charleston.  Witnesses in the area said they heard numerous shots being fired at around 9:30 pm.

 

When officers arrived on the scene, they discovered 18 year old Jajhorien Caldwell with a gunshot wound.  Caldwell later died at an area hospital.

 

According to the Charleston Department of Public Safety, a second gunshot victim, 24 year old Cornelius David, of Charleston, was treated at an area hospital and released.

 

No suspects have been arrested at this time.

 

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to call 573-683-3737.

 

 

CAPE MAN FACING MULTIPLE CHARGES AFTER ATTEMPTING TO FLEE

 

A Cape Girardeau man is facing multiple charges after fleeing a traffic stop early Saturday morning.

 

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, troopers attempted to pull 44 year old Michael J. Bragg over for a routine traffic stop.  They say Bragg fled the scene to a home in Cape Girardeau, where officers later took him into custody.

 

Bragg is facing charges of possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine; possession of a controlled substance, Hydrocodone and Oxycodone; resisting arrest by fleeing; possession of drug paraphernalia; and possession of less than 35 grams of marijuana.

 

 

POWERBALL TICKET SOLD IN MISSOURI WINS $96.5 MILLION

 

Missouri Lottery officials say one Powerball ticket sold in Missouri matched all six numbers to win the $96.5 million jackpot.

 

The lottery said Sunday in a release that another ticket also matched five white-ball numbers to win $1 million in the drawing Saturday. The winning numbers Saturday were: 13, 28, 31, 55, 58, and the Powerball number was 15.

 

The Lottery says the Missouri winners have 180 days to claim their prizes.

 

The $96.5 million jackpot winner can get the jackpot prize in 30 graduated annuity payments or in one lump-sum payment. The $1 million winner gets a one-time cash payment.

 

 

MISSOURI PREPARES FOR FERGUSON EXECUTION

 

Missouri continues to prepare for its third execution of the year.

 

Jeffrey Ferguson is scheduled to die at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday for the 1989 death of a 17-year-old St. Charles County girl. His attorneys have appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court seeking a stay.

 

Missouri executed Herbert Smulls in January and Michael Taylor in February. The state has also set an April 23 execution date for William Rousan, convicted of killing an elderly St. Francois County couple in 1993.

 

 

MISSOURI SENTATORS DIVIDED ON TAX CUT PLAN

 

Republicans in charge of Missouri’s Legislature remain committed to cutting income taxes this year. But at the midpoint of their session, senators are still divided about how to do that.

 

There is no consensus about how large of a tax cut to pursue, whose taxes to cut and whether a tax cut should be contingent on other factors.

 

Senators have debated several different approaches without taking a vote. Some Republicans want to compromise and pass a tax cut that Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon might sign into law. Others prefer to disregard the governor’s objections and pass a tax cut that might require a veto override to enact.

 

The Republican-led House already has passed two tax cut plans that don’t abide by Nixon’s criteria.

 

Lawmakers return from spring break Monday.

 

 

MISSOURI HOUSE TO TAKE UP STATE OPERATION BUDGET

 

The Missouri House is preparing to consider a proposed state budget that partly ties education funding to the strength of the economy.

 

House Majority Leader John Diehl says debate will begin this week on the budget for the next fiscal year. The plan endorsed by the House Budget Committee would add $122 million to the state’s $3 billion in basic school funding. But if state revenues meet more optimistic projections, then it would provide a $278 million increase for schools.

 

The House plan would also bar universities from offering resident tuition rates to students living in the U.S. illegally.

 

The Republican-led committee rejected Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon’s proposal to expand Medicaid eligibility to more lower-income adults. But its plan would restore adult dental coverage that was previously cut from Medicaid.

RIVER RADIO NEWS MARCH 21, 2014

GOVERNOR NIXON SIGNS CELLPHONE TOWER BILLS

 

 

Governor Jay Nixon has signed legislation limiting the authority of Missouri cities and counties to restrict cellphone towers.

 

Nixon signed four bills Thursday that partially re-enact a state law approved last year but struck down by a Cole County judge on procedural grounds.

 

The legislation imposes 19 new restrictions on the way local governments may regulate cellphone towers.

 

The measures bar governments from evaluating applications for towers based on alternative locations or requiring the removal of existing equipment as a condition for approval. The legislation also caps application fees and sets deadlines for governments to make decisions on applications.

 

The Missouri Municipal League says it is disappointed Nixon signed the measures, which it says interfere with local control.

RIVER RADIO NEWS MARCH 20, 2014

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MURDER INVESTIGATION UNDERWAY IN BLYTHEVILLE

 

Police in Blytheville are investigating a fatal shooting that happened earlier this week.

 

According to authorities, 51 year old Ronnie Green was found dead Tuesday night. He had reportedly been shot several times.

 

Anyone with information on the incident is asked to call the Blytheville Police Department at 870-762-0400.

 

 

CAPE GIRARDEAU MAN FACING STATUTORY RAPE CHARGE

 

A Cape Girardeau man has been taken into custody on a statutory rape charge.

 

According to Missouri Case Net, Greggory M. Brown, was arrested by the Cape Girardeau Police Department on a charge of first degree statutory rape, sexual intercourse with a person less than 14 years old.

 

The incident allegedly occurred last year.

 

 

VAN BUREN MAN ARRESTED ON IN CARTER COUNTY

 

A Van Buren man was arrested Wednesday evening in Carter County.

 

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, 34 year old James D. Hill, was arrested on a felony charge of possession of a controlled substance.

 

The Highway Patrol arrest report did not indicate what the controlled substance was.

 

 

ONE ARRESTED AFTER ALLEGEDLY ATTEMPTING TO FLEE FROM POLICE

 

A Cape Girardeau teen is facing charges after he allegedly attempted to flee from police yesterday.

 

According to the Southeast Missourian, 17 year old Devon. J. Smith, of Cape Girardeau, was arrested following a traffic stop Wednesday morning. Smith reportedly attempted to run during the stop and also threw down a handgun he had been carrying.

 

Smith is facing charges of unlawful use of a weapon and resisting detention.

 

 

SEVEN ARRESTS MADE DURING BUTLER COUNTY CHECKPOINT

 

A Checkpoint this past weekend in Butler County resulted in seven arrests.

 

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, during the checkpoint on March 14th, there was one arrest for driving while intoxicated, two felony drug arrests and four misdemeanor criminal arrests.

 

A total of 188 vehicles were stopped during the four-hour operation.

 

 

OVER $16 MILLION AWARDED TO PUBLIC HOUSING AUTHORITIES IN ARKANSAS

 

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has awarded $16.5 million to 105 Arkansas public housing authorities to make major large-scale improvements.

 

The grants announced Wednesday are provided through HUD’s Capital Fund Program. The program provides annual funding to approximately 3,100 public housing authorities nationwide to build, repair, renovate and/or modernize public housing.

 

The work can include replacing roofs or updating plumbing and electrical systems to increase energy efficiency.

 

 

GOVERNOR NIXON SIGNS CHEMOTHERAPY LEGISLATION

 

Missouri cancer patients soon could find it more affordable to take chemotherapy pills.

 

Governor Jay Nixon signed legislation Wednesday that limits the amount of money patients could be charged for oral chemotherapy medicines. The bill imposes an out-of-pocket limit of $75 for a 30-day supply, starting next January.

 

The legislation is intended to make the patients’ cost for oral chemotherapy more comparable to intravenous chemotherapy.

 

Some patients currently are charged thousands of dollars a month for oral chemotherapy, which is covered as a pharmacy benefit. It often has fewer side effects than intravenous therapy. But IV chemotherapy is significantly cheaper for patients, because it’s covered as a medical benefit, which requires a routine co-payment for a doctor’s office visit.

 

 

AVERAGE MISSOURI SALES TAX RANKED 14TH HIGHEST IN UNITED STATES

 

A new report ranks the average sales tax paid in Missouri as the 14th highest among states, but that’s still lower than many of its neighbors.

 

The Tax Foundation, a Washington-based nonprofit research group, compiled the rankings by examining the state sales tax rate and the average local sales tax rate.

 

Missouri’s state sales tax of 4.225 percent ranked 37th out of the 45 states that charge sales taxes. But Missouri’s average local sales tax of 3.36 percent was one of the higher rates among states.

 

The report says Missouri’s combined state and local average sales tax rate is 7.58 percent. Although Missouri ranked 14th nationally, its average sales taxes were lower than in neighboring Kansas, Illinois, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Tennessee.

RIVER RADIO NEWS MARCH 19, 2014

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WOMAN FOUND DEAD IN BLYTHEVILLE

 

A 55 year old Blytheville woman was found dead earlier this week.

 

According to Blytheville Police, the body of Barbara Faye Jackson was discovered lying face down on her porch by a neighbor Monday morning.

 

The body has been sent to state officials for an autopsy.

 

 

TWO FLOWN TO HOSPITALS FOLLOWING STODDARD COUNTY COLLISION

 

Two people were flown to hospitals following a collision Tuesday evening in Stoddard County.

 

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the wreck occurred when a vehicle ran off the side of Highway 25 near Dexter, over corrected and travelled into the path of another vehicle.

 

The driver of the first vehicle, 21 year old Brooke M. Patterson, of Bernie, was seriously injured and flown to a St. Louis hospital. The driver of the second vehicle suffered moderate injuries and was taken by air evac to a Cape Girardeau hospital.

 

 

BERNIE MOTHER ADVOCATING FOR MARIJUANA DECRIMINALIZATION

 

Tres Johnson wasn’t expected to live through his first day. Ten years later, his mother calls him “our little miracle,” but says medical marijuana could greatly improve her child’s life. Now, Brandy Johnson is joining the effort to decriminalize marijuana in Missouri.

 

Tres, of Bernie, was born with diprosopus, which is Greek for “two faces.” It is commonly referred to as cranial duplication. The Dexter Daily Statesman reports that there are just 35 known cases throughout the world.

 

Tres is inquisitive, enjoys toys, likes discovering new places. But Johnson says he suffers up to 120 seizures per day.

 

Johnson and her son were in Jefferson City earlier this month, where she testified in favor of a House bill that would decriminalize marijuana.

 

 

POPLAR BLUFF CITY COUNCIL VOTES TO SELL CITY CABLE

 

The Poplar Bluff City Council has voted to sell the city’s internet and cable television services.

 

According to the Daily American Republic, the services were sold to Rural Broadband Investments of Overland Park, Kansas for $17.5 million dollars.

 

The council voted 6 to 0 in favor of the sale Monday night.

 

Rural Broadband Investments is the parent company of NewWave Communications, which provides services in many Southeast Missouri and Northeast Arkansas cities, including Dexter and Piggott.

 

 

NORTHEAST ARKANSAS WOMAN TAKES HOME THREE MILLION DOLLAR LOTTO PRIZE

 

A Northeast Arkansas woman recently won $3 million dollars, but was very close to winning much more.

 

Miranda Huffman, of Lepanto, won the money with a Mega Millions lottery ticket. She matched 5 numbers, along with the megaplier option, to win three million dollars; but was just one number off from winning the $353 million dollar jackpot.

 

She later said that it was the first Mega Millions ticket she had purchased for herself.

 

 

MOBILE OFFICE SCHEDULED FOR NEXT WEEK IN VAN BUREN

 

Citizens will have the opportunity to speak with members of United States Senator Roy Blunt’s staff next week in Van Buren.

 

Senator Blunt’s staff will be holding a Mobile Office from 10 am to 11 am on Thursday, March 27th, at the Float Stream Restaurant in Van Buren.

 

Mobile Offices are opportunities for Missourians to discuss their questions or concerns with the federal government one-on-one with members of Senator Blunt’s staff.

 

 

MISSOURI BILL WOULD MAKE IT EASIER FOR SOME MEMBERS OF THE ARMED FORCES AND THEIR FAMILIES TO REGISTER TO VOTE

 

Some Missouri lawmakers want to make it easier for members of the military to vote when they return from deployments.

 

Missouri now requires people to register about a month in advance to be eligible to vote. The law sets the registration deadline as the fourth Wednesday before an election.

 

But a Senate-passed bill now pending in the House would make an exception for members of the armed forces and their families who have been stationed elsewhere. They would be allowed to register to vote as late as the Friday before an election.

 

The exception also would apply to civilian government employees and their families who are working outside the U.S., and to members of religious or welfare organizations who are assisting service members.

 

 

HARSH WEATHER CITED FOR RISE IN MISSOURI UNEMPLOYMENT RATE

 

Missouri’s Economic Development Department is citing “harsh winter weather” as a likely reason for a rise in the state’s February unemployment rate.

 

Figures released Tuesday show Missouri’s jobless rate was 6.4 percent last month. The department previously reported that unemployment held steady at 6 percent from December to January.

 

The national jobless rate in February was 6.7 percent.

 

Despite the unemployment rate increase, the department said Missouri added 1,300 jobs during February on a seasonally adjusted basis.

 

Missouri’s civilian labor force of about 3 million people grew by nearly 5,400 during February. The labor force includes people with jobs and those who are on unemployment but looking for work.

RIVER RADIO NEWS MARCH 18, 2014

ARMED ROBBERY REPORTED IN EAST PRAIRIE

 

 

An undisclosed amount of cash was taken during a reported armed robbery in East Prairie over the weekend.

 

According to authorities, the robbery was reported Sunday morning at KC’s Jiffy Mart.

 

The suspect is described as a white male around five feet, nine inches to five feet, 11 inches tall.  He was wearing a dark colored baseball cap with a green bandana over his face, along with a dark long sleeved shirt and gloves.