April 30, 2014

RIVER RADIO NEWS 043014

 

WEST PLAINS MAN KILLED IN ARKANSAS WRECK

 

A West Plains man has died following a wreck Monday in Arkansas.

 

According to the Arkansas State Police, 63 year old Billy Leatherwood was killed in the wreck in Bald Knob. A vehicle had failed to yield while making a left hand turn and was hit by Leatherwood’s motorcycle on the passenger’s side.

 

A passenger on Leatherwood’s motorcycle, Cathy Leatherwood, suffered undisclosed injuries.

 

 

SHOOTING IN SCOTT CITY RULED ACCIDENT

 

A recent shooting in Scott City has been ruled accidental.

 

According to authorities, the incident happened shortly after midnight April 25th, when a 21 year old man allegedly shot a 17 year old girl in the face. The man told investigators that he was showing his gun to friends when it went off.

 

The man was arrested and later released. No charges were filed.

 

The girl is expected to recover for her injuries.

 

 

TWO EAST PRAIRIE RESIDENTS CHARGED WITH BURGLARY

 

Two men are facing burglary charges in connection to an alleged residential burglary last week in Anniston.

 

According to KFVS, 45 year old Van Lynn Owens and 24 year old Dusten Matthew Vinson, of East Prairie, have been arrested. They are each facing charges of first degree burglary, misdemeanor property damage, and three counts of theft/stealing of a firearm.

 

Owens is also charged with three counts of unlawful possession of a firearm, while Vinson is charged with three counts of unlawful transfer of a firearm to a felon.

 

A third man is also facing charges in connection to the incident. 41 year old Michael Dean Woods, of Anniston, is facing a charge of hindering prosecution.

 

 

SCHOOL BUS HIT BY VEHICLE IN BUTLER COUNTY

 

Two children, ages 9 and 10, suffered minor injuries Monday in a collision involving a school bus.

 

According to the Highway Patrol, the wreck occurred on Business 67 south of Poplar Bluff. The bus was stopped to unload passengers when it was rear ended by another vehicle.

 

The driver of the other vehicle, 63 year old Charlotte L. Merriman, of Poplar Bluff, received moderate injuries. Merriman and the two injured children were taken to the Poplar Bluff Regional Medical Center.

 

 

FORMER CEO OF SEMO HEALTH NETWORK PLEADS GUILTY TO CONSPIRACY TO SUBMIT FALSE DOCUMENTS

 

A New Madrid woman faces five years in prison and fines of up to $250,000 after pleading guilty to conspiracy to submit false documents.

 

According to the United States Attorney’s Office, 56 year old Cheryl Ann White pled guilty to conspiring to create and submit numerous false documents related to Southeast Missouri Health Network, Inc. to federal agencies from 2004 to 2013.

 

White served as CEO of Southeast Missouri Health Network, along with being a non-voting member of the board of directors, until December of 2013.

 

Her sentencing is set for July 30th.

 

 

TWO CARUTHERSVILLE RESIDENTS ARRESTED ON FELONY TAMPERING CHARGE

 

Two Caruthersville residents are facing felony charges in connection to their arrest early Tuesday morning.

 

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, 38 year old Jacqueline R. Rodgers and 19 year old Alphonso Bates were arrested at around 12:40 am Tuesday in Pemiscot County.

 

Rodgers is facing a felony charge of second degree tampering. Bates has been charged with felony first degree tampering.

 

 

POPLAR BLUFF ACADEMIC TEAM WINS SCHOLAR BOWL,… AGAIN

 

The Poplar Bluff High School Academic Team recently won the Class 4 District 1 Championship in the Scholar Bowl Tournament at Cape Central High School, defeating DeSoto, North County and Farmington.

 

With a varsity record of 117 wins, 45 losses and three ties over the past five years, the Academic Team will advance to the state tournament against Oakville.

 

 

MOTORCYCLE SAFETY MONTH BEGINS TOMORROW

 

The Missouri State Highway Patrol is encouraging all motorcyclists to be safe as a part of Motorcycle Safety Month in May.

 

Colonel Ron Replogle has released some tips for motorcyclists including wearing appropriate clothing and protection. Those riding a motorcycle should wear a helmet, eye protection, bright clothing, as well as thick or leather clothing for protection.

 

Since many will be riding their motorcycle for the first time since the winter has ended, be sure to practice or take refresher courses before going into heavy traffic.

 

 

PAYDAY LOAN LEGISLATION APPROVED BY MISSOURI HOUSE

 

The Missouri House passed legislation that would eliminate renewals on payday loans and lower the amount of interest borrowers can currently charge.

 

Under current law, loans can be renewed up to six times and lenders can change up to $75 in fees for a $100 loan. In Missouri, payday loans can be up to $500 and last from 14 to 31 days.

 

The bill also allows a borrower to sign up for additional time to pay back a loan without penalty.

 

Supporters say the measure protects consumers from debt. But opponents argue it doesn’t go far enough to curb irresponsible lending.

 

House members voted 112 to 39 on Tuesday to send the bill to the Senate, where a different version passed earlier. Lawmakers must agree on an identical measure by May 16th.

 

 

UNEMPLOYMENT BILL SENT TO GOVERNOR NIXON

 

Missouri lawmakers have given final approval to legislation that could make it harder for people to collect unemployment benefits after being fired for repeated absences or other alleged misconduct.

 

The House passed the bill Tuesday by a 107 to 45 vote. Because it already had cleared the Senate, the measure now goes to Governor Jay Nixon.

 

The Democratic governor vetoed a similar bill passed last year by the Republican-led Legislature. He cited concerns that it could conflict with federal law, thus putting businesses at risk of having to pay additional federal unemployment insurance taxes.

 

Republican Senator Will Kraus, of Lee’s Summit, says he tweaked the wording of this year’s bill to try to address those concerns. But many House Democrats still opposed the bill Tuesday.

 

 

TRANSPORTATION SALES TAX PASSED BY MISSOURI SENATE

 

Missouri senators have endorsed a three-fourths-cent sales tax increase to fund state and local transportation needs.

 

Tuesday’s 22 to10 Senate vote sent the measure to the House, which earlier approved a 1-cent sales tax hike for transportation. If the chambers agree on an identical bill, it would go on the November’s statewide ballot.

 

Transportation officials estimate the Senate version would bring in $534 million annually over its 10-year lifespan. Revenue could be used for state and local highway construction, as well as operating costs for existing travel facilities and alternative modes of transportation.

 

Supporters say the fuel tax that currently funds transportation is no longer viable with higher gas prices and greater fuel economy. Opponents say raising the sales tax would disproportionately affect low-income Missourians.

April 29, 2014

RIVER RADIO NEWS 042914

 

CARUTHERSVILLE MAN ARRESTED ON INCEST CHARGE

 

A Caruthersville man has been taken into custody on an incest charge.

 

According to the Caruthersville Police Department, officers arrested 40 year old Antonio Truss following an investigation of a sexual assault case involving a minor.

 

A warrant was issued for Truss for two counts of incest.

 

 

WOMAN ARRESTED IN CONNECTION TO STABBING INCIDENT

 

A woman is facing charges in connection to an alleged stabbing incident in Caruthersville.

 

According to authorities, on April 26th, Caruthersville officers found a man in an apartment that had allegedly been stabbed. Officers also found a female suspect and placed her under arrest.

 

The woman, 27 year old Toni Hollywood, is facing charges of first degree domestic assault and armed criminal action.

 

Information on the condition of the victim was not available.

 

 

CHARLESTON CURFEW COMES TO AN END

 

Officials in Charleston have lifted a temporary curfew that was put into place earlier this month.

 

According to the Charleston Department of Public Safety, the curfew ended this morning at 6 am. The curfew was put into place due to recent violence.

 

 

POPLAR BLUFF BUSINESS INCUBATOR APPROVED FOR TAX CREDIT

 

A Poplar Bluff business incubator has been chosen for over $100,000 in state tax credits.

 

According to the Missouri Department of Economic Development, the Ozark Foothills Business Incubator in Poplar Bluff has been approved for $114,699.

 

The Small Business Incubator Tax Credit program is designed to generate private funds to be used to establish a “protective business environment” in which a number of small businesses can collectively operate, fostering growth and development during a business’ start-up period.

 

 

THREE RIVERS CELEBRATES OPENING OF NEW KENNETT LOCATION

 

A ribbon cutting ceremony was held last week to commemorate the opening of the new Three Rivers Center in Kennett.

 

The new 17,000 square foot Center replaces the 10,000 square foot space that previously housed the Center at Kennett.

 

The new facility includes the nursing classroom and skills lab for Three Rivers’ Practical Nursing program, plus three master classrooms, a dedicated ITV classroom, two full computer labs, two state-of-the-art science labs, and a Public Computing Center.

 

The ribbon cutting ceremony was held April 24th and featured speakers such as Dr. Devin Stephenson, President of Three Rivers College and Jay Crafton, the Mayor of Kennett.

 

 

WARDELL TO RECEIVE $500,000 GRANT

 

The city of Wardell has been approved for a grant for half a million dollars.

 

According to the Missouri Department of Economic Development, the $500,000 Community Development Block Grant will go to assist Wardell in replacing its water system, along with constructing a new well house.

 

 

HAZARDOUS MOVING OPERATION TO BE HELD IN SOUTHEAST MISSOURI

 

The Missouri State Highway Patrol will be conducting a Hazardous Moving Operation next month in cooperation with local law enforcement agencies.

 

The operation will be held throughout the Troop E area in Southeast Missouri in May. A hazardous moving operation is designed to target vehicles that are being operated in a hazardous manner.

 

 

BRIDGE REPAIRS BEGINNING TODAY IN BUTLER COUNTY

 

Route TT in Butler County will be reduced to one lane for part of this week as Missouri Department of Transportation crews perform bridge repairs.

 

The bridge to be repaired is located between County Roads 432 and 434.

 

Weather permitting, work will be performed today through Thursday, from 8 am to 4 pm daily.

 

 

PAVEMENT REPAIRS TO BEGIN TODAY IN STODDARD COUNTY

 

Crews with the Missouri Department of Transportation will be in Stoddard County beginning today for pavement repairs.

 

The work zone will be located between Highway 25 and County Road 237 on Route AC. Weather permitting, work is scheduled to be done from 6 am to 5 pm daily through Thursday, May 8th.

 

 

MODOT CREWS TO BE IN RIPLEY COUNTY FOR BRIDGE REPAIRS

 

Route W in Ripley County will be reduced to one lane beginning today so Missouri Department of Transportation crews can perform bridge repairs.

 

Work will take place, weather permitting through Thursday, May 22nd from 7:30 am to 4 pm daily.

 

The work zone is located between County Road W-2 and Route AA.

 

 

STUDENT TRACKING BILL GOES TO GOVERNOR NIXON

 

Missouri lawmakers have given final approval to legislation that would prohibit schools from tracking students electronically.

 

The bill would bar school districts from requiring students to use “radio frequency identification technology” that would track or monitor their locations.

 

Supporters say they are not aware of instances in Missouri where the technology has been used.

 

House members passed the measure 90 to 56 on Monday. It passed the Senate last month 27 to 5 and goes now to Governor Jay Nixon.

 

 

GOVERNOR NIXON ADDS TO PLAN FOR MEDICAID EXPANSION

 

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has added a new prong to his proposal to draw down billions of dollars through a Medicaid expansion.

 

Nixon said Monday that he wants to use federal money to help pay health insurance costs for businesses with fewer than 150 employees. The state aid would be available only for people earning less than 138 percent of the poverty level, which is about $27,000 a year for a family of three.

 

The Democratic governor has dubbed his plan “Missouri Health Works.” Legislative approval would be required to expand Medicaid eligibility and to authorize assistance for businesses to pay health insurance premiums.

 

Missouri’s Republican-led Legislature has repeatedly rejected plans to expand Medicaid eligibility.

April 28, 2014

RIVER RADIO NEWS 042814

 

SEVERE STORMS MOVE THROUGH SOUTHEAST MISSOURI AND NORTHEAST ARKANSAS

 

Severe storms moved through the area Sunday and overnight, which included tornado warnings.

 

Multiple tornado warnings were issued overnight for Northeast Arkansas and the Missouri Bootheel.

 

Flash flooding was also reported with roads underwater across Southeast Missouri. Water rescues were reported in Butler County.

 

Wind Damage was reported at a Cape Girardeau County RV Park. At least 7 RV’s were damaged, and one of them rolled approximately 25 yards. A pole barn next to the RV Park was also destroyed.

 

For information on road conditions in Southeast Missouri, go online to the Missouri Department of Transportation’s Traveler’s Information Map at traveler.modot.org.

 

 

WOMAN RAN OVER BY VEHICLE AND KILLED IN CRAIGHEAD COUNTY

 

Craighead County sheriff’s deputies are investigating the death of a Monette woman who was found apparently run over by a vehicle near her home.

 

The Jonesboro Sun reports the body of 43 year old Sandra Ramsey Platz was found Thursday night.

 

Deputies said they’re trying to determine whether Platz was intentionally killed or if her death was accidental.

 

 

BODY DISCOVERED IN MISSISSIPPI RIVER

 

A body found in the Mississippi River in northeast Arkansas is believed to be that of one of two men who vanished earlier this month after a barge sank.

 

The Blytheville Courier News reported Friday that a body was spotted in the Mississippi River three miles north of Barfield, which is near a terminal where the vessel carrying steel coil sank about two weeks ago.

 

The body has been sent to the state’s crime lab for final identification, but investigator Robb Rounsavall says it’s one of the two victims – Juan Nieves and Nicolas Perez – since a wallet was found on the body.

 

The body’s identity hasn’t been released, because next of kin hasn’t been contacted and a confirmation hasn’t been made through an autopsy or coroner’s report.

 

 

POPLAR BLUFF WOMAN ARRESTED ON METH CHARGE

 

A Poplar Bluff woman is facing a felony meth charge following her arrest on Friday.

 

According to the authorities, 31 year old Etha M. Link was taken into custody Friday night on a felony charge of possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine.

 

Link is also facing charges of possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of under 35 grams of marijuana.

 

 

MAN ARRESTED IN BUTLER COUNTY ON FELONY DRUG CHARGE

 

Authorities arrested a Poplar Bluff man Sunday afternoon on a felony drug charge.

 

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, 54 year old Randall G. McAbee was taken into custody on a felony charge of possession of a controlled substance, methamphetamine. McAbee is also charged with misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.

 

 

THREE ARRESTED IN STODDARD COUNTY ON METH CHARGE

 

Three men were taken into custody over the weekend in Stoddard County on a meth charge.

 

According to the Highway Patrol, 36 year old Buddy L. Lacey and 31 year old Robert A. Greenup, both of Poplar Bluff, along with 29 year old Robert L. Clark, of Puxico, are each facing felony charges of possession of methamphetamine and unlawful use of drug paraphernalia.

 

The men were arrested shortly before 11 pm Saturday.

 

 

DONIPHAN MAN ARRESTED ON MULTIPLE FELONY CHARGES IN BUTLER COUNTY

 

A Doniphan man is facing multiple charges of possession of a controlled substance in connection with his arrest Friday afternoon in Butler County.

 

According to the Highway Patrol, 31 year old Kelly J. Kellas is facing felony charges of possession of a controlled substance for hydrocodone, oxycodone, and methamphetamine. Kellas was also charged with felony possession of drug paraphernalia and misdemeanor tampering with evidence.

 

 

NEBRASKA MAN WANTED IN ORGEGON COUNTY IN CUSTODY

 

A Nebraska man who stole a police vehicle last week has been captured in Oregon County.

 

Authorities say 26 year old Jeffery Wegener was taken into custody early Friday morning.

 

Officers had been looking for Wegener since he allegedly stole a squad truck outside an Oregon County convenience store and drove it into the Eleven Point River.

 

It was thought that Wegener had left Oregon County and was possibly in Ripley County, however, he was spotted and later arrested in the woods about 10 miles east of Alton on Highway 160.

 

 

FIVE SERIOUSLY INJURED IN SINGLE VEHICLE WRECK NEAR EAST PRAIRIE

 

Five people were seriously injured in a wreck Saturday evening near East Prairie.

 

According to the Highway Patrol, the wreck occurred when a vehicle driven by 45 year old Adle G. Clark, of East Prairie, ran off of Missouri Highway 102 and struck a tree.

 

Clark suffered serious injuries as did four children in the vehicle, ages 3 to 6. Only one of the children was reportedly wearing a safety device according to the Highway Patrol crash report.

 

 

COMMON CORE TO BE DISCUSSED BY MISSOURI LAWMAKERS

 

Some lawmakers hope to make Missouri the second state to drop new education benchmarks and write its own student performance standards.

 

Legislation scheduled for debate on the Senate floor would form a panel to develop goals to replace the Common Core State Standards. The bill previously passed the House.

 

Under the bill, workgroups composed of parents and educators would recommend standards for English, math, science and history to the State Board of Education in 2015. Those standards would then be implemented by the 2016-2017 academic year.

 

Earlier this year, Indiana became the first state to dump Common Core after initially adopting the standards. More than 40 other states have also adopted the benchmarks for reading, writing and math.

April 25, 2014

RIVER RADIO NEWS 042514

 

MURDER SUSPECT ARRESTED IN NORTHEAST ARKANSAS

 

A Texas murder suspect has been taken into custody in Northeast Arkansas.

 

According to authorities, 54 year old Danny Mitchell Cannon, from Clyde, Texas, was taken into custody Wednesday evening in Strawberry.

 

Cannon reportedly has a warrant for first degree felony murder for the shooting death of 51 year old Brenda Ruth Holland in Baird, Texas.

 

 

MAN KILLED IN CONFRONTATION WITH POLICE

 

Authorities say a Walnut Ridge police officer fatally shot a man after the man shot a woman and then pointed his gun at police.

 

Walnut Ridge Police Chief Richy Thatcher says the man intentionally crashed his vehicle into the woman’s car early Wednesday. Thatcher says the man then shot the woman with a handgun.

 

Two Walnut Ridge officers who responded ordered the man to drop his weapon. Thatcher says the man then shot himself in the side then turned with his gun facing the officers. One officer opened fire, killing the man.

 

The police chief says the woman was taken to a Memphis, Tennessee, hospital, where she is in stable condition.

 

The man has been identified as Elijah Waltman, of Delaplaine. Thatcher says the officers involved in the incident are on paid administrative leave.

 

 

NAYLOR MAN CHARGED WITH POSSESSION OF CHILD PORNOGRAPHY

 

A man facing a statutory rape charge is now facing child pornography charges.

 

According to the Daily American Republic, 25 year old Billy Joe Wertenberger, of Naylor, was arrested this week on 10 counts of possessing child pornography.

 

Wertenberger is already facing a statutory rape charge for an incident involving a 13 year old girl. The child pornography charges come from images allegedly found during the statutory rape investigation.

 

 

ARKANSAS PROSECUTOR OBJECTS TO CLEMENCY RECOMMENDATION

 

A prosecutor in Northeast Arkansas has filed an objection to a recent recommendation by the Arkansas Parole Board.

 

The board recommended that convicted killer Denver Mitchell be released from prison on executive clemency. Mitchell was convicted of first-degree murder by Greene County jurors for the 1990 slaying and beating of Willard Williamson in Paragould and was sentenced to life in prison.

 

Greene County Deputy Prosecuting Attorney Kimberly Dale has asked Arkansas governor Mike Beebe to deny the parole board’s recommendation.

 

 

ART FOR ANIMALS CLOSING RECEPTION IS TONIGHT

 

The Animal Welfare Alliance will be holding the closing reception for this year’s “Art for Animals” benefit tonight.

 

The free reception will be held from 5 to 7 pm at Artfully Framed in the Bluff Estates Shopping Center. Final bidding will take place on the art pieces tonight and there will also be prizes given out.

 

Proceeds from the event will go to the Animal Welfare Alliance. Pictures of the paintings up for auction are available online at facebook.com/artfullyframed.

 

 

35TH ANNUAL MERCHANTS SHOWCASE TO BE HELD SATURDAY

 

The 35th annual Merchant Showcase will be held tomorrow at Three Rivers College.

 

The Merchant Showcase gives local businesses and vendors an opportunity to showcase their services to the public. Participating businesses will have booths set up in the Bess Activity Center for giveaways, demonstrations, contests, and more.

 

There will also be the opportunity for visitors to win one of four cash giveaways. The Merchant Showcase will be held from 10 am to 3 pm on April 26th. Admission is $1. Children, five years old and younger get in for free.

 

 

CRIMINAL CODE OVERHAUL APPROVED BY MISSOURI LEGISLATORS

 

Missouri lawmakers gave final approval to the first comprehensive rewrite of the state’s criminal laws in decades.

 

The House and Senate voted Thursday to send the legislation to Governor Jay Nixon’s desk. The measure would create new classes of felonies and misdemeanors, and reorganize crimes to fit the new penalty structure.

 

It also reduces the punishment for people convicted of possessing less than 10 grams of marijuana on their first offense and lengthens prison sentences for criminals who sexually abuse children.

 

Nixon has previously expressed reservations that the bill would do too much at one time. The overhaul passed with enough votes in both chambers to override a potential veto. Because of the vote’s timing, Nixon would have to act before lawmakers adjourn in mid-May.

 

 

SENATE APPROVES COUNTY HEALTH REGISTRIES

 

County officials could compile lists of residents with health problems under a Missouri bill intended to identify people in need of help during disasters.

 

The bill given final approval Thursday by the Senate allows the creation of voluntary registries of people with “health-related ailments” who may need assistance in emergencies. The House passed the bill earlier, so it now goes to Governor Jay Nixon.

 

The identities of people on the list would be exempt from disclosure under Missouri’s open-records law. But an incident report would be made public if any of the people are involved in a disaster or emergency.

April 24, 2014

RIVER RADIO NEWS 042414

 

ASSAULT REPORTED AT NURSING CENTER

 

Authorities in Steele say that an assault was reported last week at an area nursing center.

 

According to the Steele Police Department, early April 14th Steele Police responded to the River Oaks Nursing Center in reference to a 911 call stating that two men entered the building, one being armed with a gun.

 

One nurse was reportedly assaulted and suffered a minor injury. A motive is unclear, but authorities say the suspects may have been after narcotics.

 

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the Steele Police Department.

 

 

FORMER TEACHER CONVICTED OF SEXUAL ASSAULT OF A STUDENT

 

A Poinsett County jury has convicted a former teacher on charges of first degree sexual assault and fourth degree sexual assault.

 

According to Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington, 40 year old Danny Shane Akers, of Trumann, was convicted of sexually assaulting a then 15 year old student and fathering her child.

 

Akers was sentenced to 25 years in the Arkansas Department of Corrections and a $25,000 fine.

 

 

MISSING MAN FOUND IN NEW MADRID

 

A Caraway man who went missing earlier this week has been found.

 

According to KAIT, 81 year old Donald E. Ashley was found safe in New Madrid.

 

A silver alert was issued for Ashley by the Caraway Police Department on Tuesday.

 

 

MODOT ADVISING MOTORISTS TO BE ON THE LOOKOUT FOR FARMING EQUIPMENT

 

The Missouri Department of Transportation wants motorists to be on the lookout for farm equipment.

 

Planting season is underway and tractors, trucks, and other farm equipment will be using and crossing state highways. Motorists are advised to slow down when they see farm equipment on the highway and to wait until it is safe before attempting to pass.

 

According to MoDOT, state roadways pass alongside more than 100,000 farms throughout the state.

 

 

HIGHWAY PATROL TO PARTICIPATE IN OPERATION LIFESAVER

 

The Missouri State Highway Patrol is joining with local volunteers to spread information on railroad safety.

 

According to Captain George Ridens, on April 28th and 29th, Troop E officers will be working with Missouri Operation Lifesaver volunteers in Butler and Scott counties to raise the awareness level for railroad crossing safety and trespass prevention.

 

Troopers will be part of safety teams that visit with motorists briefly in advance of certain railroad crossings. Team members will be reminding drivers about railroad safety tips as they approach crossings throughout the counties.

 

 

MISSOURI REDUCES ENERGY USE BY OVER 22 PERCENT

 

Governor Jay Nixon’s administration says it has exceeded a goal to reduce Missouri’s energy consumption.

 

Nixon signed an executive order in 2009 setting a target of a 2 percent annual reduction in state energy use for each of the next 10 years for state buildings under the direction of the Office of Administration.

 

The administration office says Missouri already has reduced its energy use by 22.5 percent, which it says equals an annualized decline of 4.45 percent.

 

The office says those figures include a greater than 16 percent reduction in electricity use since 2008 and a nearly 33 percent reduction in propane and natural gas use since that time.

 

 

BILL WOULD ALLOW SOME MOTORCYCLISTS TO FORGO WEARING HELMETS

 

The Missouri House has endorsed a bill that would allow motorcyclists over the age of 21 to forgo wearing helmets while travelling on the road.

 

Current law requires motorists to wear helmets or face a fine of up to $25 for each offense.

 

Supporters say adults should have the freedom to decide whether to wear a helmet and argue Missouri misses out on tourism because of the current law. Opponents say the helmet law protects riders during accidents and that the measure would cost the state in higher medical bills.

 

The measure given first-round approval Wednesday needs one more vote before moving to the Senate. Lawmakers adjourn May 16th.

 

 

SPENDING BILL SIGNED BY MISSOURI GOVERNOR

 

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon has signed a mid-year spending bill with funding for social services, education and a financially troubled St. Louis County school district.

 

The supplemental budget signed into law Wednesday moves $69 million to the state Medicaid program to offset a shortfall in Missouri’s settlement payments from tobacco companies. It also includes an extra $3 million to help low-income people pay utility bills, and $2 million to help the unaccredited Normandy School District.

 

The measure also provides additional funding for public schools and colleges through June 30 to make up for shortfalls in gambling and lottery revenues.

 

Nixon froze $22 million budgeted for schools and colleges earlier this month, saying lawmakers had not included enough money in the supplemental budget.

April 23, 2014

RIVER RADIO NEWS 042314

 

SILVER ALERT ISSUED FOR MISSING CARAWAY MAN

 

Authorities in Caraway, Arkansas, have requested activation of a Silver alert for an elderly man who went missing on Tuesday.

 

According to the Arkansas State Police, 81 year old Donald E. Ashley was last known to be at 307 Lynn Street in Caraway. Ashley is described as a white male, 5 feet 11 inches tall, weighing 200 pounds with brown eyes.

 

Authorities say he may be travelling in a 1998 White Ford Ranger with a black tool box in the back. Anyone with information about Ashley’s whereabouts should contact Caraway Police at 870-482-3434.

 

A picture of Ashley is available on the KWOC Facebook page.

 

 

FATALITY REPORTED IN JONESBORO FIRE

 

A fire at an apartment complex Tuesday has resulted in one death.

 

According to authorities, the fire was at Aspen Gardens in Jonesboro.

 

The identity of the person who died has not yet been made available.

 

 

TEENAGER IN CUSTODY FOR FIRING SHOTS IN CAPE

 

A teenager has been taken into custody in connection with a weekend shooting incident in Cape Girardeau.

 

Authorities say they were called to a location on South Frederick Street Saturday night in reference to shots being fired. Witnesses told officers that a gray vehicle had driven by and that a juvenile inside the vehicle had fired several shots.

 

Investigators located the vehicle and a 16 year old male who matched the description given by witnesses.

 

Officials say the teen has been turned over to juvenile authorities, who will decide what charges the boy will face.

 

 

ST. LOUIS MAN ARRESTED IN SCOTT COUNTY FOR DRIVING OVER 110 MPH

 

A St. Louis man was taken into custody Tuesday afternoon after allegedly driving over 110 miles per hour.

 

According to the Highway Patrol, 24 year old Devlin M. Gandy was arrested in Scott County on charges of speeding, 112 miles per hour in a 70 miles per hour zone and driving while revoked.

 

 

NEW MAYOR ELECTED FOR POPLAR BLUFF

 

Poplar Bluff has a new mayor.

 

Angela Pearson has been elected mayor of Poplar Bluff by the Poplar Bluff City Council. Councilman Ed DeGaris had previously held the spot.

 

In a post on her Facebook page, Pearson wrote, “My dreams for Poplar Bluff include prosperity for all, working together as a community, continued growth, revitalizing our downtown area and areas that have been left out in the past and much more.”

 

New council member Jack Rushin was chosen for Mayor Pro Tem. The positions of mayor and mayor pro tem are chosen each year by the city council.

 

 

EMERGENCY DISINFECTION TO BEGIN TODAY FOR WATER DISTRICT #2 IN DUNKLIN COUNTY

 

Water District #2 customers in Dunklin County are under a boil water order due to an emergency disinfection that is set to begin this afternoon.

 

According to KFVS, the disinfection comes after authorities found Chironomidae larvae in the water system and compromised water storage tanks. The report says that no known human illnesses are associated with exposure to the larvae.

 

The boil water order will remain in place until the water quality has been restored.

 

 

SENATE COMMITTEE SCALES BACK PLAN CONCERNING COLLEGE TUITIONS

 

A Missouri Senate committee has scaled back a state budget provision that sought to prohibit public colleges and universities from offering in-state tuition rates to students living in the country illegally.

 

The Senate Appropriations Committee’s plan would bar institutions from “knowingly” offer discounted tuition to such students. The committee resolved the final sticking points Tuesday in crafting its budget proposal for the next fiscal year.

 

Committee Chairman Kurt Schaefer, of Columbia, says universities don’t have the means to investigate whether students are lawful residents. The House included the overall ban in its budget proposal after a St. Louis Community College decided to offer cheaper tuition rates for those students.

 

The Senate language would bar colleges from actively recruiting students from other countries to attend Missouri schools at lower rates.

 

 

GOVERNOR NIXON SPEAKS ABOUT TAX CUT LEGISLATION

 

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon is raising new concerns that an income tax cut passed by the Legislature could have “cataclysmic” consequences for state revenues.

 

The Democratic governor said Tuesday that the bill could eliminate taxes on all income over $9,000, punching a $4.8 billion hole in the state budget.

 

Republican legislative leaders called Nixon’s assertion “ridiculous,” ”absurd” and “laughable.”

 

Nixon did not veto the bill Tuesday but has indicated he will do so.

 

House Majority Leader John Diehl said Tuesday that lawmakers will attempt to override the veto before their session ends May 16.

 

An override requires a two-thirds vote in both chambers. That means Republicans would have to vote in block and pick up the support of at least one House Democrat.

 

 

CANNABIS EXTRACT BILL GIVEN FIRST APPROVAL BY MISSOURI HOUSE

 

The Missouri House has endorsed legislation allowing use of a cannabis extract by people whose epilepsy is not relieved by other treatments.

 

The bill would permit use of “hemp extract” with little of the substance that makes marijuana users feel high and greater amounts of a chemical called cannabidiol, or CBD. Patients would need to have epilepsy that a neurologist has determined is not responding to at least three treatment options. Patients or their parents would need a state-issued registration card.

 

Growers would have to be nonprofit organizations and have a license from the Missouri Department of Agriculture.

 

House members gave the measure first-round approval Tuesday by voice vote. It needs another affirmative vote to move to the Senate.

 

April 22, 2014

RIVER RADIO NEWS 042214

 

CAPITAL MURDER TRIAL DELAYED UNTIL SEPTEMBER

 

The murder trial of a Jonesboro woman in the shooting death of her husband is being delayed until September.

 

The capital murder trial of 34 year old Michelle Despain was rescheduled from the first week of May until September 8th – but a lengthy investigative report of more than 3,000 pages led her attorneys to ask for the delay.

 

Despain has pleaded not guilty to being part of a plot in the August 24th, 2011, shooting death of Marc Despain inside the couple’s home.

 

Michelle Despain’s father and another man have pleaded guilty to first degree murder in the case and were sentenced to prison. A third man pleaded guilty to hindering apprehension and was also sentenced to prison.

 

 

AUTHORITIES SEARCHING FOR NEBRASKA MAN IN SOUTHEAST MISSOURI

 

Authorities in Southeast Missouri are searching for a Nebraska man who stole an Oregon County squad vehicle.

 

According to KFVS, 26 year old Jeffery Wegener allegedly took the vehicle Sunday night following an incident in Myrtle. The vehicle was reportedly driven into the Eleven Point River.

 

Wegener was last seen near the Ripley County line early Monday. Ripley County authorities are advising residents to alert police if they see Wegener and to also make sure your home and vehicles are locked.

 

 

STEELE TEENAGER ARRESTED ON FELONY CHARGE

 

A Steele teenager is facing a felony charge after her arrest on Sunday in Pemiscot County.

 

According to the Highway Patrol, 18 year old Adriana L. Nelson was taken into custody on a felony charge of possession of a controlled substance.

 

 

GAS LEAK REPORTED IN POPLAR BLUFF

 

A minor gasoline leak was reported yesterday in Poplar Bluff.

 

According to the Poplar Bluff Police Department, the leak was located on the north end of town in the Oak Grove/James Boulevard area.

 

The leak was found to be only in the sewer drain water. Multiple agencies, including the Department of Natural Resources and the Poplar Bluff Fire Department, were called on to fix the problem.

 

 

PRESCRIPTION DRUG TAKE BACK DAY IS THIS WEEKEND

 

The 8th National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is coming up this weekend.

 

The event will be held this Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm and multiple area law enforcement agencies will be participating.

 

The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day aims to provide a safe, convenient, and responsible means of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the general public about the potential for abuse of medications.

 

 

MOBILE OFFICE SCHEDULED FOR NEXT WEEK IN RIPLEY COUNTY

 

Staff members of U.S. Senator Roy Blunt will be hosting a Mobile Office next week in Ripley County.

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.

 

The mobile office will be held on Tuesday, April 29th from 10 am to 11 am at the Ripley County Courthouse in Doniphan.

 

 

STATE SENATOR SEEKS ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OPINION ON NULLIFICATION BILL

 

A Republican state senator wants to know the opinion of Missouri’s top law enforcement official on legislation that seeks to nullify some federal gun laws.

 

Senator Will Kraus, of Lee’s Summit, sent a letter to Attorney General Chris Koster’s office on Monday asking him to weigh in on the bill’s constitutionality. The measure would declare “null and void” past, present and future laws deemed to be infringements on gun rights.

 

A spokesman for Koster confirmed the office received the request, but didn’t comment further. The Democratic attorney general raised concerns about a similar bill last year that he said would have hurt cooperation among law enforcement agencies.

 

Both the House and Senate have passed the separate versions of the measure this year. Kraus voted in favor of the Senate bill.

 

 

CHANGES TO BRIGHT FLIGHT PROGRAM UNDER CONSIDERATION BY MISSOURI LAWMAKERS

 

Missouri lawmakers are debating an expansion of a college scholarship for top students that is designed to keep more of them in the state after graduation.

 

A proposal under consideration would add a forgivable loan component to the Bright Flight program. Each year a student works in Missouri after school would count toward one year of loan forgiveness. Leaving before the loan is repaid would require repaying the loan with interest.

 

Money for the new program was included in the House budget plan, but the Senate Appropriations Committee is scheduled this week to consider whether the funding should remain. Lawmakers have until May 9th to pass all budget bills.

 

Legislation to enact the loan program was passed by the House and debated in the Senate last week.

 

April 21, 2014

RIVER RADIO NEWS 042114

 

AUTHORITIES INVESTIGATE CHARLESTON MAN’S DEATH

 

Authorities in Charleston are investigating the death of an area man.

 

According to the Charleston Department of Public Safety, at about 3 pm on Friday, the agency began receiving 911 calls of shots fired on North Elm Street, near Mark Twain Park. Responding officers found a male gunshot victim inside a vehicle at the intersection of Elm and Lafayette Streets.

 

The victim, 44 year old Anthony Fisher, of Charleston, was taken to an area hospital where he later died.

 

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the Charleston DPS at 573-683-3737.

 

 

TWO PUXICO RESIDENTS ARRESTED FRIDAY NIGHT

 

Two Puxico residents were arrested Friday night on multiple felony charges.

 

According to the Highway Patrol, 32 year old Rebecca L. Burkman and 29 year old Dale E. Burkman, were each arrested on felony charges of possession of precursors with intent to distribute, tampering with physical evidence, and unlawful use of drug paraphernalia.

 

 

SIKESTON MAN FACING COCAINE CHARGE

 

A Sikeston man was arrested Friday night on felony drug charges for cocaine and marijuana.

 

According to an arrest report from the Missouri State Highway Patrol, 27 year old Christopher J. Hicks-Berry was arrested in Mississippi County on felony charges of resisting arrest by fleeing, possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, and possession of cocaine with intent to distribute.

 

He was also charged with driving while suspended, speeding, and failure to drive on the right half of the roadway.

 

 

ILLINOIS MAN ARRESTED IN WAYNE COUNTY ON MULTIPLE DRUG RELATED CHARGES

 

An Illinois man was taken into custody over the weekend in Wayne County on multiple drug related charges.

 

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, 24 year old Joseph J. Prislin, of Columbia, Illinois, was arrested shortly after 2 pm Saturday afternoon.

 

Prislin is facing felony charges of possession of a controlled substance, Xanax and possession of a controlled substance, Hydrocodone.

 

He has also been charged with misdemeanor boating while intoxicated, possession of marijuana, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

 

 

CURFEW IMPLEMENTED FOR WEST END OF CHARLESTON

 

Recent violence has caused Charleston officials to implement a curfew.

 

According to a post made Saturday on the Charleston Department of Public Safety Facebook page, the city council has made an emergency declaration implementing a curfew for the west end of Charleston from 11 pm until 6 am.

 

 

PEPSI FRANCHISE TO BUILD CUSTOMER SERVICE CENTER IN CAPE GIRARDEAU

 

A Pepsi franchise is planning to build a new customer service center in Cape Girardeau that could create 74 jobs.

 

The Missouri Department of Economic Development said Friday that Pepsi MidAmerica would complete the $3.1 million project.

 

The state is offering incentives of up to $1.3 million through community development block grants and the enhanced enterprise zone program.

 

 

PAVEMENT REPAIRS SET FOR THIS WEEK ON I-55 IN PEMISCOT COUNTY

 

Northbound  I-55 in Pemiscot County will be reduced this week as Missouri Department of Transportation crews perform pavement repairs.

 

The work zone is located between mile markers 17.4 and 18.4.

 

Weather permitting, work will take place today through Wednesday, from 6:30 am to 5 pm each day.

 

 

INTERSTATE 155 TO BE REDUCED THIS WEEK FOR PAVEMENT REPAIRS

 

Northbound I-155 in Pemiscot County will be reduced to one lane this week for pavement repairs.

 

According to the Missouri Department of Transportation, work is scheduled to take place from 6:30 am to 5 pm daily through Wednesday.

 

The work zone will be located between the 5.2 mile marker and the 6.2 mile marker.

 

 

PRESCHOOL PROPOSAL PASSED BY MISSOURI HOUSE

 

Missouri lawmakers are moving to put more support in preschool and early childhood programs.

 

House members this past week passed legislation that would allow public schools to begin counting some children attending early childhood education programs toward the basic state funding they receive. The measure is heading to the Senate where lawmakers have debated their own proposal.

 

Under the House measure, districts could count preschool students eligible for free and reduced price lunch. Unaccredited districts would have the option next school year, and those that are provisionally accredited could start in 2015-2016.

 

Accredited districts would need to wait until Missouri’s school formula is fully funded.

 

Supporters say preschool can prevent children from falling behind early.

 

 

ARKANSAS UNEMPLOYMENT RATE UNDER 7 PERCENT FOR THE FIRST TIME IN OVER 5 YEARS

 

State officials say Arkansas’ unemployment rate has dropped below 7 percent for the first time in more than five years.

 

The Arkansas Department of Workforce Services says the state’s unemployment rate dropped to 6.9 percent in March, down from 7.1 percent in February. Agency spokeswoman Becky Heflin says it’s the first time Arkansas’ jobless rate has been below 7 percent since January 2009.

 

All major industry sectors posted gains in March. Jobs in leisure and hospitality rose by 3,200, while employment in trade, transportation and utilities increased by 3,000.

 

Construction added 1,900 jobs and government employment increased by 1,200.

 

The national unemployment rate was 6.7 percent in March.

 

April 18, 2014

 

 

 

ONE KILLED IN SINGLE VEHICLE WRECK IN PEMISCOT COUNTY

A Hayti man has died following a single vehicle wreck Thursday afternoon in Pemiscot County.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, 59 year old Robert K. Lenox, was driving a vehicle on Route J, near Hayti, when he ran off the side of the road and hit a concrete culvert.

Lenox was later pronounced dead at an area hospital.

 

THREE FACING MURDER CHARGE IN CONNECTION TO PEMISCOT COUNTY MAN’S DEATH

Three men are facing a murder charge for the death of 60 year old Roy Jerrolds.

According to KFVS, 28 year old Gunner Lee Pind and 17 year old Kevin Slayton, both of Portageville, along with 18 year old Cody LeGrand, of Hayward, have each been charged with first degree murder, armed criminal action, first degree burglary, and second degree arson.

On April 10th, Jerrolds was found dead with gunshot wounds inside a burning home in Pemiscot County.

 

POPLAR BLUFF POLICE WARNING OF POSSIBLE FRAUD

The Poplar Bluff Police Department has put out a fraud alert after receiving reports of a phone scam.

Captain David Sutton, with the Police Department, tells us that they has received reports of a scam in which the suspect called intended victims, told them they had unpaid parking tickets, and asked for payment over the phone.

The suspect addressed the victim by name, and threatened to send Police Officers to arrest the victim if they refused. The suspect also apparently has the ability to make caller ID display a false number.

Captain Sutton says that the Police Department never solicits fine payments by phone, mail, email, or fax. Anyone who receives a call like this is advised to hang up and alert law enforcement.

TWO ARRESTED IN BUTLER COUNTY ON DRUG CHARGE

Two people were arrested Thursday afternoon in Butler County on felony drug related charges.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, 37 year old Basil W. Foster, of Ellsinore, and 25 year old Heather D. Jarrell, of Dexter, were each arrested on felony charges of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute – methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.

 

RIBBON CUTTING TO BE HELD FOR NEW THREE RIVERS CENTER IN KENNETT

Three Rivers College has scheduled a ribbon cutting ceremony for the new location of its center in Kennett.

The ceremony will be held on Thursday, April 24th at 11 am at the new building on Great West Drive. Refreshments will be served at the open house event following the ceremony.

The new facility includes three master classrooms, a dedicated ITV classroom, two full computer labs, and two state-of-the-art science labs in addition to a dedicated nursing classroom and skills lab.

MOBILE OFFICE SCHEDULED FOR THIS MONTH IN ALTON

U.S. Senator Roy Blunt’s staff will host a Mobile Office this month in Oregon County.

The Mobile Office will be held on Tuesday, April 29th from 1 pm to 2 pm at the Oregon County Courthouse in Alton.

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.

RURAL MAINSTREET INDEX UP OVER LAST MONTH

The overall index for an economic survey of bankers in 10 Midwestern and Plains states has risen for a second consecutive month, suggesting more growth in the months ahead.

The Rural Mainstreet Index hit 53.2 in April, compared with 50.1 in March.

The survey indexes range from 0 to 100, with 50 representing growth neutral. A score above 50 suggests growth in the months ahead.

Creighton University economist Ernie Goss oversees the survey, and he says the results indicate that areas highly dependent on agriculture and energy are experiencing slower growth than they were a year ago. But he says recent increases in commodity prices should boost the economy in the months ahead.

Bankers from 10 states, including Missouri and Illinois, were surveyed.

EARLY VOTING BILL APPROVED BY MISSOURI HOUSE

Missouri House members have approved a pair of measures allowing early voting, though some lawmakers contend it would be too limited.

On Thursday, the House approved a constitutional amendment and companion legislation, each by a vote of 126-24. The measures would allow early voting for nine days, with polls to be open from 8 am to 5 pm on weekdays and four hours on Saturday. There would be no early voting on Sunday.

An initiative petition also has been proposed that could appear on this fall’s ballot. It would allow early voting for six weeks, including weekends for the final 21 days before an election.

Some Democratic opponents say the House proposal is too limited and called it a distraction from the initiative petition.

MISSOURI LAWMAKERS PASS ELECTRONIC CIGARETTES BILLS

The Missouri House and Senate have each passed bills that would prevent people younger than 18 from purchasing electronic cigarettes.

But the legislation passed on Thursday would also exempt those products from the state’s tobacco taxes, which opponents say would allow the nicotine products to be sold with fewer restrictions.

Supporters say taxing the products would prevent the measure from passing the Republican-led Legislature. They argued that failing to pass a bill would mean children could continue buying the e-cigarettes.

E-cigarettes are battery-powered devices used to heat a liquid nicotine solution and create vapor that is inhaled.

The House voted 129 to 19 to send its bill to the Senate, where senators voted 27 to 4 in favor of their version. Both chambers must pass identical legislation by mid-May.

 

April 17, 2014

 

 

 

POPLAR BLUFF MAN ARRESTED ON MULTIPLE DRUG CHARGES

A Poplar Bluff man is facing multiple drug related felonies along with a firearm charge following his arrest Wednesday night.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, 31 year old Dale D. Fry was taken into custody shortly before 8 pm in Wayne County.

Fry is facing felony charges of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, possession of a controlled substance – hydrocodone, possession of a controlled substance – methamphetamine, and unlawful use of drug paraphernalia.

Fry is also facing a charge of unlawful possession of a firearm.

 

DOCTOR ACCUSED OF TAKING NUDE PHOTOS OF PATIENTS ARRESTED

A Paragould doctor has been arrested on charges of video voyeurism.

According to KAIT, 68 year old Paul Becton Jr., of Paragould, was taken into custody Wednesday in Newport.

A warrant was issued earlier this week for Becton’s arrest.

Authorities reportedly found numerous pictures of nude women on a cell phone that was taken from Becton during a search.

The warrant says that the pictures appeared to have been taken in a medical office during examinations. The search was prompted after a woman told police that she became suspicious after an examination that she may have been photographed.

 

BICYCLE TRAIL NEAR POPLAR BLUFF CLOSED TO TARGET SHOOTING

A bicycle trail near Poplar Bluff has been closed to all recreational shooting and target practice.

According to the Mark Twain National Forrest, the order is for the Wolf Creek Bicycle Trail area north of Poplar Bluff and is effective immediately to address public safety concerns.

A map of the affected area is available at the Poplar Bluff Ranger District Office on Maud Street.

 

ALLEY SPRING TO HOST JUNIOR RANGER DAY NEXT MONTH

Students will have a chance to learn more about nature at the National Park Service’s Junior Ranger Day on May 9th.

Local schools are invited to bring their 2nd through 5th graders to the free event at Alley Spring on Friday, May 9th starting at 10:00 am. The general public is also invited.

Schools and large groups should RSVP by calling Bill O’Donnell at 573-323-8093.

MESSIAH CONCERT TO BE HELD THIS WEEKEND AT TINNIN FINE ARTS CENTER

Audience members will get to participate in a sing along concert this weekend at the Tinnin Fine Arts Center.

The performance of Handel’s “Messiah” will feature soloists from Kennett, Poplar Bluff, and Williamsville. Audience members will be able to purchase a score and participate along with the music.

“Messiah” is one of the most famous and most frequently performed pieces of choral music in the world and is best known for its “Hallelujah” chorus.

The performance will begin at 7 pm on Saturday, April 19th.

 

ARREST MADE IN NEW MADRID COUNTY AS A PART OF ICE ROUND UP

Immigration and Customs Enforcement has arrested 24 men in Missouri and Illinois for what officials call “egregious” immigration violations, including individuals who entered the country illegally and committed crimes.

The arrests, made in a five-day roundup last week, were announced Tuesday. Arrests were made in New Madrid and St. Charles Counties in Missouri along with four counties in Illinois.

ICE says 15 of those arrested were criminals with convictions that include sexual misconduct, felonious restraint and other charges. Others arrested were fugitives with outstanding deportation orders.

ICE says 14 of the suspects are from Mexico, nine from Guatemala and one from India. An immigration judge will determine whether the suspects should be deported.

GOVERNOR NIXON BLASTS TAX CUT BILL

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon is describing a tax-cut bill passed by the Legislature as a “reckless fiscal experiment.”

The Democratic governor indicated Wednesday that he likely will veto the income tax cut, just as he did a similar bill passed last year by the Republican-led Legislature.

Nixon convened a news conference to denounce the legislation a mere hour after the House gave it final approval on a 104 to 48 vote.

The legislation would gradually cut Missouri’s top individual income tax rate and phase in a new deduction for people who report business income on personal tax returns. The tax cuts would begin in 2017, but only if state revenues keep rising.

Nixon says the tax cuts would “drastically slash the income of our state” and harm education funding.

RENEWAL OF DRUG BENEFIT ENDORSED BY MISSOURI SENATE

The Missouri Senate has endorsed legislation to renew an expiring prescription drug benefit for over 200,000 low-income and disabled seniors.

The Missouri Rx Program is scheduled to expire in August, but the measure endorsed on Wednesday would extend the benefit until 2017.

State officials estimate more than 9 million prescription drug claims will be filed for 230,000 Missourians during the current budget year. Governor Jay Nixon has called on lawmakers to renew the program.

The bill would also allow doctors to write epinephrine prescriptions to some locations, including restaurants and amusement parks. Those places could then keep an emergency supply of the drug that treats severe allergic reactions.

It needs one more vote before moving to the House.