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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.

 

April 16, 2014

 

 

 

KELSO MAN ARRESTED ON STATUTORY RAPE AND CHILD MOLESTATION CHARGE

A Kelso man is in custody on sexual related charges.

According to the Scott County Sheriff’s Office, 22 year old Justin A. Williams was arrested on Monday on charges of statutory rape and child molestation.

Scott County Sheriff Rick Walter says that his office received a call Monday afternoon reporting that Williams was molesting a young female at a residence in Kelso. Williams left the residence before officers could arrive; however he was found and taken into custody a short time later.

When questioned by a detective, Williams reportedly confessed to acts of unlawful behavior with a 6 year old female. His bond was set at $50,000.

 

WARRANT ISSUED FOR ARREST OF PARAGOULD DOCTOR ON VIDEO VOYEURISM CHARGES

A warrant has been issued for the arrest of a Paragould OB/GYN who is accused of taking nude photos of a patient during a medical exam without her knowledge, consent or approval.

According to Prosecuting Attorney Scott Ellington, the warrant was issued for 68 year old Dr. Paul Becton Jr. on five counts of video voyeurism. 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.

 

BUSINESSES PLEDGES $50,000 TOWARDS THREE RIVERS ACTIVITY CENTER

A $50,000 pledge has been finalized to go to the Three Rivers Activity Center project.

Leaders from the Three Rivers Endowment Trust and First Missouri State Bank recently met to finalize the five-year pledge for the activity center, which will be a state-of-the-art athletics center for the Three Rivers Raider and Lady Raider basketball teams.

 

FIVE INJURED, ONE SERIOUSLY, IN REYNOLDS COUNTY WRECK

One person has serious injuries and four others were also injured in a two vehicle wreck Tuesday in Reynolds County.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the wreck occurred on Missouri Highway 21 in Centerville when a vehicle driven by 72 year old Wanda Atkins, of Centerville, allegedly crossed into the oncoming lane and hit another vehicle.

Atkins suffered moderate injuries, while a passenger in her vehicle, 81 year old Kenneth Atkins, was seriously injured. Three people in the other vehicle suffered minor injuries.

 

CAPE GIRARDEAU MAN ARRESTED IN CONNECTION TO ILLINOIS SHOOTING

A Cape Girardeau man is facing charges in connection to a shooting incident in Illinois.

According to the Carbondale, Illinois Police Department, 26 year old Darrion D. Jake has been charged with aggravated battery with a firearm, aggravated discharge of a firearm, and mob action.

The arrest is in connection to an incident last week where a victim was shot in the abdomen. The incident is still under investigation.

 

10 YEAR OLD WORLD SERIES TO BE PLAYED IN JONESBORO IN 2015

The Cal Ripken 10-year-old World Series and Jonesboro city officials have finalized plans for Jonesboro to host the 2015 series.

Babe Ruth League Commissioner Robert Faherty Jr. and Babe Ruth/Cal Ripken North Arkansas District Commissioner Gary Hoyt signed a contract Monday to bring nine regional winning teams and an all-star team from Jonesboro to play in the World Series at Joe Mack Campbell Park in August 2015.

Jonesboro’s Advertising and Promotion Commission provided the tournament guarantee fee of $45,000 that is to be used for costs associated with the World Series such as travel and lodging expenses for each team.

The World Series will bring about 130 players and their families to Jonesboro – potentially thousands of people that city officials say will provide a boost to the city’s economy.

 

SUPREME COURT RULING GIVES GREATER LEGAL PROTECTIONS TO INJURED WORKERS

The Missouri Supreme Court has overturned 30 years of precedent with a ruling that gives greater legal protections to injured workers who are fired from their jobs.

In a 5 to 2 decision, the Supreme Court ruled Tuesday that employees no longer have to prove that workers’ compensation claims were the exclusive factor for their dismissal in order to win lawsuits claiming retaliation.

Instead, the court said employees must show only that workers’ compensation claims were a contributing factor in their subsequent dismissal from their job.

State law does not explicitly set forth a standard of proof in such lawsuits, but the exclusive cause standard had been adopted by the state Supreme Court in 1984. Since then, all of the judges on the Supreme Court have changed.

 

NUMBER OF JOBS AND UNEMPLOYMENT RATE BOTH GO UP IN MISSOURI

Missouri’s unemployment rate increased in March, though the size of payrolls also grew.

The Department of Economic Development reported Tuesday that the jobless rate grew to 6.7 percent from 6.4 percent last month. Employers added a net of 3,500 jobs in March.

Top gainers were the construction and education and health services. Construction jobs grew by 2,000 and education and health services grew by 1,600. On the other hand, the leisure and hospitality sector declined by 1,900 jobs.

Missouri’s civilian labor force of about 3 million people grew by 8,450 during March. The labor force counts people with jobs and those who are on unemployment but looking for work.

 

April 14, 2014

 

 

 

THREE REPORTED DEAD IN SINGLE VEHICLE WRECK IN PEMISCOT COUNTY

Three men are dead following a single vehicle wreck Saturday in Pemiscot County.

According to the Highway Patrol, the wreck occurred on Highway B at Homestown when a vehicle driven by 30 year old David M. Six, of Bragg City, ran off the side of the road, struck a culvert, and overturned.

Six, along with passengers 29 year old Jason L. Phillips, of Caruthersville, and 57 year old David M. Six, of Portageville were ejected from the vehicle. Two of the men were pronounced dead at the scene, while the third was pronounced dead at an area hospital.

 

AREA BUSINESS PLEDGES $100,000 TO THREE RIVERS ENDOWMENT TRUST

Leaders from the Three Rivers Endowment trust and Southern Bank recently met to finalize a five year, $100,000 pledge.

Officials from Three Rivers College say that half of the pledge will go to the Humanities and Social Science Classroom Building that is currently under construction at the Poplar Bluff TRC campus.

The other half will go to the area of greatest need.

 

FIRE LEADS TO HOMICIDE INVESTIGATION IN PEMISCOT COUNTY

A homicide investigation is under way after one man was found dead last week.

According to authorities, 60 year old Roy Jerrolds was found dead in a Pemiscot County home that was on fire. He had reportedly been shot.

An autopsy was performed on Friday.

 

MAN ARRESTED IN CARTER COUNTY ON METH CHARGE

A Birch Tree man is facing drug related charges after his arrest Saturday afternoon in Carter County.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, 45 year old Sean M. Felt was arrested at around 4 pm Saturday on felony charges of possession of methamphetamine and possession of drug paraphernalia.

 

ONE ARRESTED ON METH AND RESISTING ARREST CHARGES IN BUTLER COUNTY

Authorities arrested a Poplar Bluff man over the weekend on multiple felony charges.

According to the Highway Patrol, 31 year old Edward A. Goodwin is facing felony charges of possession of a controlled substance – methamphetamine and resisting arrest.

Goodwin is also facing charges of possession of marijuana and driving while suspended.

THREAT FOUND IN TWIN RIVERS HIGH SCHOOL BATHROOM

Officials at Twin Rivers High School reportedly found a threat in a school bathroom last week.

According to the Daily American Republic, the threat to “shoot everybody on 4-11” was discovered Thursday on a bathroom stall.

A student confessed to writing the threat and was suspended. A school official said the student was upset and remorseful.

TOMORROW IS TAX DEADLINE DAY

April 15th is the deadline to file state tax returns and the Missouri Department of Revenue has released a few tips for those who have waited to the last minute.

The Department of Revenue advises everyone to file electronically if possible. If you are not going to be able to meet the April 15th deadline, you might be able to file for an extension.

Anyone who receives an extension to file their federal income tax returns will automatically be granted an extension to file the Missouri income tax return. However filing an extension does not extend the time to pay taxes that are due.

If you have any questions, call 573-751-3505 from 8 am to 5 pm.

ADDITIONAL PENALTIES FOR CHILD CRIMES INCLUDED IN CRIMINAL CODE BILL

Legislation to reorganize Missouri’s criminal laws also would give longer prison stints to people who sexually abuse or abandon children.

Under the bill, incest would carry additional jail time in child sex crimes. Parents who leave their children without proper care could also spend a decade more in jail if a child dies or is seriously injured.

The main focus of the legislation is the creation of additional classes of felonies and misdemeanors. But a child advocate says the increased punishments for crimes against children will have an impact on their lives.

The House and Senate passed the criminal code overhaul this week and must work out differences to pass an identical bill by May 16, when the session adjourns.

 

MULTIPLE VOTING PROPOSALS COULD BE PUT BEFORE MISSOURI VOTERS

Missouri lawmakers are advancing an early voting measure that could overlap with an initiative petition tackling the issue.

The competing proposals set up a scenario in which Missouri voters could endorse two early voting periods but see only one become law. Missouri law states that if conflicting constitutional amendments are approved at the same time, the measure that gets the largest affirmative vote takes effect.

The initiative petition would allow early voting for six weeks and require officials to accommodate early voting on Saturday and Sunday for the final 21 days before federal or state elections. The proposal in the Legislature calls for nine days of early voting and depends upon lawmakers approving funding.

 

 

TAX CUTS APPROVED BY SENATE AND HOUSE COMMITTEES

Missouri’s Republican lawmakers are advancing a pair of tax cut proposals for potential debate in the coming weeks.

A House committee on Thursday endorsed legislation already passed by the Senate that would cut income tax rates for individuals and some business owners. That proposal is projected by legislative researchers to reduce state revenues by $620 million annually when fully phased in.

Also Thursday, a Senate committee changed and endorsed a tax cut bill that previously passed the House. As revised, that plan would cut income taxes only for businesses, not individuals. Its cost is estimated at about half the amount as the other bill.

Committee approval of the bills means they could soon be considered by the full House and Senate.

 

APRIL 11, 2014

 

 

 

SEARCH ENDED FOR MISSING MEN
A search for two men who have been missing since a barge overturned earlier this week has been called off.

Officials announced Thursday that the search has been suspended. Juan Nieves and Nicolas Perez have been missing since Tuesday after falling into the Mississippi River near Blytheville.

 
35TH ANNUAL MERCHANT SHOWCASE SCHEDULED FOR APRIL 26TH
The 35th annual Merchant Showcase will be held on April 26th 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 Gym 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.

 
TEACHER CITED WITH MISDEMEANOR SECOND DEGREE ASSAULT IN NORTHEAST ARKANSAS
A Jonesboro teacher has been cited with misdemeanor second degree assault after allegedly dragging a 9 year old student to class by the ankles.

According to KAIT, 59 year old Linda Stephens has been placed on administrative leave following the incident on March 31st at the Microsociety Magnet School.

According to the report, the special needs student had been refusing to go to class and had fallen in the school’s hall. Stephens then allegedly grabbed the student’s legs and pulled him to the classroom.

 
GOLF TOURNAMENT TO BE HELD TO RAISE MONEY FOR THE POPLAR BLUFF PUBLIC SCHOOL FOUNDATION
The Poplar Bluff Public School Foundation is sponsoring the annual Four Person Scramble Golf Classic in early May.

The tournament will be held Friday, May 2nd at the Ozark Ridge Golf Course. Proceeds from the tournament will go toward the foundation scholarship fund and other educational opportunities.

Teams and hole sponsors are needed, according to Poplar Bluff school superintendent Chris Hon. Lunch and evening meals will also be provided.

The tournament will be limited to the first 20 teams to enter. For more information, call the Poplar Bluff Superintendent office at 785-7751.

 
POPLAR BLUFF MAN ARRESTED ON METH AND MARIJUANA CHARGE
A Poplar Bluff man is facing drug charges following his arrest Wednesday night.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, 47 year old Craig E. Lee was arrested shortly after 10 pm Friday in Butler County on charges of possession of less than 35 grams of marijuana, felony possession of a controlled substance – methamphetamine, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

 
MACHINERY TAKEN FROM JONESBORO BUSINESS
Jonesboro police are looking for more information on a piece of machinery that was reportedly stolen from an area business.

According to authorities, a 2006 Caterpillar skid steer was taken from CWC Mechanical. A portion of a chain link fence was knocked down as the machinery was taken.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call 870-935-5657.

 
BILL WOULD LIMIT DISCIPLINE FOR TOY GUNS
Missouri students could use food, pencils or their hands to imitate a gun without penalty under legislation endorsed by the state House.

The bill advanced Wednesday would shield students from discipline of fines for “simulating a weapon while playing.”

Sponsoring Republican Representative Mike Kelley, of Lamar, says he was motivated by the Maryland case of a Baltimore second-grader suspended last year for chewing a Pop-Tart into the shape of a gun.

Opponents say the legislation could allow some students to encourage violence among their peers.

The measure would allow students to be disciplined for causing bodily harm, disrupting a learning environment or creating a serious threat. It needs one more vote before moving to the Senate.

 
EXPANSION OF SELF DEFENSE LAW APPROVED BY MISSOURI HOUSE
The Missouri House has approved legislation expanding a self-defense law against home intruders.

A so-called “castle doctrine” law approved in 2007 gives Missourians a right to defend themselves and their property. The law says that people can use deadly force to stop an intruder in a home or vehicle. There is no duty to retreat if someone enters illegally.

The measure passed by the House with a 110 to 39 vote on Thursday would extend that right to people on a property with the owner’s consent. Current law applies only to the owner or tenant of a location.

The legislation now heads to the Senate.

 
GOVERNOR NIXON WITHHOLDING FUNDS FROM EDUCATION BUDGET
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is withholding funds from the current fiscal year’s education budget because he says lawmakers didn’t approve enough money in their mid-year spending plan.

Nixon requested $44 million in January to make up for declining revenue in gambling and lottery money. But in the legislation passed this week, lawmakers only approved half that amount, saying they didn’t know if all the money would be necessary.

As a result, Nixon said Thursday he is restricting $6.4 million in spending divided equally between community colleges and four-year universities, plus $15.6 million for K-12 schools. He is also calling on lawmakers to put additional money in next year’s budget to make up for the shortfall.

The current fiscal year started last July and ends on June 30.

 

APRIL 10, 2014

17 ARRESTED DURING SIKESTON WARRANT ROUND UP
Seventeen people were taken into custody Wednesday morning during a warrant round up.

According to the Sikeston Department of Public Safety, around 32 persons were recently indicted for mostly drug offenses and a few for property crimes and crimes against people.

During the operation yesterday morning, several teams of officers began seeking those wanted subjects; and by 10 am, 17 had been arrested.

Travis D. Williams (32 of Sikeston) – 3 COUNTS SALE CONT SUB – $50,000.00 CASH

Tyrone White (50 of Sikeston) – 2 COUNTS SALE CONT SUB PUBLIC HOUSING – $15,000.00 C/S

Angela Eckles (45 of Sikeston) – 3 COUNTS SALE NEAR SCHOOL- $35,000.00 C/S

Eric Coffer (28 of Sikeston) -SALE OF CONT SUB- $50,000.00

Katlyn Carr (18 of Sikeston) -SALE OF CONT SUB $15,000.00

Joseph Cannon (34 of Sikeston) -SALE OF CONT SUB – $50,000.00

Lacy Brown (33 of Sikeston) -SALE OF CONT SUB $5,000.00

Donald Milloway (49 of Sikeston) – BURGLARY/STEALING $15,000.00 C/S

Chelsie Trapp (25 of Sikeston) -2 COUNTS SALE CONT SUB $15,000.00 C/S

Morgan Stone (19 or Sikeston) -POSS CONT SUB/POSS DRUG PARAPHERNALIA $10,000.00 C/S

Roderick Randell (30 of Sikeston) – 3 COUNTS SALE CONT SUB $25,000.00 C/S

Isaac Patterson (36 of Sikeston) -2 COUNTS SALE CONT SUB $50,000.00 C/S

Willie Murphy (47 of Sikeston) – SALE CONT SUB NEAR SCHOOL $35,000.00 C/S

Tracey D. Moore (45 of Sikeston) – POSS WITH INTENT $15,000.00 C/S

Dario Lewis (22 of Sikeston) – SALE CONT SUB $50,000.00 C/S

Julius Jackson (33 of Sikeston) -2 COUNTS SALE CONT SUB $35,000.00 C/S

Darren Beasley (36 of Sikeston) -SALE CONT SUB $50,000.00 C/S
AUTHORITIES SEARCHING FOR MAN MISSING SINCE SUNDAY
Authorities are searching for a man in Madison County who is missing.

According to KFVS, 46 year old Kent Franklin has been missing since Sunday. Franklin is a white male, five foot, 11 inches tall, with brown hair and hazel eyes. He weighs 186 pounds. Authorities say that foul play is not suspected.

Anyone with information on Franklin’s whereabouts is asked to call 573-783-2234.
EXECUTION DATE SET FOR MAN CONVICTED IN CAPE GIRARDEAU COUNTY MURDER
The Missouri Supreme Court on Wednesday set a May execution date for convicted killer Russell Bucklew, continuing a trend of scheduling one execution per month.

Bucklew is set to die by injection at 12:01 a.m. May 21 for killing a man in Cape Girardeau County in 1996.

Bucklew’s attorney, John William Simon, says he will continue efforts in the courts to halt the execution, and will seek clemency from Governor Jay Nixon.

Bucklew was convicted in the fatal shooting of Michael Sanders, a romantic rival, then abducting and raping a woman.

Missouri has executed five men since November – one each month through March. William Rousan is scheduled to be put to death April 23rd for killing a St. Francois County couple in 1993.
CAREER EXPO TO BE HELD TODAY IN MALDEN
A career expo will be held today in Malden by Three Rivers College.

Representatives from local employers will be on hand to talk about the opportunities available to area residents.

The expo will also offer area residents the opportunity to talk with representatives of Three Rivers’ career education programs about the benefits and career opportunities offered at Three Rivers.

The career expo will be held at the Malden Community Center from 4 to 6:30 pm. For more information, call 573-276-3529.
HIGHWAY PATROL TO STEP UP DRUNK DRIVING ENFORCEMENT FOR PROM AND GRADUATION SEASON
With many area schools celebrating prom and graduation over the next month and a half, the Missouri State Highway Patrol will be stepping up enforcement to stop underage drinking.

From May 1st through May 12th, Troop E officers will be joining other Missouri law enforcement agencies for a youth alcohol mobilization. During this period, officers will be stepping up enforcement efforts with a goal of removing impaired drivers from Missouri highways.

As prom and graduation season is ongoing, Missouri law enforcement want to make sure that the state’s youth are celebrating safe and sober.
SENATE PANEL HEARS TESTIMONY ON DISCRIMINATION PROTECTIONS BASED ON SEXUAL ORIENTATION
Missouri lawmakers are hearing the pros and cons of whether it makes good business sense to grant discrimination protections based on sexual orientation.

A Senate committee heard public testimony Wednesday on legislation adding “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” to a list of outlawed reasons for discrimination that already includes such characteristics as race, religion and disabilities.

Supporters included lobbyists for Monsanto and several Democratic officeholders, who said such policies can help businesses attract the best-qualified employees.

Opponents included lobbyists for two of Missouri’s leading business associations, as well as Catholic and Baptist organizations. They said the legislation could subject businesses to a new flurry of lawsuits that may lack merit.
DENTAL COVERAGE MAY BE RESTORED FOR MISSOURI MEDICAID RECIPIENTS
Missouri lawmakers appear likely to restore dental coverage for hundreds of thousands of adult Medicaid recipients, nearly a decade after it was eliminated.

The Senate Appropriations Committee agreed Wednesday to include an additional $48 million of federal and state money in next year’s Medicaid budget for dental care. The House previously approved the same amount, although there are differences between the two chambers on exactly how that would be spent.

Missouri lawmakers eliminated dental coverage for adult Medicaid recipients under a 2005 law that also made other cuts to the program.

More than 300,000 adult Medicaid recipients could benefit from the proposed restoration of dental care.

Children already receive dental coverage under Missouri’s Medicaid program.

Some of the money in the Senate plan would increase Medicaid rates paid to dentists.
PIPE REPLACEMENT TODAY IN NEW MADRID COUNTY
Highway 162 in New Madrid County will be closed today so Missouri Department of Transportation crews can replace a pipe under roadway.

The work zone will be located located between Highway 153 and County Road 280.

Work is scheduled to be performed today from 8 am to 2 pm.

 

APRIL 9, 2014

POPLAR BLUFF CITY COUNCIL TO HAVE THREE NEW MEMBERS
There will be three new members of the Poplar Bluff City Council.

According to the Butler County Clerk’s website, both Jack Rushin and David Johnson were elected to the two at large seats in the Poplar Bluff City Council over Ron Black and incumbent Susan McVey. The other at large seat had been occupied by Loyd Matthews, who passed away in January.

For the Ward 5 seat, Peter Tinsley defeated incumbent Robert Louis Smith by 27 votes.

In other contested city races in Butler County, Glen Sedrick was elected Qulin mayor and Cheryl Johnson-Carter was elected as Alderman for Ward 1 in Qulin.
POPLAR BLUFF TAX LEVY PASSES
A new Poplar Bluff tax levy increase of 80 cents was passed yesterday during the General Municipal Election.

The levy will facilitate improvements to the Poplar Bluff School District which will also include transferring the High School to the current site of the 5th and 6th grade center, while 4th, 5th, and 6th grade students will move to the existing High School site.

The vote total was 2,850 yes votes and 2,226 no votes.

A Neelyville school proposition for construction, renovating, remodeling, and improvement of school facilities at both the Hillview and Neelyville campuses did not receive the necessary 57 percent of yes votes it needed to pass, only amassing 51 percent of the vote.
TWO NEW MEMBERS ELECTED TO THREE RIVERS COLLEGE BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Two new members will soon be joining the Three Rivers College Board of Trustees.

Chris Williams and Eric Schalk were elected to the board yesterday, with each receiving over 3,100 votes. Wilbur Thornton, who has served on the board since 2008, came in third on the ballot with just over 2,300 votes.
BUTLER COUNTY SCHOOL BOARD RACES
Three People have been elected to the Poplar Bluff School Board.

According to the Butler County Clerk’s office, Steve Sells, and Alana Robertson were reelected to the Board of Education, joining newcomer John Scott, who had the highest vote total.

Robert Thurman, Billy Watson, and Roger Baxter, were chosen for the Twin Rivers Board of Education.

For the Neelyville Board of Education, voters in Butler County chose Robert Dean Fisher, Paul Petty, and Shane Eaker.
TWO MISSING AFTER BARGE CAPSIZES NEAR BLYTHEVILLE
Authorities say a barge capsized on the Mississippi River in northeast Arkansas and that two people who fell into the water are missing.

The barge overturned Tuesday at a shipping terminal near Blytheville.

Richard Wheatley, a spokesman for the Houston-based company that owns the terminal, Kinder Morgan, says the barge was being unloaded when it capsized.

The Coast Guard is searching the river for two people who fell into the water. The missing people’s names weren’t released.

Coast Guard Lieutenant Brandon McMillan says the barge was carrying steel coils, and that he doesn’t know if anything that fell into the river poses an environmental concern.
RESUME PREPARATION CLASS TO BE HELD AT POPLAR BLUFF LIBRARY
Job seekers wanting to make sure that they stand out for employers should attend a resume preparation class this Thursday.

The class will be held from 1 to 3 pm Thursday at the Poplar Bluff Public Library. The class is free and open to the public, but space is limited, so registration is recommended.

To register, fill out the online registration form at poplarbluff.org or call 573-686-8639.
ILLINOIS MAN ARRESTED IN CAPE GIRARDEAU COUNTY ON DRUG CHARGES
An Illinois man is facing multiple marijuana related charges following his arrest Tuesday night.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, 27 year old Jarmez L. Smith, of Cairo, Illinois, was arrested shortly before 8 pm in Cape Girardeau County on a felony charge of possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute – marijuana.

Smith is also charged with possession of a controlled substance – marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia.
BILL WOULD KEEP COMMON CORE IN PLACE IN MISSOURI UNTIL AT LEAST 2016
Missouri’s Republican-led House has backed off its opposition to new education standards and endorsed legislation to keep them in place while a commission studies their effectiveness.

State education officials voted to adopt the Common Core State Standards in 2010. Since then, opponents have charged that the standards take away control of curriculum from local school districts.

But House opponents acknowledged Tuesday that schools have already spent money to implement the standards for assessments tests scheduled for this fall. They agreed to allow them to remain in place until a group makes a recommendation for the 2016-17 academic year.

The group would be charged with developing standards for English, language arts, math, history and government.

The bill needs one more vote before moving to the Senate.
MISSOURI VOTERS COULD BE ASKED TO DECIDE ON ONE CENT SALES TAX FOR TRANSPORTATION FUNDING
Missouri voters would be asked to approve a one-cent sales tax for transportation funding under legislation endorsed by the state House.

The proposed constitutional amendment approved on Tuesday would appear on the November ballot if passed by the Legislature. It needs another affirmative vote in the House before moving to the Senate.

State transportation officials estimate the tax to generate about $800 million annually. It would need to be reauthorized by voters after 10 years to remain in effect. Ten percent of the funds raised would go toward local transportation projects.

Supporters say the penny tax is necessary for the state to maintain roads and bridges, and to finance new infrastructure projects. Opponents say the sales tax hike would disproportionately hurt low-income Missourians who may not frequently use roads.
PIPE REPLACEMENT SCHEDULED FOR TODAY IN NEW MADRID COUNTY
Highway 153 in New Madrid County will be closed today so Missouri Department of Transportation crews can replace a pipe under the roadway.

The work zone will be located between Route B and County Road 240.

Work is scheduled to take place today from 8 am to 3 pm.