Archives for March 2011

McCaskill Calls for Report on Mess At Arlington

Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill calls a second round of graves at Arlington National Cemetery “contracting incompetence.”

“Graves had been misidentified, remains had been buried someplace other than where families had been told they had been buried.”
McCaskill says there may be even more graves that have been mishandled at Arlington National Cemetery than the 66 hundred that were brought to light.
“Information has now surfaced that potentially many more graves had been mishandled.”
McCaskill said she wants an immediate report from Secretary of the Army John McHugh where things stand with respect to fixing the mess at Arlington.

Moberly Assault Leads to Charges, Hopsitalization

Charges have been filed in relation to a recent assault in Moberly, and police have released the name of the victim. She is identified as 37 year old Nicole DeChant, who remains hospitalized. Randolph County Prosecuting Attorney Mike Fusselman has charged 29-year old Steven Harvey Gehring II of Moberly with Assault 1st Degree and Armed Criminal Action. Bond has been set at $50,000.00 cash only. Moberly police say Gehring has been transferred to a high security medical facility.

Storm Spotter Class Next Wednesday

We’re just days now from the annual National Weather Service storm spotter training class. The class is a refresher for those who have been spotting for some time, but it contains new information and training material for those who may have wanted to spot storms but haven’t been sure about what to report. The class, which takes about an hour and a half, is next Wednesday at 7pm at Rehoboth Baptist Church in Kirksville.

Topics covered will include:
* Under what conditions to thunderstorms develop
* What makes one thunderstorm severe and another not
* How to visually identify and report severe weather
* How to stay safe during severe weather

At the conclusion of the training, you will have the option of registering with the National Weather Service to be an official severe storm spotter.

ATSU Merges Libraries

ATSU is launching a new university-wide library on April 5, unifying the Arizona and Missouri campus libraries. The establishment of the A.T. Still University Memorial Library is a part of the university’s move toward combining the two campuses into a single unified university structure. University librarian Michael Kronenfeld says working together, the two campus library locations will take the lead in providing focused library and academic computing support of the schools on each campus.

KPD Looking for Fugitive

Kirksville Police are looking for a fugitive on drug related charges.

Police are looking for Tom “Willie” Branch the Third. He’s an 21 year old African American man with black hair and brown eyes. He’s 5’2″, 130 pounds. Branch has a tattoo on the right side of his neck that reads “Malikia”, a tattoo on the inside of his right forearm that reads “Mikhal” and a tattoo on the inside of his left forearm that reads “Tiffany.” Police have tried to serve warrants on Branch at his last known address in Kirksville, but have not found him. He’s wanted for possession of a controlled substance, and driving with a suspended license. If you know how to find Willie Branch, call police.

House Sends Budget to Senate

Missouri’s 23 billion dollar budget is on its way to the Senate.

The House passed the 13 bills of the budge yesterday, and in those bills, how the state is expected to spend tax dollars. Three billion dollars of the budget is for school funding, and 189 million dollars is from federal funding. Another 12 million dollars will go to Prepare to Care, which is a grant to fund health care as it relates to education. Nearly 8.5 billion dollars will go to Medicaid, another half a billion dollars more than this year’s Medicaid spending. Tax revenues are expected to be up in fiscal 2011. Governor Nixon has seen to it that the state will have a balance to start fiscal 2011. He did away with funding some programs to put 200 million dollars into the general fund,and with the 277 million left from the last budget, there are dollars to start the new year with in July..

How Healthy is Your County?

A new study suggests southwest Missouri’s Christian County is the state’s healthiest county….and Pemiscot County, in the bootheel, is the poorest in health.

The study has been done by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

The report highlights differences between the two counties–45 percent of children in Pemiscot County live in poverty, more than three times the percentage in Christian County. More than one-fourth of the Pemiscot County adults say they are in poor or fair health, more than double the rate in Christian County. Pemiscot County has a teen birth rate more than double the rate in Christian County and the rate of sexually transmitted diseases in Pemiscot County is five times the rate in Christian County.

The top ten counties, as rated by the survey, are Christian, Platte, St., Charles, Johnson, Atchison, Ralls, Osage, Clay, Moniteau, and Boone. The ten least healthy counties (starting with last and working back): Pemiscot, Dunklin, Ripley, New Madrid, Reynolds, Butler, Washington, Iron, Wayne, and the city of St. Louis.

The study considers four categories of factors–health behavior, clinical care social and economic factors, and physical environment.

Want to see how your county faired? Go to this website and click on your county to see the specifics. (

Denslow Withdraws from R-3 Race

Current Kirksville R-3 school board member Jay Denslow is withdrawing his name from the ballot for Tuesday’s election. Denslow said yesterday he made the decision for family reasons a few weeks ago, but missed the deadline to have his name removed from the ballot. His daughter will be a freshman and he wants to devote time to watching her play sports. He also has a four-year old. Denslow’s name will continue to appear on the April 5 ballot, but voters will have a real choice between four candidates for three open seats: incumbent Judy Duden, Matt Copeland, Thom Van Vleck and T. Jack Ward.

Brashear Promotes from Within

A new Superintendent has been named for Brashear schools. A release yesterday from Adair County R-2 schools says current K-8 principal Shelly Shipman will be promoted to Superintendent at the end of the school year, upon the departure of current Superintendent Don Wilburn. In addition to her principal duties, Shipman is presently the Athletic Director, Special Education Director and Federal Programs Director for Brashear schools. She taught 6th grade for 14 years and is completing her 10th year as principal.

Semi Crash Kills Driver

A single-vehicle crash west of Hannibal yesterday killed a Moline, Illinois man. Missouri state troopers say 60-year old Michael Callow went off the south shoulder of US 36 about 10 miles west of Hannibal yesterday morning just after 2am. The 2005 Freightliner Semi he was driving hit several trees and overturned. Callow was pronounced dead at the scene by Marion county coroner Darrell McCoy. He is the ninth person to die in traffic in Troop B’s coverage area this year.