Archives for October 2011

Is a comma going to determine if Governor Jay Nixon’s budget is constitutional?

Apparently so. The lawsuit of Schweich versus Nixon indicates that the Missouri Auditor says the governor does not have the authority to withhold funds from some departments to give them to another. The follows the 170 million dollars in cuts that Nixon made to the budget, saying they were necessary to pay for rebuilding after the floods in the southeastern part of the state and the tornado damage in Joplin. While the auditor Tom Schweich’s attorney said the governor misrepresented the constitution, the governor’s attorney said the lawsuit threatens the governor’s executive powers.

Missing Baby OLisa Week 5

Its now five weeks since anybody’s seen eleven month old Lisa Irwin.

The baby went missing from her Kansas City home on October 4, and now the former attorney for the family, Cyndy Short has been dismissed from the case, saying she can’t work with the new high-profile New York attorney the family hired. Short said over the weekend, the NYC man who calls himself a private investigator,”Wild Bill” Stanton came to town and took the baby’s parents to an “undisclosed location.” Short says she’ll now work as a concerned citizen with 17 others to help in the case..

House creates committee to look into

The House and Senate now both have committees on Governmental Accountability, both charged with looking into what happened to the Mamtech sucralose plant in Moberly.

Representative Jay Barnes (R-Jefferson City) Photo courtesy of House Communications
In a time of budget cuts, the House Committee on Governmental Accountability says it wants to make sure no taxpayer dollar goes wasted. Committee Chair Jay Barnes says his committee is staffed by some of the most knowledgeable House members on the budget, like Budget Chair Ryan Silvey and Chris Kelly. Barnes says both of them are very thorough in their questioning, which could mean a lot of long meetings.
Barnes says his committee’s goal is not to craft legislation, but just to look at all the facts and hear from all the interested parties before making any decisions about what to do to stop something like this from happening again.
Barnes says his committee mirrors the Senate, but is acting independently. He says it’s important to have the committee in both chambers so that there are knowledgeable people in both the House and Senate on the issue, should a bill come up regarding it.
He says the committee will be calling its first meeting at the end of November, tentatively. He says he has requested a long list of documents and testimony for the first meetings, so he wanted to give all parties time to prepare.

KPD Halloween Safety Tips

The Kirksville Police Department has issued a list of safety tips for those ghosts and goblins that will be trick or treating this Halloween.

• Make sure children are accompanied by an adult or a responsible guardian when they go door-to-door.

• Instruct children never to eat anything until they are home and the treats have been examined by an adult. Throw away anything that is unwrapped.

• Check the wrappers of commercial treats for any signs of tampering.

• Make sure children’s costumes fit and that they can see well. Instead of masks that restrict vision, makeup should be used.

• Have children stay in their own neighborhood and on well-lit streets.

• Make sure children carry a flashlight.

• Teach your children to use the sidewalk. If there are no sidewalks, walk on the left side of the street facing cars.

• Know what friends your child will be with and the routes they are walking.

• Leave a porch light on so children will know that it is OK to visit your home.

Traffic Changes Due to US 63 Still Rippling Through Town

You’ll still be noticing traffic changes in and around Kirksville due to the newly-opened US-63 route around the east side of town, according to MoDOT officials. For example, changes in town you may have already noted this weekend include longer cycle times at Northtown Road and Baltimore, making longer lines. But traffic engineer Steve Barteau says most of the time, the line clears within one cycle of the light.

Approaching US-63 on Route P, Highway 6 or Highway 11, you’ll soon be greeted with rumble strips and flashing red lights. Because the traffic on 63 does not stop, traffic engineers are adding the additional warning devices to help drivers remember to stop and look for cross traffic.

Five Charged in Bevier Meth Operation

Four of five people charged with meth related activities are still at large.

The five were charged after a week long investigation that saw the seizing of a mobile meth lab. Macon County Sheriff’s officials said they got a warrant for a residence in Bevier after the first got a tip of the illegal drug activity. Deputies confiscated the usual paraphernalia in a mobile meth lab after they found that it exploded in a vehicle and some people were hurt. Deputies also found stolen vehicles hidden in the area. As of last week, one of the five suspects was arrested and the other four were at large.

Koster Fights to Stay Frye’s Sentence

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster is getting ready for a case entitled “Missouri versus Frye”.

Koster is in court today representing the state in a case in which a defense attorney did not tell his client, one Galin Frye about a plea that prosecutors had put on the table. Frye was charged with repeated driving while suspended, and upon a fifth arrest for same, plead guilty without a plea offer. So now the court considers counsel’s failure to tell Frye about any plea deal. The suit claims that that resulted in representation so substandard that Frye was denied his constitutional rights. Koster will advocate that
Frye’s conviction should stand, and that not be allowed to withdraw his guilty plea.

MoDOT Official Responds to New US 63 Safety Concerns

Drivers and state officials have exprssed concerns of the the new US-63 bypass. One of those concerns is the safety of the four-way intersections at Highways 6 and 11 and Route P. Assistant District Engineer for Modot, Kevin James, phoned in yesterday to explain some of the issues with the new bypass, one being why the four way intersections only have stop signs for thru-traffic.

Flaggers were placed at the intersections on Wednesday and Thursday all day and night to communicate with motorists traveling on the three state highways. Public interest in stoplights at those intersections and other possible speed decrease measures are still being considered by Modot, who will continue to monitor traffic volume on the bypass to make their decision.

What about guard rails on the new overpass on south 63? Some have been worried about the lack of rails come winter:

The goal of the alternate route sixty-three is to improve traffic in and around Kirskville by reducing congestion on Baltimore and other heavily used roads. Safety issues are still being worked out by Modot planners and work to improve the bypass will continue. Any questions or concerns can be voiced to Modot by visiting their website or calling the toll-free number 888-ASK-MODOT.

Two Days After Wyatt Prediction, First Crash on New US 63 is at MO 6 Crossing

It was only a couple of hours after the new US 63 opened yesterday that it seemed Rep. Zach Wyatt’s unpalatable prediction during the ribbon-cutting ceremony came true. Someone crossed the new highway at an intersection that was a stop sign instead of an overpass, and drove in front of a SUV-camper combination on the highway.

Kirksville police identify the driver that was on Highway 6 as 72-year old Chuck Baker of Brashear. They say just after 1pm yesterday he’d stopped at the sign at the intersection with the newly-opened highway. As he was crossing, police say, Baker apparently didn’t see the SUV and camper, or mis-estimated its speed. The people in the SUV weren’t hurt, but Baker and his passenger, 39-year old Brock Baker, were taken by ambulance to Northeast Regional. The highway was blocked for more than two hours.

Just over two days earlier, Wyatt had complained during the ribbon-cutting event that overpasses had not been included at Highway 6 and Highway 11, going so far as to say he feels the bypass is unfinished due to the at-grade crossings. The overpasses were eliminated from the project for budgetary reasons, according to MoDOT.

E-Permits for Hunters Optional Now; Will Be Mandatory in Future

It’s just a few weeks until the November firearms season opens, and there’s a new process this year for getting deer and turkey permits. Right now, going online to get the permits is optional. Local officials say it will become mandatory in the next couple of years, once the kinks in the process are worked out here at the startup. E-permits can be purchased on the MDC website and used immediately.