Archives for July 2012

Waller Charged with Murder

Clay Waller will stand trial for the murder of his estranged wife.

Waller is charged in connection with his wife, Jacque Waller, who disappeared on June 1, 2011. Authorities allege Clay Waller killed her after an argument over finances and their pending divorce. The couple were the parents of triplets. About 20 witnesses testified for the prosecution at last week’s preliminary hearing, which was held for a judge to determine whether there was enough evidence to proceed with a trial. Clay Waller is scheduled to appear in court for arraignment on August 6th.

Ozarks Legislation to be Introduced

Republican Missouri U.S. Rep. Vicky Hartzler wants to reduce federal regulators’ authority over hydroelectric projects.

Hartzler’s congressional district includes part of the Lake of the Ozarks, which has been embroiled in controversy over land near the lake. Land included within the boundary of the hydroelectric project falls under the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s authority, while other property does not. The congresswoman plans to introduce legislation this week designed to limit FERC’s authority over issues not directly connected to power generation. The measure would allow state legislatures to give local communities greater authority over shoreline management.

Randolph County Crash Hurts Two

Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers say two people were hurt in a crash last night in Randolph county. It happened near Higbee on Randolph County Road 2570 just before 6pm. Troopers say Tucker swerved to miss another vehicle in the road, over-corrected and went off into the west ditch, rolling his pickup. 24-year old Ryan Andrews suffered serious injures in the crash and was taken to Moberly Regional Hospital, while,the driver, 22-year old Jonathan Tucker of Huntsville, refused EMS treatment.

McKaskill Senate Poll

No matter who wins the Missouri Republican nomination to the U.S. Senate on Aug. 7, Democrat Claire McCaskill is running from behind.

McCaskill, the first-term incumbent Democratic senator, trails all three of her likely Republican challengers, according to a poll released over the weekend. It shows she would lose to GOP frontrunner John Brunner by 11 percentage points if they were matched up today. She would fall to Sarah Steelman or Todd Akin as well, though by smaller margins. Further, her “unfavorable” rating is higher than her “favorable,” and some of her worst numbers are among all-important independent voters. The poll of 625 registered Missouri voters suggests a key source of McCaskill’s problems is her support of President Barack Obama

Franklin Cy Meth Lab Reality Show

— Franklin County’s longstanding battle against methamphetamine production may make reality TV stars out of some of its law enforcement officers.

A camera crew today will begin trailing members of the county narcotics unit for three weeks while officers investigate suspected meth labs for a new cable show called “Methbusters,” Franklin County has been among the leading counties in the nation for meth lab busts for more than a decade. The commander of the narcotics unit, Jason Grellner, is a nationally recognized advocate for tougher anti-meth laws.Since the narcotic’s unit’s inception in 2005 it has busted several hundred meth labs in Franklin County, just southwest of St. Louis County.

Sullivan County Fatality Crash

A motorcycle rider is dead, following a collision with a dump truck yesterday afternoon in Sullivan County. Highway Patrol troopers say 47-year old Troy Flummer was riding on Route 5 about eight miles south of Milan when the crash happened about 2:30pm. He had tried to pass the dump truck, which had slowed to turn onto Route T, and hit the truck in the driver’s door. Flummer died at the scene; the dump truck driver was not hurt.

Synthetic Drugs Crackdown

St. Louis-area police and prosecutors say the nationwide crackdown on synthetic designer drugs is fair warning to makers, distributors and sellers: Authorities are coming after you.

The Drug Enforcement Administration on Thursday announced that it had seized more than $36 million in cash and arrested 91 people Wednesday in a nationwide crackdown on synthetic drugs including so-called bath salts and fake marijuana. In addition, 5 million packets of synthetic drugs were seized. The figures include six arrests and the seizure of more than 210,000 packets in the six states covered by the St. Louis DEA office: Missouri, Iowa, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and southern Illinois. Officials in the Midwestern states also seized $1.4 million and four vehicles.Synthetic drugs have grown tremendously in popularity in recent years, sold under names such as “Spice” or “Vanilla Sky” in head shops, smoke shops and convenience stores.

Kirksville Media and the American Red Cross Help Save Lives with Annual Blood Drive

Yesterday’s media blood drive in Kirksville brought in fewer units than organizers had hoped, but they’re still calling the effort a success. The blood drive took place Wednesday at the Kirksville Middle School. The Red Cross’ Dan Fox says they are in need of all blood types. The goal for this year was more than 250 units of blood. Fox says the media blood drive had 201 participants with 179 usable units.

Drought Getting Worse and Showing No Signs of Abating

The latest Drought Monitor report paints a bleak picture for Missouri. The Monitor updates information each week and it is now saying 90 percent of the topsoil across the Midwest is short or very short on moisture. The drought’s intensity is increasing, rapidly, with five states, including Missouri, experiencing conditions classified as “severe” or worse. About 80 percent of the pastureland in Missouri is considered to be in poor or very poor shape. And conditions are not expected to get better, with little rain and more intense heat forecast for the rest of the summer.

Governor Nixon is adding another $5 million in funding for a drought-assistance program for farmers to help drill or deepen water wells. The governor is also directing $1.5 million in unspent heating assisance money to be used to help low-income Misouri families pay for colling costs.

Fatality Crash in Lewis County

A Ewing, Missouri man is dead following a crash last night near his home town. Missouri State Highway patrol Troopers report 63-year old Benjamin Pratt was found by a passing motorist some time after he crashed his motorcycle on Lewis County Route C just north of Ewing. The crash was estimated to have happened about 8:50pm. His 2001 Harley was found in the west ditch, with Pratt laying some distance away. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Pratt is the 21st person to die on Northeast Missouri roads in 2012.