[SeMissourian.com] Fair ~ 44°F  
River stage: 14.42 ft. Falling
Tuesday, Nov. 25, 2014

Local News

SEMO students call for justice in Ferguson (11/25/14) 6
Southeast Missouri State University students who gathered Tuesday on campus to protest Monday's grand jury decision in Ferguson, Missouri, said they wanted an indictment of the white police officer who shot and killed black teenager Michael Brown and denounced related violence and destruction in and around St. Louis...
Guthrie pleads guilty to assaulting an officer (11/25/14)
A Jackson man has pleaded guilty to three counts of assault on a law enforcement officer in connection with a June 2012 confrontation with police. Lawrence Guthrie, 48, a Gulf War veteran and former Marine, originally had been charged with domestic assault, armed criminal action and assault on a law enforcement officer...
Final ride (11/25/14)
Members of American Legion Riders Post 369 of Benton, Missouri, escort the funeral procession Monday for U.S. Navy veteran Richard Bueltemann from St. Mary's Cathedral in Cape Girardeau en route to the Missouri State Veterans Cemetery in Bloomfield. (Fred Lynch)...
Pseudoephedrine sales down in Missouri, but meth problem remains (11/25/14) 4
Methamphetamine crimes have been a chronic problem in Southeast Missouri. Modern technology and cooperation from local governments have significantly helped law enforcement officers combat the issue, but officials said the state has not yet managed to solve its meth problem...
Cape Girardeau School Board moves forward on bond issue (11/25/14) 1
Cape Girardeau School Board members reached consensus Monday on moving forward with a possible bond issue to address construction and renovation needs at Central Junior High, the Career and Technology Center and other facilities around the district...
Blind man goes hunting with help from sons, app (11/25/14)
Blind for most of his adult life, a local man packed up a rifle and went on his first deer hunt last week with the help of his sons. "I can't say it's a habit or anything, but I have always liked hunting," said 51-year-old Danny Sisco of Doniphan, Missouri. "When I was younger I got out and walked in the woods, but I have never shot anything. Of course you have to see them to shoot them."...
Forecaster: Southeast Missouri won't be snowbound on Thanksgiving (11/25/14)
Although the East Coast is in for a nor'easter over Thanksgiving weekend, Southeast Missouri should be normal, with highs in the 40s and lows in the 20s. David Humphrey, lead forecaster at the National Weather Service in Paducah, Kentucky, said no snow is predicted locally. There's a small chance of precipitation Wednesday, but right now, it looks like it might be rain showers...
Social welfare group becomes Empower Missouri (11/25/14)
The Missouri Association for Social Welfare may have a new name, but its mission remains the same. During its annual conference in Jefferson City, Missouri, the social justice group unveiled its new name: Empower Missouri. It also unveiled a new blue and yellow logo...
Schools superintendent resigns in Poplar Bluff (11/25/14)
POPLAR BLUFF, Mo -- Poplar Bluff School District superintendent Chris Hon announced his resignation late last week, effective at the end of his contract. It ends June 30, 2016, as the district is scheduled to complete construction of its new high school and fourth- to sixth-grade center...
Malden mom charged in child's death (11/25/14)
KENNETT, Mo. -- A Malden, Missouri, woman made her first appearance in a Dunklin County court Friday morning after she was charged with causing the death of her 5-year-old daughter. Tina Diann Burton, 45, appeared before Associate Circuit Judge John Spielman for arraignment on charges of felony second-degree murder/first-degree involuntary manslaughter and felony child abuse...
Highway 77 in Scott County reduced for drainage repairs (11/25/14)
Highway 77 in Scott County, between county roads 352 and 525, will be reduced as Missouri Department of Transportation crews perform drainage repairs. A MoDOT news release says the work will be take place from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. today. All work is weather permitting. Work zones will be marked with signs. Motorists are urged to use caution while traveling near the area. For more information about the project, contact MoDOT's Customer Service Center at 888-275-6636, or visit modot.org/southeast...
Local stores cranking up for Black Friday blitz (11/24/14) 7
The intensity of Black Friday may be fading a bit, as retailers started promotions earlier this month and the popularity of online shopping continues to rise. But analysts predict a little more jingle at the registers because people are somewhat more optimistic about their personal finances and job security; consulting firm Accenture reported one-quarter of U.S. consumers plan to spend more on holiday shopping this year, and spending on holiday gifts is expected to average $718...
Plan for Sprigg Street sinkholes moves forward (11/24/14) 2
Typically, when city officials say there's been some activity in the South Sprigg Street sinkhole area, it's a bad thing. But recent discussions about the sinkholes have been a little more hopeful. That's because the city received federal funding to perform an investigative study, design and construction to repair the sinkholes and hopefully open South Sprigg Street, which has been closed since last year...
New book chronicles chainsaw sculptures of local artist (11/24/14) 1
After 30 years, friends Edwin Smith and August "Gus" Birk have published their first book together. The book, titled "The Wood Sculptures by August W. Birk," is a compilation of photographic essays compiled by Smith of Birk's wood carvings, which he does with a chain saw...
Downtown Cape businesses to offer passport campaign (11/24/14)
Old Town Cape merchants are pulling together with a Downtown Passport program to mark Small Business Saturday, which is the Saturday after Thanksgiving. The retail event was initiated in 2010 by American Express to try to help businesses attract more customers and to encourage the patronage of small establishments. ...
No county commission meetings this week (11/24/14)
The Cape Girardeau County Commission will not meet today or Thursday this week.
Local veterans interviewed for historical recordings (11/23/14) 3
Volunteers from the Missouri Veterans History Project recorded interviews Friday with two local service members, Homer Schnurbusch and John "Doc" Yallaly. The state organization is part of a national program through the Library of Congress and American Folklife Center. ...
Rep. Smith appointed to House Ways and Means Committee (11/23/14) 44
Missouri's 8th District Representative Jason Smith was named to the House Ways and Means Committee today. Smith, R-Salem, is the first Missouri representative appointed to the committee since Rep. Kenny Hulshof, also a Republican. He served on the committee from 1997 to 2008...
Sikeston couple films pilot for reality TV (11/23/14)
SIKESTON, Mo. -- Sarah and Ty Ferrell stand next to a circular saw, ready to film a scene for their do-it-yourself reality TV show. The director offers a few suggestions, steps away, and cameras begin to roll. Filming of a television pilot featuring the couple, along with Ty Ferrell's mother, Frannie, was underway last week...
Basics of geocaching taught at nature center (11/23/14)
People gathered Saturday at the Cape Girardeau Nature Conservation Center to learn how to hunt for treasure and leave behind some of their own. Geocaching is a craze that is played all over the globe, where boxes are hidden in all kinds of strange places, and using a GPS unit or tracking device, savvy adventurers track down the boxes and swap out the items inside...
Crites-Leoni given Women of Achievement Award (11/23/14)
More than 450 people attended the 10th annual Zonta Club Women of Achievement Celebration and Luncheon on Friday at Ray's Plaza Conference Center in Cape Girardeau. The recipient of the 2015 Women of Achievement Award went to Abbie Crites-Leoni, magistrate judge for the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Missouri. Other nominees were Sandra Bollinger, Lisa Cook, Laurie Everett and Kathy Hecht...
Road work 11/23/14 (11/23/14)
Southbound Interstate 55 in Scott County will be reduced to one lane as the Missouri Department of Transportation crews perform guardrail repairs. This location begins at the ramp and ends at the Interstate 57 overpass bridge, according to a MoDOT news release. The work will take place from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday and Tuesday...
More than 40 nominated for state education commissioner (11/23/14)
The deadline to nominate candidates for Missouri Commissioner of Education position ended Friday with more than 40 names submitted. Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education staff will contact nominees, inform them of their nominations and invite them to apply, a news release states...
Club news 11-23-14 (11/23/14)
The Torchbearer Iota Chapter of Beta Sigma Phi met at the home of Vicki McKinney with 11 members present. President Linda Belote presided. Dixie Jones presented information on the International Beta Sigma Phi Convention, a four-day event to be held in Kansas City, Missouri, in August 2016...
Alliance Bank to absorb Capaha Bank for undisclosed sum (11/21/14)
Two community banks have announced a merger planned to take effect in the spring. Under a recently formed agreement, Alliance Bank's holding company, Alliance Bancshares Inc., headquartered in Cape Girardeau, will acquire Southern Illinois-based Tammcorp, which owns Capaha Bank...
SoutheastHEALTH proceeds with efficiency plans (11/21/14) 8
SoutheastHEALTH's executives say "financial improvement" and "operational refinement" are the goals of an initiative underway that recently has produced changes in leadership and will identify efficiencies needed to help its health-care organizations face a challenging time...
Federal court document alludes to video evidence in murder case (11/21/14) 1
A document filed recently in federal court suggests video evidence may exist against a Bonne Terre, Missouri, man accused of killing Cape Girardeau tattoo artist Samuel "Tick" Francis. Melvin Scherrer, 50, faces state charges of first-degree murder and four other felonies in connection with the death of Francis, 38, whose body was found July 25, 2013, in a septic tank in rural St. Francois County, Missouri...
Winter temperatures expected to be slightly below normal (11/21/14)
Temperatures in Southeast Missouri are expected to be slightly below normal this winter season, said Sean Poulos of the National Weather Service office in Paducah, Kentucky. Meteorologically speaking, winter is defined as Dec. 1 through the end of February. Cape Girardeau doesn't have an official weather watcher, but Poulos said normal snowfall in Paducah is about 9.5 inches a year. Based on that, it's about 12 inches in Cape Girardeau...
Two men arrested on drug charges in Perry County (11/21/14)
Two Perryville, Missouri, men were in custody Thursday on drug charges. Darnell Brownlee, 51, and Steven M. Scamell, 31, were arrested after the SEMO Drug Task Force, Perryville Police Department and Perry County, Missouri, Sheriff's Department executed a pair of search warrants Tuesday and Wednesday, according to a news release from the Perry County Sheriff's Department...
Suspect sought in armed robbery, assault (11/21/14) 8
Authorities are looking for a Cape Girardeau man in connection with an armed robbery and assault reported Tuesday evening in Cape Girardeau County. Torian D. Hence, 25, is accused of striking a co-worker in the head and taking his wallet. A probable cause statement filed by Cpl. H. VanGennip says an employee at Do It Best, 5422 Nash Road, reported "he heard his boss screaming and found him 'beat up.'"...
'Fall for dance' (11/21/14)
DRA grants targeted at better health care in rural areas (11/21/14)
The Delta Regional Authority and its state and local partners announced Thursday seven new Southeast Missouri investment projects worth $11.3 million. Two of the projects designed to help small business owners, families and communities in Southeast Missouri are meant to improve medical-care access in some of the more rural areas...
Benton to host annual craft fair (11/21/14)
With the smell of kettle corn and freshly baked cinnamon rolls in the air, it's not difficult to imagine visitors of the annual Benton, Missouri, craft fair stay for the long haul. This year marks St. Denis' 15th annual "Winter Wonderland of Treasures" craft fair, and according to organizer Judy Scherer, there's nothing like it...
Not a waste: City's recycling program grows (11/20/14) 1
For more than 20 years, recycling services offered by Cape Girardeau have continued to evolve and grow in popularity. They started with trailers that required users to separate their materials, then evolved to single-stream curbside pickup. Participating households now place recyclables into a green 96-gallon cart, which is emptied by two recycling trucks that operate four days a week. ...
Principal accused of taking college placement test for student (11/20/14) 4
POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. -- A Doniphan, Missouri, high school principal made his first appearance in court Tuesday morning on a charge he forged a former student's college placement test. Accompanied by his attorney, Sam Spain, Ronald W. McCutchen appeared before Associate Circuit Judge Thomas Swindle for arraignment on felony forgery...
Advance mayor takes leave of absence (11/20/14)
ADVANCE, Mo. -- Advance Mayor Carl "Pete" Rittern announced Monday that he will take a leave of absence to go through a series of cancer tests. Alderman Wayne Page will step up to help during the mayor's temporary absence. "I'm going to have cancer the rest of my life," Ritter told city officials and employees at the Board of Aldermen meeting. ...
Former Scott City officer on probation for drug distribution (11/20/14) 7
A former Scott City police officer is on probation after pleading guilty to a felony drug distribution charge. Samuel J. Lincoln, 26, of Whitewater pleaded guilty in September to possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute, a felony, court records show...
Drainage work reduces Highway 77 in Scott County (11/20/14)
Highway 77 in Scott County, between County Road 352 and County Road 525, will be reduced as Missouri Department of Transportation crews make drainage repairs. A MoDOT news release says the work will take place from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. daily today through Friday...
Cape Girardeau County Commission agenda 11/20/14 (11/20/14)
Cape Girardeau County Commission Administrative Office Building 1 Barton Square, Jackson 9 a.m. today Open session n Approval of minutes of Nov. 17 meeting Communications/reports -- other elected officials n None at this time Public comments n Items listed on agenda...
Dexter superintendent resigns (11/20/14)
DEXTER, Mo. --Following the open session of the school board Tuesday night, Dexter superintendent Thomas Sharp announced he would be stepping down as head of the district effective July 1. Sharp followed Dr. Ken Jackson in the superintendent's role, coming on scene in July 2010 from the Crawford School District in Bourbon, Missouri, but hailing from Nebraska...
Transportation plan begins journey with first in series of meetings (11/20/14) 1
Members of the public gathered Wednesday at the Osage Centre to learn more about a local planning organization's efforts to create a long-term transportation plan for the region. The Southeast Metropolitan Planning Organization, or SEMPO, covers the Cape Girardeau/Jackson urban area that includes portions of Cape Girardeau and Scott counties, as well as portions of East Cape Girardeau and Alexander County in Illinois. It's federally mandated and funded...
Scott City School Board discusses election issues, scholarship endowment (11/20/14)
The Scott City School Board approved filing dates for the April 7 election during Wednesday night's meeting. Two seats, held by board member Gary Miller and president Beth Cox, are up for election. Both seats carry three-year terms. Filing runs from Dec. 16 through Jan. 20. Candidates may file from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays at the school administrative office at 3000 Main St. in Scott City. School offices will be closed from Dec. 19 through Jan. 2 for Christmas break...
Care to Learn chapter established in Cape Girardeau (11/20/14)
Care to Learn has formed its 19th chapter in Cape Girardeau to serve the Cape Girardeau School District. Doug Pitt, a Springfield, Missouri, businessman, founder of Care to Learn and the younger brother of actor Brad Pitt, was in town earlier this month to explain how his organization helps facilitate education for poverty-stricken children by establishing emergency funds that schools can use to address health, hunger and hygiene needs...
Future teachers weigh in on hot topics in education (11/20/14)
Twenty-one freshmen in Southeast Missouri State University's College of Education offered quick takes on everything from teacher pay to iPads on Wednesday as part of Kent Library's monthly Athenaeum Series. Brooke Hildebrand Clubbs, director of health communication and instructor in the Department of Communication Studies, said this was a good chance for her students to share their thoughts with the community...
Principal, family invent device to protect kids from intruders (11/19/14) 20
London Cooper is only 6, but she knows how to protect her classmates from an intruder. The first-grader demonstrated the procedure Tuesday night at Alma Schrader Elementary School, pulling a bright green-and-orange magnet out of the crevice between a door and its frame. The latch clicked shut, locking London and her principal, Ruth Ann Orr, safely into the room...
Drug court saves money and lives (11/19/14) 8
A group of seven admitted in a packed courtroom last week their lives were falling apart -- they could have ended up losing their children forever, in jail or dead. Instead, they turned their lives around. They formed better relationships, avoided incarceration, overcame their addictions, got jobs and even found religion. And they had a state-run drug court program to thank for it...
Gateley rose garden relocation complete (11/19/14)
From pavement to park benches, the land that once was a stretch of Aquamsi Street is now home to the Melvin Gateley Vision 2000 Rose Garden. The Cape Girardeau Parks and Recreation Department recently announced the relocation of the garden to Murtaugh Park has been completed, although a few finishing touches are needed before the official ribbon-cutting celebration is held in the spring...
Salvation Army's kettle campaign begins Wednesday (11/19/14)
The Salvation Army kicks off its Red Kettle Campaign with the movie "Christmas Angel" at 6 p.m. today at Wehrenberg Cape West 14 Cine. The movie centers on a group of children who wish for things for their families and find out an angel may be granting their requests, Salvation Army Capt. Ronnie Amick said...
Southeast Student Government to hold pledge drive (11/19/14)
Joining universities across the country, the Student Government at Southeast Missouri State University wants students to turn out from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. today to sign pledges against sexual violence. Chief of staff Lydia Ness said the campaign is called "These Hands Don't Hurt."...
Pachyderms to toast vets at Thursday meeting (11/19/14)
The Southeast Missouri Pachyderms will honor veterans at their November meeting Thursday at Dexter Bar-B-Que, 236 S. Broadview St. in Cape Girardeau. Cape Girardeau City Councilman Wayne Bowen and Cape Girardeau County Presiding Commissioner Clint Tracy will speak about their military careers...