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Stories from Tuesday, June 17, 2003

Jackson officials consider widening busy Hope Street (06/17/03)
With several property owners on Hope Street rebuilding from the May 6 tornado, Jackson officials have decided now would be a good time to look at putting in a left-turn lane along the busy street...
St. Jude campaign coming to close (06/17/03)
Organizers of the St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway are reminding potential donors that today is the last day to purchase a chance to win a house valued at approximately $275,000 at Union Planters Bank locations. The home is located in Touchdown Estates between Cape Girardeau and Jackson. ...
Former juvenile office bookkeeper pleads guilty to stealing (06/17/03)
Southeast Missourian A former bookkeeper at the Cape Girardeau County Juvenile Office averted a jury trial Monday by pleading guilty to two counts of felony stealing. Robin Whitson, 38, was charged Sept. 11 with 10 counts of stealing for embezzling more than $97,000 from local schools...
Notre Dame students save seminary grotto's stones (06/17/03)
A group of parochial students is saving a local piece of cherished Catholic history in an unorthodox way -- by smashing it into pieces of religious rubble. Armed with sledgehammers, chisels and gallons of elbow grease, dozens of Notre Dame Regional High School seniors are descending upon the southeast corner of the old St. Vincent's Seminary property in Cape Girardeau this week to tear down a grotto that was built nearly 50 years ago...
Solution proposed for on-ramp congestion in Scott City (06/17/03)
Especially during the morning hours, traffic turning onto the northbound Interstate 55 on-ramp backs up far down Main Street in Scott City. A new proposal that would have drivers making a 180-degree turn onto the ramp got a tepid response at Monday night's Scott City Council meeting...
Cape police plan to crack down on street crowds (06/17/03)
Police plan to barricade sections of southside Cape Girardeau streets this weekend in an effort to keep away hundreds of people who have turned residential neighborhoods into a noisy, litter-filled parties with music blaring from parked cars. Police also plan to assign more officers to patrol that area on weekends and videotape the crowd to help identify people who may be subsequently ticketed for violations such as littering and peace disturbance...
Jackson Board of Aldermen agenda 6/17/03 (06/17/03)
7:30 p.m. today Action items Ordinance authorizing a contractual agreement with Horner & Shifrin Inc. of St. Louis in the amount of $74,300, relative to the engineering services for the West Jackson Boulevard water distribution and sanitary sewer relocation project...
Scott City Council actions 6/17/03 (06/17/03)
SCOTT CITY COUNCIL ACTIONS New business
  • Approved liquor license request from Rhodes Travel Center. Approved liquor license request for Store 24. Upgraded LAGERS retirement program. Adopted FY 2003-2004 budget. Tabled an ordinance setting new guidelines for Lightner Cemetery...
  • People & Things 6/17/03 (06/17/03)
    Central graduate accepted to Mizzou Whitney Pingel, a 2003 graduate of Central High School, has been accepted to the University of Missouri-Columbia, where she plans to pursue a degree in elementary education. She has been awarded the university's curator's scholarship, a Missouri Bright Flight and the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education teacher scholarship...
    Region briefs 06/17/03 (06/17/03)
    Former office bookkeeper pleads guilty to stealing A former bookkeeper at the Cape Girardeau County Juvenile Office averted a jury trial Monday by pleading guilty to two counts of felony stealing. Robin Whitson, 38, was charged Sept. 11 with 10 counts of stealing for embezzling more than $97,000 from local schools...
    Cape Girardeau School Board 6/17/03 (06/17/03)
    At its June 16 meeting, the school board approved the following items: A bid by Interstate Brands Corporation for bread products A bid by Lynch Fire Protection Inc. for fire protection A bid by Advanced Pest Control Systems for termite control service...
    FBI - Total crime down, murders and rapes up (06/17/03)
    Murders rose sharply last year in suburban communities, and rapes were up in midsized cities, the FBI said Monday. Still, overall crimes against people and property declined slightly. Cape Girardeau police chief Steve Strong questioned crime statistics for his city that were listed on the Missouri State Highway Patrol Web site...
    Jackson officials consider widening busy Hope Street (06/17/03)
    With several property owners on Hope Street rebuilding from the May 6 tornado, Jackson officials have decided now would be a good time to look at putting in a left-turn lane along the busy street. The city has already had preliminary discussions with officials from the Immaculate Conception Church, the biggest property owner along the stretch. And, according to city administrator Jim Roach, the project probably wouldn't be a mammoth financial undertaking...
    Southeast Missouri State University dean's list (06/17/03)
    Southeast Missouri State University has named 1,751 of 8,993 students to its dean's list for academic achievement during the spring 2003 semester. Students named to the list earned at least a 3.5 grade point average on a 4.0 scale and completed at least 12 degree credit hours during the spring session...
    Who knew learning could be so much fun? (06/17/03)
    Jackson students are learning "All about Missouri" in their lessons. By Callie Clark ~ Southeast Missourian They're racing snails and worms in Scott City. They're making maps out of cookie dough and building birdhouses in Jackson...
    Jackson chamber hands out its service awards (06/17/03)
    Arnold Strickert was surprised to learn he was the recipient of the R.A. Fulenwider Meritorious Community Service Award. Strickert, who only attended the Jackson Chamber of Commerce Installation Banquet because he was told the Optimist Club was being recognized (which it wasn't), said little when he stepped up to the podium...
    Nineteen arrested in Bollinger County drug sweep (06/17/03)
    Nineteen arrest warrants were served Friday by the Bollinger County Sheriff's Department during a 5 1/2 hour sweep. All of the arrests were drug related. The following individuals were charged with possession of a controlled substance: Susan M. Haffner, 48, of Marble Hill, Mo.; Linda F. ...
    Span linking Illinois and St. Louis takes step toward reopening (06/17/03)
    VENICE, Ill. -- The state of Illinois and several county governments in Illinois' St. Louis suburbs will buy McKinley Bridge from the bondholders who own it, clearing the way for renovations and the bridge's eventual reopening, officials said Monday...
    Holden signs nursing home bill into law (06/17/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- A bill intended to make Missouri nursing homes safer was signed into law Monday by Gov. Bob Holden. The law, which takes effect Aug. 28, relaxes inspection requirements for good nursing homes but strengthens the state's authority to penalize those providing poor care through fines or license revocation...
    Woman regains ability to speak after larynx surgery (06/17/03)
    ST. LOUIS -- Amy Hancock's first words were thank you. Hancock discovered Monday that she can speak again, after surgery last month to restore a voice she hasn't had since losing her larynx to cancer five years ago. The operation, in which doctors made a patch of skin into a breathing tube, was the first of its kind in the United States...
    Negotiators press ahead on budget cuts (06/17/03)
    JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- The Republican-led legislature was pressing ahead Monday with plans to cut the state payroll as Democratic Gov. Bob Holden continued to plead behind the scenes for lawmakers to consider new revenue sources. As a special legislative session entered its third week, budget negotiators from the House and Senate were meeting into the evening to try to settle differences between the two chambers' versions of a revised state budget for education and human services...
    FBI - Total crime down, murders and rapes up (06/17/03)
    Murders rose sharply last year in suburban communities, and rapes were up in midsized cities, the FBI said Monday. Still, overall crimes against people and property declined slightly. Cape Girardeau police chief Steve Strong questioned crime statistics for his city that were listed on the Missouri State Highway Patrol Web site...
    Company to end production of malfunctioning medical device (06/17/03)
    INDIANAPOLIS -- A subsidiary of Guidant Corp. is ending production of a medical device, days after pleading guilty to covering up problems with the product that may have led to a dozen deaths. Endovascular Technologies Inc. pleaded guilty to 10 felonies last week involving its Ancure "stent-graft" device, including shipping misbranded products and making false statements to government regulators. It faces $92.4 million in federal penalties...
    Pizza company hires homeless to hold ads (06/17/03)
    Associated Press PORTLAND, Ore. -- Instead of going Dumpster-diving for maybe a half-eaten sandwich and some cold fries, Peter Schoeff, a 20-year-old homeless man, was served a slice of hot pizza dripping with cheese. All he had to do was hold a sign for about 40 minutes that read: "Pizza Schmizza paid me to hold this sign instead of asking for money."...
    Cloudbursts cause flash flooding in West Virginia (06/17/03)
    CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Rescuers had to scrounge for boats Monday as flash flooding forced rural residents out of their homes and blocked the road to the city's airport. Employees at a FedEx depot retreated to the roof as the water rose. There were no immediate reports of any deaths or injuries as water rushed down creeks and roads in rural areas of Mingo and Kanawha counties west and north of Charleston, and in Nicholas County to the east. ...
    Getting elderly drivers off the road, or helping them stay safe (06/17/03)
    WASHINGTON -- First, the elderly woman tried to drive between a delivery van and two people walking on a narrow Florida street. Then, busy chatting, she didn't notice a car stopping in front of her. At a stop sign, she pulled out in front of a truck...
    Court upholds public housing restrictions (06/17/03)
    The Associated PressRICHMOND, Va. -- The Supreme Court ruled Monday that governments may bar unauthorized visitors from public housing projects in high-crime areas, rejecting a Virginia man's claim that his arrest for trespassing violated his right to free expression...
    CBS News woos Private Lynch with corporate synergy (06/17/03)
    AP Television Writer LOS ANGELES -- CBS News did nothing improper in dangling possible book and TV deals while pursuing an interview with rescued soldier Jessica Lynch, a spokeswoman said Monday. There was a clear distinction between the request for an interview with Lynch and possible deals with MTV, Simon & Schuster and other Viacom divisions, CBS News spokeswoman Sandy Genelius said...
    Phoenix bishop arrested in a fatal hit-and-run accident (06/17/03)
    The Associated PressPHOENIX -- The Roman Catholic bishop of Phoenix was arrested Monday in a deadly hit-and-run accident after police traced a license plate number to his car and found the windshield caved in. Bishop Thomas O'Brien, 67, was driven away in an unmarked detective's car. Police said he would be booked on a charge of leaving the scene of a fatal accident. Sgt. Laurie Williams said he was not handcuffed...
    Government may hit national debt ceiling next year (06/17/03)
    WASHINGTON -- The government could hit the new $7.4 trillion limit on the national debt next year-- any time from April through October, Treasury Department spokesman Rob Nichols said Monday. President Bush last month signed a bill allowing a record $984 billion increase in the amount the federal government can borrow. It marked the second increase in the debt ceiling in roughly a year. In June 2002, the debt ceiling was increased by $450 billion to $6.4 trillion...
    Roaring '90s brought boom in children with stay-at-home moms (06/17/03)
    WASHINGTON -- Nearly 10.6 million children were being raised by full-time stay-at-home moms last year, up 13 percent in a little less than a decade. Experts credit the economic boom, the cultural influence of America's growing Hispanic population and the entry into parenthood of a generation of latchkey kids...
    Hume Cronyn, versatile actor of stage and screen, dead at 91 (06/17/03)
    FAIRFIELD, Conn. -- Hume Cronyn, the versatile stage and screen actor who charmed audiences with his portrayals of irascible old men and frequently paired up with his wife, Jessica Tandy, has died of cancer. He was 91. Cronyn died of prostate cancer Sunday at his home in Fairfield, Conn., family spokeswoman Karen Connelly said Monday. He and Tandy were married for nearly 52 years at the time of her death from ovarian cancer in September 1994...
    More than 13,000 immigrants face deportation after registering (06/17/03)
    The Associated PressCLIFTON, N.J. -- In the more than two years since he arrived from Egypt, Zeinhom Ayoub Ramadan had been living his own American dream. He found a job in a doughnut store, fell in love, got married and was trying to start a family...
    Wounded officer testifies on grenade attack in Kuwait (06/17/03)
    The Associated PressFORT KNOX, Ky. -- A military hearing opened Monday for a soldier accused of a deadly grenade attack on his fellow Americans in Kuwait, with witnesses recalling the carnage of an attack that rattled troops at the start of the war in Iraq...
    Gregory Peck eulogized as 'extraordinary human being' (06/17/03)
    LOS ANGELES -- Gregory Peck was eulogized Monday as having possessed the virtues of Atticus Finch, the Academy Award-winning role he played in the movie "To Kill a Mockingbird." The actor, who died last week at age 87, was laid to rest during a private service in the crypt-mausoleum beneath the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels before a public memorial...
    Drug defendants released after agent's credibility questioned (06/17/03)
    TULIA, Texas -- After as much as four years behind bars, 12 people sent to prison in a drug bust that brought cries of racism in this Texas Panhandle town were freed Monday by a judge who said they were railroaded by a white undercover agent. "I got something to smile about today," Freddie Brookins said after the release of his son, Freddie Jr. "It's been a lot of hard work that's gone into this."...
    Russia marks anniversary of spaceflight by woman (06/17/03)
    MOSCOW -- Russian space officials marked the 40th anniversary of a woman's first spaceflight Monday by presenting nine new candidates for space missions -- the first such recruitment in six years. Cosmonauts' luster has faded since Valentina Tereshkova's three-day flight in 1963, after their generous benefits withered with the collapse of the Soviet Union...
    Authorities seize 'dirty bomb' ingredients (06/17/03)
    TBILISI, Georgia -- A taxi driver was detained after authorities in the Georgian capital found nerve gas and radioactive materials that can make a "dirty bomb" in his cab, officials said Monday. Tedo Mokeliya was detained May 31 after police in this former Soviet republic discovered two containers holding cesium-137 and strontium in his taxi, said Givi Mgebrish-vili, chief of the Interior Ministry's main criminal investigation department...
    Sharon pledges continued assault on Hamas (06/17/03)
    JERUSALEM -- Prime Minister Ariel Sharon vowed Monday to press Israel's assault on Hamas, and the militant Islamic group rebuffed proposals for a truce with Israel. With the peace effort stumbling, Palestinian Prime Minister Mahmoud Abbas went to the Gaza Strip for a desperate push to persuade militants to lay down their arms...
    Tokyo ranked world's most expensive city (06/17/03)
    LONDON -- Tokyo dethroned Hong Kong as the world's most expensive city in an annual cost-of-living survey released Monday, while the surging euro currency sent European cities climbing in the rankings. U.S. cities saw their ranking fall in the survey of 144 urban areas around the world because of a weakened dollar against European and Asian currencies...
    Muslim police allowed to trade helmet for turban (06/17/03)
    LONDON -- Muslim police officers in London will be allowed to wear turbans instead of "bobby" helmets, a change announced Monday. The Association of Muslim Police had requested the change and the city's Metropolitan Police agreed, partly to encourage more Muslims to join the force...
    Liberia talks progressing; rebels want Taylor out (06/17/03)
    ACCRA, Ghana -- Mediators reported a breakthrough Monday in cease-fire talks to quell Liberia's increasingly bloody civil war, while rebel groups and mediators said there was an agreement for warlord-turned-president Charles Taylor to cede power. Parties to the talks a cease-fire could be signed as early as today...
    Saudi police arrest six more al-Qaida members in alleged plot (06/17/03)
    JIDDAH, Saudi Arabia -- Police investigating a purported Islamic extremist plot to attack Mecca arrested six more suspected al-Qaida members who allegedly escaped a raid on a bomb-filled apartment, newspapers reported Monday. The six suspects arrested Sunday join five others captured during the previous night's raid on the booby-trapped apartment, where police found six dozen bombs and other weapons. ...
    Security in Congolese town crumbles despite presence of troops (06/17/03)
    BUNIA, Congo -- Despite the arrival of 500 French troops more than a week ago, 48 people have been abducted in nighttime raids by tribal fighters and at least nine noncombatants have been killed, the United Nations spokesman said on Monday. There was no apparent pattern to the abductions since the French arrived June 6, and the assailants have not been identified, said Manodje Mounoubai, the U.N. ...
    Former Iraqi ambassador says Saddam deserved to be overthrown (06/17/03)
    CAIRO, Egypt -- Iraq's U.N. ambassador during the final days of Saddam Hussein's regime now says his government deserved to be overthrown -- but it should have been done by Iraqis not the U.S.-led coalition. In a television interview broadcast Monday by BBC World, Mohammed al-Douri said that right up until the last moment, Saddam's government did not believe the United States and Britain would invade Iraq...
    U.S. troops launch raids on homes looking for weapons, suspects (06/17/03)
    RAMADI, Iraq -- Led by informants, U.S. soldiers swept into homes in Baghdad and several outlying towns Monday in pursuit of Saddam Hussein loyalists who have been ambushing American forces. At least 59 Iraqis were detained, most taken away blindfolded and handcuffed...
    Iranian teachers, writers urge leader to accept reform (06/17/03)
    TEHRAN, Iran -- More than 250 university teachers and writers added their voices to students' bold demands for democratic reforms in Iran, telling supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei he must answer to the people and abandon the idea that he is God's unchallenged representative on Earth...
    Anderson released by Calgary, goes to B.C. (06/17/03)
    Former Southeast Missouri State University football star Kelvin Anderson signed with the B.C. Lions on Monday, just days after being released by Canadian Football League rival Calgary over the weekend. Anderson, the Stampeders' all-time leading rusher and Southeast's career rushing leader, was cut in a surprise move over the weekend as the Stampeders trimmed their roster in anticipation of this week's season opener...
    Second CWS loss eliminates Bears (06/17/03)
    OMAHA, Neb. -- Vince Bongiovanni didn't have time to get nervous about his first College World Series start. It wasn't until about 12 hours before Monday's elimination game against Southwest Missouri State that the Miami sophomore got the call from coach Jim Morris...
    Cape misses opportunities, but Paducah doesn't (06/17/03)
    The Paducah (Ky.) American Legion baseball program has been one of the nation's best over the years, regularly contending for national honors in addition to winning numerous state titles. Manager Denny Potts says this year's Paducah team pales in comparison to some of the previous squads -- but you'd have a hard time convincing Cape Girardeau Ford & Sons of that...
    Weir, Furyk are surprise hits in this year's PGA majors (06/17/03)
    OLYMPIA FIELDS, Ill. -- The Masters champion is a southpaw from north of the border. The U.S. Open champion has a loop in his swing that helped him hit the ball straight on a course not far from the Loop in Chicago. Halfway through the majors, this is shaping up to be an unusual year...
    Spurs likely to undergo makeover in offseason (06/17/03)
    SAN ANTONIO -- When the San Antonio Spurs hold their ring ceremony 4 1/2 months from now, they'll bear only a passing resemblance to the championship squad that finished off the Nets in six games. David Robinson will be retired. Steve Kerr might be. Steve Smith, Danny Ferry and Speedy Claxton will likely be playing elsewhere. Stephen Jackson and Kevin Willis could be gone, too...
    Cardinals blow 4-1 lead, lose to Brewers (06/17/03)
    MILWAUKEE -- Keith Osik hit a solo homer and two-run double in Milwaukee's seven-run seventh inning as the Brewers rallied past the St. Louis Cardinals 9-4 Monday night. Osik led off the seventh with his first homer since Aug. 21 and capped the club's biggest inning this season with a two-run double down the third-base line...
    Hewitt, Serena get No. 1 seeds at Wimbledon (06/17/03)
    WIMBLEDON, England -- Defending champions Lleyton Hewitt and Serena Williams are seeded No. 1 for Wimbledon. Hewitt got the top seeding Monday ahead of Andre Agassi, who replaced the Australian as No. 1 in this week's ATP Tour rankings. Agassi was seeded No. 2, followed by French Open champion Juan Carlos Ferrero, Roger Federer and Andy Roddick...
    Umpires who left MLB are set to start over -- in minors (06/17/03)
    Former big league umpires Bob Davidson and Tom Hallion will return to work this week in the low minors, more than 3 1/2 years after losing their jobs in the majors. Davidson and Hallion were among the 22 umps who took part in a failed mass resignation plan in September 1999. Court battles ensued, and several of those umpires were rehired by the majors, some retired and others were caught in limbo...
    Tennis needs Andy Roddick like he needs a Grand Slam (06/17/03)
    Tennis desperately needs Andy Roddick to step up to stardom. For all kinds of reasons. Nobody knows any of the other men except Andre Agassi, and his son with wife Steffi Graf won't be turning pro for another 15 years. Their second baby won't be born for a few more months...
    Area digest 6/17/03 (06/17/03)
    Street &Smith's picks Southeast football first The Street & Smith's College Football National Preview has picked Southeast Missouri State University to win the Ohio Valley Conference football title for the first time ever. Southeast was picked ahead of Tennessee Tech, Murray State, Eastern Kentucky, Jacksonville State, Eastern Illinois, Tennessee State, Samford and Tennessee-Martin...
    Dr. Edward Snider (06/17/03)
    Dr. Edward Lee Snider, 73, of Cape Girardeau passed away Sunday, June 15, 2003, at his home. He was born March 10, 1930, in Stoddard County, Mo., son of John T. and Emma Lee Clifft Snider. He and Lurlyne Lee Kincy were married Aug. 19, 1950, at Dexter, Mo...
    Hilda Siebert (06/17/03)
    CHAFFEE, Mo. -- Hilda M. Siebert, 85, of Chaffee died Sunday, June 15, 2003, at the Lutheran Home in Cape Girardeau. She was born Aug. 15, 1917, at Lemay, Mo., daughter of William and Christina Rolfes Schilli. She and Frederick Michael Siebert were married Aug. 7, 1948...
    Elbert Williamson (06/17/03)
    Elbert Ray Williamson, 86, of Cape Girardeau died Sunday, June 15, 2003, at St. Francis Medical Center. He was born Nov. 21, 1916, in Cape Girardeau, son of Leo and Dora Ann O'Howell Williamson. He and Evelyn Martin were married July 3, 1971, in St. Charles, Mo...
    Polly Spitzer (06/17/03)
    Polly Ann Spitzer, 64, of Parma, Mo., died Sunday, June 15, 2003, at the home of a daughter in Wentzville, Mo. She was born Dec. 23, 1938, at Clarkton, Mo., daughter of Tim and Elizabeth Tatum Daugherty. She married Richard Frederick "Dick" Spitzer Jr., who died April 14, 2001...
    C.A. Carter (06/17/03)
    SIKESTON, Mo. -- Clarence Allen Carter, 61, of Sikeston died Saturday, June 14, 2003, at St. Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau. He was born March 13, 1942, in Sikeston, son of Earl and Lorama Miller Carter. He and Sandra Mason were married Dec. 20, 1973, at Charleston, Mo...
    Lucille Baugher (06/17/03)
    Lucille Baugher, 83, of Cape Girardeau died Sunday, June 15, 2003, at her home. She was born April 23, 1920, at Chaffee, Mo., daughter of Frank Albert and Mattie Stevenson McHughes. She and Clarence Baugher were married Dec. 22, 1939, in Jackson. Baugher lived in Thebes, Ill., most of her life...
    Births 6/17/03 (06/17/03)
    Hood Daughter to Matt and Sheila Hood of Colorado Springs, Colo., Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs, 1:18 p.m. Monday, June 9, 2003. Name, Sydney Madison. Weight, 7 pounds 1 ounce. Mrs. Hood is the former Sheila Millburg, daughter of Tom and Judy Millburg of Cape Girardeau. She is a teacher. Hood is the son of Jack and Brenda Hood of Colorado Springs. He is an architect...
    Cape man hurt in Interstate 55 accident (06/17/03)
    STE. GENEVIEVE, Mo. -- A Cape Girardeau man sustained moderate injuries Monday when his vehicle ran of the road, hit a rock bluff and overturned on Interstate 55. Elmer Sandley, 91, was taken to Barnes Hospital by helicopter after the 11:27 a.m. accident. It occurred on southbound I-55 north of Route OO and Route DD...
    Cape police report 6/17/03 (06/17/03)
    Cape Girardeau Tuesday, June 17 The following items were released by the Cape Girardeau Police Department. Arrests do not imply guilt. Arrests Berrimaind James Breeden, 19, of 423 Opdyke St., Chester, Ill., was arrested Monday on suspicion of possession of drug paraphernalia...
    Cape fire report 6/17/03 (06/17/03)
    Cape Girardeau Tuesday, June 17 Firefighters responded to the following items Sunday: At 8:21 p.m., an emergency medical service at 1372 N. Kingshighway. At 9:39 p.m., an emergency medical service at 301 S. Spring.Firefighters responded to the following items Monday:...
    Out of the past 6/17/03 (06/17/03)
    10 years ago: June 17, 1993 Cape Girardeau Convention and Visitors Bureau will start operating under new contract next month; CVB, which promotes tourism and conventions in Cape Girardeau area, will receive its new directions from Cape Girardeau City Council during fiscal year that starts July 1; change was officially announced during meeting of CVB Advisory Board at City Hall yesterday...
    Bush - 'I want Bill Casey for the CIA' (06/17/03)
    Meeting in Oval Office. President George W. Bush and CIA director George Tenet. February 2003. Bush: Great to see you my good friend, George. I like talking to you because you aren't all wound up like Rummy. I still call Powell "Mr. Secretary" because he is an icon. Carl Rove tells me you are going to give me an important briefing on Iraq before we decide to kick ass there....
    Take care to avoid animal-borne diseases (06/17/03)
    As Southeast Missouri residents learn about the latest in a string of diseases that have jumped from the animal kingdom to humans, it's only natural to be concerned. First came the West Nile virus, which local health officials say undoubtedly will be around again this year. It is relayed from birds to humans by mosquitoes. There's no cure, and the symptoms are flulike...
    Partial-birth abortion ban awaits signature (06/17/03)
    When President Bush signs into law the ban on partial-birth abortions, it will be a historical milestone. The ban will be the first federal law prohibiting an abortion procedure since the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision. Opponents of the bill, headed to Bush's desk after it won Senate approval in March and House backing June 4, say it is only the first of many blows to Roe v. Wade and argue it is now only a matter of time until all abortion rights are dismantled...
    Scott City's Summerfest needs changes (06/17/03)
    To the editor: Scott City's Summerfest crowning is in need of changes. The most provocative, tongue-wagging dress always wins. The remarks made by the master of ceremonies show bias. Remarks such as "I knew you when you were a baby" and "I remember your mother in this contest" give those predetermined winners an edge over the contestants the MC doesn't personally know...
    'Regime change' is Bush term for nation-building (06/17/03)
    To the editor: One does not have to be a sympathizer with Saddam Hussein or a believer in his veracity to know that, in Colin Powell's masterly presentation to the United Nations to gain its approval for an invasion of Iraq, his three main points were (1) that Saddam had beaucoup weapons of mass destruction, (2) that Saddam was in cahoots with al-Qaida and (3) Saddam was a naughty man...
    Legislators have to make tough budget decisions (06/17/03)
    To the editor: In response to the article "Republicans suspect scheme behind phone calls": I received a call from a telemarketer, and I very politely interrupted her and told her she was talking to the wrong party. She asked what I meant. I said I am in favor of what the legislators are doing. They are doing what they are elected to do: make hard choices concerning the budget. The budget problems affect everyone, and everyone, to a degree, has to bite the bullet...
    Speak Out A 06/17/03 (06/17/03)
    The Clinton effect POLITICIANS IN both major parties lie like dogs these days because they realize few people care. I call it the Clinton effect. I don't know why either party's spin doctors work so hard to try to convince the public that their party's officeholders are Honest Johns. It really makes no difference and may be counterproductive in the sense that I believe most voters are attracted to politicians who appear to be sincere and truthful but aren't...
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