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Stories from Saturday, December 20, 2003

Lawmakers seek constitutional ban on gay marriages (12/20/03)
Two local state representatives are leading an unprecedented effort to include a heterosexual definition of marriage in the state's constitution. On Friday, Speaker Pro Tem Jason Crowell and House Majority Leader Rod Jetton, both Republicans, made stops throughout Southeast Missouri announcing plans that would put the gay marriage debate to voters in November...
Annual National Audubon Bird Count under way (12/20/03)
The annual National Audubon Christmas Bird Count began regionally Friday at Big Oak Tree State Park in Mississippi County. Counts will continue Dec. 27 at the Mingo National Wildlife Refuge, Dec. 29 at the Horseshoe Lake Conservation Area and Dec. 30 at Trail of Tears State Park...
Elderly get early gifts from charity effort (12/20/03)
Christmas came a week early for some elderly residents in Cape Girardeau, Jackson and Bollinger County. The recipients received gifts Thursday and Friday from Christmas for the Elderly, a joint program of the Southeast Missourian and Cape Girar-deau Jaycees...
Couple plans to refurbish Cape Girardeau mansion (12/20/03)
One night last summer, Dr. Robert Hamblin and his wife, Kaye, parked their car in front of the deteriorating brick mansion at 313 Themis St. before walking to Courthouse Park to hear a concert. Seeing the "For sale" sign in the yard, he told her he'd been thinking they should buy an old house downtown to restore...
Area United Way breaks $1 million pledge level (12/20/03)
Area Wide United Way fund raisers are crediting early planning and a particularly caring community with breaking the $1 million pledge barrier for the first time in the organization's 49-year history. The public announcement came Friday. The goal of the 2003 campaign was $935,000, a total of $990,773 had been raised in time for the group's Dec. 3 victory party, and the current total is $1,000,545...
Regents OK computer upgrades (12/20/03)
Southeast Missouri State University's Board of Regents voted Friday to spend $2.4 million over the next six years to upgrade the school's computer systems. In other business, school president Dr. Ken Dobbins said the university will start conducting criminal background checks as part of hiring new faculty. The decision was made by the administration and didn't require board action...
Cape fire department's 'Jaws of Life' ailing (12/20/03)
When all you have is a "golden hour" to save a victim in severe trauma, a problematic piece of rescue equipment can make the difference between saving a life or recovering a body. The aging "Jaws of Life" extrication tools used by the Cape Girardeau Fire Department to spread apart and cut vehicle metal aren't as powerful or fast as they used to be and firefighters worry they won't last much longer. ...
Finding time to wait in holiday rush (12/20/03)
"Wait for the Lord, take courage; be stouthearted, wait for the Lord" (Psalm 27:14). As I read Scripture about the birth of Jesus and listened to sermons regarding Advent being a time of waiting, I thought something was indeed wrong somewhere. Because I felt I spent so much of life rushing to accomplish what I believed I should do, I seldom had time to wait. ...
Religion calendar 12/20/03 (12/20/03)
Today Living Nativity from 5 to 9 p.m. at Mount Auburn Christian Church in Cape Girardeau. Call 335-9265 for information. Southside Baptist Church will host a Christmas singing at 6 p.m. with Kathy and Darrell Hobbs...
Machine crushes worker to death (12/20/03)
NORMANDY, Mo. -- A man who worked at a St. Louis County second-hand clothing store was crushed by a compacting machine while he was bundling clothes, Normandy police chief John Connolly said. The accident Wednesday killed Louis Crigler III, 34. Crigler was working at Value Village bundling clothing that was no longer for sale...
Two indicted in alleged fraud scheme (12/20/03)
ST. LOUIS -- Two Missouri men have been indicted on mail fraud charges in an alleged scheme to defraud a container plant out of $400,000, the U.S. Attorney's office said. Alan Lowes, 46, of Perryville, and Rodney Gale, 41, of DeSoto, each were indicted by a federal grand jury on eight felony counts of mail fraud...
World digest 12/20/03 (12/20/03)
Death toll in Mideast fighting down by half JERUSALEM -- The death toll in the third year of Israeli-Palestinian violence fell to about half the previous year's, mainly due to fewer Palestinian attacks and Israeli military strikes, according to an Associated Press count. ...
McDonald's gets poised for fry ads (12/20/03)
OAK BROOK, Ill. -- McDonald's Corp. is ready for the next step in its latest big marketing push: Advertise the fries. The hamburger chain said Friday it has chosen the DDB Worldwide agency, led by DDB Chicago, to develop a worldwide french fry advertising campaign in 2004. Details of the agency's creative proposal were not disclosed...
Stocks end mixed on investor optimism, valuation concerns (12/20/03)
NEW YORK -- The Dow Jones industrials and the Standard & Poor's 500 index notched a fourth straight week of advances after a day of mixed trading Friday, when optimistic investors started to wonder whether stock prices were getting a bit high. Trading was choppy on a day of little economic news and due to Friday's so-called quadruple-witching day, the quarterly expiration of index futures and options as well as individual stock futures and options...
Feds OK purchase of DirecTV (12/20/03)
WASHINGTON -- Federal regulators on Friday approved News Corp.'s takeover of DirecTV, the nation's largest satellite television provider, but imposed certain conditions on the $6.6 billion deal. The Federal Communications Commission said News Corp. ...
Seized boat may link terror, drugs (12/20/03)
The Navy has seized a boat carrying nearly two tons of hashish in the Persian Gulf, U.S. officials said Friday, in what could be some of the first hard evidence of al-Qaida links to drug smuggling. The guided missile destroyer USS Decatur intercepted the 40-foot boat on Monday. Aboard were a dozen men, three of them believed to have al-Qaida connections, and 3,780 pounds of hashish, the Navy said Friday...
Libya says it will give up its weapons program (12/20/03)
WASHINGTON -- Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, after secret negotiations with the United States and Britain, agreed to halt his nation's drive to develop nuclear and chemical weapons and the long-range missiles to deliver them, President Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair said Friday. Bush said pointedly, "I hope other leaders will find an example" in the action...
War in Iraq overwhelming choice as top story of 2003 (12/20/03)
The "major combat" phase was over in six weeks, but the war in Iraq -- from its tumultuous prelude to a still-active insurgency -- was in the global spotlight throughout the year. By an overwhelming margin, the U.S.-led invasion and occupation was voted the top story of 2003 in The Associated Press' annual survey of American editors and news directors. ...
Revised design for World Trade Center site unveiled (12/20/03)
NEW YORK -- A new design for the Freedom Tower at the World Trade Center site slopes gracefully into a spire rising 1,776 feet, echoing the Statue of Liberty, images released Friday show. The new plan -- which comes after months of contentious negotiations between designers Daniel Libeskind and David Childs -- retains many elements of Libeskind's original plan but appears to smooth out its most angular elements...
Judge vacates death penalty for retarded man (12/20/03)
PHILADELPHIA -- A man convicted of murdering seven women and leaving their decomposed bodies in his apartment cannot be executed because he is mentally retarded, a judge ruled. The judge said Harrison Graham met criteria established by the American Psychiatric Association and acknowledged by the Supreme Court, including an IQ of approximately 70 or below...
Janus to pay back $31.5 million (12/20/03)
DENVER -- Janus Capital Group Inc. said Friday it will pay back $31.5 million gained from questionable mutual fund trading arrangements being investigated by regulators. Janus said it had not determined whether the money will be given directly to shareholders or placed in funds affected by market timing, a strategy under which investors make quick in-and-out trades...
Sentencing phase of sniper trial gets off to emotional start (12/20/03)
CHESAPEAKE, Va. -- On a gut-wrenching first day in the sentencing phase of Lee Boyd Malvo's trial, the daughter of sniper victim Linda Franklin testified Friday that she cries every morning and feels forced at night to repeatedly "watch that man shoot my mother in the head."...
CDC activates emergency center (12/20/03)
ATLANTA -- The nation's top health agency activated its emergency operations center to deal with the flu outbreak, which has now claimed the lives of 42 children, officials said Friday. Dr. Julie Gerberding, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said the agency sent out field teams to help states deal with the outbreak and evaluate the effectiveness of this year's flu shot...
Court backs Internet privacy (12/20/03)
WASHINGTON -- The recording industry can't force Internet providers to identify music downloaders, a federal appeals court said Friday in a major decision shielding online privacy while undercutting the industry's anti-piracy campaign. The ruling does not legalize distributing copyrighted songs over the Internet, but it will greatly increase the cost and effort for the Washington-based Recording Industry Association of America to track such activity and sue those who are swapping music online...
Security at Henry VIII palace baffled by camera image (12/20/03)
LONDON -- Are there ghostly goings-on at Henry VIII's palace, or is that hazy image of a fellow in fancy robes just a bit of Christmas cheer? Closed-circuit security cameras at Hampton Court Palace, the huge Tudor castle outside London, seem to have snagged an ethereal visitor. Could it be a ghost?...
Tape purportedly recorded by No. 2 al-Qaida leader (12/20/03)
CAIRO, Egypt -- An audiotape purportedly from Osama bin Laden's deputy in al-Qaida, aired on Arab television Friday, warned that the terror group would target Americans "in their homeland" and would drive U.S. forces from bases in the region. The pan-Arab satellite channel Al-Jazeera broadcast excerpts from a 10-minute tape it said was recorded by Ayman al-Zawahri, the No. 2 figure in al-Qaida. The channel's editors said they received the tape earlier Friday through the mail...
Top U.S. official in Iraq escaped injury in guerrilla attack on (12/20/03)
BAGHDAD, Iraq -- L. Paul Bremer, the top U.S. civilian official in Iraq, said Friday he was not hurt in a guerrilla attack on his convoy early this month. The military said the assault was carried out with a roadside bomb and small arms fire. The Dec. 6 attack on Bremer's convoy was not reported at the time, but a U.S. spokesman said Friday it had occurred on the same day Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld was visiting the Iraqi capital. The attack was first reported Thursday by NBC News...
Jackson stays healthy with win over Central (12/20/03)
In what would be politely termed a defensive struggle, Jackson's girls basketball team defeated rival Central 43-27 in the opening round of the HealthSouth Holiday Classic girls basketball tournament Friday night at the Show Me Center. The second-seeded Indians moved into Monday's semifinal round where they will play No. 3 Sparta. Jackson has not won the HealthSouth Classic since its first year in 1996 and has not made a final since 2000...
Tigers shoot down Farmington (12/20/03)
Central's boys basketball team had its best shooting performance of the season and won its home opener Friday night, 83-68 over district rival Farmington. "Our defense is always ahead of us, but the key tonight was shot selection," Central coach Derek McCord said. "Our shots are starting to fall now."...
Otahks search for 4th straight victory (12/20/03)
After a brutal early schedule, Southeast Missouri State University's women have finally climbed above the .500 mark for the first time this season -- thanks to a three-game winning streak. But coach B.J. Smith knows things won't get any easier for the Otahkians (4-3) over the next couple of weeks, beginning with tonight's game against Lipscomb (2-3) in Nashville, Tenn...
Rams want aggressive approach by Bulger (12/20/03)
ST. LOUIS -- It didn't take long for Marc Bulger to get back on track. Coach Mike Martz said his young quarterback became a bit gun-shy because of criticism related to his 20 interceptions. Bulger also had mechanical problems in the Monday night game at Cleveland two weeks ago...
Man pays dearly to destroy ball, Cub 'curse' (12/20/03)
CHICAGO -- Here's one way to try to end the Cubs' curse: Destroy the ball that was in the middle of one of the team's most heartbreaking defeats. That's exactly what Grant DePorter wants to do. DePorter, a friend of Harry Caray and managing partner of the late broadcasters' area restaurants, paid $106,600 at auction Friday for the foul ball that disrupted the Cubs' possible run to the World Series...
Sports briefs 12/20/03 (12/20/03)
Baseball Kevin Millwood accepted the Philadelphia Phillies' offer of salary arbitration on Friday. Millwood, who made $9.9 million in his first season with the Phillies, had been seeking a five-year contract worth about $15 million per season. By accepting the offer, he is considered to be a signed player under baseball's rules. Millwood, 28, went 14-12 with a 4.01 ERA for the Phillies last year and has a career record of 89-58...
Agent says A-Rod talks still alive (12/20/03)
NEW YORK -- A day after the Red Sox proclaimed their trade for Alex Rodriguez was "dead," the agent for the AL MVP said Boston still was talking with Texas. Scott Boras said he would remain in New York until at least Saturday, trying to ascertain if the proposed swap of baseball's only $20 million-a-year players still had a chance...
Woman's medical history becomes the main focus (12/20/03)
EAGLE, Colo. -- Putting off testimony at a key hearing in the Kobe Bryant case, the trial judge sent witnesses home Friday and met privately with attorneys arguing over whether the medical history of the woman accusing the NBA star of rape should be allowed as evidence...
Ronnie Nanney (12/20/03)
MARBLE HILL, Mo. -- Ronnie Lynn Nanney, 54, of Marble Hill died Thursday, Dec. 18, 2003. He was born, Oct. 22, 1949, in Malden, Mo., son of Melvin and Elta Wiseman Nanney. Mr. Nanney worked for 20 years as a parts manager for Mokita and Crader Equipment. ...
James Warren (12/20/03)
OLIVE BRANCH, Ill. -- James H. Warren, 70, of Olive Branch died Thursday, Dec. 18, 2003, at Southeast Missouri Hospital in Cape Girardeau. He was born June 4, 1933, in Alexander County, Ill., son of Ollie Ray and Juanita Walden Warren. Mr. Warren was a retired ironworker with Iron Local 782 of Paducah, Ky. He was a member of Rock Springs Baptist Church near Thebes, Ill...
Homer Markhart (12/20/03)
Homer I. Markhart, 59, of Cape Girardeau passed away Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2003, at his home. He was born Nov. 13, 1944, in Cape Girardeau, son of Ivan and Edith Poe Markhart. He and Nancy Rhodes were married Dec. 3, 1977. Survivors include his wife; three sons and daughters-in-law, Homer Jr. ...
Robert Cleek (12/20/03)
Robert Lee Cleek, 51, of Cape Girardeau died Thursday, Dec. 18, 2003, at Southeast Missouri Hospital. He was a plant manager at Procter & Gamble. Mr. Cleek was a graduate of West Point Military Academy. Survivors include his wife, Elizabeth Beth Cleek; three sons, Robert (Kenzie) Cleek of Green Bay, Wis., Gabe (Robin) Cleek of Chicago, Nick Cleek of Estill Springs, Tenn.; two daughters, Joey (Scott) Smith of Estill Springs, Becky Whitney; his mother, Nell Cleek of Estill Springs; five grandchildren, Breezey Cleek, Jaryes Stinson, Catie Smith, Cody Whitney, Travis Whitney; three brothers, Terry (Tammy) Cleek of Murfreesboro, Tenn., Phillip (Terresa) Cleek of Estill Springs, Allan (Gina) Cleek of McMinnville, Tenn.; several nieces and nephews.. ...
Mary Hessian (12/20/03)
CAIRO, Ill. -- Mary Eleanor Hessian, 66, of Cairo died Friday, Dec. 19, 2003, at Daystar Care Center. She was born May 22, 1937, in Cairo, daughter of Charles E. and Mary McCarthy Hessian. Hessian was a retired teacher's aide. She was a lifelong member of St. Patrick's Catholic Church...
Joseph Hurley Jr. (12/20/03)
Joseph F. Hurley Jr., 63, of Cape Girardeau died Tuesday, Dec. 16, 2003, at Southeast Missouri Hospital. He was born Aug. 23, 1940, in Queens, N.Y., son of Joseph and Loretta Bourgeois Hurley Sr. He married Patricia Galbraith. Hurley was an electronic technician with ITT in New York City before moving to Cape Girardeau...
Florence Vestal (12/20/03)
Florence E. Vestal, 62, of St. Louis died Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2003, at St. Alexius Hospital in St. Louis. She was born June 23, 1941, in Cape Girardeau, daughter of Harry and Aleene Hulehan Scheper. Survivors include two sons, Paul and William Vestal; two daughters, Alice Schultz and Carol Coyle; a brother, Ronald Scheper of Cape Girardeau; 12 grandchildren; and a great-grandchild...
Freddie Terrell (12/20/03)
MINER, Mo. -- Freddie Joe Terrell, 63, of Miner died Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2003, at his home. He was born July 12, 1940, in Charleston, Mo., son of Marshall Eugene and Irma Inola Baker Terrell. Terrell was an electrician with Rowling Electric Co. He was a member of First Baptist Church at Bertrand, Mo...
Emma Guzman (12/20/03)
ORAN, Mo. -- Emma Guzman, 64, of Oran died Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2003, at her home. She was born March 23, 1939, in Nixon, Texas, daughter of Vidal and Susie Valdez Sauceda. She and Arnold Guzman were married July 27, 1956. Guzman moved to Oran 52 years ago from Texas...
Naidene Sherman (12/20/03)
ADVANCE, Mo. -- Naidene Marie Sherman, 71, of Advance died Friday, Dec. 19, 2003, at St. Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau. She was born Oct. 18, 1932, at Brownwood, Mo., daughter of Fred and Violet Black Phelps. She and Bill Sherman were married Sept. 30, 1950, in Pocha, Ark. He died Feb. 8, 1992...
Helen McLaurin (12/20/03)
Helen Lorine McLaurin, 77, of Centralia, Ill., died Thursday, Dec. 18, 2003, at St. Mary's Hospital in Centralia. She was born Feb. 21, 1926, in Canalou, Mo., daughter of John and Emma Saunders Chaney. She and Philip McLaurin were married Nov. 1, 1944. He died May 13, 1991...
Donald Sneddon (12/20/03)
ANNA, Ill. -- Donald L. Sneddon, 64, of Anna died Friday, Dec. 19, 2003, at his home. He was born Feb. 12, 1939, in Anna, son of John M. and Helen Barker Sneddon. He was a retired E-8 with the U.S. Navy and as an electronics specialist. He also had served as an instructor at Shawnee College...
Dominic Williams (12/20/03)
Dominic Nathanial Williams was stillborn Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2003, at Southeast Missouri Hospital. Survivors include his parents, Michael T. Williams and Tiffany L. Mass of Cape Girardeau; a sister, Deseria Boyer of Ironton, Mo.; maternal grandparents, Ladonna Kruchten of Anoka, Minn., Charles Mass of Brainerd, Minn.; and paternal grandmother, Linda Williams of Cape Girardeau...
Births 12/20/03 (12/20/03)
Hency Daughter to Michael Dwight Hency and Candy Lee Seiler of Jackson, Southeast Missouri Hospital, 10:22 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2003. Name, Makaylia Dawn. Weight, 8 pounds 9 ounces. Third daughter. Ms. Seiler is the former Candy Speth, daughter of Jim and Gisela Speth of Glenallen, Mo. Hency is the son of Robert and Lena Hency of Jackson. He is employed at Nu Way...
Police report 12/20/03 (12/20/03)
Cape Girardeau The following items were released by the Cape Girardeau Police Department. Arrests do not imply guilt. Arrests Danny R. Reed, 22, of 538 Marie, Cape Girardeau, was arrested Thursday on suspicion of stealing. Gregory S. Hawkins, 20, of 3020 Boutin, No. 128, Cape Girardeau, was arrested Thursday on a Cape Girardeau warrant for contempt of court...
Fire report 12/20/03 (12/20/03)
Cape Girardeau Firefighters responded Thursday to the following items: At 2:05 p.m., electrical line down at 2800 Bloomfield. At 3:54 p.m., medical assist at 210 Hillview. At 4:17 p.m., medical assist at Mount Auburn and Highway 74. At 8:27 p.m., alarm at 3265 William...
Sheriff's report 12/20/03 (12/20/03)
Cape Girardeau County Sheriff's Department The following items were released by the Cape Girardeau County Sheriff's Department. Arrests do not imply guilt. DWIs Carrie L. Bell, 18, of Jackson was arrested Dec. 12 on suspicion of driving while intoxicated by drugs and driving while revoked...
Out of the past 12/20/03 (12/20/03)
10 years ago: Dec. 20, 1993 Jeannie Hirsch Blaylock, television anchorwoman in Florida and formerly of Cape Girardeau, won three Emmys this year, bringing her career total to six. For second time this month, Cape Girardeau City Council refuses to vote on proposed $1.46 per month trash-fee increase; council tables the measure until Jan. 3, when alternative funding methods and other related issues will be discussed...
Religious freedom provides moral foundation (12/20/03)
By Todd Diebold Within the past decade many invisible changes have been made to our Constitution. Case by case, the First Amendment has been amended to freedom from religion. Here is a story from the pamphlet "Should Church and State Be Separate."...
SEMO's graduation (12/20/03)
The 576 students who will participate in Southeast Missouri State University's fall commencement exercises today will have a special opportunity to hear a prominent former Cape Girardeau resident. Gary Forsee, chairman and chief executive officer of Sprint Corp. ...
Breaking the cycle (12/20/03)
Missouri's school district report cards released this month contain information that isn't easy for everyone to read and not everyone wants to see. Because of the federal No Child Left Behind Act, a sweeping public education reform act passed last year, those reports now contain information broken down by race and income levels and reports of disciplinary incidents that resulted in suspensions of 10 days or more...
Abortion rates continue to show decreasing trend (12/20/03)
To the editor: Recently, the Missouri Department of Health released abortion statistics for 2002. The figures show a continuing decline in abortion rates over the last several years. In 2002 there were 12,250 abortions. In 1980 there were 21,671. While there are many reasons for the decline, I think part of it can be attributed to pro-life efforts by several organizations in Southeast Missouri...
Child's safety in car should be first concern (12/20/03)
To the editor: What could break someone's heart more than seeing one of our children hurt or die? I am a mother of one, and I couldn't imagine putting my child in danger or cause her any pain. So why do we see other parents or guardians doing just that?...
Reagan deserves credit for his firm leadership (12/20/03)
To the editor: We often hear about President Bush's tax cut, but we don't hear much anymore about President Reagan's tax cut that started the longest economic increase ever. The largest tax cut in history lowered the top income-tax rates and caused federal revenue to nearly double. It stimulated the economy in such a drastic way that the effects of it are still ongoing...
Speak Out A 12/20/03 (12/20/03)
Hiding in a hole THE HOLE that Saddam Hussein was staying in shows the extremes he would go to thwart the United States military. Congratulations to the troops for finding him. This stunning achievement shows that our troops are dedicated, disciplined and will be ultimately successful. By the way, if Saddam would hide himself in such a way, you have to believe he would also hide weapons of mass destruction in such a concealed manner too...
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