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Stories from Wednesday, December 24, 2003

A teacher's winter solace (12/24/03)
"5 + 5 = 11 Thank you for teaching us that Mr. Bandermann." Jason Bandermann smiles when he sees the words scrawled along the whiteboard in his Central Junior High School classroom. He erases the marker in much the same manner he has erased many of the unpleasant memories from his first semester of teaching...
Robbery, attempted murder victim still in hospital (12/24/03)
Daily Dunklin Democrat A Dunklin County woman remains hospitalized at a Springfield, Mo. hospital after being beaten, strangled and having her throat slashed in a weekend incident, authorities said. Carmen Joann Tibbs, 67, of 677 Bailey St., Campbell, Mo., was abducted from her home Sunday, Dec. 21, and driven across the state to Dallas County where the attack took place, according to Dallas County Sheriff Billy Rex Blair...
Elderly not buying into state drug discounts (12/24/03)
Missouri's senior citizens aren't sold on the state's prescription drug discount program. In Cape Girardeau County alone, more than 400 elderly residents are enrolled. But that still leaves another 1,402 who might be eligible for the program but have not signed up, state officials said Tuesday...
Family gets Christmas renovation thanks to block grant (12/24/03)
CHRIS PAGANO * cpagano@semissourian.com The Kreiter's Own Home At a press conference held Tuesday, Dec. 23 a Cape Girardeau family and all the parties involved in making their dream of a new home come true met at the family's future place of residence...
Chamber solicits businesses' help for soldiers (12/24/03)
Ed Hobgood, a family assistance coordinator for the 1221st Transportation Company in Dexter, knows the drill. It's been Hobgood's job to watch after families of the 1221st since the company left last summer for Iraq. When guardsmen go off to serve, they leave a vacancy back home. Some of the things the families miss are irreplaceable, like hugs and kisses or some little-league pitching advice...
Life behind bars on Christmas Day no holiday for area inmates (12/24/03)
If it weren't for a few extra holiday desserts, most local jail inmates might not notice they're spending Christmas behind bars. Allowing special privileges sends the wrong message to inmates and creates extra work for jail staff, local jailers say...
Man arrested for identity theft (12/24/03)
SIKESTON, Mo. -- Sikeston police arrested a St. Louis man on an identity theft complaint Monday at U.S. Bank at 104 E. Center St. Glover D. Cody, 34, fled from the bank when officers arrived, but he was arrested shortly afterward for resisting arrest, assaulting an officer and forgery. ...
Loss, separation can be harder during holiday (12/24/03)
Holiday celebrations are usually filled with laughter and cheer, but they can be a time of sadness if you're alone, away from home or grieving the loss of a relative. Many Southeast Missouri families are observing the holiday without a parent, sibling, spouse or child because of military call-ups. Other families are grieving the loss of a relative who died in the past year...
Holden proposes Jobs Now plan to spark employment (12/24/03)
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Gov. Bob Holden proposed a plan Tuesday to create thousands of new jobs in Missouri by investing in community infrastructure projects, such as water and telecommunication systems. Holden said his plan, called Jobs Now, will be his priority in the legislative session that begins Jan. 7...
Senator - Boeing soon to land $8-billion F-18 contract (12/24/03)
ST. LOUIS -- An $8 billion contract the Navy soon expects to sign would call for Boeing Co.'s St. Louis-based defense division to supply 212 additional military aircraft over the next five years, U.S. Sen. Kit Bond said Tuesday. The Navy officially has informed Congress of its intent to sign the contract, expectedly within 30 days, the Missouri Republican said during a St. Louis holiday visit...
Post-Dispatch drops 'open shop' (12/24/03)
ST. LOUIS -- The union representing newsroom and other employees at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch will immediately remove billboards and radio adds criticizing the newspaper for trying "to bust the union" after the paper dropped a controversial "open shop" provision from its latest contract proposal...
First-ever discovery of mad cow disease made in America (12/24/03)
A single Holstein on a Washington state farm has tested positive for mad cow disease, marking the disease's first suspected appearance in the United States, the Bush administration announced Tuesday as it assured Americans their food is safe. Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman said the slaughtered cow was screened earlier this month and any diseased parts were removed before they could enter the food supply and infect humans. ...
Terrorists interested in strikes outside major cities (12/24/03)
WASHINGTON -- Intelligence gathered by the U.S. government indicates al-Qaida terrorists have a keen interest in striking targets that are far from major cities, such as power plants, dams and even oil facilities in Alaska. The Pentagon said Tuesday it is broadening air patrols throughout the country...
Deadline passes for Sept. 11 families to file with victim fund (12/24/03)
WASHINGTON -- The midnight deadline for the families of Sept. 11, 2001, victims to seek government compensation was marked by a flurry of last-minute applications from around the country and exhausted exultation in a downtown law office. Just after the deadline expired 12:00 a.m. ...
Judge - Fla. brain-damage case done (12/24/03)
CLEARWATER, Fla. -- A judge said Tuesday he is ready to rule on the constitutionality of a state law that has been keeping a severely brain-damaged woman alive, and a lawyer for Gov. Jeb Bush predicted the law will be overturned. Circuit Court Judge W. Douglas Baird, at a routine hearing in the case of Terri Schiavo, said he has heard everything he needs and will rule once a court settles appeals filed by the governor's office...
St. Louis firm gets largest specialty-drug business (12/24/03)
The Associated Press ST. LOUIS -- A pharmacy benefits company in suburban St. Louis plans to buy the nation's largest specialty-pharmaceutical business early next year. Express Scripts Inc. of Maryland Heights said Monday it will pay $335 million to buy CuraScript, based in Orlando, Fla...
Consumer spending keeps economy moving forward (12/24/03)
WASHINGTON -- Consumers buoyed by brightening employment prospects spent at a healthy clip in November, giving hope that the overall economy will finish the year strongly after growth hit a two-decade high in the summer. A batch of economic reports released Tuesday showed an economy that was finishing up 2003 in far better shape than the year began; consumer spending was solid, incomes were rising and people were showing increased confidence about job prospects...
Jackson's journey draws scrutiny (12/24/03)
The Associated Press LOS ANGELES -- A prosecutor demanded that Michael Jackson, facing child molestation charges, prove that he plans to go to Britain to promote his new CD or surrender his passport. A Santa Barbara County district demanded "documented confirmation" on Jackson's plan to his attorney, Mark Geragos...
Lenny Bruce pardoned for four-letter offenses (12/24/03)
ALBANY, N.Y. -- Long after four-letter words in standup comedy lost their ability to shock, Lenny Bruce -- whose foul-mouthed rants started the trend -- was posthumously pardoned Tuesday for his 1964 obscenity conviction. Gov. George Pataki granted the pardon after a campaign that included Bruce's daughter and former wife, and entertainers such as Robin Williams, the Smothers Brothers, and Penn and Teller. It was the first posthumous pardon in New York state history...
Prosecutors can examine Limbaugh medical records (12/24/03)
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- Prosecutors investigating whether Rush Limbaugh illegally went "doctor shopping" for prescription painkillers can examine his medical records, a judge ruled Tuesday. The conservative radio commentator accused prosecutors of going after him for political reasons, and his attorney promptly appealed the ruling. ...
'No plea bargain,' former Illinois governor says (12/24/03)
CHICAGO -- Former Gov. George Ryan pleaded innocent to federal corruption charges Tuesday and said he would spurn any plea bargain on allegations that he took payoffs in return for letting associates profit from state contracts and leases. Ryan pleaded not guilty to charges of racketeering conspiracy, mail fraud, tax fraud, filing false tax returns and making false statements to agents investigating corruption. ...
Jury - Life without parole for teenage sniper Malvo (12/24/03)
CHESAPEAKE, Va. -- Teenage sniper Lee Boyd Malvo was spared from joining his mentor John Allen Muhammad on death row Tuesday when a jury sentenced him to life in prison, agreeing with the defense that Malvo was an impressionable boy who fell under Muhammad's spell...
Deaths highlight danger of bricks-and-mortar work (12/24/03)
LOS ANGELES -- The deaths of two women in the rubble of a quake-toppled 1892 clock tower have underscored the danger posed by the thousands of unreinforced brick buildings still standing throughout California, 70 years after the state banned such construction. ...
People talk 12/24/03 (12/24/03)
Simon, Garfunkel plan children's collaboration NEW YORK -- The recently reunited Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel announced another collaboration Tuesday: a joint $1 million donation to The Children's Health Fund. The singers, who launched a reunion tour earlier this year, made a two-part donation. ...
Jordanian lawyers offer to defend Saddam Hussein (12/24/03)
AMMAN, Jordan -- More than 600 Jordanian lawyers have volunteered to defend former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein, the president of the Jordanian Bar Association said Tuesday. The Arab Lawyer's Union, which comprises members from across the Arab world, is setting up an international team for Saddam's defense, Hussein Mejali told The Associated Press. Mejali said last week he believed Saddam was unlawfully deposed by coalition forces and unlawfully captured by U.S. troops...
Court keeps marijuana possession illegal (12/24/03)
TORONTO -- Canada's supreme court upheld the country's current laws against marijuana possession Tuesday, even as Prime Minister Paul Martin presses to eliminate jail sentences for people caught with small amounts of the drug. In a 6-3 decision, the justices ruled that possession of marijuana would remain a criminal offense for now. ...
Rogue nuclear scientists might have aided Iran (12/24/03)
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- Pakistan said Tuesday that rogue scientists driven by "ambition and greed" may have spread nuclear technology to Iran -- Islamabad's most explicit acknowledgment of such help, prompted by questioning from the U.N. atomic watchdog. The admission, after months of denials, is the latest in a wave of nuclear disclosures, following revelations from Libya and Iran. Pakistan said it was cooperating with the U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency...
Israeli raid into refugee camp leaves eight dead (12/24/03)
GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip -- Israeli forces looking for tunnels used for weapons smuggling clashed Tuesday with Palestinians at a refugee camp, killing eight and wounding more than 40 -- the worst violence in the Gaza Strip in more than two months. The bloodshed came despite new efforts to restart stalled peace talks and arrange a long-anticipated summit between Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and his Palestinian counterpart, Ahmed Qureia...
Jackson back on top with HealthSouth title (12/24/03)
Jackson's girls basketball team never trailed Tuesday night in a 49-40 win over Farmington at the Show Me Center in the finals of the HealthSouth Holiday Classic. It was the Indians' first HealthSouth Holiday Classic title since the inaugural tournament in 1996. Farmington was making its first appearance in the finals in its fourth year in the tournament...
ND seals 3rd with win over Sparta (12/24/03)
Led by senior Sommer McCauley's 18 points and five rebounds, the Notre Dame Bulldogs defeated Sparta 55-38 to take third place in the HealthSouth Holiday Classic. The Lady Bulldogs put the pressure on Sparta early by forcing several errant passes and costly turnovers. Bad ball-handling by Sparta helped Notre Dame get easy baskets early...
Weber puts comparisons to rest with win over MU (12/24/03)
ST. LOUIS -- Bruce Weber needed this one. Barely into his first season at Illinois, Weber was growing weary of comparisons to Bill Self, who left the Illini for Kansas after last season. Tuesday's 71-70 win over No. 11 Missouri in the annual neutral-site "Braggin' Rights" game will help quiet the critics...
Otahks drop to 4-5 with loss at SMS (12/24/03)
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Southeast Missouri State University's women's basketball team couldn't climb back from a 51-29 halftime deficit and fell to Southwest Missouri State University 87-59 Tuesday. Carina Souza led the Otahkians with 16 points, while Yashika Sidbury had 15 and Chandra Brown and Kenja White had eight apiece...
Cardinals finalize public financing for new ballpark (12/24/03)
ST. LOUIS -- Capping a lengthy journey that included a flirtation with Illinois and a failed trip to Jefferson City in search of public funding, the Cardinals said Tuesday the club has obtained the private money it needs to build a new ballpark downtown...
Texas says A-Rod will stay with Rangers (12/24/03)
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas says Alex Rodriguez will be back with the Rangers next season. The Tuesday deadline for a deal with Boston passed without a trade of the American League MVP. The Rangers, Red Sox and Rodriguez's agent all said talks are finally over...
Blackhawks deal Blues a shutout (12/24/03)
CHICAGO -- Michael Leighton's second NHL shutout turned out better than his first. Leighton stopped 23 shots to earn his first shutout this season and led the Chicago Blackhawks to a 3-0 win over the Blues on Tuesday night. He played in a scoreless tie in his NHL debut last season for offense-starved Chicago...
Sports briefs 12/24/03 (12/24/03)
Baseball The Cubs got another left-handed hitter, agreeing Tuesday to a $1.75 million, one-year contract with free-agent infielder Todd Walker. Walker, 30, played second base for the Boston Red Sox this year, hitting .283 in 144 games. He said he is not going to try to replace Cubs second baseman Mark Grudzielanek, who agreed to a one-year deal Dec. 7 that guarantees him $2.75 million...
Spice up parties with these finger foods (12/24/03)
Up until the weekend, I thought we were going to be able to escape the flu bug, but it did not happen that way. When the bug hit our family, it hit hard and with a vengeance. Then all of a sudden all of those things that were to be finished before Christmas suddenly became so unimportant. You resolve yourself to the idea that what is done is wonderful and what didn't get done will just have to wait until next year...
Visions of sugarplums (12/24/03)
The definition of this holiday confection varies, depending on who you ask. Tomorrow is Christmas. That means tonight no creatures, not even mice, will be stirring, stockings will be carefully hung by chimneys and children will be snugly nestled in their beds. Moreover, dancing in their heads will be visions of sugarplums...
How Cape cares makes it best (12/24/03)
A consultant hired by the Cape Girardeau Convention and Visitors Bureau for lots of money says our town logo should be: "Where the river turns a thousand tales." Perhaps a potential tourist would find that more intriguing than I do. The whole verb-object thing is just killing me. "Turns tales." Nobody turns tales. They tell tales, which means they lie. Or they turn tail and run, which means they're cowards...
Arthur Spaeth Jr. (12/24/03)
Arthur C. Spaeth Jr., 79, of Cape Girardeau died Monday, Dec. 22, 2003, at St. Francis Medical Center. He was born June 2, 1924, in Kansas City, Mo., son of Arthur C. and Mabel Lee Cook Spaeth. He and Wilma M. Moffitt were married Aug. 9, 1944, in Kansas City. She died Dec. 15, 2002...
Bill Sissom (12/24/03)
OLIVE BRANCH, Ill. -- Bill Sissom, 80, of Olive Branch died Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2003, at Southeast Missouri Hospital in Cape Girardeau. He was born Jan. 11, 1923, in Ullin, Ill., son of John and Mary Carson Sissom. He and Frances Pettit were married April 22, 1942. She died May 28, 2003...
Russell Henson (12/24/03)
Russell E. Henson, 69, a native of Olive Branch, Ill., died Friday, Dec. 19, 2003, at his home. He was born Dec. 17, 1934, the son of Gabriel and Opal Henson of Olive Branch. He married Alice L. Sauerbrun on May 12, 1956. She survives. After retirement in 1998, they moved to McGill, Nev., to be close to their daughter and grandchildren...
Elva Hodge (12/24/03)
Elva Marie Hodge, 86, of Cape Girardeau and formerly of Malden, Mo., died Sunday, Dec. 21, 2003, at the Monticello House in Jackson. She was born Oct. 14, 1917, daughter of Taylor and Fannie Rodery Baker. She was married to Floyd "Shorty" Lester Hodge, who preceded her in death May 20, 1958...
Larry Verble (12/24/03)
VANDUSER, Mo. -- Larry Gene Verble, 59, of Vanduser died Monday, Dec. 22, 2003, at Missouri Delta Medical Center in Sikeston, Mo. He was born Aug. 3, 1944, near Bell City, Mo., son of Victor Lionel and Addie Juanita Adams Verble. He and Diane Kay Dumey were married Nov. 5, 1963, in Jackson...
Norma Smart (12/24/03)
SIKESTON, Mo. -- Norma Jean Smart, 57, of Sikeston died Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2003, at her home. She was born Jan. 24, 1946, in Lepanto, Ark., daughter of Edwin and Minnie May Stephens. Smart was a housekeeper 15 years at Sikeston Health Care. She was a member of Tanner Street Church of God...
Otto Diebold Jr. (12/24/03)
Otto S. Diebold Jr., 78, of Benton, Mo., died Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2003, at the Missouri Veterans Home in Cape Girardeau. Arrangements are incomplete at Amick-Burnett Funeral Chapel in Benton.
Elsie Long (12/24/03)
PERKS, Ill. -- Elsie Viola Long, 75, of Perks died Tuesday, Dec. 23, 2003, at Magnolia Manor Nursing Home in Metropolis, Ill. She was born July 26, 1928, in Cypress, Ill., daughter of Perry and Jessie McCracklin Johnson. She and Roy Long were married July 27, 1945...
Births 12/24/03 (12/24/03)
Tidwell Daughter to Daryl Mitchell and Latasha Marie Tidwell of Advance, Mo., St. Francis Medical Center, 2:49 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 18, 2003. Name, Darci Marie. Weight, 7 pounds 2 ounces. First child. Mrs. Tidwell is the former Latasha Townsend, daughter of Judy Townsend of Maysville, Okla., and Dwight and Mary Townsend of Toler, Texas. ...
Cape fire report 12/24/03 (12/24/03)
Cape Girardeau Firefighters responded Monday to the following items: At 5:04 p.m., emergency medical service at William and Kingshighway. At 5:47 p.m., structure fire at 19 S. Ellis. At 8:25 p.m., vehicle fire at 132 E. Cape Rock. At 9:03 p.m., emergency medical service at 312 N. Lorimier...
Cape/Jackson police reports 12/24/03 (12/24/03)
Cape Girardeau The following items were released by the Cape Girardeau Police Department. Arrests do not imply guilt. Arrests Rachel C. King, 19, of 507 Cape Meadows, No. 311, Cape Girardeau, was arrested Monday on suspicion of robbery. Angela D. Spears, 32, of Cape Girardeau, was arrested Monday on a Scott County warrant for forgery...
Out of the past 12/24/03 (12/24/03)
10 years ago: Dec. 24, 1993 Only about a third of $18.5 million Cape Girardeau County collector's office is charged with receiving in 1993 taxes has been taken in, which means final days of year will be busy ones for office staff. Despite law requiring rapid cable television hookup in newly annexed areas, residents of Stonebridge subdivision are still without service; Robert Penrod, developer, has hired attorney to get city of Cape Girardeau to force TCI Cablevision of Missouri Inc. ...
The Christmas story (12/24/03)
It is a simple story, but the birth in a stable some 2,000 years ago changed the world. On this Christmas Eve, the story is told again from the Holy Bible (the Gospel according to St. Luke, Chapter 2): And it came to pass in those days that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.) And all went to be taxed, every one unto his own city....
A big thank-you (12/24/03)
It is traditional to make charitable gifts near the end of the year, especially in the weeks leading up to Christmas and before the Dec. 31 deadline for tax purposes. There is something about the spirit of the religious overtones of the season. And maybe the tax man spurs some of the generous giving...
Fire department needs equipment to do its job well (12/24/03)
To the editor: I get a sick feeling in my stomach each time I hear another story about our fire department not having the equipment needed to service our city. Who has let the department get in this shape? I was a firefighter for many years in other communities, so I know where they are coming from. There are thousands of volunteer fire departments all over this country that have much more modern equipment than we have here...
Crowell, Jetton only represent narrow segment (12/24/03)
To the editor: State Rep. Jason Crowell and state Rep. Rod Jetton do not truly represent their constituents. They choose instead to represent only those who fall under their narrow set of specifications: You must be heterosexual, and you must be willing to have your state constitution altered to exclude non-heterosexual people from having the same rights you have...
Speak Out 12/24/03 (12/24/03)
Prayer for military I WOULD like to extend a special prayer to all of the people in the area with loved ones in the military. Please know that, in spite of all of the negativity you hear in the media, the majority of Americans are behind you and yours. Know that as you worry and miss them during this holiday season, there are millions praying and wishing for their safe return. May you all have a merry Christmas and happy new year...
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