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Stories from Saturday, January 13, 2007

Cape Girardeau, Scott counties under flood watch until late Sunday (01/13/07)
In Scott City, the Public Works Department has sandbags at the ready. And, like in Cape Girardeau and Jackson, public works crews have been out this week making sure drainage ditches and storm drains are clear of debris. Scott City Public Works director Jack Rasnic hopes his crew, which will be on standby throughout the weekend, won't have to use the sandbags. But with anywhere from 3 to 5 inches of rain forecast throughout the area over the weekend, they may not be so lucky...
Woman charged in murder-for-hire plot (01/13/07)
COBDEN, Ill. -- A murder-for-hire plot was squelched last month when a Cobden woman attempted to contract with an undercover police officer to kill her ex-husband, authorities said. A Union County grand jury indicted Valorie A. Spurlock on Wednesday on a charge of solicitation of murder for hire, which carries a mandatory 20- to 40-year prison term upon conviction...
Scott City family donates $5,000 to build park pavilion (01/13/07)
For years Don Roth had a humble request: for a pavilion to be built at the Scott City Park to accommodate customers of his Kiwanis Club's hamburger stand during the city's yearly Summerfest. "He always talked about how he wished there was a pavilion over there for the customers," said Doris Roth, Don Roth's sister-in-law...
'Same Planet, Different World' lecture at SEMO (01/13/07)
Erik Peterson, director of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, will lecture at Southeast Missouri State University Feb. 15 about the driving forces of change in seven regions around the globe. "Discover Seven Futures -- Same Planet, Different World" is the title for his talk, scheduled for 7 p.m. in Dempster Hall's Glenn Auditorium. Tickets to the lecture will be available starting Monday at the Show Me Center box office...
Correction 1/13/07 (01/13/07)
Prosecutors may seek death penalty against Jonesboro, Ill., man (01/13/07)
JONESBORO, Ill. -- Illinois may seek the death penalty for a 23-year-old Jonesboro man charged with two counts of first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of his parents last month. A grand jury indicted Robert Pitts Jr. Wednesday, stating he killed his parents, Robert Pitts Sr., 45, and his wife, Marcia, 43, by shooting both in the head Dec. 21...
Scott County residents get a new avenue of community service (01/13/07)
People in Scott County age 55 and younger will now have new volunteer opportunities. The Retired Senior Volunteer Program, or RSVP, which serves Cape Girardeau and Scott counties, has expanded its Volunteer Intergenerational Center, or VIC, to Scott County, a program previously available only in Cape Girardeau County...
Hazmat team uses homeland security equipment for training (01/13/07)
The Jackson-Sikeston-Cape Girardeau SEMO Hazmat-Weapons of Mass Destruction Team tested four pieces of U.S. Army equipment for radiation Friday at the SPEC-OPS Plaza, an outdoor memorial exhibiting military equipment at 2387 W. Jackson Blvd. in Jackson...
Area avoids rest of state's drought (01/13/07)
Local residents have had a wet year, but in other parts of Missouri there have been drought conditions. Meteorologists are unsure exactly why in 2006 Southeast Missouri and portions of Southern Illinois, Kentucky and Indiana have all been drenched while western Missouri has been unusually dry...
Mo. lawmaker wants stem-cell supporter off university board (01/13/07)
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- State Sen. Matt Bartle is trying to block the confirmation of a University of Missouri system governing board member who supports early stem-cell research. Bartle, a leading opponent of work with early stem cells, said he is concerned about Kansas City businessman Warren Erdman's "strong ties" to the research and doesn't want him on the university system's Board of Curators...
Secret Santa, who handed out $1.3 million over the years, dies (01/13/07)
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Larry Stewart, who was known for years as Secret Santa because of his habit of roaming the streets in December anonymously handing money to people he thought could use a lift, died Friday. He was 58. Jackson County Sheriff Tom Phillips said Stewart died around 2 p.m. Friday. The cause of death was complications from esophageal cancer, O'Neill said...
St. Louis schools superintendent announces improvement plan (01/13/07)
ST. LOUIS -- With the state weighing a takeover of St. Louis public schools, superintendent Diana Bourisaw on Friday announced a plan aimed at improving the long-troubled district. The plan is an update of the district's Comprehensive School Improvement Plan. The city school board will consider approving it Tuesday, spokesman Tony Sanders said...
Web site elicits mate prospects for Carbondale mayor (01/13/07)
CARBONDALE, Ill. -- This Southern Illinois town's 35-year-old bachelor mayor is getting a little unsolicited matchmaking help meant to push him from city hall to a wedding hall. David More, the man behind the local blog Carbondaley Dispatch, is soliciting date prospects on Brad Cole's behalf through More's new Web site, www.marrythemayor.com....
Descendants mark Hamilton's birthday (01/13/07)
NEW YORK -- If there is such a thing as immortality, it may be having people gather to celebrate your 250th birthday. Alexander Hamilton met that standard on Thursday, as a group of descendants, along with latter-day admirers, convened to mark the anniversary of his birth in 1757...
Transamerica to move 500 jobs from Kansas City to Iowa (01/13/07)
KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Transamerica Occidental Life Insurance Co. is moving the bulk of its Kansas City operations to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, costing 500 jobs and alarming city officials trying to bring businesses back downtown. The company's corporate parent, Netherlands-based Aegon Group, announced the move Thursday, saying it wants to consolidate its insurance holdings in Cedar Rapids by the end of the year. About 50 Transamerica employees are expected to remain in Kansas City...
Some SMU faculty members oppose building Bush's library on campus (01/13/07)
DALLAS -- Negotiations to build George W. Bush's presidential library at Southern Methodist University have divided the campus, pitting the administration and some alumni against members of the liberal-leaning faculty who say the project would be an embarrassment to the school...
Senate votes to deny pensions to convicted lawmakers (01/13/07)
WASHINGTON -- Former Rep. Randy "Duke" Cunningham, behind bars for bribery, can at least be consoled by the federal pension he'll continue to collect. Current or future lawmakers convicted of crimes may not be so lucky. The Senate on Friday voted 87-0 to strip away the pensions of members of Congress convicted of white-collar crimes such as bribery, perjury and fraud. That could result in benefit losses of more than $100,000 a year...
Iraqi prime minister's silence on Bush plan raising questions about crackdown (01/13/07)
BAGHDAD, Iraq -- President Bush called a crackdown on Shiite militias critical to success in Iraq, but Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has been noticeably silent -- perhaps because Bush's plan would mean attacks on Shiite radicals who have helped his Shiite coalition expand its political dominance...
Tigers lose lead, prevail in overtime (01/13/07)
The Central boys basketball team saw an 11-point fourth-quarter lead slip away Friday night, but the Tigers regrouped and beat visiting New Madrid County Central 59-56 in overtime. Central evened its overall record at 8-8 and improved to 2-0 in SEMO Conference play...
ND captures Round 3 with Jackson (01/13/07)
In two prior meetings, Notre Dame's and Jackson's boys basketball teams had combined to average 166 points per game while splitting a pair of tournament games in December. The third meeting between the two teams was slowed by improved defense and turnovers, and Notre Dame claimed the season series following a 57-54 win Friday at Jackson...
Scott City posts surprising win over Sikeston (01/13/07)
Scott City pulled off one of the upsets of the area high school boys basketball season Friday night, beating visiting Sikeston 68-61. The Rams improved to 8-5 and dropped the Bulldogs to 9-6. "It was a very good win, and I'm real happy for the guys," Scott City coach Lance Amick said. "Sikeston is well coached and a great team. It's probably one out of 10 where we beat them, but tonight was the one...
Hot Redhawks visit streaking Governors (01/13/07)
Southeast Missouri State coach Scott Edgar figures the Redhawks already have had a great run through one of the toughest stretches of their Ohio Valley Conference schedule. But winning another road game tonight would top it off in a big way. Southeast (6-11, 4-4 OVC) and Austin Peay (8-6, 5-1) -- the league's two hottest teams -- square off in a 7:30 p.m. tipoff in Clarksville, Tenn...
Southeast on quest for respect, ninth straight win tonight (01/13/07)
All along, the Southeast Missouri State women's basketball players believed they had not been given proper respect from the rest of the Ohio Valley Conference. After winning OVC regular-season and tournament titles last year, the Redhawks were picked just fifth in the league's preseason poll and had no players selected to the all-OVC preseason first or second teams...
Religion calendar 1/13/07 (01/13/07)
Briefly Women's retreat will be held Feb. 10 "A 13-13 Kind of Love" is a one-day retreat that will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Feb. 10 at the Drury Lodge. The women of Hanover Lutheran Church invite women of the area to participate. The retreat will teach about God's love and love for others based on Corinthians 13:13. ...
Making a spiritual connection (01/13/07)
Go where teenagers are and what do you find? That depends on what you want them to find. Rick Rivera, area director for Young Life in Cape Girardeau since August, goes to where teenagers go to help them find a relationship with Jesus Christ. "We are on campus, we are at ballgames, we're at the mall -- wherever kids are, that's where we go," Rivera said...
What words describe you? (01/13/07)
I love to look up the meaning of words. When an unfamiliar word finds its way into my consciousness, the dictionary comes off the shelf fast. "Bloviate" is a word the cable news networks seem to be using a lot lately in reference to certain presidential hopefuls. Rifling through my American Heritage Dictionary, the revealed definition is: "To discourse at length in a pompous or boastful manner."...
Selma Sperling (01/13/07)
Selma A. Sperling, 92, of Jackson died Thursday, Jan. 11, 2007, at Saint Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau. She was born May 21, 1914, near Burfordville, daughter of Herman and Molly Siebert Sperling. Sperling worked at the former Schade's Cafe, Breeze's Restaurant, and Chug's Laundromat, retiring in 1997. She was a longtime member of Emanuel United Church of Christ in Jackson, its LLL Class, Faithful Followers Class, and an organizer of Fun, Food and Fellowship Senior Group...
David Clack (01/13/07)
David Milton Clack, 65, of Denver, Colo., died Tuesday, Jan. 9, 2007, in Porter Memorial Hospital in Denver, Colo., following an extended illness. He was born Jan. 20, 1941, in Charleston, Mo., son of Milton and Ida Ruth Black Clack. Clack was a graduate of Charleston High School, and received a degree in business administration from Mississippi State University...
Carl LaCroix (01/13/07)
ADVANCE, Mo. -- Carl "Sour" LaCroix, 84, of Advance died Friday, Jan. 12, 2007, in Muskogee, Okla. Morgan Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Dennis McIntyre (01/13/07)
GIPSY, Mo. -- Dennis Ray McIntyre, 48, of Gipsy died Thursday, Jan. 11, 2007, at Saint Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau. He was born May 13, 1958, in Advance, Mo., son of Joe and Berndetta Easterbrooke McIntyre. He and Angie Pfeffer were married May 28, 1984, in Advance...
Jewell May (01/13/07)
Jewell Blanch May, 87, of Cape Girardeau died Thursday, Jan. 11, 2007, at Saint Francis Medical Center. She was born Nov. 10, 1920, in Diswood, Ill., daughter of Alvy and Maude Smith Tinsley. She and John Fredrick Dakin were married Oct. 29, 1938. He died Dec. 28, 1963...
Judith Westrich (01/13/07)
Judith Ann Westrich, 66, died Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2007, at her home as she requested, surrounded by her loving family. Judy died after a long, courageous fight with breast cancer. Judy was born Feb. 26, 1940, in St. Louis, to her loving parents, Otto and Leotta Macke. She met and married her beloved husband of 51 years, Andrew Westrich, in October 1955, in what is now Scott City, Mo...
Lillian Heagy (01/13/07)
PATTON, Mo. -- Lillian Heagy, 82, of Arcadia died Friday, Jan. 12, 2007, at Stockoff Nursing Home in Fredericktown, Mo. She was born Aug. 14, 1924, in Middle Brook, Mo., daughter of Tiller Lester and Lola Mae Cox Parton. She and Charles W. Dennison were married in 1941. He passed away Feb. 20, 2002. She and William Heagy were married Nov. 23, 1970. He died June 27, 1980...
Donald Underwood (01/13/07)
Donald Robert Underwood, 58, of Centerville, MO., died Wednesday, Jan. 10, 2007, at St. Elizabeth's Hospital in Belleville, Ill., after a courageous battle with cancer. He was born Feb. 5, 1948, in San Pedro, Calif., to Louie "Pete" Underwood and the late Dorothy "Tina" Underwood...
Police report 1/13/07 (01/13/07)
Arrests; Assaults; DWIs; Property damage; Summonses; Miscellaneous; Jackson: Arrests; Summonses; Assault; Thefts; Miscellaneous
Fire report 1/13/07 (01/13/07)
n Motor vehicle accident at East Jackson Boulevard. n Motor vehicle accident at East Jackson Boulevard. n Emergency medical service at West Main Street. n Emergency medical service at South Hope Street. n Motor vehicle accident at East Jackson Boulevard...
Out of the past 1/13/07 (01/13/07)
A proposal that would at least temporarily ease financial burdens in the Cape Girardeau Public Schools has been advanced; the proposal will send district voters to the polls this spring to decide a referendum that would allow the school system to transfer 31 cents of the debt service tax levy to the Incidental Fund; if the issue is approved, secondary class scheduling will remain the same, at least for another year...
Right about math (01/13/07)
By Phyllis Schlafly It took parents 17 years to overturn the tragic 1989 curriculum mistake made by the so-called education experts who demanded that schools abandon traditional mathematics in favor of unproven approaches. The National Council of Teachers of Mathematics finally reversed course on Sept. 12, 2006, and admitted that elementary schools really should teach arithmetic, after all...
George Truman? (01/13/07)
By Steve Forbes The Financial Times the other day echoed the sentiments of many here and overseas when it speculated that President Bush could well be one of the worst chief executives the U.S. has ever had. Such speculation is irresistible, but don't get carried away by this rush to judgment. Take the example of Harry Truman...
New drivers (01/13/07)
A new state law that took effect Jan. 1 doubles the amount of time new drivers must spend behind the wheel before taking a driving test and qualifying for an intermediate license under the state's graduated driver's-license system. At least 10 of the 40 hours of behind-the-wheel experience must be driven at night, also a new regulation...
Speak Out 1/13/07 (01/13/07)
Don't impeach Bush; Utility support; Use the cameras; Looks like junkyard; Poor Scooby; All about money; Better option; School uniforms; City blunders; Cutting corners; No to transit subsidy; Cold War memories; Review security tapes; Need the fence; Use the cameras; Waste of time; Young drivers
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January 2007
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