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Stories from Saturday, December 15, 2007

Blunt to ask for killer's extradition on Monday (12/15/07)
Alleged serial killer Timothy W. Krajcir may soon return to Cape Girardeau County, the region police say he previously used only as a hunting ground for his victims. At a Southeast Missouri State University Board of Regents meeting at the Show Me Center, Gov. ...
Absentee ballot deadline shifted to avoid Christmas conflict (12/15/07)
On Feb. 5, the same day voters choose a replacement for former state representative Nathan Cooper, they may also vote in the state's presidential preference primary. Absentee ballots are supposed to be available on the sixth Tuesday before an election. That would mean Christmas Day in the case of the Feb. 5 election. Government offices are closed for Christmas Eve and Christmas Day...
Regents approve new dorm (12/15/07)
Southeast Missouri State University got the green light from the board of regents Friday to proceed with plans for a new residence hall. University officials will hear presentations from architects next week, and construction could begin in March for a fall 2009 opening. The $20.5 million project will be financed by bonds...
Cape man pleads guilty after judge rules him competent to stand trial (12/15/07)
POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. -- The book "Sybil" describes a woman with more than a dozen personalities. A judge ruled Thursday that Gregory D. Williams has only one. The Cape Girardeau man experienced what Prosecuting Attorney Morley Swingle called a "miraculous cure" after a Butler County Judge said he was faking a mental illness and ruled him mentally sound to stand trial for the robbery of three area businesses...
Luck limits house fire damage (12/15/07)
Fruitland firefighters credit some luck for helping to minimize damage Thursday evening in a residential fire. The call to respond to a home at 299 Jeffery Drive came in shortly past 9 p.m., while chief Dean Riley and another firefighter were at the firehouse, Riley said Friday. And the assistant fire chief, Andy Renner, lives on an adjacent street, and was able to respond quickly and direct the placement of trucks as they arrived, Riley said...
About 600 students to accept diplomas from Southeast today (12/15/07)
Graduates will straighten their caps and parents will click pictures today as 603 students prepare to enter the real world. Commencement for Southeast Missouri State University students is at 2 p.m. in the Show Me Center. Five hundred and thirty-one undergraduate students and 72 master's and specialist candidates will receive degrees...
Southeast selects new dean of liberal arts (12/15/07)
Dr. Frank Barrios has been named the new dean of the College of Liberal Arts at Southeast Missouri State University. Barrios formerly was a professor of psychology, a department chair and a graduate adviser at Texas State University. According to Texas State University's Web site, Barrios' most recent publications have "focused on adolescent suicide, depression and pain distress."...
Cape school foundation to hold fundraiser (12/15/07)
The Cape Girardeau Public School Foundation will hold a Penguin Party from 6 to 11 p.m. Jan. 26 at the Drury Lodge Ballroom. The fundraiser will feature dinner, dancing, live jazz and an auction. Attire is black or white, but a tuxedo or gown is not required.The event is $50 a person or $350 for a table of eight. Call 651-0555 or e-mail director@capeschools.org for tickets...
Cape school board to discuss external audit (12/15/07)
The Cape Girardeau school board will meet at 6 p.m. Monday at 301 Clark Ave. for its regular meeting. The board will consider seeking an external audit for the year ending June 30, 2007, will hear a presentation about strategies to improve scores on state tests, and will consider approving policy recommendations from the Missouri School Board Association...
Moms with health, vehicle repair costs need help for Christmas (12/15/07)
Those wishing to contribute to individual profiles already published should indicate the recipient's name, or cash and check donations should be made payable to Toybox, P.O. Box 4, Cape Girardeau, Mo. 63702. Christmas just not in the budget Bridget, a single mom, became disabled a few years ago. Since then her health has worsened. Bridget receives no help for the children from her ex-husband. She feels bad that her disability check doesn't stretch far enough to provide gifts for her children...
Trial date set for man accused of involuntary manslaughter (12/15/07)
An end is in sight for the legal proceedings against Jason Merrill of Wappapello, Mo., who faces charges in connection with the July deaths of two Bonne Terre, Mo., residents. A jury trial has been scheduled for 8:30 a.m. March 11 in the Cape Girardeau County Courthouse. A pretrial conference has been scheduled for 9 a.m. Feb. 15...
Blunt intends to increase education funding (12/15/07)
Gov. Matt Blunt championed his commitment to education Friday while discussing his future budget priorities with the Southeast Missori State University Board of Regents. Blunt said he intends to increase state funding for education by 4.4 percent, creating an additional $40 million, $2 million of which Southeast would see...
Aquatic center unveiled (12/15/07)
A lavish pool, complete with a zip line, a 12-person hot tub and a boulder wall adorned with fake palm trees and waterfalls, was unveiled for Southeast Missouri State University students Friday. The $8.5 million project was financed by students at a cost of an additional $2 per credit hour from 2005 to 2010. The general fee increase also funded student programming and intramural sports...
McKinley Bridge to reopen Monday (12/15/07)
ST. LOUIS -- The McKinley Bridge that links St. Louis and Southern Illinois is expected to reopen to traffic on Monday, the Illinois Department of Transportation said Friday. A ceremonial reopening for the bridge was held last month, but it should officially be open to drivers by Monday afternoon, unless there's severe winter weather, IDOT spokesman Brian Williamsen said...
Increased Ameren rate upheld by court (12/15/07)
ST. LOUIS -- A Cole County circuit judge has upheld Ameren Corp.'s $43 million annual rate increase, which the Missouri Public Service Commission awarded to the St. Louis-based utility in May. Attorney General Jay Nixon pledged to appeal. Circuit Judge Richard Callahan issued a ruling Thursday affirming the PSC's decision, which had pleased none of the parties. The PSC decision had been appealed by Ameren, the state Office of Public Counsel and the state attorney general's office...
Toddler safe after being released from stolen car (12/15/07)
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The search has ended for a toddler who was sleeping inside an idling car when it was stolen. The 3-year-old had been missing about two hours when he knocked on the door of a Springfield apartment around 1 a.m. Friday. Springfield police said the boy was not hurt but was cold from having been outside as temperatures dipped to 28 degrees...
Work crews restore power to thousands more in Missouri (12/15/07)
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Utility crews made progress in cold but dry weather Friday, restoring power to at least 12,000 customers hit by this week's ice storms. The two major utilities that still have outages in the Joplin area and north of Kansas City said they had a combined total of about 30,000 customers still off the grid by Friday afternoon...
Two students killed on LSU campus; police say they were shot during home invasion (12/15/07)
BATON ROUGE, La. -- Two students were found shot to death in a home invasion at a Louisiana State University apartment, and officials decided to keep the campus open Friday while police searched for three suspects. The victims, Chandrasekhar Reddy Komma and Kiran Kumar Allam, both Ph.D. students from India, were found inside an apartment at the Edward Gay complex late Thursday night after authorities received an emergency call...
Series of mistakes led to 3 wrong-side brain surgeries at R.I. hospital (12/15/07)
PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- One operation went awry after an experienced brain surgeon insisted to a nurse he knew what side of the head to operate on -- but got it wrong. Another time, a doctor-in-training cut into the wrong side of a patient's head after skipping a pre-op checklist. In a third case, the chief resident started brain surgery in the wrong place, and the nurse didn't stop him...
Stream of second-term White House departures continues (12/15/07)
WASHINGTON -- President Bush is losing two more key aides as his presidency winds toward its end, with his chief speechwriter and lobbyist both announcing Friday that they are leaving. Speechwriter William McGurn will be succeeded by his deputy, Marc Thiessen, a one-time speechwriter for former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld...
Baseline Killer suspect sentenced to 438 years in prison for rapes in 2005 (12/15/07)
PHOENIX -- A man accused of being the Phoenix Baseline Killer was sentenced to 438 years in prison Friday for the sexual assaults of two sisters. Mark Goudeau still faces trial for the slayings of eight women and a man in 2005 and 2006, and faces a possible death sentence if he is convicted. He has pleaded not guilty...
D.C. tax official accused in $20M-plus embezzlement scheme (12/15/07)
McLEAN, Va. -- The courthouse files look like the Christmas list of a high-society fashion maven with a purse fetish:~ Authorities say Harriette Walters and others wrote themselves bogus property-tax refund checks. mink coats, jewelry, Faberge eggs, a Mercedes-Benz and more than 100 handbags and wallets with designer names like Chanel, Hermes and Louis Vuitton...
Chinese parents favor higher-quality, foreign-brand toys for their children (12/15/07)
SHANGHAI, China -- When freelance writer Wang Jian shops for toys for her 5-year-old son, she's happy to pay extra for Legos blocks and Japanese-brand train sets. The reason, she and other parents say: Foreign brands enjoy a reputation for higher quality -- a perception reinforced by the product scares of recent months...
E.U. says it accepts compromise global warming proposal (12/15/07)
BALI, Indonesia -- The European Union said today it supported a compromise proposal on upcoming negotiations for a new global warming pact, bringing the contentious talks nearer to resolution. Complete agreement, however, was stalled by objections by India and China to parts of the text, and the conference session with all delegates was briefly suspended...
Iraqi oil output hits highest level in more than three years (12/15/07)
PARIS -- Iraqi oil output has risen in a "dramatic" way in recent months, hitting its highest monthly level in about 3 1/2 years in November, the International Energy Agency said Friday. The Paris-based agency, in its monthly oil market report, cited improving security as it reported that Iraqi production rose to 2.32 million barrels per month in November, a slight increase from October and up from 1.9 million barrels per month in January...
Pentagon chief says U.S. will tone down its appeals for more NATO help in Afghanistan (12/15/07)
EDINBURGH, Scotland -- Shifting tactics, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said Friday that the Bush administration has decided to tone down its appeals to NATO allies for more troops and other aid in the fight against the Taliban insurgency in Afghanistan...
Canadian police to curb Taser use (12/15/07)
TORONTO -- The Royal Canadian Mounted Police said Friday that it will restrict its use of Taser stun guns in response to a watchdog agency report that officers were firing them too often. Three people have died recently in Canada after being shocked by Tasers...
Jackson secures road win at line (12/15/07)
The Jackson boys basketball team was 19-of-22 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter to seal Friday night's 67-59 road win over Kennett. Spencer Goodman led the Indians with 27 points, while Kyle Keith added 11. Ahead 30-27 at halftime, Jackson outscored Kennett 16-7 in the third quarter and then held off the host squad down the stretch...
Scott City boys improve to 3-0 (12/15/07)
ADVANCE -- Scott City's Jay Simmons had a clear vision of the first slam dunk of his high school career when he made a steal at the beginning of the second half Friday. Simmons dribbled down the court with no defenders in sight and jumped with all his strength...
Porter leads Sikeston past Notre Dame (12/15/07)
Michael Porter pumped his fist and did a little dance at the free-throw line after hitting his first of two free throws. Porter's free throw gave Sikeston a four-point lead with 2.4 seconds left Friday night. After being unable to shake Notre Dame all game, Sikeston finally could let out a sigh of relief, as it held on for the 75-70 victory...
Saxony features nine swimmers in third year (12/15/07)
When Dan Rau volunteered to launch and coach the Saxony Lutheran swim team after the school went without a program for two years, he learned students had little interest. "I got the interest list from the athletic director" this past summer, Rau said. "There was only one name listed. So when I started the program I thought, 'Gee, I'm only going to have a handful of kids.'"...
Southeast's Casper, Perez make FCS academic all-star team (12/15/07)
Southeast Missouri State senior linebacker Adam Casper and senior offensive lineman Francisco Perez have been named to the Football Championship Subdivision Athletics Directors Association Academic All-Star team. Casper and Perez were among 51 players from the FCS (formerly Division I-AA) to achieve the academic award...
Report: Cardinals deal Edmonds to Padres (12/15/07)
Center fielder Jim Edmonds has played his last game for the St. Louis Cardinals. Edmonds was traded to the San Diego Padres for a minor leaguer and cash Friday, according to a report by Tom Krasovic on the San Diego Union-Tribune's Web site. The Cardinals traded Edmonds to the Padres for Class A third baseman David Freese and cash, according to the report...
Oakland trades Haren to Arizona; Diamondbacks ship closer to Astros (12/15/07)
The Arizona Diamondbacks acquired All-Star pitcher Dan Haren from Oakland and traded major league saves leader Jose Valverde to Houston in separate swaps involving 12 players Friday. Oakland also sent right-hander Connor Robertson to Arizona and received six players: left-handers Brett Anderson, Dana Eveland and Greg Smith; infielder Chris Carter; and outfielders Aaron Cunningham and Carlos Gonzalez...
Mitchell discusses report on steroids (12/15/07)
NEW YORK -- George Mitchell insisted naming names was the right decision and said he was prepared for Roger Clemens and others to deny they used performance-enhancing drugs. "We made every effort to establish the truthfulness of the information that we received," baseball's steroids investigator said Friday during a half-hour interview at his law office. ...
Open doors (12/15/07)
Churches are notorious for having open doors. Monday and Tuesday 25 churches in the Cape Girardeau County and Perry County areas will open their elaborately adorned doors and welcome visitors to take in the architecture and holiday decorations. The Christmas Country Church Tour started three years ago with seven churches and has grown to include worship houses from Millersville to Perryville, each showcasing inlaid decor like stained-glass windows or historic design to seasonal ornamentation like live nativities.. ...
Briefly (12/15/07)
Red Door Breakfast to be held today Christ Episcopal Church in Cape Girardeau will open its doors between 9 and 11 a.m. today for the monthly Red Door Breakfast. The event is held on the third Saturday of each month. All are welcome. Church offers service for those feeling blue...
A blessed life, a hard life (12/15/07)
"For he took notice of his lowly servant girl, and from now on all generations will call me blessed." These are some of the words spoken by Mary when she celebrated in song the miraculous and overwhelming virgin conception. Mary held the perspective that this moment stretched beyond herself to affect all generations. ...
Philosopher misses the point of Jesus (12/15/07)
A story once reached my ears that is almost certainly apocryphal, yet it conveys truth. The story is this: A man was approaching the entrance to a New York City subway station when he looked up and saw a billboard that read: "God is dead. -- Nietzsche." The man read the sign and promptly forgot the message. ...
James Burris (12/15/07)
ORAN, Mo. -- James "Jim" Burris, 58, of Oran died Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2007, at Benton, Mo. He was born May 16, 1949, in Cape Girardeau, son of Louis Harry Edward and Mildred Duty Burris. Burris was employed by Agri-Trans Trucking in Cape Girardeau...
Leonard Whertwine (12/15/07)
SEDGEWICKVILLE, Mo. -- Leonard Whertwine, 88, of Sedgewickville died Friday, Dec. 14, 2007, at his home. He was born Sept. 11, 1919, at Fredericksburg, Mo., son of Oscar and Ella Pollex Whertwine. He and Helen Lorene "Lorraine" Waggoner were married Dec. 24, 1945, in St. Louis. She died March 5, 2007...
Gerald Bess (12/15/07)
BLOOMFIELD, Mo. -- Gerald M. Bess, 84, of Bloomfield died Thursday, Dec. 13, 2007, at Southeast Missouri Hospital in Cape Girardeau. He was born Oct. 1, 1923, in Advance, Mo., son of Beauford and Lona White Bess. He and Lenora Powers were married June 16, 1944. She died April 9, 1964. He and Bonnie Lee were married Dec. 24, 1968...
Wayne Abernathy (12/15/07)
Wayne Edward Abernathy, 61, of Cape Girardeau died Thursday, Dec. 13, 2007, at his home. He was born Nov. 15, 1946, in Cape Girardeau, son of Glenn and Toria Strong Abernathy. He and Judy Dees were married May 10, 1969, in Cape Girardeau. Abernathy was a meat cutter in the Cape Girardeau area 37 years, most recently at Save-A-Lot...
Comelous Cox (12/15/07)
Comelous G. "C.G." Cox, 83, of Cape Girardeau died Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2007, at Saint Francis Medical Center. A memorial service will be at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Kingdom Hall of Jehovah's Witnesses south of Jackson. Thomas J. Kelsey will officiate. Private burial will be in Green Cox Cemetery near Advance...
Peggy Claxton (12/15/07)
ANNA, Ill. -- Peggy J. Claxton, 75, of Anna died Friday, Dec. 14, 2007, at her home. She was born Aug. 26, 1932, in Anna, daughter of Charles A. and Minnie Norris Vaughn. She and George H. "Peck" Claxton were married Nov. 22, 1952, in Corinth, Miss. He died Jan. 14, 1990...
Mildred Newlon (12/15/07)
CAIRO, Ill. -- Mildred A. Newlon, 100, of Cairo died Thursday, Dec. 13, 2007, at Daystar Care Center. She was born Oct. 11, 1907, in Dongola, Ill., daughter of Charles J. and Effie McNaughton Resch. She married Henry Newlon, who died in 1973. Newlon had been a receptionist at Morse Motel in Cairo...
Fred Sitzes (12/15/07)
Fred B. Sitzes, 85, of Cape Girardeau died Thursday, Dec. 13, 2007, at Saint Francis Medical Center. Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday at Ford and Sons Mount Auburn Funeral Home. The funeral will be at 11 a.m. Monday at the funeral home.
Dorothy Easton (12/15/07)
ANNA, Ill. -- Dorothy "Dot" Easton, 75, of Jackson, Tenn., formerly of Anna, died Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2007, at Jackson-Madison County General Hospital in Jackson. She was born Jan. 1, 1932, in Union County, Ill., daughter of George and Clara Rebecca Kenney Livesay. She married Ira Virgil Easton, who preceded her in death...
Births 12/15/07 (12/15/07)
Brugger; Ouellette; White; Talley; Welker
Police report 12/15/07 (12/15/07)
Cape Girardeau The Cape Girardeau Police Department released the following items. Arrests do not imply guilt. Arrests n Regina A. Davis, 25, 1317 Monticello Ave., was arrested on a Pemiscot County warrant for failure to appear...
Fire report 12/15/07 (12/15/07)
Cape Girardeau Firefighters responded to the following calls Friday: n At 5:33 a.m., emergency medical service in the 3300 block of Campster Drive. n At 9:03 a.m., emergency medical service in the 1200 block for Linden Street. n At 10:10 a.m., emergency medical service in the 800 block of Ellis Street...
Out of the past 12/15/07 (12/15/07)
Hundreds of men and women line up at Lone Stars Industries to apply for an entry level blue-color position; almost all waiting to apply are unemployed, with only a few saying they are trying to change jobs. A Jackson bank is offering more than season's greetings to the ailing housing industry this Christmas; the board of directors of the Jackson Exchange Bank and Trust Co. has authorized the bank to allocate $1 million in low-interest loans for new home buyers in the Jackson area...
Monster who kills (12/15/07)
The news that five Cape Girardeau murders have been solved has stoked many emotions. There is a sense of pride in the police department for pinning down enough physical evidence to pressure Timothy Krajcir to confess. There were thoughts of relief. The families of the victims are glad they have answers to long-unanswered questions...
Speak Out 12/15/07 (12/15/07)
A long wait; Cut to the chase; Time for Plan B; Lights on Haddock; Handicapped parking; Iran's nuclear plans
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