Region digest 06/15/05

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Tampering charge in trooper death dropped

VAN BUREN, Mo. -- Charges are no longer pending against the wife of a man accused of shooting a state trooper, after the Carter County prosecutor dismissed a tampering charge on Monday. Coree Shockley, 23, of Van Buren had been charged with evidence-tampering in April. She had been under suspicion of removing ammunition from the home she and her husband shared, after Lance Shockley allegedly shot and killed Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Carl Dewayne Graham Jr. Graham, 37, was found dead March 20. Carter County Prosecutor Michael Ligons said the decisions to drop the charges were largely strategic because Coree Shockley's case involved evidence that will be needed in the murder case.

Authorities identify body found in river last week

CHARLESTON, Mo. -- Authorities have identified the body retrieved from the Mississippi River last week as a woman from the St. Louis area. According to Mississippi County Coroner Terry Parker, the identity of 60-year-old Cheri Pederson was made after a pathologist at Farmington, Mo., matched dental records provided by the family. Parker said Pederson reportedly jumped from a bridge in the St. Louis area June 8. On Friday, her body was pulled from the Mississippi River in northeast Mississippi County. Family members in Kentucky saw a TV news report about the unidentified body and notified family in St. Louis.

Red Cross hands out awards at meeting

About 200 people attended the 88th annual meeting of the Southeast Missouri Chapter of the American Red Cross at the new VFW Post 3838 on Tuesday. The Circle of Philanthropy Award was received by 93-year-old Cecil Rhodes, who was unable to attend. When he was 21, Rhodes pledged to support the American Red Cross after receiving help when a fire destroyed his cousin's farm. Doug Gannon and Chad Sierman were awarded for outstanding health and safety leadership. Sandy Vaughn was honored with the American Red Cross Lifesaving award for saving the life of her 22-year-old nephew.

Port bill would allow variety of development

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Missouri's port authorities could soon have the power to move beyond strictly industrial development to pursue a variety of uses for their property. Legislation approved by the legislature in April would authorize development for commercial, residential and mixed-use purposes within port districts. Gov. Matt Blunt hasn't yet taken action on the bill. SEMO Port Authority executive director Dan Overby said the port has no immediate plans to take advantage of the bill should it be signed into law. However, Overby said it's a good economic development tool to have available. Overby said the impetus to expand port development options beyond industrial use came from the St. Joseph Port Authority, which wants to use its Missouri River port as an anchor for a comprehensive urban renewal project. Overby doesn't rule out the possibility of pursuing other uses but said it would require a proposal compatible with present industry and the private financial investment to back it up. Overby said it has been suggested over the years that the Cape Girardeau area could use a marina and that the port might be the logical place for it, although he isn't convinced of the wisdom of mixing recreational boats and large barges.

-- From staff, wire reports

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