Region/state digest 06/23/05

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Scott Co. investigating possible graverobbing

BENTON, Mo. -- The Scott County Sheriff's Department is investigating the possible theft of a corpse from a century-old grave. The investigation is related to a large hole dug in the Pleasant Valley Cemetery, off a rural road north of Route HH several miles east of Miner, Mo. The hole is next to the headstone of John W. Harris, who was buried in 1884. Sheriff Rick Walter said he is not sure how deep remains from a grave that old might be or whether a body has been removed. Investigators are probing the immediate area, he said, to see if there are any remains still at the site. Scott County Prosecuting Attorney Paul Boyd said disturbing a grave is a felony.

Fall inside smokestack kills Poplar Bluff man

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. -- A St. Louis scaffolding accident that resulted in the death of a Poplar Bluff man is under investigation by the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration. Michael Townsend, 31, died when he fell 250 feet inside a smokestack at the Washington University Medical Center at 3:20 p.m. Tuesday, according to Tom Briggs, supervisor of investigators at the OSHA office in St. Louis. St. Louis police said Townsend was standing on a scaffold inside the smokestack when the platform somehow broke away. Kim Bacon, a spokeswoman for the St. Louis Fire Department, which responded to the call, said two other workers were at the top of the smokestack when the accident occurred, but other circumstances have not yet been determined.

Concession stand at Arena Park burglarized

Cape Girardeau police are investigating a burglary at Arena Park that occurred between 10:30 p.m. Monday and 5 p.m. Tuesday. Police say someone broke into the concession stand between fields 10 and 11 and took an undisclosed amount of money.

Gov. Matt Blunt signs veterans measure

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Veterans of World War II and Korea have more time to seek medals of recognition from the state under legislation signed Wednesday by Gov. Matt Blunt. The current World War II medal program expired in July 2004, and the Korean program in January. That left the state with medals to give out but no authority to distribute them. The new law sets no date by which veterans or their families must apply for the medals, but instead allows them to be distributed until the medal supply runs out. More than 50,000 Missourians have received medals already, Blunt said.

State auditor goes on mission in Guatemala

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- State Auditor Claire McCaskill is out of the office this week and, in fact, out of the country. McCaskill took two daughters and a son to Guatemala on a medical mission with the University of Kansas Medical Center, McCaskill spokesman Glenn Campbell said Wednesday. Her children, all teenagers, are helping with various tasks, including baby-sitting and loading supplies. The family left Saturday and will return to the United States on Sunday. "She just thought it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity while they were still young enough to take them together on a mission," Campbell said.

-- From wire reports

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