Region digest 11/04/05

Friday, November 4, 2005

City bicentennial focus of First Friday Coffee

City of Cape Girardeau public information manager Tracey Glenn will be the guest speaker at the chamber of commerce's First Friday Coffee. The event will be at 7:30 a.m. today at the Show Me Center. Glenn will speak about the city's plans for its bicentennial celebration.

Blunt proposal would alter school spending

Gov. Matt Blunt announced Thursday a change in the state law to require public schools to spend at least 65 percent of their money on student instruction. Blunt's proposal would define instruction to cover everything from teachers' salaries and textbooks to the arts and athletics. If passed by the legislature, the proposal would go to a statewide vote in November 2006.

Cape man charged with molesting 5-year-old

A Cape Girardeau man was charged Thursday after a 5-year-old girl alleged that he molested her at his home. Robert L. Payne, 48, was charged with class B felony child molestation and is being held on $100,000 bond. The incident reportedly occurred in January or February. According to the Cape Girardeau police probable-cause statement, the victim told her older sister that Payne touched her inappropriately. The Network Against Sexual Violence conducted an interview.

Man waives hearing in sodomy case

A Cape Girardeau man waived his preliminary hearing for statutory sodomy charges on Thursday. Associate Circuit Judge Gary Kamp scheduled an arraignment for Christopher L. Pugh on Nov. 14. Pugh, 22, is being held on $20,000 bond on four counts of felony statutory sodomy. Pugh was charged on Oct. 6 for allegedly sexually abusing two boys on several occasions between January and August.

Cape fire department gets $167,722 grant

The Cape Girardeau Fire Department was awarded $167,722 in a grant from the Department of Homeland Security. The city's 10 percent match will be $16,772. The FY05 Assistance to Firefighters Grant will be used to retrofit the city's current fire stations with diesel exhaust systems and automatic sprinkler systems. The components will also be included in the construction of the new Fire Station 3, which will be bid out this month.

Seminar planned for public safety officials

DYERSBURG, Tenn. -- The Dyer County Tennessee 911 District will sponsor a regional seminar on Dec. 6 and 7 at the Lannom Center in Dyersburg. Public safety officials will attend sessions focusing on improving preparedness and survivability for 911 and emergency radio systems, as well as lessons learned from Hurricane Katrina.

Montana woman still gets Missouri Medicaid calls

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- A Montana woman is still fielding calls from confused Missourians mistakenly given her toll-free number as a Medicaid help line. The Missouri Department of Social Services sent letters Aug. 1 with Sharon Rivera's home-based business phone mistakenly listed as a hot line for hearing- and speech-impaired Medicaid recipients whose services were being cut back. Now three months later, some Missourians apparently are just discovering the letter -- or just getting around to inquiring about what happened to their benefits. Department of Social Services officials have encouraged Rivera to send them a bill for the cost of her time and phone line. Rivera said she hopes to send the state a bill by the end of the year.

-- From staff, wire reports

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