Region/state briefs 7/11/03

Friday, July 11, 2003

Police investigating Cape woman's death

Cape Girardeau police are investigating what they have called the "suspicious" death of Johna Lynn Mitchell, 44, of Cape Girardeau, who died Monday at Southeast Missouri Hospital from an apparent head injury.

Mitchell had fallen July 2 down steps outside her home at 133 S. Ellis. Police are still conducting interviews of witnesses who saw her fall.

"We are looking at the death because there were some possible inconsistencies and the coroner has ordered an autopsy done," said Lt. Tracy Lemonds, chief of detectives.

County coroner Mike Hurst said results from the autopsy could take about five weeks.

Mitchell was a hairdresser. She was formerly of Pahrump, Nev.

Cape man wins chess tournament in Piedmont

Dave Koehler of Cape Girardeau was the winner, 5-0, of a QuickChess tournament held by the Piedmont Chess Club. The tournament, sanctioned by the United States Chess Federation, was June 28 at Ralf's Steak House in Piedmont.

Vern Greer of Piedmont was second at 4-1, and Eathan and Jesse Weyand of Fredericktown tied for first at 3-2 each in the under-14 category.

On Saturday, the Cape Girardeau Area Chess Club will hold a Firecracker QuickChess tournament at the Zimmer Radio Group building, 2 S. Mt. Auburn Road.

Registration will begin at 11 a.m. and the first round will be at noon. Entry fees are $15 for adults and $10 for kids 14 and under. First prize will be up to $50 and second prize will be up to $35.

Nixon files three lawsuits to curtail telemarketing calls

ST. LOUIS -- Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon filed federal lawsuits Thursday against three major telephone companies, accusing them of violating federal laws by making telemarketing calls to consumers who have requested they not be called.

The lawsuits are against AT&T Corp.; MCI, a division of Worldcom Communications, Inc.; and SBC Missouri, more commonly known as Southwestern Bell.

Telephone companies are exempt from Missouri's "no call" list -- a list of consumers who have signed up with the attorney general's office to not receive telemarketing calls. However, the phone companies are subject to federal laws requiring companies to maintain their own lists of consumers who request not to be called again, Nixon said. The companies are not to contact the consumers again for one year, according to federal law.

In Missouri, other companies such as banks, insurance companies and businesses that have an ongoing relationship with a client also are exempt from the state "no call" list.

-- From staff, wire reports

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