Region/digest 02/22/06

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Cape Girardeau title loan company robbed

A Cape Girardeau loan store was robbed Monday night, and police were searching for the gunman responsible. Around 5:30 p.m., a man in his mid-20s took out a handgun in Car Title Loans of America, 605 N. Kingshighway, and demanded money, according to police Sgt. Carl Eakins. The man stole an undisclosed amount of cash and fled on foot, Eakins said. No shots were fired and no one was injured, according to Eakins.

Rookie deputy finds 104 grams of marijuana

A rookie Scott County sheriff's deputy who had yet to complete his training found more than 100 grams of marijuana during a traffic stop. Deputy Jason Morgan, 25, was in his final few weeks of solo patrol before being officially deployed as a road officer when he pulled over a vehicle in Oran, Mo., on Feb. 7, according to a Scott County Sheriff's Department news release. During a search of the vehicle, 104 grams of marijuana were found. The driver, Mark E. Gordon, 32, of Oran, was charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and was being held in lieu of a $75,000 bond. During his patrols, Morgan is alone in the car but a senior officer is on duty to assist, Scott County Sheriff Rick Walter said. Morgan's training will end March 1, when he will work by himself. While deputies often make drug arrests like these, the sheriff's department compared Morgan's to "hitting a home run in your first plate appearance in the major leagues."

Frozen sprinkler pipe causes fire alarm in Cape

Firefighters who responded to an alarm at a Cape Girardeau retirement home Tuesday afternoon arrived to find flowing water instead of a blaze. Sprinkler pipes at Auburn Creek of Cape Girardeau-Assisted Living by Americare, 2910 Beaver Creek Drive, froze a couple of days ago, thawed, then broke, sending water down from the ceiling and tripping the fire alarm at 2:24 p.m., fire department Capt. Brad Dillow said. "Gallons and gallons" of water crashed down into a common area, damaging the ceiling and drenching the floors of 16 nearby rooms, said Kris Levill, the center's assistant administrator. Residents were moved to a front area of the center not affected by the water, and only one was splashed by the downfall, Levill said. There were no injuries. When firefighters learned there was no blaze, they stayed to help with some of the cleanup, Dillow said. The wet rooms were expected to be dry within 48 hours, but it will be a week before residents are allowed back due to ceiling repairs in the common area, Levill said.

Sikeston police say rumor on Wal-Mart attack false

SIKESTON, Mo. -- Sikeston police Tuesday discredited a rumor of an attack outside a Wal-Mart. According to a rumor spread by e-mail, an elderly woman was attacked while going to her vehicle at Wal-Mart. A person with a permit to carry a concealed weapon scared the attacker off. Responding police officers could do nothing about the attack because of the age of the assailant, the e-mail claimed. Following a months-long investigation into the matter by Sikeston police, it was determined no such incident or anything similar to it occurred, a Sikeston Department of Public Safety news release stated.

Section of I-55 to be reduced to one lane

Starting at 7 a.m. today, northbound Interstate 55 from Biehle, Mo., to Perryville, Mo., will be reduced to one lane so Missouri Department of Transportation crews can clean and reseal joints along the highway. The lane reduction will continue until 5 p.m. Tuesday. For more information, call MODOT's customer service center at (888) ASK-MODOT.

-- From staff reports

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