Region/state digest 03/02/06

Thursday, March 2, 2006

Jetton to speak at GOP dinner on March 11

Missouri House Speaker Rod Jetton will speak at the 37th annual Republican Lincoln Day dinner on March 11 in Cape Girardeau. State Sen. Jason Crowell will be the master of ceremonies at the political gathering, sponsored by the Cape Girardeau County Republican Women. The event will begin at 6 p.m. at the Arena Building.

Cape man charged with molestation

A 39-year-old Cape Girardeau man was charged with molesting a 12-year-old girl. Tracy L. Dunn, of 1530 Water St., was charged with two counts of first-degree child molestation, a class B felony, and was issued a $25,000 bond, according to court records. Dunn is accused of molesting the girl on two occasions in 2005, according to a probable cause statement. Police were contacted Feb. 7 and began their investigation, police spokesman Jason Selzer said. According to the probable cause statement, Dunn admitted to molesting the girl. He was scheduled for a preliminary hearing at 10 a.m. March 21 before Associate Circuit Judge Gary Kamp.

Teen to stand trial for firing shotgun in school

FARMINGTON, Mo. -- A Southeast Missouri teen is in jail and awaiting trial for allegedly firing a shotgun in his high school last October. Joshua Minks, 17, will be arraigned later this month on four counts of assault on school property and one count of carrying a loaded firearm on school property. The former Farmington High School student came to school on Oct. 11 armed with a shotgun, according to police and court records. No one was hurt in the incident. More than 1,000 students were evacuated to a civic center across the street from the school that day. Six witnesses, including three students, testified Tuesday at a preliminary hearing in St. Francois County and told the court that Minks fired shots into the ceiling of a restroom. It was not clear why he brought the gun to school. Minks is in jail on $250,000 bond.

Corps: No release of water on Missouri River

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The Army Corps of Engineers announced Wednesday that it will not conduct a spring pulse this month on the Missouri River, after deciding the amount of water in its system of reservoirs is too low. The corps had planned for man-made releases in March and May to encourage spawning by an endangered fish, the pallid sturgeon. However, the corps said reservoirs along the river contained just 36.3 million acre feet of water Wednesday morning, 200,000 acre feet below the minimum set by the corps. The March pulse would have been the first release of water under the corps' plan for a spring rise. Missouri officials are concerned a release of water could flood farms and hurt the barge industry, while officials in Montana and the Dakotas worry enough water may not be left in reservoirs for boating and fishing interests. But several environmental groups that see the plan as the best way to protect river wildlife.

-- From staff, wire reports

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