Convicted drunken driver to speak at event

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Jason Barber, a convicted drunken driver, will speak Oct. 9 at the Show Me Center as part of Alcohol Awareness Week at Southeast Missouri State University. The event, scheduled for 7 p.m., is open to the public. In 1991, Barber was racing friends and driving drunk. He crashed his car, killing a passenger in the vehicle. He was convicted of vehicular manslaughter and served three and a half years in prison before being released in 1995. He's been sober ever since. For the past three years, the California man has provided drug and alcohol counseling to high school students. Barber currently is writing a book about overcoming his addiction to alcohol. In the past six years, Barber has spoken to nearly half a million teenagers and young adults at various presentations across the country.

Evidence scant for claim of hit-and-run accident

A hit-and-run accident was reported in Cape Girardeau Thursday night. Police were called around 9:40 p.m. by a man claiming to be struck by an automobile on Park Avenue at Broadway, police spokesman Jason Selzer said. When hit, the man said he rolled on top of the hood and struck the windshield, and the vehicle sped away. Police arrived at the scene to find the man lying on the sidewalk talking on the phone. He did not have any apparent injuries, according to Selzer. The man took down the suspected vehicle's license plate number, but when officers found the car there was no damage to the hood or windshield. Selzer said there was "nothing to indicate someone had been on the hood of the vehicle." The driver of the vehicle was questioned. She admitted to seeing the man walk on the sidewalk when she drove by but denied striking him, according to Selzer. The incident was under investigation.

Florida man killed in plane crash near Branson

BRANSON, Mo. -- A Florida man died when the small plane he was piloting crashed Friday morning in the woods of the Ruth and Paul Henning Conservation Area, the Federal Aviation Administration said. Thomas D. Currie, 48, of New Port Richey, Fla., died in the crash Friday, said a dispatcher with the Branson Police Department. "This was a home-built or a kit plane, something that the pilot manufactures a great deal himself, but is approved for flight," said FAA spokeswoman Elizabeth Isham Cory. No one else was on board, Cory said.

-- From staff, wire reports

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