Region briefs 8/14/03

Thursday, August 14, 2003

Cape transit director voted to state board

Jeff Brune, the executive director of the Cape Girardeau County Transit Authority, has been voted to serve on the Missouri Public Transit Association's board of directors.

The MPTA was formed in 1980 to provide a unified voice for public and specialized transportation providers in Missouri and to work toward making public transit a national priority.

At 29 years old, Brune became the youngest person to ever be voted to the board. The selection was made at the Osage Beach earlier this week.

Drug bust lands two men in Butler County jail

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. -- A traffic stop may result in two Butler County men facing drug charges after about nine pounds of suspected processed marijuana was found inside their vehicle Tuesday night.

After receiving information about a van transporting marijuana, SEMO Drug Task Force officer Scott Johnston said he and Misouri State Highway Patrol Cpl. Chris Graves and Sgt. Rick Sanders set up surveillance on U.S. 60 West.

When the van came through, Sanders initiated a traffic stop because it was running 11 mph over in a construction zone, Sanders said.

Neither the driver, Joseph L. Burkhart, 23, of Poplar Bluff, nor passenger, Raymond D. Greenwood, 41, of Fisk, were reportedly the registered owner of the vehicle.

Inside a duffle bag in the van the officers said they found nine one-gallon bags, each containing about a pound of compressed marijuana with a street value of $1,200.

Both men were arrested on suspicion of possession of a controlled substance and possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute.

Climbing wall owner charged in woman's death

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- The owner of a Columbia company that provided a climbing wall from which a Jefferson City woman fell to her death last month has been charged with first-degree involuntary manslaughter.

Marcus Floyd, owner of Columbia Climbing Gym and Gear rental, was being held Wednesday in Boone County jail on $50,000 bond.

Christine Ewing, 22, was descending a climbing wall July 14 outside a Mid-Missouri Mavericks minor league baseball game when a safety cable snapped and she fell about 25 feet.

She died the next day of severe head trauma.

Columbia police said rust and duct tape were found at the point where the cable broke.

Woman and her adult son shot to death

VELDA VILLAGE HILLS, Mo. -- Police in suburban St. Louis were investigating the shooting deaths of a 51-year-old woman and her 25-year-old son.

Zelma Glass and her son, Julius Caesar Evans Jr., were killed late Tuesday by two gunmen who had forced their way into the woman's home looking for money, police told, the Web site for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

One of the killers also shot the woman's 11-year-old grandson in the head. However, the boy was able to ride his bicycle home after regaining consciousness. He was treated at a hospital and released. Evans was the uncle of the wounded boy.

New task force will make airport recommendations

ST. LOUIS -- Mayor Francis Slay on Wednesday asked three business organizations to form a task force to make recommendations about the future of Lambert Airport.

Slay said in a statement that he's asking the groups to take a fresh look at the airport and what the area can do to attract and retain flights and jobs.

"With American Airlines flight reductions and dramatic changes in the airline industry, it is incumbent on us as a region to map out our own future," Slay said.

American Airlines last month announced plans to cut its daily departures at the airport to 207 from 417 beginning in November. Since then, six carriers have added 14 new flights, according to the mayor's office.

-- From staff, wire reports

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