Around Southeast Missouri

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Funeral director dies following car wreck

DEXTER, Mo. -- A well-known local funeral director and businessman was killed during the pre-dawn hours Saturday in Dexter. Richard "Rick" Watkins, a funeral director and co-owner of Watkins and Sons Funeral Service of Dexter, Parma, Puxico and Morehouse, was pronounced dead at Saint Francis Medical Center in Cape Girardeau. According to Dexter police chief Paul Haubold, Watkins was involved in a two-vehicle accident at 11:28 p.m. Friday in the 800 block of South Walnut Street. According to the news release, a vehicle being driven by 41-year-old James Jankowski of Bernie, Mo., was traveling southbound on South Walnut Street and crossed over the centerline into the northbound lane, striking Watkins' vehicle head-on. Both Watkins and Jankowski were transported to Missouri Southern Healthcare and then transported to Saint Francis Medical Center. Jankowski remains at the hospital. Jankowski has been charged with felony first-degree involuntary manslaughter and felony driving while intoxicated. Stoddard County has a warrant out for his arrest. His bond will be set at $250,000 cash only.

-- Dexter Daily Statesman

Aldermen pass permit prices, building codes

In a move months in the making, the Dexter Board of Aldermen voted unanimously Monday night to accept the building permit prices and basic building standards. New construction within the city limits will soon undergo more strict inspections to ensure the safety of homes. Alderman Jerry Corder was a major force behind the codes, which accompany increased permit fees because, he said, he felt people should get something for the extra money they will put out. Under the new ordinance, City building inspector Jerry Jenkins will make sure that concrete footings are a minimum of 12-feet thick and are properly reinforced, he will check the thickness of basement walls, ensure any wood coming in contact with concrete is treated lumber, and ensure the safety of plumbing and electrical materials and craftsmanship. Under the new building permit fee schedule, the charges will be as follows: detached outbuilding valued at $1,000 or less -- $25, valued at more than $1,000 -- $35; decks, dog pens, fences, portable buildings and swimming pools valued at less than $500 will cost $15, valued at $501 to $19,999.99 will cost $25; new construction or additions to residential or commercial property will cost $1.00 per $1,000 of the projected cost of the project. The fees, while putting Dexter more in line with surrounding comparable communities, still puts them well below Kennett and Poplar Bluff, but slightly higher than Sikeston.

-- Dexter Daily Statesman

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