Missouri briefs 12/19/03

Friday, December 19, 2003

Authorities investigate bones found in old home

MT. VERNON, Mo. -- Authorities are trying to unravel the mystery surrounding a set of human bones found on the floor of an abandoned home in northeast Lawrence County, authorities said Thursday. Officers with the Lawrence County Sheriff's Department suspected the bones had been in the home "a few years," according to a media release. The cause of death was unknown, as was the age, sex and height of the deceased. Richard Reed, 71, of rural Lawrence County, who owns the property on which the house was located, learned of the bones' discovery Wednesday. He said it has been at least 10 years since the house was occupied. He has owned the home for the last five years.

Roark says he'll run for House over treasurer

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A state legislator who was one of five Republicans in the race for state treasurer said Thursday that he instead will run for another term in the Missouri House. Rep. Brad Roark of Springfield said he would seek a third term in the House, abandoning a bid for treasurer in a crowded GOP field. State Sen. Sarah Steelman of Rolla, state Sen. Anita Yeckel of St. Louis, state Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer of St. Elizabeth and St. Louis businessman Tom Klein already are running for treasurer. Democratic treasurer candidates include state Rep. Mark Abel of Festus and Arnold Mayor Mark Powell, who is also an investment broker. Roark was first elected to the state House in 2000 and is chairman of the House Appropriations' General Administration Committee.

Holden appoints Jefferson City man to gambling board

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- A former Jefferson City mayor was appointed Thursday to the commission that regulates the state's casino industry. George Hartsfield replaces Lynne Nikolaisen, who resigned. Gov. Bob Holden's nomination of Hartsfield to the Missouri Gaming Commission must be confirmed by the state Senate. Hartsfield is the executive director of the Jefferson City Area YMCA and a member of the city's Chamber of Commerce. Before Thursday's announcement, the five-member commission had two vacancies. The seat that was held by commissioner Robert Smith, whose term expired, remains vacant.

State finds no safety violations in fairgrounds explosion

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Investigators found no safety violations in a fatal fairgrounds explosion, although they said aging plastic pipe was a likely contributor. The pipe used by Springfield City Utilities has been the subject of three nationwide advisories, indicating a manufacturing defect may make it susceptible to cracking. As a result, Missouri Public Service Commission staff recommended Springfield City Utilities consider how it monitors its pipeline system. The recommendation was included in a report released Wednesday by the state regulatory agency into the June 18 blast at Ozark Empire Fairgrounds in Springfield. The explosion resulted in one death, leveled a building and damaged others.

Northwest Missouri State gives break to out-of-state students

MARYVILLE, Mo. -- Northwest Missouri State University has decided to offer reduced tuition to some out-of-state students. Starting in fall 2005, out-of-state students who have completed 24 hours of study and maintain a 3.0 grade-point average will pay the same tuition as Missouri residents -- $161.50 per credit hour instead of $278.50 per credit hour. The award is available to students who start school as freshman in the fall of 2004. Of the 6,500 students attending Northwest Missouri State, about 2,100 are nonresidents. About 35 percent, or 735, of those nonresident students would be eligible for the award if it were offered today.

-- From wire reports

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