Region briefs 10/26/07

Friday, October 26, 2007

Workers evacuated after fire at Dana Corp.

Though the company is no longer in operation, a small fire broke out at Dana Corp. Thursday morning. The Cape Girardeau Fire Department responded to the call at 9:46 a.m. Thursday, battalion chief Steve Niswonger said. Workers had been in the process of removing ducts from the building interior using cutting torches, and a spark caught on some insulation in the duct, Niswonger said. The ducts were part of the building's heating and cooling system. The building was evacuated, though only about 20 workers were present. It took firefighters about 15 minutes to put out the fire and set up ventilation fans inside, because there was a moderate amount of smoke, Niswonger said.

United Way fundraising reaches halfway mark

The United Way of Southeast Missouri has raised half of the $1.3 million dollar goal it set in August. The not-for-profit foundation collects money through employee contributions from area businesses and individual donors. The bulk of fundraising comes from employee contributions, which have garnered $318,867 so far this campaign season. The United Way has focused on the success of children and the family unit. Programs like Success by Six and Born Learning help parents and children realize the importance of and accomplish goals in learning.

Spaces still available for arts council craft fair

Booth space still remains for artists and craftspeople interested in participating in an annual holiday arts and crafts show. The 37th annual Arts and Crafts Extravaganza will be Nov. 17 and 18 at the Show Me Center and Osage Community Centre. The show is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Arts Council of Southeast Missouri. More than 10,000 people attend the event each year. For more information, call the arts council at 334-9233.

Notre Dame presents fall play next week

Notre Dame Regional High School will present its fall play, the Neil Simon comedy "God's Favorite," beginning Thursday. The play retells the biblical book of Job, with Joe Benjamin, a Long Island tycoon, as the modern Job. The play will be presented at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 2 and 3. For more information call Notre Dame at 335-6772.

Man sentenced on felony drug charges

A Mississippi County man was sentenced on felony drug charges Wednesday in U.S. District Court. According to the Standard-Democrat, Christopher Booker, 34, of Charleston, Mo., was sentenced to 108 months on one felony count of distribution of 5 grams or more or cocaine base and to one felony count of possession with intent to distribute 5 grams or more of cocaine base. On May 7, Booker sold 8.6 grams of "crack" cocaine to a confidential informant for the Southeast Missouri Drug Task Force from his residence in Charleston. Following the purchase, officers for the Southeast Missouri Drug Task Force and other law enforcement agencies executed a search warrant at Booker's residence. Booker was present in the residence, and was placed under arrest. Officers found 23.1 grams of crack cocaine and $537 in Booker's pants pocket, which included the $300 which the officers used to purchase the crack cocaine earlier that day. Officers also found two firearms and $2,100 in cash that was ordered forfeited as drug proceeds.

-- From staff reports

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