State digest 02/01/04

Sunday, February 1, 2004

Father in death of foster child gets 15 years

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A foster father spent his first full night behind bars Friday in the death of 2-year-old Dominic James. John Wesley Dilley, 36, was sentenced to 15 years in prison on charges of abuse resulting in death and assault. Dominic died on Aug. 21, 2002, of a violent shaking or impact to his head. Greene County Judge Calvin Holden set bond at $500,000 while the case is on appeal; Dilley was unable to raise the money. Dominic's death caused three government investigations, a restructuring of the state Department of Social Services and passage of a sweeping reform bill that Gov. Bob Holden -- brother of the judge -- ultimately vetoed as too aggressive.

Independence woman sentenced in death of son

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- An Independence woman has been convicted of murdering her 3-year-old son by doing nothing to prevent her boyfriend from killing the boy. Lena Buhr, 28, was convicted Friday of second-degree murder, child endangerment, hindering prosecution and tampering with physical evidence. Her son, Anthony Buhr, died June 8, 2002, after being choked, burned and sodomized, prosecutors said. It took a Jackson County jury 40 minutes to return the conviction against Lena Buhr.

Liberty Memorial now privately managed

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- The city will turn over management of the Liberty Memorial to a private association, beginning today. The city council on Thursday unanimously approved a contract with the Liberty Memorial Association to operate the World War I memorial. The city will continue to own the memorial and the land it is on. The Liberty Memorial Association, which created the monument in the 1920s, is trying to raise money for a new museum below its deck. The management contract would be renewable every five years and can be terminated by either side.

State cattle inventory down from last year

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Missouri's cattle population is down from a year ago, as farmers took advantage of higher market values in 2003, new data from the National Agricultural Statistics Service show. Cattle inventory in Missouri dropped 150,000 head to 4.4 million from Jan. 1, 2003, to Jan. 1, 2004. All cattle and calves in the United States were down 1 percent over the same time, to 94.9 million. Missouri is second among all states in cattle operations.

-- From wire reportss

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