Region digest 07/10/04

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Deals defers prosecution of Dexter police chief

DEXTER, Mo. -- A criminal case against a former Dexter police chief has been resolved, according to Stoddard County Prosecuting Attorney Briney Welborn. In return for Kenny Rinehart admitting the allegations of hindering prosecution, a felony, Welborn said the state has agreed to defer prosecution. If Rinehart does not get into any more trouble with the law over the next six months, the charges will be dismissed. Rinehart and police sergeant Sammy Stone were indicted in 2002, accused of agreeing to keep secret the criminal sexual acts of former Dexter police officer Robert Kennedy. Kennedy was arrested in 2001 and later pleaded guilty to three felonies and was placed on five years of probation. The charges against Stone are still pending.

Holden signs bill naming state dinosaur

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Bollinger County can now stake its claim as Missouri's official dinosaur territory. Gov. Bob Holden on Friday signed legislation declaring Hypsibema missouriensis, a species whose fossils have only been found on farm near Glenallen, as the state dinosaur of Missouri. Hypsibema missouriensis fossils are on display at the Bollinger County Museum of Natural History in Marble Hill. Museum president Eva Dunn said publicity generated by the bill, which the legislature passed in May, has already "had a dramatic impact on the museum. We've tripled the number of visitors." The museum attracted about 5,000 visitors last year.

Coal train derails in Southern Illinois

BENTON, Ill. -- A train carrying coal derailed Friday morning as it crossed over Interstate 57 in Southern Illinois, causing the roadway to be closed in both directions, officials said. The derailment of the Canadian National Railway Co. train happened about 9:45 a.m., company spokesman Ian Thomson said. Thomson said the train of three locomotives and 136 cars loaded with coal derailed as it crossed a bridge over the roadway. He said eight coal cars fell onto the interstate and four others derailed, but those did not fall onto the roadway.

Cape woman robbed while cleaning car

A 20-year-old Cape Girardeau woman reported that she was robbed of her purse at gunpoint in the 600 block of South Spring Street. According to Capt. Carl Kinnison of the Cape Girardeau Police Department, the woman said she was cleaning the back seat of her car around 11:40 p.m. Thursday when a man in a red bandana displayed a handgun and demanded money. He took her purse and ran. The victim was not otherwise harmed. Police have no suspects.

-- From staff, wire reports

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