Region/state digest 09/18/04

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Murder attempt yields 10 years in prison

A Marble Hill, Mo., man convicted in June of attempted murder was sentenced to 10 years in prison Friday. Timothy D. Lincoln had been tried in Bollinger County on a change of venue. Prosecutors said Lincoln left a message on Gary Eldridge's answering machine in August 2003 asking to meet him at the Rhodes 101 Station in Jackson. Lincoln had thought that Eldridge was having an affair with Lincoln's girlfriend. Armed with a rifle, Lincoln parked his vehicle at the Ceramo parking lot across a street from the Rhodes station. Ceramo employees noticed him in the car and called police. Defense attorney Bryan Keller argued that Lincoln had simply made a bad choice and that he should be treated with leniency because he has an alcohol problem. Circuit Judge John Heisserer agreed with the prosecutor when he imposed the sentence. He told Lincoln that prison has alcohol treatment programs and urged him to take advantage of them.

Oct. 27 ceremony to rename postal center

The U.S. postal processing center in Cape Girardeau will be renamed for local veteran Richard G. Wilson in a ceremony at 9:30 a.m. on Oct. 27. An Army medic, Wilson was killed in the Korean War at the age of 19 as he tried to save a fellow soldier's life on Oct. 21, 1950. He was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor. U.S. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson will attend the ceremony. The Cape Girardeau Republican introduced legislation in March that led to Congress officially naming the processing center at 475 Kell Farm Drive after Wilson.

Missouri jobless rate holds at 5.5 percent

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Missouri's unemployment rate held steady in August at 5.5 percent but was above the national average for first time in 3 1/2 years, according to data released Friday by the U.S. Department of Labor. The state unemployment rate was the same as in July. But for the first time since February 2001, Missouri's rate was higher than the nation's, which dipped to 5.4 percent in August. The number of people unemployed fell slightly in Missouri, by 1,600, from July to August.

Teen to be tried as adult in yard sale killings

CLAYTON, Mo. -- A 16-year-old suspect was charged Friday with two counts of first-degree murder for killing two men and wounding a woman at a garage sale in suburban St. Louis. Rodney Allen of St. Louis County also faces charges of burglary, robbery, assault, kidnapping and armed criminal action. The charges came a day after Allen was certified to stand trial as an adult. The shootings happened at a garage sale in July. Killed were John Strasburger III, 24, who was holding the sale with his mother; and a neighbor, Fletcher Coates, 39. Police say Allen's motive was to steal Coates' sports utility vehicle. Allen is being held without bail.

Mizzou dedicates life sciences center

COLUMBIA, Mo. -- A $60 million life sciences center dedicated Friday at the University of Missouri-Columbia is a "new jewel" for research and teaching with impact that will reach into space, NASA administrator Sean O'Keefe said. NASA provided $30 million in federal funding and the state added another $30 million, creating a gleaming crossroads for academic disciplines ranging from medicine to agriculture to microbiology. Researchers and students with an array of backgrounds and research interests will collaborate at the facility, which has about 134,000 square feet for about 40 faculty, and is topped by high-tech greenhouses.

Attorney general accuses home company of fraud

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Attorney General Jay Nixon is suing a Kansas City company that sells manufactured and mobile homes, accusing it of failing to provide homes to 10 families who purchased a property. The lawsuit, filed Wednesday in Ralls County Circuit Court against The Home Group Inc., said the families had lost more than $600,000. Bryan Thompson, a sales manager for the company, said he was surprised by the lawsuit. He said the company had been talking with the attorney general "on a continuous basis to take care of the problem."

-- From staff, wire reports

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