Region/state digest 12/01/04

Wednesday, December 1, 2004

Body found in Perryville that of ex-Jackson man

PERRYVILLE, Mo. -- Perry County authorities say they have identified the body of a man found Tuesday morning lying in an open field behind the Perryville Industrial Park. Sheriff Gary Schaaf said the man has been identified as Dwayne Alan Hill, 29, formerly of Jackson. Schaaf said Hill had recently moved to Perryville. Schaaf said an employee of TG Missouri Corp. reported he had discovered a body lying in a field behind the industrial park. The body was partially clothed and appeared to have been there for one or two days. It is not immediately apparent how the man died, Schaaf said. "We did not observe any signs of fatal injuries, no bullet holes or knife wounds," he said. An autopsy will be performed to determine the cause of death.

Zalma School District gets state recognition

ZALMA, Mo. -- The Zalma School District was among 158 districts across Missouri recognized this week with the state's Distinction in Performance Award. The award is an annual recognition based on Missouri Assessment Program test scores, ACT scores and other factors such as attendance and drop-out rates. In order to qualify, Zalma was required to meet 11 of 12 performance standards in the 2003-2004 year. The district met all 12, receiving a perfect 100 score on its annual accreditation report.

Legislators aim again to change university name

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Two Springfield legislators will try again to make the case that Missouri State University would be a more fitting name for the state's second-largest university. Sen. Norma Champion and Rep. B.J. Marsh, both Republicans, said they will file bills today, more than a month before the start of the 2005 legislative session, to change the name of Southwest Missouri State University by removing the regional designation. It is a fight that dates to 1988. Champion and Marsh said Tuesday they have a new incentive: They want to bestow the new name when the university celebrates its centennial anniversary in March. The two see an opening with incoming legislators and Republican governor-elect Matt Blunt, who is from Springfield and has said he favors the idea. Southwest Missouri State officials maintain the name change would bring prestige to their institution, allowing them to attract better students and faculty as well as more private donations.

-- From staff, wire reports

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