Security misunderstood at Fort Leonard Wood

Wednesday, September 19, 2001

FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. -- Apparent misunderstandings over increased gate security procedures in the wake of terrorist attacks led to two incidents Tuesday at Fort Leonard Wood.

The first incident occurred about 6:30 a.m. when a commercial bus driver thought he was waved on inside the Pulaski County military post. In fact, security was waving him toward a checkpoint, said Master Sgt. Mike Alley, a public affairs officer at the base.

The second incident occurred about an hour later when a soldier continued on in his car after apparently not realizing he was being directed to an inspection point. The driver was apprehended and later released.

In both incidents, the gates were secured for a short time as a precaution, Alley said.

3,000 signatures given to take veterans home

ANNA, Ill. -- A man has collected more than 3,000 signatures on a petition asking the state to take control of a veterans home whose private managers are going out of business.

Charles Kovach, a World War II veteran, usually spends his spare time calling bingo for the 60 people who live at the Anna Veterans Home.

But since the company that runs the facility, BEP Management, told state officials last week it will stop managing the home in December, Kovach has been collecting signatures of people who want the state to take it over.

BEP management, which has operated the home since 2000, told staff members that the Memphis, Tenn.-based company filed for bankruptcy in Tennessee.

Most Missouri students not reading proficiently

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Fewer third- and seventh-grade students met state reading standards this past school year, according to data released Monday by the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.

Third graders who scored at the "proficient" reading level on Missouri Assessment Program tests fell to 28.7 percent this past spring compared to 33.4 percent in 2000.

Among seventh graders, the number of proficient readers fell to 32.6 percent from 33.9 percent the previous year.

Earlier this month, overall test scores showed that about two-thirds of Missouri students still are not making the grade in such basics as math, science and social studies.

Webster County man gets life for killing sister

MARSHFIELD, Mo. -- A southwest Missouri man will spend the rest of his life in prison for killing his sister by slashing her throat.

Jeremiah Johnson, 23, of Marshfield was sentenced Tuesday in Webster County Circuit Court. The judge followed the jury's recommendation that Johnson not be eligible for probation or parole for the first-degree murder conviction.

Johnson had pleaded innocent by reason of mental disease in the death of his sister, Carrie Johnson. His lawyers contended during trial last month that Johnson was suffering from an "underlying psychosis" made worse by the hallucinogenic drug LSD when he killed his sister.

Dig finds remains of old Peoria French village

PEORIA, Ill. -- Archaeologists believe they have finally found the remains of an old French settlement in Peoria, the first physical evidence indicating the area where Europeans first lived.

The site, which had been sought for at least 25 years, was discovered on a vacant lot near what is present-day downtown Peoria. Searchers have unearthed a trench about two feet deep and one foot wide. About 60 feet have been exposed, and the trench probably runs on beneath a street.

Robert Mazrim, an archaeologist with the Illinois Transportation Archaeological Research Program at the University of Illinois, said the trench marks the line of a fence, probably one guarding a field of grain.

"Every villager was in charge of certain fields. You can see (from soil configurations) the fence falling over in one area," Mazrim said.

--From wire reports

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