Region digest 6/20/02

Thursday, June 20, 2002

Three arrested charged in mailbox vandalism

DEXTER, Mo. -- Quick thinking by residents and a Stoddard County sheriff's deputy has resulted in the arrests of three people.

The Stoddard County sheriff's office reported that Josh Battles, 22, of Dexter; Heath Hayes, 22, of Dudley, Mo.; and John Hayes, 21, of Poplar Bluff, Mo., were arrested Tuesday on property damage charges.

The sheriff's report said the county had problems with vandals smashing rural mailboxes.

On June 10, that all changed.

During the night, a resident heard his mailbox being hit and he ran outside, got into his vehicle and followed the suspects to try and get a description of the vehicle. He then returned home to call the sheriff's office.

Minutes later, another resident, three miles away, called to report her mailbox had been hit and that a neighbor was pursuing the suspected vehicle.

Within minutes s deputy stopped the suspected and the suspects were arrested.

The suspects were being held at the Stoddard County Jail on $5,000 cash bond.

FEMA inspection tour begins in Scott County

BENTON, Mo. -- The official Federal Emergency Management Agency inspection tour of Scott County has begun.

Commissioner Jamie Burger predicted this week that the inspections would take at least a week to view flood damage around the county.

Harlan Duncan, county road and bridge department supervisor, will accompany the FEMA inspector during the tour. Burger agreed to ride with Duncan and the inspector in the mornings and Presiding Commissioner Martin Priggel will accompany them in the afternoons.

In related news, John Chadd, city administrator for Chaffee, Mo., has asked for a FEMA aid application. He and the commissioners have discussed whether a bridge on the county-city line should be filed under the county's or city's application. The bridge sustained about $1,500 in damage from washed out footings.

Bluff man accused of sodomizing girl

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. -- A Poplar Bluff man is free on bond after his Tuesday arrest on a warrant charging him with sodomizing a young girl.

Mark Joel Hicks, 40, posted a $25,000 bond on statutory sodomy charges.

According to the complaint, on June 8 Hicks allegedly had deviant sexual intercourse with the victim who was 4 years old.

Authorities learned of the alleged abuse at about 9 p.m. June 8 when the victim was treated at Three Rivers Healthcare-North Campus, child abuse detective Tonya Pride said in her report.

House transportation chair to speak at Bluff

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. -- State Rep. Don Koller of Summersville, Mo., chairman of the House Transportation Committee, will speak on the proposed transportation tax at the Butler County Democratic Club meeting at 7 tonight at Ryan's Steak House.

Local leaders who oppose the tax were expected to come to the Democratic Club's meeting and wait for the question and answer session following his speech.

Poplar Bluff Mayor Scott Faughn said Wednesday that many in Butler County are opposed to the proposed transportation tax because it omits projects in Butler County. Rep. Rod Jetton, R-Marble Hill, Mo., who last summer walked from Marble Hill to Jefferson City to make a point about Southeast Missouri roads, is expected to be among those at the meeting.-- From Southeast Missouri news reports

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