Region briefs 6/21

Friday, June 21, 2002

Bernie officer gets misconduct trial moved

BLOOMFIELD, Mo. -- A Bernie, Mo., police officer will stand trial in Dunklin County on a sexual misconduct charge involving five children who live in his Dexter, Mo., neighborhood.

During a court appearance this week, Circuit Judge Stephen Sharp granted a change of venue in Randy Alan Barnes' case. The 38-year-old is charged with sexual misconduct involving a child.

Barnes was also ordered to appear in court at 2:30 p.m. July 10 in Dunklin County.

Barnes, who was suspended following his April arrest, is a four-year veteran of the Bernie Police Department.

He is accused of exposing himself to the children who were younger than 14.

Kennett taxpayers will decide bond issue

KENNETT, Mo. -- The Kennett School District will ask taxpayers on Aug. 6 to pass a $1.5 million bond issue to fund building an additional 10 elementary classrooms.

Jim Callewaert, school superintendent, said. the district began looking into the Qualified Zone Academy Bonds when the neighboring school district at Holcomb had received the federal funding. The QZAB is a federal bond program with $25 million set aside for Missouri schools to renovate, remodel or refurbish a district building.

Kennett was granted $1.5 million with two conditions: the district pass a bond issue before Dec. 31, and that the money be paid back in 13 years rather than 20 years.

"We will be saving the district's taxpayers more than $600,000 in interest fees," Callewaert said. The money will be interest free and used to add 10 classrooms for kindergarten students.

Three Rivers trustees tour housing project

POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. -- Shuffling personnel and settling routine business dominated the agenda when Three Rivers Community College trustees gathered for its monthly meeting this week.

Before the meeting, trustees and college officials toured Rivers Ridge, the new student housing to be completed this summer. The complex, which features four-bedroom, suite-style apartments, will be open for a public "sneak preview" from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. July 13, and from 1 to 5 p.m. July 14. Apartments are still available for the fall semester.

For information, contact Denise Giambelluca, student housing director, at (573) 785-0752.

Mother charged with role in child's death

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. -- Two more charges have been filed against an Independence woman who allegedly helped cover for her boyfriend after her 3-year-old son was so severely beaten that he later died. Lena M. Buhr, 27, was charged this week with endangering the welfare of a child and hindering prosecution of a felony. Counts of child endangerment and tampering with evidence have been added.

After her son, Anthony Buhr, suffered fatal injuries early June 6, investigators said, she helped her boyfriend clean up blood splattered against her bathroom wall. She didn't call for help until she no longer could feel a pulse on her child, authorities said. The woman's boyfriend, Bryon Griffin, also of Independence, has been charged with murder and nine other counts.

Independence man convicted in store killing

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- An Independence man has been convicted in the shooting death of a liquor store worker during a robbery.

Jason O. Hedger, 21, was found guilty Thursday in Jackson County Circuit Court of a reduced charge of second-degree murder in the February 2000 death of Donald D. Brammer. Hedger also was convicted of first-degree robbery and two counts of armed criminal action.

Witness reported that shortly after Hedger and two others walked into an Independence liquor store, Brammer backed up with his hands up. One of the suspects, later identified as Hedger, shot Brammer after he appeared to move forward as though he was reaching for something.

-- From wire and Southeast Missouri News reports

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