Region briefs 10/16/02

Wednesday, October 16, 2002

BioKyowa scholar to visit SEMO

Hisao Tanaka, an English professor from Japan, will deliver a lecture on Oct. 23 about American author William Faulkner's visit to Japan in 1955.

The lecture is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. in Crisp Hall's Dempster Auditorium. The lecture will include rare film footage of Faulkner in Japan. Admission is free and open to the public.

Tanaka, chairman of the integrated humanities department at Hiroshima University Graduate School of Letters, will also research Faulkner materials in Southeast's Brodsky Collection.

His visit is sponsored by the BioKyowa company, which has a manufacturing plant in Cape Girardeau.

Junior college violates open meetings law

SEDALIA, Mo. -- The State Fair Community College board of trustees violated the state's open meetings law when it met behind closed doors last month, the board's lawyer concluded.

In a letter to the editor published in Friday's edition of the Sedalia Democrat, attorney Thomas Keating said it was his decision that prompted the board to meet in closed session. Now, Keating said, he realizes the meeting violated the law.

The meeting was called to discuss a $10,000-per-year contract with Missouri Consultants for Education.

At the time, Keating invoked an exception to the Missouri Sunshine Law that allows closed meetings to discuss hiring, firing, disciplining or promoting of particular employees by a governmental body. Missouri Consultants for Education, however, is a private contractor, and is not considered an employee under the law.

Keating said that because the meeting was illegal, the contract could be considered void. He has advised the trustees to again consider the matter -- this time in open session.

Two die from carbon monoxide poisoning

O'FALLON, Mo. -- Two members of a St. Charles County family died after apparently being poisoned by carbon monoxide, police said.

Police were called to the home in O'Fallon at about 10:40 p.m. Monday by the mother who told authorities her husband had had a heart attack, officials said.

Hari Kushwah, 42, and his daughter, Aakriti Kushwah, 16, were pronounced dead at the scene. The mother and son -- Beena Kushwah, 41, and Mayank Kushwah, 15 -- were taken by ambulance to St. Luke's Hospital, where they received treatment to exchange oxygen for the carbon monoxide in their blood.

Officials with Laclede Gas blamed an internal problem with the home's heater.

Mountain lion killed by Kansas City motorist

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Authorities are trying to determine whether a mountain lion fatally injured after bolting into the path of a car on an interstate highway in Kansas City was wild or raised in captivity.

Mountain lions, also known as cougars, were once native to Missouri and Kansas, but were eliminated long ago by hunting and habitat destruction.

The accident early Monday on Interstate 70 in Kansas City, north of the Missouri River, was the first documented case of a free-roaming cougar in the metropolitan area in modern times, officials said.

-- From wire reports

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