[SeMissourian.com] Fog/Mist ~ 44°F  
River stage: 23.44 ft. Falling
Thursday, Oct. 23, 2014

Local News

Cape man accused of pistol-whipping his wife in early morning domestic disturbance (10/23/14) 3
A Cape Girardeau man was in custody Wednesday after an early-morning domestic disturbance in which he is accused of beating his wife with a gun. James Calvin Sims, 29, was charged with two counts of second-degree domestic assault and one count of unlawful use of a weapon in connection with the altercation...
Collective Impact in Education group explores goals (10/23/14)
On Wednesday, a small group of youth service representatives discussed goals such as supporting children in and out of school, having every child succeed academically and every student graduating high school prepared for postsecondary education. The goals and milestones were hashed out by Collective Impact in Education, a group facilitated by United Way of Southeast Missouri...
Bumper crop leads to storage issues (10/23/14)
Farmers who grow corn and soybeans are experiencing a much different supply-and-demand scenario this harvest season than in years past -- with prices dipping -- at least in the short term. A cool, mild summer with ample rainfall is responsible for record-setting yields, which agriculture experts say means more grain going to market and a lower return. ...
Jackson resident picked to help develop new education standards (10/23/14) 2
The work groups created by House Bill 1490 to develop new standards for Missouri students include at one person from the Cape Girardeau area. The bill includes creating panels of educators and parents to write new performance goals to replace Common Core standards, which encompass the knowledge and skills all students should master by the end of each grade level, according to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education...
Amendment 10 would curb governor's budget power (10/23/14) 1
Disagreements between Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon and the largely Republican Missouri Legislature over budget issues have dominated news headlines in recent years. But the tone of future debates could be altered if voters approve Constitutional Amendment 10 during the Nov. 4 election. The measure would give the state legislature the power to "provide a legislative check" on the governor's decision to withhold money from the state budget, according to ballot language...
Suspects sought for firing shots at busy Poplar Bluff park (10/23/14)
POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. -- Poplar Bluff authorities are investigating a report of shots being fired Wednesday evening at Bacon Park as young athletes were on the park's practice fields. No injuries were reported, and several suspects reportedly are being sought...
Conceal/carry permit classes grow in Dexter area (10/23/14)
DEXTER, Mo. -- ISIS, civil unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, and all manner of things in the news could be motivating people to obtain their conceal/carry permits in Missouri. At least, that is the theory of one area instructor. Eric Hutchison is a retired law enforcement officer and holds a federal firearms license. Hutchison teaches conceal/carry classes and says he is seeing an uptick in the number of people enrolling in his class...
Cape Girardeau County Commissiona agenda 10/23/14 (10/23/14)
Cape Girardeau County Commission Administrative Office Building 1 Barton Square, Jackson 9 a.m. Thursday Open session n Approval of minutes of Oct. 20 n Communications/reports -- other elected officials Public comments n Items list on the agenda Routine business...
Business survey reveals disassatisfaction in Poplar Bluff (10/23/14)
POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. -- In a survey released Wednesday, members of the Poplar Bluff business community questioned whether city officials value their wallets more than their talent. The Greater Poplar Bluff Area Chamber of Commerce asked members to weigh in on two topics: local government and schools spending money with qualified, local companies, rather than outside of town, and what other concerns local government should address...
Poplar Bluff police to get lots of new equipment (10/23/14)
POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. -- The Poplar Bluff Police Department will receive nearly $262,000 in wireless computers for patrol units, body cameras and new handguns as part of the new city capital improvements project. Police chief Danny Whiteley, deputy chief Jeff Rolland and Capt. Mike McClain explained the benefits for the police officers during a city council meeting Monday night...
Man hit by train (10/23/14)
LAURA SIMON ~ lsimon@semissourian.com Members of the Cape Girardeau Fire Department and Cape County Private Ambulance transport a patient to an ambulance after he was struck by a Burlington Northern Santa Fe train Wednesday night near Cape Rock Park. ...
Farm forges a long-term financial plan in black walnuts (10/22/14) 6
Today, it's hard to believe the 288 acres of the Martin Walnut Tree Farm were nothing more than plowed ground when Dr. Richard Martin bought the land 26 years ago. It took about three or four years of seed planting by Martin, his family and volunteers to bring his groves of trees alive...
Perryville police seek suspect in two fires (10/22/14)
Police in Perryville, Missouri, are looking for a person responsible for a pair of Monday night fires. Just before 8:30 p.m. Monday, firefighters received a call about decorative hay bales burning in front of a beauty salon at 7 N. Main St., said Bill Jones, assistant fire and police chief...
Chase leads to several arrests in Perryville (10/22/14)
A Monday evening chase in Perryville, Missouri, led to the arrests of several people suspected of dealing drugs, Perry County Sheriff Gary Schaaf said Tuesday. Between 8 and 8:30 p.m. Monday, the Perry County Sheriff's Department learned about a drug deal in progress, Schaaf said...
Tip leads officers to arrest of two; drug operation discovered (10/22/14)
BENTON, Mo. -- Two people are in custody after drugs and drug paraphernalia were discovered at a Morley, Missouri, residence. David D. Kelley, 41, of Morley is charged with two felony counts of possession with the intent to distribute a controlled substance and felony possession of a methamphetamine precursor drug with the intent to manufacture, after his home was searched Monday evening...
Osage Centre to host annual career fair (10/22/14) 1
More than 40 area employers will participate in a career fair for job seekers Thursday in Cape Girardeau. Mike Berry, functional leader at the Missouri Career Center, which is hosting the event, said the annual fair has drawn 900 to 1,000 people, and the center is looking forward to a good turnout again...
Three Rivers, Southeast patch up relationship (10/22/14)
POPLAR BLUFF, Mo. -- After more than a decade of bad blood, the only two higher-education institutions in Southeast Missouri say they are strengthening ties in support of their core mission -- to better the lives of residents. The presidents of Three Rivers College and Southeast Missouri State University recently spent an afternoon talking with a U.S. senator about campus safety, then sat down to share plans for the future...
Educator of the Year awards given to five (10/22/14) 2
Teachers from a variety of levels were recognized Tuesday at the Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce's Educator Appreciation Reception at the Show Me Center. Winning Educator of the Year awards were: Honorees received the Crystal Apple Award, a $500 check, resolutions of honor from the Missouri Legislature and a copy of a commemorative video shown before they took the stage for their remarks. State Rep. Kathy Swan and state Sen. Wayne Wallingford presented the resolutions...
SEMO Kennett student getting ready for big trip (10/22/14) 2
KENNETT, Mo. -- A student at the Kennett regional campus of Southeast Missouri State University is getting ready for an adventure in the spring. Shirley Ellis is the first student at Kennett to do her student teaching abroad. She will travel to Iquique, a port city in northern Chile, on March 30...
Mississippi County inmate faces victim tampering charge (10/22/14)
CHARLESTON, Mo. -- A Mississippi County inmate faces an additional charge after allegedly attempting to influence his victim to change testimony. Laterence Antonia Caldwell, 24, of Charleston was charged with tampering with a victim in a felony prosecution after jail administrator Cory Hutcheson noticed outgoing mail from Caldwell to the victim in his domestic assault case...
Stolen property, drug paraphernalia discovered in Benton home (10/22/14)
BENTON, Mo. -- A search for stolen property also uncovered drug paraphernalia at the home of a Benton-area couple. Kenneth D. Blankenship, 50, and Bobbie Wipfler, 36, each are charged with felony possession of a controlled substance and receiving stolen property and misdemeanor unlawful use of drug paraphernalia. Blankenship also is charged with felony unlawful possession of a firearm...
Cape to host weekly entrepreneurs' mixer starting in mid-November (10/21/14)
Some business-minded organizers in Cape Girardeau are planning to offer more than just free coffee once a week with the November launch of a new entrepreneurial education program. 1 Million Cups, a weekly event that has grown to include more than 60 cities nationwide, offers budding entrepreneurs a chance to present their startup businesses to an audience and network with others who can offer mentoring and feedback...
Scott City School District adviser answers questions about bond issue (10/21/14)
Along with other issues on the Nov. 4 ballot, voters in the Scott City School District will decide whether to vote for or against a no-tax-increase bond issue. If passed, $1.75 million in bonds would be issued for the district to take care of maintenance and other building improvements and prepay previous bond issues...
Scott City school upgrades hinge on voters (10/21/14)
Voters in the Scott City School District will decide Nov. 4 whether $1.75 million should be issued to update school buildings and make them more secure. If the bond passes, the district's tax rate will remain at 49 cents per $100 of assessed valuation...
Council opts not to disband board of examiners (10/21/14) 4
The Cape Girardeau City Council spent the majority of its study session Monday night discussing whether it would disband the board of examiners. The council gave initial approval to the measure that would disband the board -- which examines qualifications of applicants for licenses for plumbers, mechanical installers, master drainlayers and electricians -- at its last meeting...
Third-party insurance administrator chosen by Cape school board (10/21/14) 4
The Cape Girardeau School Board on Monday approved going with a third-party administrator to implement a partially self-insured plan to offer medical coverage to its employees. Mutual Medical Plans Inc. of Peoria, Illinois, was selected as the administrator...
Ready to hit the trail (10/21/14)
LAURA SIMON ~ lsimon@semissourian.com ABOVE: Bobby Zoellner pats his paint horse, Chula, after saddling her up for a ride on the Peewah Trail Monday afternoon at Trail of Tears State Park. ...
Authorities seek suspect in Monday Sikeston bank robbery (10/21/14)
SIKESTON, Mo. -- Authorities are still searching for a suspect in connection with a bank robbery Monday, in Sikeston. The incident occurred at 11:52 a.m. The Sikeston Department of Public Safety received a call about a bank robbery at Alliance Bank, 820 N. Main St...
Renewable energy catching on in Stoddard County (10/21/14)
DEXTER, Mo. -- Carolyn Johnson, a native of Dexter first saw solar panels being installed and used to generate power in the 1970s. She vowed then that she would one day do the same thing. Now, she does. Living on the outskirts of Dexter, Johnson has a series of solar panels mounted on the roof of her garage; and, while those panels do provide electricity to established lines, they also provide cheap energy to those who use those lines...
Lights, camera, action (10/21/14)
FRED LYNCH ~ flynch@semissourian.com A crew with Red Letter Communications records a national television spot to promote the "STIHL Dealer Days" campaign that will run April to June, in the parking lot of the former Bagger Dave's on Monday in Cape Girardeau. ...
Suspects sought in shooting in Charleston (10/21/14) 3
CHARLESTON, Mo. -- A Charleston man is recovering after being shot. At approximately 10 a.m. Sunday, Charleston Department of Public Safety officers received a report of a shooting on Sy Williams Street near the intersection of Vine Street. At the scene, officers located Jadarius McCain, 19, with a gunshot wound...
Chamber gives thumbs-down on Amendment 3 (10/21/14)
Along with many local school districts and organizations, the Jackson Area Chamber of Commerce has come out against Amendment 3, the proposed revision to the state Constitution that would tie teacher evaluations to student performance. The Cape Girardeau Area Chamber of Commerce is not taking a position on it, vice president Tim Arbeiter said...
Domestic disturbance leads to drug arrest in Benton (10/21/14)
BENTON, Mo. -- A domestic dispute involving an infant led to the arrest of the child's mother on drug charges Friday morning. Michelle Marshall, 18, of Sikeston, Missouri, is charged with felony possession of a controlled substance. Marshall was arrested after Scott County detective Staff Sgt. Branden Caid responded to a report of screams coming from a parked car on Missouri Street in Benton...
Morley man charged with statutory sodomy (10/21/14)
BENTON, Mo. -- A Morley, Missouri, man is in custody for an alleged sex crime involving a juvenile. Timothy Scott Graham, 43, is charged with felony second-degree statutory sodomy. A news release from Scott County Sheriff Rick Walter states that officers began a criminal investigation Oct. 9, when, during an investigation on an unrelated matter, information came up that Graham might be involved in an inappropriate relationship with a juvenile...
To swat or not? Authorities discuss corporal punishment (10/20/14) 33
As a boy, Kenneth Kinder learned to keep track of time the hard way -- with several swats to the backside. "When I was a child, if I was late for dinner, my mother grabbed the last thing she saw in the yard, and that's what she whooped me with all the way home," Kinder said. " ... I was hit on the bottom a little bit, and I guess it was a little red, but I wasn't black and blue."...
Literary conference is expected to be international draw (10/20/14)
Performance and scholarship will be featured during Southeast Missouri State University's Faulkner & Hurston Conference from Thursday through Saturday. Held mainly at the University Center, the conference is expected to attract about 250 people, including presenters from all over the world, to discuss Southern writers William Faulkner and Zora Neale Hurston...
Trail extension, traffic issue to be addressed by Cape council (10/20/14) 2
The Cape Girardeau City Council will vote at its meeting today to award a contract to a local company to construct an extension for the Mississippi River Walk trail. The project was bid Oct. 1 and the city received four bids, with staff recommending the council award the contract to the lowest bidder. Nip Kelley Equipment Co. submitted the lowest bid of $802,516.10...
Groups want say in hire of new education commissioner (10/20/14) 1
With all the potential changes going on in Missouri public education, Southeast Missouri superintendents -- and other such organizations around the state -- want their voices heard in the search for a new state education commissioner. At its September meeting, the State Board of Education was told by Commissioner Chris Nicastro that she was resigning, effective Dec. 31...
Wellness Fair set for Wednesday (10/20/14)
The Southeast Missourian's first Wellness Fair is set for 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Wednesday in the J.C. Penney court of West Park Mall, 3049 William St. Directed toward adults and seniors, 15 participants are expected, said Paul Walker, medical marketing strategist at the Missourian. A variety of specialties and screenings will be available -- from a firm that offers a personal emergency response system to answering dental questions and grip testing...
Golf tournament to benefit families of fallen highway patrol troopers (10/20/14)
A golf tournament to benefit families of fallen Missouri State Highway Patrol members is scheduled for today at the Cape Girardeau Country Club. Proceeds from the 2014 Charity Golf Tournament will benefit the not-for-profit organization the MASTERS, which stands for Missouri Association of State Troopers Emergency Relief Society...
Search for the great pumpkin (10/20/14)
FRED LYNCH ~ flynch@semissourian.com ABOVE: Gavin Harper of Cape Girardeau finds a pumpkin he likes at the Grace Pumpkin Patch on Sunday in Cape Girardeau. ...
Scott County couple arrested on drug charges (10/20/14)
BENTON, Mo. -- A Scott County couple has been charged with possession of a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia, according to a news release from the Scott County Sheriff's Department. Russell Eugene Turner, 50, and Connie Yvonne Turner, 40, of 5234 Highway 77 in Benton, were in the Scott County Jail on cash-only bonds of $750 each, the release said...
Cape Girardeau City Council agenda 10/20/14 (10/20/14)
City Hall 401 Independence St. Study session, 5 p.m. today Pertinent address: 401 Independence St., Cape Girardeau, Mo...
CBS website publicizes 1965 missing-child case (10/19/14) 11
The 50th anniversary of her disappearance is drawing closer, but it doesn't matter to the ones who love her how long and hard the search is. They just want to find their Beth, and any exposure her story can get to an audience, big or small, they'll take it...
Survey to junior high students failed to follow school policy (10/19/14) 10
Cape Girardeau school administrators say they are taking steps to ensure district staff will follow a policy that governs student surveys, after parents raised alarm about questionable content in one recently given to junior high students. On Oct. 3, a survey from a community organization that works to prevent youth substance abuse was administered at Cape Central Junior High, which resulted in complaints from parents of inappropriate questions -- including some about sexual orientation, sexual activity, drug use and illegal activities.. ...
Cape apartment fire results in one death (10/19/14) 2
A man is dead after a fire in a Cape Girardeau apartment early Friday morning. Russell Whitworth, 68, of Cape Girardeau likely died of smoke inhalation after a fire began inside his apartment at 1222 Brookshire Road, Cape Girardeau County Coroner John Clifton said...
Car found in river near Portageville (10/19/14)
NEW MADRID, Mo. -- Further investigation is needed before law enforcement determines whose car recently was found in the murky waters of the Mississippi River near Portageville, Missouri. New Madrid chief of police Joey Higgerson said divers attempted Thursday to look at a submerged car, which was discovered two weeks ago during a national fishing tournament at New Madrid. Higgerson said because the river is rising, dangerous conditions prevented divers from recovering the car...
Campaign spending modest in state House races (10/19/14)
The most recent reported quarter was one of low spending, according to campaign-finance reports submitted to the Missouri Ethics Commission for candidates running for Missouri's 145th and 147th House Districts. Republican Shelley Keeney and Democrat Charles Elrod will appear on the Nov. 4 ballot as candidates for the 145th District. Republican Kathy Swan, Democrat Gary Gaines and Libertarian Greg Tlapek are running for the 147th District House seat...
Abuse cases create 'a lot of tears' (10/19/14)
In her 12 years prosecuting child-abuse cases, Julie Hunter has been, in her words, "fairly successful." But it's the days she didn't succeed that stay with her. "I've lost a couple of cases that will haunt me forever," the Cape Girardeau County assistant prosecuting attorney said during a recent telephone interview. "... I've had a child collapse on me in the parking lot. I've had a mother collapse."...
Nature Center Fall Festival (10/19/14)
GLENN LANDBERG ~ glandberg@semissourian.com ABOVE: Beverly Shofstall, director of Free Again Wildlife Rehabilitation, holds a great horned owl during the Fall Festival on Saturday at the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center. ...