Two Branson-area men have been charged with doing $30,000 in damage to Branson’s Christmas light displays. It’s taken two years to track them own. They’re charged with first-degree property damage. Both men are due in court October 30th. Police say several of the displays along a two-mile stretch of the Festival of Lights Parkway were damaged or destroyed.
Archives for September 2000
Missouri is joining 37 other states asking some questions to Bridgestone/Firestone. Attorney general Scott Holste says they’re interested in those recalled Firestone tires. Specifically, they’re worried about recalled tires being re-sold through used tire dealers. Holste says they also want to know if the tires were sold new after Bridgestone/Firestone knew there was a problem. Holste says there are no indications those things have happened in Missouri, but he says the attorney general wants to be ready to act if information is turned up.
The Missouri Gaming Commission is ready to get tough with Station Casinos in the bid to learn more about the activities of one of Station’s attorneys who earned a bonus of $500,000. The Commission previously issued subpoenas to several Station executives and employees to appear before a hearing, but all refused to show up. Now, Chairman L.G. Ullery says an investigation will be conducted to determine whether licenses for two of Station’s facilities will be renewed, but the Commission will do something else.
The trial has started in Springfield for the second of three men charged with kidnapping a couple of teenagers, beating and sodomizing them with a water gun. The jury will consider seven charges against Scott Bryan. The prosecutor says the teenagers were attacked by the three because they thought the teenagers had raped a 14-year-old friend. The teenagers deny it. No rape charges have been filed. The first man charged in the case has been sentenced to eight years in prison. The third man has yet to go on trial.
U.S. Labor Secretary Alexis Herman visited Kansas City yesterday to speak to a convention of the AFL-CIO. She offered her vision of the future workplace in America. Herman focused on the basics–a higher minimum wage and properly-enforced workplace safety laws. She says workers should be able to expect help with education, training, and more flexibility for their family lives.
The Kansas City Police Board has decided it will continue to fight for three officers found liable for the shooting death of a 13-year-old boy. The board wasn’t named in the Timothy Wilson case, and isn’t responsible for last week’s $700,000 judgement. Board attorney Bryan Round says the group has agreed to provide more legal counsel for the men and may appeal the entire case if needed. Wilson was shot late at night in 1998 in a stolen pickup truck. The officers say Wilson tried to run them over and may have been reaching for a gun.
An overdose of nonprescription drugs and alcohol is listed as the cause of death of a freshman at the University of Missouri-Rolla. The body of Heather Hock was found Sunday night. She was an engineering student from Strafford. Last spring, she was the valedictorian of her high school class at Fair Grove.
Missouri looks to have about 7% more people in the 2000 census than it did 10 years ago. A lot of that growth since 1990 has come at the expense of Missouri’s inner cities. State demographer Ryan Burson says the fastest-growing areas around St. Louis are the suburb counties of St. Charles and Franklin Counties. Kansas City residents have fled to Platte, Clay, and Cass Counties. Burson says the Branson area and parts of the Lake of the Ozarks also did well. Besides the inner-cities, Burson says farming communities have also dwindled. Burson figures Missouri’s population of 5 million in 1990 will grow to 5.5 million in the 2000 census. He says that’s enough to maintain our nine seats in Congress.
The circuit court judge hearing the lawsuit involving Hancock Amendment refunds is moving closer to a decision. The plaintiffs and the state say a decision could come within a few weeks. There’s a lot of optimism on the part of those who launched the legal action that the judge will rule in their favor and order millions of dollars in refunds. But Assistant attorney general Robert Presson says even if the judge rules against the state, refunds are unlikely. Presson says an order for the state to change the way it handles tax calculations would be remedy enough, if the judge rules against the state.
Many rural churches seem to be holding their own, even growing. A study tracking the growth of rural churches in 99 rural Missouri townships for the past 50 years unearths some surprising results. John Bennett, the director of the Missouri School of Religion which has worked with the MU Rural Sociology Department on the study since 1952, has found shared characteristics among vital rural congregations. They include an openness to new people, visionary leadership and a shift from full-time to bi-vocational ministers.