Some Missourians could end up as part of the group of soldiers called up involuntarily for service in Iraq. They’re called Individual Ready Reservists – retired and separated military people who have to serve as inactive reservists for several years after they separate. They receive no pay or benefits while they’re inactive and are called into active duty when an emergency strikes, such as the first Gulf War. West central Missouri Congressman Ike Skelton, Missouri’s top man on military matters in Congress, says the situation in Iraq has become an emergency. Skelton says this has been a bit of the Pentagon’s own doing as it drew down the number of active-duty forces during the 1990s while the number of missions increased. He says calling up the IRR is no long-term fix. Skelton and Army officials say they don’t know how many of these reservists could come from Missouri.
Archives for June 2004
As of Thursday, anyone buying kegs of alcohol at grocery stores or bars will probably notice an identification tag attached to the container. It’s a way of helping liquor control authorities keep tabs on who’s buying the booze and who’s drinking the contents. Steve Shimmens, the Chief of Enforcement for the State Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Control, says better keg control might cut down on underage drinking. Some 70,000 tags have been sent to retailers throughout the state. The tags will remain with the containers until they are returned to the retailer. The tags will then be kept for a period of 90 days.
For the second straight night, the Cardinals bats were silent and for the second straight night they suffered a loss to the Pirates—last night they fell 3-0. Tike Redman’s fielder’s choice RBI in the second inning proved to be the game-winner for Pittsburgh. Cardinal starter Chris Carpenter lasted six innings and gave up all three runs off five hits and three walks and fell to 8-3 on the season. Both teams were held to six hits apiece as 21-year old rookie Sean Burnett earned the first win of his career. St. Louis has scored just one run in their two losses to the Pirates this series. The Cardinals’ lead in the National League Central dropped to three-and-a-half games as the Cubs beat the Astros 7-5 on Tuesday.
The Royals put a five-game losing streak to bed with a couple of firsts on Tuesday. Mike Wood, who came to Kansas City in the Carlos Beltran trade, earned his first win of the year and his first career win as a starter in a 4-3 victory over the Orioles. Wood lasted six innings and was tagged for three runs off seven his—he struck out three and walked none. Sean Camp pitched a perfect ninth inning to earn the first save of his career. Desi Relaford’s RBI single in the sixth inning broke a 3-3 tie and gave the Royals the win. Matt Stairs, Tony Graffanino and Mike Sweeney also drove in runs Tuesday night.
Saint Louis University introduced Cheryl Levick as its new Athletic Director Tuesday afternoon. Levick comes to SLU after a four-year run as the A.D. at UC-Santa Clara, where she was the school’s first female to hold the position. Before that, Levick was at Stanford University for 12 years; nine of those years she was the Senior Associate Athletic Director. Levick is not stranger to the state of Missouri. She played volleyball at and graduated from Mizzou and went on to coach gymnastics and volleyball at Pattonville High School in the St. Louis area from 1974-1976.
A state commission looking at the ways criminals are sentenced recommends a big change. The Sentencing Advisory Commission suggests a new system of evaluating people who have been convicted or pleaded guilty, and making recommendations for appropraite punishment. Those recommendations could include fewer people going to prison. Supreme Court Judge Michael Wolff, the Commission Chairman, rejects hard and firm sentencing guidelines. He says sentences have to be different becuase each crime is different. The court system in Missouri has a year to put the new advisory program into effect.
The Columbia city clerk is checking to see if there are enough signatures on petitions to ask voters to change marijuana laws in the city. One petition calls for dismissing marijuana possession charges against people whose doctors have recommended they use it for medical purposes. The other petition calls for misdemeanor marijuana possession charges to be heard in city court, which could not impose jail time although it could levy a fine of as much as $250. A petition organizer says the campaign is designed to protect students caught with small amounts of marijuana. The petitions say the matter will be on the November ballot if the City Council does not pass ordinances matching the petition issues.
The announcement that Governor Bob Holden has agreed to two debates with his main opponent in the race for the Democratic nomination for Governor comes as great news to that opponent. State Auditor Claire McCaskill says Missourians will get the opportunity to see which of the two is best for the future of the state. McCaskill adds that while she’s happy to have debates scheduled for July 19th in Kansas City and July 20th in St. Louis, she would like to see more face-offs, with outstate Missouri not being left out in the cold. She’s hoping the Governor will agree to more debates prior to the August 3rd Primary vote.
A State Representative doing his Missouri National Guard time in Iraq says the moved-up transfer of power date surprised him, probably as much as anyone back in the U.S. Representative Jim Avery of the St. Louis suburb of Crestwood is now an Army specialist clearing roadside bombs in Iraq. He says the transfer of power took place just miles from his base near Baghdad. Avery says he’s seen many more of the improvised explosive devices – the official term for those roadside bombs – as the transfer date neared. But Avery says the amount of the security load the Iraqis themselves have been carrying has increased as well. Now that Iraqis have also officially taken over the government, Avery hopes to be back in the Capitol for another battle, next year’s legislative session.
Governor Bob Holden has signed legislation reforming the state’s Child Welfare System. The effort to revise the laws was driven by the death of 2-year-old Dominic James of Willard in southwest Missouri. Many of the elements of this law have already been implemented through executive order. The legislation will see the Social Services Department improving the protection of children in the custody of the state. In addition, there will be increased funding for foster care. A similar effort to reform the system was approved by the Legislature, last year, but was vetoed by the Governor.