More than a thousand members of the Missouri Army and Air National Guard are heading to Louisiana and Mississippi to help in the recovery from Hurricane Katrina. Adjutant General King Sidwell says the deployment will not affect the Missouri Guard’s ability to help with the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. This group will help with security. Another group of about 500 is expected to leave in the next few weeks to aid in the repair of infrastructure damaged by Katrina.
Archives for August 2005
Senator Kit Bond says the new federal Highway Bill will bring great benefits to Missouri. Bond helped push the $286-Billion bill through Congress. He points out Missouri used to get back only 76 cents for every dollar in transportation tax it sent to Washington. The new bill increases that return. The new federal Highway Bill will provide Missouri $682-Million more over the next five years.
The trickle of immigrants from the Gulf Coast States has begun in Missouri and schools are being told to get ready for many, many more. About ten school districts already have reported refugee children from the areas hit by Hurricane Katrina are showing up. The State Education Department’s Craig Rector says every school district is ready because every district already has a homeless coordinator on staff. The Department is telling school districts there should be no barriers to enrolling those children promptly, even if they do not have academic or health records – records which might have been lost in the storm. Rector says counselors might assume more importance in schools getting these hurricane victims. He says everything else about their lives might be in turmoil but school might be the only stable environment left to them.
Some school buses might have three-point, lap-shoulder belts if Governor Matt Blunt gets his way. He has expanded on his School Bus Safety Task Force’s recommendation that schools consider putting in lap-shoulder buses in new buses purchased and wants districts required to do so. Blunt says this is something that will be phased in over time and isn’t worried there will be an issue of inequity if some students are riding the new, safer buses while others are on older models. Blunt realizes the state will need to come up with money if the more-expensive buses are mandated, possibly $5-Million to $10-Million a year. He rules out a tax increase to get that money, only offering it will be found somewhere.
The huge increase in the price of gasoline in the wake of Hurricane Katrina has Attorney General Jay Nixon vowing to determine whether Missouri consumers are being gouged at the pump. Nixon says that while he cannot do anything about legitimate price increases, he can take action if profiteering is going on as a result of irregular hikes in profit margins. Nixon says it’s understandable if prices to retailers go up and they pass the increase along to consumers. What he’s concerned with is possible profiteering on the part of some retailers – an increase in the profit margin in which retailers are making profits above and beyond the added costs.
The Marlins’ eighth inning rally spoiled Matt Morris’ bid for his 16th win of the season, as Florida topped St. Louis 7-6 in Miami.
The Cardinals overcame a 4-0 deficit and took a 5-4 lead into the eighth inning. Morris allowed Luis Castillo and Miguel Cabrera to reach on singles—Castillo bunted his way on. Morris was pulled for Ray King who gave up a two-run triple to Carlos Delgado. Next up was Juan Encarcion, who drove in pinch-runner Chris Aguila with a sacrifice fly.
St. Louis took one run off Florida’s lead in the top of the ninth with a one-out solo home run from John Mabry, but David Eckstein and Larry Walker recorded outs to end the game.
Mark Grudzielanek got the Cardinals back in the game when he hit a three-run home run in the sixth inning to tie it up at 4-4. In the eighth, Grudzielanek reached on a fielder’s choice and Albert Pujols scored from third to give the Cardinals a short-lived 5-4 advantage.
With the win, the Marlins took over the lead in the National league Wild Card race.
The Royals let a tight game get out of control in a 7-4 loss to the Twins on Tuesday night at Kauffman.
With the score tied 2-2 in the sixth inning, the Twins rallied for five runs to put the game away. Royals’ starter Jose Lima started the inning by walking Nick Punto. Joe Mauer followed up with an RBI double and Jacque Jones drove in Mauer with a single. Lima then hit Lew Ford with a pitch. After getting Matt LeCroy to fly out, Lima was pulled for Jimmy Gobble, but that didn’t help matters. Gobble allowed a three-run homer to Justin Morneau, who was up next. That gave the Twins a 7-2 advantage.
Lima (5-13) was charged with six runs and was the losing pitcher.
John Buck and Matt Stairs hit solo home runs in the third and fourth innings. Denny Hocking drove in two with a single in the seventh inning.
The Springfield Cardinals will not have a post season. They were eliminated from Texas League playoff contention on Tuesday with a 7-2 loss at the hands of the Wichita Wranglers. The Cardinals are five games behind first-place Tulsa with five games to go.
Travis Hanson’s throwing error in the third inning led to three Wichita runs and allowed the Wranglers to stretch a 1-0 lead into a 4-0 advantage.
Wichita starter Brian Bass earned his 12th win of the season with an 8 1/3 inning performance.
The Chiefs and Rams had to make a number of cuts to get trim their rosters on Tuesday. Kansas City released seven players and moved two players to off-roster status. Linebacker Shawn Barber, who is still rehabilitating a knee, was put on the physically unable to perform list and fullback Robert Holcombe was placed on injured reserve. They cut tackle Thomas Barnett, wide receiver Nathaniel Curry, safety Shaunard Harts, wide receiver Darrell Hill, punter Nick Murphy, safety Willie Pile and wide receiver Richard Smith.
Still on the Chiefs roster is wide receiver Freddie Mitchell who returned to Chiefs practice yesterday after missing a month with a knee injury. Cornerback Ashley Ambrose is also on the roster, for now. He has said that if he doesn’t make the 53-man cut, he’ll retire
The Rams said goodbye to veteran punter Bryan Barker, who spent the first four seasons of his career with the Chiefs (1990-1993). They also cut offensive tackle Grant Williams, who started 11 games for them last season.
The Rams also cut linebacker Louis Ayeni, wide receiver Michael Coleman, defensive end Clifford Dukes, kicker Remy Hamilton, defensive end Vontrell Jamison, tight end Erik Jensen, linebacker Jeremy Loyd, wide receiver Brandon Middleton, tackle Matt Morgan, wide receiver Dante Ridgeway and cornerback Duvol Thompson.
NFL teams have to cut their rosters to 53 by next Tuesday.
Missouri’s latest execution took place as scheduled… but not without some dramatics at the state prison in Bonne Terre.
At 12:07 this morning the state executed Timothy Johnston of St. Louis for the beating and kicking death of his wife Nancy in June of 1989. Johnston’s final appeal that Missouri’s method of execution is cruel and unusual punishment, at first, gained him a stay from a three-judge panel onthe 8th Circuit Court of Appeals. But the full court later stepped in and the execution was back on schedule.
Johnston seemed intent to prove his defense was true as he writhed on the gurney for what seemed like a minute. But some witnesses thought he was moving before the announcement that the first drug was administered. an observation Correctons Department spokesman John Fougere says his staff saw as well.
Fougere went on to dismiss the possibility that the drugs ending Johnston’s life were administered before the announcement was made. He would not speculate why Johnston was squirming.