At least two deaths are reported from last night’s tornadoes and other storms that have swept across southern Missouri. The Barry County emergency manager says a possible tornado north of Cassville has hit several trailer homes and houses leaving one person dead and four hurt. In Dallas County, one person is reported to have been killed and several others injured by a storm that destroyed a mobile home park. Several injuries are reported in Branson where a storm hit the downtown area and also damaged several theatres
Archives for February 2012
A raid on a home in Palmyra has turned up more than 30 exotic animals including a six-foot long alligator and various snakes including one that was 13 feet long. Officials say the man at the home also had scorpions and spiders in his collection. He’s been fined for violating the city ordinance against keeping exotic animals. State conservation and St. Louis zoo officials helped in the raid.
A federal grand jury has indicted British fugitive Edward Maher on identity theft charges and others. Maher, a suspect in a 1993 theft of $1.6 million in British currency, was arrested several weeks ago in the Ozarks where he’d been living under an assumed name. He also is charged with document fraud and being an illegal alien with a firearm. His daughter-in-law claims she turned him in and is asking for $158,000 in reward money
The death toll has risen to three from last night’s tornadoes that belted southwest Missouri and then came down in southeast Missouri later.
Public Safety Department Spokesman Mike O’Connell says the latest recorded death is in the Bootheel.
Two deaths have been reported in Buffalo and in Cassville in southwest Missouri and a third in Puxico in southeast Missouri’s Stoddard County. O’Connell says there were 40 to 50 injuries through the state, most of them minor.
Cape Girardeau has suffered “fairly extensive” damage with more than 490 homes damaged, although mostly minor. O’Connell says the Cape Girardeau tornado has been classified as an EF-2. But observers believe it became an EF-4 when it hit Harrisburg, Ill., and caused several other deaths.
Heavy property damage also is reported in Branson, the Buffalo area, Lebanon, and Kimberling City.
Gov. Nixon has activated the National Guard to assist with clean-up.
AUDIO: Branson resident Donna Lowe tells CNN about being in her trailer home with it was flipped over just after midnight. (4:00)
Two are confirmed dead in Southeast and Southwest Missouri from last night’s storms.
Gov. Jay Nixon has declared a state of emergency in the storm stricken areas, including Branson, Buffalo, Cassville, Lebanon and Oak Ridge.
“Personnel at the State Emergency Management Agency have been communicating with local law enforcement and emergency responders and tracking the storms as they moved across Missouri,” Nixon says. He is visiting areas impacted by the storm.
Shelters have been set up in Branson, Buffalo, Kimberling City and Lebanon. Shelter information, weather and emergency updates are available online at www.mo.gov. The 211 hotline has also been activated for residents to access disaster information, shelter information or referrals. In areas where the 211 number is not operational, call 800-427-4626.
The Department of Public safety says, “We’re all very busy right now” as clean-up and search and rescue efforts continue. Missouri did not suffer the worst of the system, which has resulted in at least 11 deaths in Illinois, Kentucky and Indiana.
Dallas County Emergency Management Director Jason Wendlandt says crews found everyone that had been reported missing from a mobile home park off Old 65 and Highway F, where one person was reported to have died. Buffalo is without power.
Officials in Branson don’t know if it was a tornado or straight line winds, but they do know there’s considerable damage along the strip. Branson Economic Development Director Garrett Anderson says a lot of glass is scattered in the downtown area, and there is damage to the convention center as well. No major injuries were reported, but about two dozen people sought treatment at Skaggs Regional Medical Center. He says some folks were trapped in their homes, but have gotten out safely. There are reports of widespread damage in Stone and Taney counties. The power is out and schools are closed in Branson.
Another death was reported in Barry County’s Cassville. Officials say the storm hit near Business Highway 37 north of Cassville shortly after midnight, striking a mobile home park. Several homes have been damaged or destroyed. Glenn Douglas Keeler, 70, was killed — authorities say his body was found some distance away from the trailer. Four others were injured.
The Missouri Wing of the Civil Air Patrol, U.S. Air Force Auxiliary, is assisting local emergency management agencies in surveying damage from last night’s deadly storms in the south central and southwestern parts of the state.
Two Missouri Wing aircraft were launched this morning in support of Stone County EMA (Branson area) and Laclede County EMA (Lebanon area).
Missouri State University senior Kyle Weems has been named to the All-Missouri Valley Conference first team, and teammate Anthony Downing was named to the MVC All-Newcomer squad.
Weems, the 2011 MVC Larry Bird Player of the Year, has scored in double figures in 29 of 31 games this season and moved up to No. 2 on the Bears’ career scoring list his senior season. He earned MVC Player of the Week honors for the sixth time in his career on Jan. 2 and also claimed National Player of the Week distinction the same week after helping the Bears to a win over then-No. 19 Creighton with a 31-point outburst in the conference opener.
Downing has scored in double figures in eight of the last night games headed into this week’s MVC Tournament in St. Louis. He is averaging 11.6 points, 3.2 rebounds and 2.3 assists per game with 15 starts. He is shooting a team-best 83.3 percent from the free throw line.
The Bears finished 9-9 in MVC play this year to finish tied for third. MSU will take on No. 3 seed Evansville in the quarterfinal round of the State Farm MVC Tournament at 8:35 p.m. Friday at Scottrade Center in St. Louis.
Saint Louis hit Xavier with a 24-3 run to begin the second half, and the Billikens went on to defeat the Musketeers 70-59 Tuesday night in an Atlantic 10 Conference battle at Chaifetz Arena. The victory assured the Billikens (23-6, 11-4 A-10) of being no lower than the No. 2 seed for the A-10 Championship. SLU, which concludes the regular season Saturday at Duquesne, trails first-place Temple by one-half game. The Bills have won seven of their last eight games.
Senior forward Brian Conklin scored a game-high 23 points, just two short of his career high, to lead the way in his Chaifetz Arena finale. Conklin, who tallied 15 points in the second half, tied his career high with nine free throws (9-of-10) as the Billikens went 20-of-24 (83.3 percent) from the stripe. He added six rebounds.
Kwamain Mitchell netted 14 points, while Mike McCall Jr. collected 10 points, a career- and team-high seven rebounds and a game-high-tying four assists.
Tiger fans are hoping the Mizzou men’s basketball team makes it to the Final Four this season. Coach Frank Haith has received enough support to make it to the final four in the ESPN Infiniti Coaches Charity Challenge today. Haith is competing for fan’s votes with Bob Huggins (West Virginia), Dave Rose (BYU) and Thad Matta (Ohio State). The coach who receives the most votes will win a $100,000 donation to their designated charity. Coach Haith is participating on behalf of the Boys & Girls Club of the Columbia Area.
Cast your vote right here.
Almost 400 people have filed for office on this first day for candidate filing—although no one is sure if many of them might have to do it again once the court system finishes ruling on the legality of legislative and congressional districts. Secretary of State spokesman Ryan Hobart says people were lined up when the doors opened at 8 a.m.and steadily flowed through the elections office well into the afternoon. At the end of the day, 394 candidates had signed up, 77 more than last year on the first day.
He says 242 Republicans, 149 Democrats, two Libertarians, and one Constitution Party member filed today. A total of 257 candidates have filed for the 163 House seats. 31 candidates have filed for 17 available senate seats. Eleven people have filed for Lieutenant Governor, the most for any statewide office.
Hobart says first day filers represent the majority of candidates who will file during the month the process is open.
AUDIO: Hobart interview (6:01)
The state has not provided substantial funds to build and maintain facilities at state colleges and universities for a decade. But the senate is working on a proposal that reaches back a couple of decades that could help alleviate the problem.
For many years, community colleges relied on their communities for much of their funding and capital needs. The state started picking up those costs in the 90s. Senator Tim Green of Spanish Lake says that only aggravates the decade-long problem the state has had providing money for upkeep and maintenance of existing buildings or construction needed new ones.
The senate has advanced his idea letting the state provide matching funds for schools that raise money from their communities.
The bill goes to the House with one more favorable vote.