A St. Ann child murder cold case is reopened, a gruesome suicided attempt on a Kansas City roadway, and some good news for the tornado-damaged Special Olympics Training for Life Campus in Jefferson City. This and more in a newscast from this morning.
Hanging out by the water is inexpensive fun for you and your family. It can keep you cool, but a day by the water is full of potentially deadly dangers.
A. J. Hendershot, Agent with the Conservation department, said while you try to get relief from the heat, make sure you have your priorities straight, safety comes first.
“For example when I take little ones fishing, I’m all about them fishing,” he said. “I’m not doing that myself. So if I’m swimming with children, I want to make sure that’s my number one priority. It’s not about me having fun, it’s about them having fun and making sure that they’re safe.” Hendershot said many kids think they’re invincible and it’s important to go over safety rules before leaving the house. Items to include on the list:
- watch for snakes and things that could trip you
- don’t assume a place you know well is safe
- keep an eye on your kids, even if there is a lifeguard on duty
- never swim alone
- use chigger and bug spray with sunscreen
For more tips, go to: American Red Cross
Safety.com has created a guide to help keep families safe from common dangers associated with pools:
Pool Safety Tips
And other bodies of water:
Kids Water Safety
A trooper who has spoken out against the Missouri Highway Patrol after the drowning death of an Iowa man has been disciplined.
Within the past year, Randy Henry questioned the Patrol’s training methods and criticized how it handled the death of 20-year-old Brandon Ellingson, who drowned while handcuffed in trooper Anthony Piercy’s custody. The Patrol has demoted Henry from the rank of sergeant to corporal and transferred him from the Lake of the Ozarks, where he had patrolled for nearly three decades, to the Truman Lake area.
Henry’s Attorney Chet Pleban of St. Louis calls Henry a whistle-blower and said the discipline is being appealed.
“The patrol has engaged in a course of conduct over the last year relating to Randy because Randy’s position is that the patrol is covering up this tragic incident,” said Pleban. “He’s being punished by his own organization for telling the truth.”
Pleban said Henry interviewed Piercy after the tragic incident.
“That interview was changed,” said Pleban. “According to Randy Henry what Piercy told him hours after this incident was different from what he was saying later on.”
Henry provided testimony last week in connection with a federal lawsuit filed by Ellingon’s father Craig Ellingson. The patrol imposed the discipline on Henry Wednesday.
A central Missouri man is charged with breaking federal law by transporting white-tailed deer to Florida.
Federal prosecutors say 54-year-old Charles “Sam” James of Columbia loaded 11 deer into a rented box trailer and drove them from Missouri to a deer farm in Laurel Hills, Florida. The deer were raised on a ranch James co-owns called Timber Hollow Whitetails in Mexico. Federal law prohibits transporting live white-tailed deer across state lines without required documentation and health records.
Chief of the Protection Division with the Missouri Department of Conservation, Larry Yamnitz said such laws are meant to keep diseases like chronic wasting disease from spreading in deer throughout the country.
“Closing the borders may not get rid of all the risk, but the whole idea is to reduce the risk of the spread of this disease, so that’s why states are closing their borders to the importation of cervids,” said Yamnitz.
James allegedly did not have proper documentation and took the deer into a closed state.
“Florida closed their border back in 2013,” said Yamnitz. “You can move them out of the state, you just can’t take them out of the state without proper health papers and you also cannot move them into a closed state.”
Yamnitz said such a charge could lead to prison time.
“This charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison and a $250-thousand dollar fine or both,” said Yamnitz.
Agents from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Missouri Department of Conservation, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission investigated the case. James was charged in a one-count federal indictment for violations of the Lacey Act.
A piece of history that was hidden in the Missouri State Capitol Cornerstone in 1915 was revealed Tuesday.
Just inside the Office of Administration within the cornerstone was a time capsule, placed there during the Capitol building’s construction.
Director of Communications Ryan Burns said historical records showed where it was located, but the time capsule was actually seven feet above ground.
“There’s a stone that you can see from the exterior of the building that’s engraved, but we weren’t completely certain once we came to the inside of the building where we would be able to access that stone at,” said Burns. “We started with an approximate location to chip away at some of the items that were blocking the limestone and the cornerstone, and then we used a concrete imaging device to actually locate where the time capsule was within the cornerstone.”
Burns said it took crews weeks to find it.
“We had contractors coming in and we had to cut through different layers of HVAC, ductwork, there was some clay tile, limestone, until we could finally reach the time capsule and cut a cavity out to remove that time capsule,” said Burns.
Burns said archivists will examine the capsule’s contents and attempt to preserve them for potential display.
“We will be taking it along to the health lab here in Jefferson City to store for safekeeping until we open the capsule,” said Burns. “It looks to be soldered shut on the outside, so that will become part of our conversation that we have with the archivists in the coming weeks as to the best method of opening a copper box that has been soldered shut and left for a 100 years, so as to not damage or disturb the items inside.”
Burns said historical records show it includes copies of old newspapers from St. Louis, Kansas City, and Jefferson City.
“There was a Holy Bible that was inside,” said Burns. “A copy of the laws that actually created the Capitol Commission and authorized the construction of the Capitol building.”
2015 marks the 100th Anniversary of the laying of the cornerstone. A new capsule will replace it at a celebration July 3.
Governor Jay Nixon is urging Missourians to help pick out what should go into the new time capsule that will remain sealed until 2115. Ideas can be submitted online at Mo.gov/TimeCapsule or on Twitter using the hashtag #MOTimeCapsule.
Spring showers and flooding have some Missourians wondering how this year is shaping up in comparison to the flood year of 1993.
It’s been more than 20 years since that flood, but the recent string of severe thunderstorms has many people concerned water levels could reach those historic benchmarks again.
Meteorologist Spencer Mell with the National Weather Service in Kansas City compared the summer of 1993’s monthly precipitation with 2015’s totals. Mel said Missouri has had more rain in the months of May and June than it did in 1993.
“1993 was the 22nd wettest May and June on record for Kansas City, where as currently for May and June of this year, we actually already rank sixteenth,” said Mell. “We still have 22 days to go in June, so we’re going to be well up there as far as wettest May and June on record for Kansas City.”
Mell said much of the water in the flood of 1993 came from upstream and a snowpack North of Missouri. He said the upstream conditions haven’t been quite as bad this spring, but the potential for river flooding to get worse will continue if Missouri has a prolonged wet pattern.
“The conditions in 1993 were a little worse in the fact that they did have the higher snowpack in Montana, and then heavier rain falls upstream in Nebraska and Iowa during the spring months,” said Mell. “By the time you got to the summer in July, they received some big time rainfall, so that just kept the flooding going through pretty much the whole season of ’93.”
A time capsule that was sealed in 1915 will be opened at the 100th anniversary of the laying of the Missouri State Capitol Cornerstone, and Missourians are being asked to help pick what goes in the next one.
Governor Jay Nixon will reveal the contents of the time capsule at a ceremony on July 3. Records show some of the items include Missouri newspapers and a copy of the amendment to the state constitution authorizing the construction of the then-new capitol.
Nixon spokesman Scott Holste said the items will be shared with the Missouri State Archives for potential display.
“There’s going to be some surprise items in there, I’m sure, and I’m looking forward to seeing what’s in there when that’s unsealed,” said Holste. “It’s very exciting from a historical standpoint.”
Holste said the ceremony will include local dignitaries, Missouri historian and former Missourinet News Director Bob Priddy, and masons whose organizations had participated in the laying of the original cornerstone. A new time capsule with items that represent the Missouri of 2015 will be sealed in the cornerstone to remain until the 200th anniversary of the Capitol. Nixon wants Missourians to make suggestions about what should go in it.
“People whose submissions are chosen will have their names placed with the items in the time capsule as well, so they too will become a part of history,” said Holste. “We encourage Missourians of all ages and from all parts of the state to submit their ideas for things to be put in the time capsule.”
Holste said it’s important to keep in mind the capsule is small.
“It’s should be small enough to fit into a 19 inch x 15 inch x 8 capsule, so it’s not all that big of space,” said Holste. “It’s not a big enough space to put very large items in, but we think there will be enough space to have an array of items that are representative of what society and life was like in Missouri during this year.”
Ideas can be submitted online at Mo.gov/TimeCapsule or on Twitter using the hashtag #MoTimeCapsule.
A Missouri woman’s thirteen year pursuit for a Medal of Honor for her father has finally paid off.
It’s been nearly a century after his heroic efforts, but World War I veteran William Shemin was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor by President Barack Obama Tuesday. His daughter, Elsie Shemin-Roth of Webster Groves and her sister Ina Bass accepted the medal at the White House on behalf of their father. Shemin-Roth and 64 members of her family attended the ceremony in Washington D.C.
At the ceremony, Obama described the scene as “what seems like a platoon of Shemins.”
“I want to invite his daughters Elsie and Ina, 86 and 83, and gorgeous, to accept this medal on their father’s behalf,” said Obama.
Obama said sometimes it takes America too long to honor those who have served.
“Sergeant Shemin served at time when the contributions and heroism of Jewish-Americans in uniform were too often overlooked,” said Obama. “But William Shemin saved American lives, he represented our nation with honor, and so it is my privilege on behalf of the American people to make this right.”
The late Sergeant William Shemin was recognized for leading his platoon to safety under heavy fire.
“Three times he raced through heavy machine gun fire, three times he carried his fellow soldiers to safety,” said Obama.
In 2002, Shemin-Roth saw and article about a congressional review taking place for Jewish military who felt anti-Semitism played a role in the medals they did or did not receive. That’s when Shemin-Roth began her mission to make sure her father received the Medal of Honor.
University of Missouri researchers are among supporters of an effort to take an invasive fish from jumping out of Missouri waterways, to your plate.
Eat MO Carp is the name of the effort to introduce Asian carp to restaurants and grocery stores, and at the same time reducing the number of them in Missouri rivers and streams.
Eat Mo Carp project member and MU graduate student Tim Wall said eradicating the fish has proven difficult, but turning it into delicious dishes could help control the population and could be profitable for fishermen.
“We can take the Asian carp problem and turn this biological bane into a banquet boon,” said Wall. “We’ve got so much of this fish that’s now available as a low cost, low fat, protein source, that I really hope people start taking advantage of it, and we can solve an environmental problem by eating it.”
Asian carp were introduced into American waterways in the late 1970s and threaten native species by competing for food and habitat. One Asian carp species, the silver carp, undermines the safety and quality of water-based activities such as fishing and boating, because the fish leaps from the water when startled. The carp are easily scared and could injure recreationists when the fish leap out of the water at the sound of a boat motor.
Wall said ground carp is similar to ground turkey and cheaper than ground beef.
“It sounds odd to be eating ground fish and things like that, but it’s a new paradigm in cuisine,” said Wall. “It’s very mild and it does pick up other flavors very easily.”
Wall said Eat MO Carp researchers conducted a blind taste test in which carp beat catfish by a significant margin.
“When you consider that catfish is the number one fish in Missouri and very high on the list nationwide, it shows that if carp can beat catfish, then it should be acceptable to people’s palates,” said Wall.
Broadway Brewery in Columbia is hosting a benefit concert for Eat MO Fish on June 6th. The brewery will be adding an Asian carp dish to its regular menu.
Last week, a Missouri conservationist known for his work in preserving the state’s forests died last week at the age of 98.
Leo A. Drey died in his sleep with his family gathered at his home in University City, nearly two weeks after a stroke. Drey was Missouri’s largest private landowner before donating it all to a foundation he set up to preserve the land. The L-A-D Foundation was established in 1962 to protect natural areas throughout the state. In 2004, Drey and his wife Kay donated 146,000 acres in Pioneer Forest to the L-A-D foundation. The donation was valued at $180 million and is considered to be the largest private gift of its kind in Missouri’s history.
Former L-A-D Foundation Vice President Susan Flader said Drey’s work in the Ozarks will be part of his greatest legacy.
“He had a vision for what that part of the state could become with an economy based on the renewable natural resources of the area, the forest, the wildlife, the free flowing streams,” said Flader. “He worked all of his life in all of those different areas to try and make those things begin to happen and to get people to think about them and work with him.”
Drey began to acquire and manage Ozark timberland in 1950. His purpose was to harvest timber conservatively to show that it could be done economically and allow for a forest to regrow. Drey harvested timber using a “single-tree selection” method rather than clear-cutting. Flader said Drey always looked for ways to improve the health of a forest and saved natural areas that were endangered.
“Leo’s philosophy was you take the worst and you leave the best, you’re always thinking about maintaining a continuous forest,” said Flader. “He didn’t go in and buy areas that were being adequately taken care of by others, but when they were threatened with development that he thought would destroy their character, he bought those lands.”
In 1987, Drey bought Greer Spring for $4.5 million to keep Anheuser-Busch Companies Inc. from buying it to bottle and sell the water. Drey later sold it at a loss to the U.S. Forest Service.
Drey helped form the Open Space Council in 1965. Former Executive Director of the Open Space Council for the St. Louis region Ron Coleman said Drey was his mentor. Coleman said Drey helped conserve nearly 50,000 acres of public land along the Meramec River.
“If it hadn’t been for Leo’s support, places like Castlewood State Park, Bee Tree County Park, and other facilities that join the Meramec River probably wouldn’t exist,” said Coleman. “He was the ideal spokesman for why we should conserve and protect these things today, so future generations and the environment can enjoy the benefits.”
Coleman said when it comes to a leadership figure in the realm of conservation, parks, and the environment, Drey stood out like the tallest tree in the forest.
Drey is survived by his wife, two daughters, a son, and one grandson. Drey donated his body to the Washington University School of Medicine.