(Hartville) – The Wright County Sheriff says both his office and the Wright County commission have been getting a number of recent complaints of vehicles heading to and from the area landfill losing trash, and he’s asking area residents to be cautious.
If your trash is loose, Sheriff Glenn Adler says it’s a good idea to have a tarp over your load, even when the trash is dumped, as sometimes trash is left in the container and doesn’t empty out, and can later blow out on roadways.
Sheriff Adler added that he has contacted the landfill to discuss this problem in an attempt to educate haulers coming into the landfill, as well as the Missouri State Highway Patrol to watch for vehicles loosing trash.
The Missouri state statute on littering says:
A person commits the crime of littering if he throws or places, or causes to be thrown or placed, any glass, glass bottles, wire, nails, tacks, hedge, cans, garbage, trash, refuse, or rubbish of any kind, nature or description on the right-of-way of any public road or state highway or on or in any of the waters in this state or on the banks of any stream, or on any land or water owned, operated or leased by the state, any board, department, agency or commission thereof or on any land or water owned, operated or leased by the federal government or on any private real property owned by another without his consent.
Littering is a class A misdemeanor in the state of Missouri.
(Melbourne) – Yellow boxes with green displays are beginning to appear in the common areas around Ozarka College’s Melbourne campus. These are alert beacons that will be used in the case of an emergency to notify people in common areas of a significant event. When activated through the College’s emergency alert system, the beacon will produce an alert message, flash and emit an alarm similar to a fire alarm.
Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) are also being installed to increase the survival rate for heart attack victims.
Dawn Smith, Ozarka College Allied Health Instructor, is providing training for all employees for CPR certification and use of AEDs. Alert beacons and AEDs will be installed on all four Ozarka College campus locations over the next couple of weeks. These devices were purchased as a part of a comprehensive health and safety initiative with grant funds awarded by the Blue and You Foundation for a Healthier Arkansas.
(Washington) – Russell Strand, the Chief of the Behavioral Sciences Education and Training Division of the Military Police School at Fort Leonard Wood, and U.S. Senator Claire McCaskill met this past week to discuss strategies to combat sexual violence.
“Mr. Strand and Fort Leonard Wood’s contributions to how the military responds to sexual assault are enormous and unique. It’s this type of victim-centered approach that can help improve prosecutions and increase victims’ confidence in the system.” said McCaskill, a former sex crimes prosecutor and a senior member of the Senate Armed Services Committee. “Mr. Strand and I also discussed the challenges that remain—including how we continue increasing survivors’ trust that when they do report they will be taken seriously and free from retaliation.”
Mr. Strand leads the division at Fort Leonard Wood that is responsible for training military criminal investigators who investigate allegations of sexual assault in the military. Strand developed the Forensic Experiential Trauma Interview, a technique that incorporates best practices in forensic interviews and critical incident stress debriefings, which allows survivors to be interviewed effectively without forcing them relive their assault.
A 2014 Pentagon report showed that reforms implemented in 2013 have resulted in demonstrable progress, reducing the prevalence of unwanted sexual contact in the military and increasing reporting of such crimes by survivors.
by Andrew DeMillo, AP
(Memphis) – A Memphis woman has been given her late father’s Purple Heart and other medals from his Army service in Vietnam after they sat forgotten in vaults in Arkansas for more than a decade.
Angela Allen on Friday claimed from the state auditor’s office the medals that belonged to her father – Ernest Johnson. The auditor’s office manages thousands of unclaimed safe deposit boxes from banks around the state and tracked Allen down after finding the medals in its vault near the state Capitol.
Allen said she knew her dad was awarded the medals, but had never laid eyes on them and assumed they’d been lost over the years. Her father had stashed them in a safe deposit box at an east Arkansas bank, along with coins he had collected.
(Little Rock) (AP) – A Pulaski County jail deputy has been arrested for allegedly trying to smuggle drugs, tobacco, candy and money to inmates.
The deputy faces charges of using a communication device to facilitate crimes, criminal attempt to furnish prohibited articles that include marijuana and methamphetamines, furnishing prohibited articles, and unauthorized use of another’s property. He was being held in protective custody Friday pending a hearing before a judge.
A sheriff’s report said other jailers intercepted a phone call Thursday indicating that contraband would be left in the deputy’s vehicle in the jail’s parking lot. Investigators monitored the parking lot and stopped the deputy after he retrieved one package containing money, candy and tobacco. A second package containing hidden marijuana and meth was also recovered.
The sheriff’s office says the deputy resigned immediately.
(Clayton) (AP) – A Missouri judge gave strong indications Friday that he might toss a lawsuit by four activists seeking an independent investigation of a prosecutor’s handling of grand jury proceedings in the Michael Brown shooting case.
St. Louis County Circuit Judge Joseph Walsh III heard 90 minutes of arguments before deciding to resume the hearing on May 29. But he told the activists’ attorneys that an outside investigation may be unnecessary, since the U.S. Justice Department reached the same conclusion as the county grand jury that declined to prosecute Darren Wilson, the white Ferguson police officer who shot and killed Brown, a black, unarmed 18-year-old.
The activists want Walsh to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate what they claim was misconduct on county prosecutor Robert McCulloch’s part.
Maggie Ellinger-Locke, an attorney for the activists, insisted that McCulloch acted in “bad faith” and “intended to prevent all of the evidence (from being presented) to the grand jury” out of a desire to not have Wilson charged. She noted that Wilson was allowed to tell the grand jury his version of his and Brown’s encounter last summer. Potential defendants seldom are allowed to testify during the secret proceedings, she said.
Peter Krane, the county counselor representing McCulloch’s office, urged the judge to throw the lawsuit out. He said the activists failed to show McCulloch committed any willful or fraudulent violations of his duties or neglected his responsibilities.
He argued that the lawsuit amounts to an attempt by the activists to impose their judgment over that of the prosecutor, who has discretion in deciding what evidence to introduce during grand jury proceedings, how it’s presented and who testifies.
“The prosecutor is free and should be allowed to adjust and consider the best course based on the circumstances,” Krane said.
The grand jury’s decision in November to not indict Wilson, who is white, touched off angry protests in Ferguson similar to the unrest that occurred in the St. Louis suburb immediately after Brown’s August death.
The death of Brown, who was black, also led to demonstrations in other cities and spawned a national movement seeking changes in how police deal with minorities.
Wilson resigned in November. The Justice Department later cleared him in the shooting but released a scathing report that cited racial bias and racial profiling in the Ferguson Police Department and in a profit-driven municipal court system that frequently targeted blacks.
Judge Walsh pointed to the Justice Department findings when responding to arguments in the activists’ case Friday.
“What better special prosecutor do we have than all the wealth and power of the United States Department of Justice?” Walsh asked. “I don’t know why I can’t rely on this as a substitute for a special prosecutor.”
Walsh questioned whether McCulloch, under the county’s charter, could be impeached or recalled from office – options that would make the lawsuit’s efforts to ultimately oust the prosecutor moot. Attorneys for the county and the activists said they had no immediate answer. The judge gave them until the next court date to do research and submit written arguments.
The hearing on Friday came a day after Brown’s parents filed a wrongful-death lawsuit against the city of Ferguson, Wilson and Ferguson’s former police chief. Attorneys for the family promised the case would bring to light new forensic evidence and raise doubts about the police version of events.
(St. Louis) (AP) – Passenger traffic is on the rise at Lambert Airport in St. Louis.
Airport officials say nearly 2.8 million passengers were served in the first three months of 2015, up 2 percent over the same period a year ago. Departures increased 1.5 percent and cargo flight activity rose 9.5 percent.
Ten airlines fly in and out of Lambert, serving 64 non-stop destinations.
(Ferguson) (AP) – A St. Louis County man could face up to 10 years in prison after admitting to setting fire to a Ferguson business following a grand jury announcement that officer Darren Wilson would not be indicted in the fatal shooting of 18-year-old Michael Brown.
Antonio Whiteside pleaded guilty Friday to one count of attempted arson for the fire that broke out Nov. 24 inside Ferguson Supermarket. Sentencing is July 23.
Brown was unarmed when he was fatally shot by Wilson in Ferguson on Aug. 9, leading to unrest that escalated the night the grand jury decision was announced.
The blaze at Ferguson Market was put out quickly, but more than a dozen businesses in the Ferguson area were destroyed in fires that night.
(Ferguson) (AP) – The interim city manager in Ferguson is stepping down to work for another city in St. Louis County.
Pam Hylton was assistant city manager before becoming interim city manager in March, following the resignation of John Shaw. She is taking a job as assistant city manager in Richmond Heights. Her last day in Ferguson will be May 15.
Shaw resigned in the fallout of a scathing report by the U.S. Department of Justice alleging racial bias and profiling in Fergusons’ police department and a profit-driven municipal court system.
The report was prompted by the unrest that followed the August shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown by officer Darren Wilson. A St. Louis County grand jury and the Justice Department declined to prosecute Wilson, who resigned in November.
(Kinloch) (AP) – Incoming Kinloch Mayor Betty McCray arrived at City Hall Thursday only to have the city attorney attempt to serve her with impeachment papers.
According to documents obtained by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch through a records request, the city has raised concerns to the St. Louis County Board of Elections and the Missouri Secretary of State about people being registered to vote in Kinloch who no longer live there. On April 2, the city gave the election board a list of 27 names of people who it claimed were illegally registered.
McCray had defeated Mayor Darren Small on April 7 with 38 votes to his 18. Another candidate, Theda Wilson, received two votes.
City Attorney James Robinson said the Board of Aldermen voted to suspend McCray on Monday. He served McCray with impeachment charges Thursday when she attempted to enter City Hall. Robinson also told Alderman Eric Petty, an ally of McCray’s, that the board had drafted articles of impeachment against him.
“You may be the attorney now, but I promise you, you won’t be later,” McCray said as she refused to accept the impeachment papers.
The new mayor also called the voter fraud allegations “absurd.”
“It never came up until I ran for mayor,” McCray said, adding that people were still living at the addresses the city claims are empty. McCray is currently seeking legal representation to address the impeachment charges.
County Republican Election Director Gary Fuhr has responded to the city’s complaints by sending canvassers to verify that voters were registered to correct addresses. He declined to say what canvassers found.
Kinloch once thrived with more than 10,000 residents, but saw its share of decline in the 1980s. Today, Kinloch has fewer than 300 residents.
The city has weathered much political misfortune in the last five years, including the imprisonment of a former mayor on federal fraud and theft charges and the hiring of a convicted felon as city manager.