(Fordland) (AP) – Authorities say the skeletal remains of a missing Springfield woman have been discovered near Fordland.
The Webster County sheriff tells the Springfield News-Leader the body of 22-year-old Ashley Onescu was found Sunday. She had been missing since June and was last seen getting into a green vehicle with two men.
The sheriff said that her death is considered suspicious. Foul play is believed to be involved in her death.
Springfield police say evidence from the case will be turned over to the county sheriff’s office and the Missouri State Highway Patrol to help with their homicide investigation.
Anyone with information in the case is asked to call authorities.
(Mountain Home) – The Baxter County Sheriff’s Office and the Baxter County Coroner’s Office are once again participating in the “National Take-Back Day” on Saturday, April 25.
The endeavor, which will take place from 10 AM to 2 PM at the Donald W. Reynolds Library in Mountain Home, seeks to remove unwanted, unused, and potentially dangerous controlled substances and over the counter medications from area medicine cabinets.
The National Take-Back Day provides an opportunity for the public to dispose of expired, unwanted, or unused pharmaceutical controlled substances and other medications. These drugs are a potential source of supply for illegal use and an unacceptable risk to children and to public health and safety. This event is intended to bring national focus to the issue of increasing pharmaceutical controlled substance abuse.
In addition to the library event, people may use the secure sheriff’s office drop box at 206 West 8th Street, which is available around the clock, and is under video surveillance.
(Little Rock) (AP) – The Arkansas Senate has changed its rules to allow the chamber’s president to seek a second term.
The Senate approved the rule change Wednesday before formally adjourning this year’s legislative session. Senate President Pro Tem Jonathan Dismang has said he hasn’t decided whether to seek another term leading the 35-member body.
Dismang, a Republican, said he doesn’t have a timeline for deciding whether to run again.
House Speaker Jeremy Gillam earlier this month said he plans to seek another term leading that chamber.
(West Plains) – Plans are underway for the annual Howell County Relay For Life, which will be held in June this year at a new location, and with a new time.
Event chair Ashley Walker spoke with Ozark Radio News and told us about the event, and the location and date change:
She also talked about the shorter length for the event:
She added that sign-ups are currently underway:
For more information on the event, call Walker at 417-293-9507 or visit relayforlife.org/howellcomo.
(Jefferson City) – Missouri senators returned to the Capitol on Monday afternoon to discuss several measures, including Senate Bill 400, which would that the state could not require maintenance of licensing or any form of specialty board certification to practice medicine. Senator Bob Onder, R-Lake St. Louis, sponsors the proposal:
During debate, Sen. Jill Schupp, D-Creve Coeur, shares her concerns about the measure:
Senate Bill 400 has been set aside for future debate.
Missouri senators also gave preliminary approval to Senate Bill 352, a measure that would allow the state attorney general to institute civil and criminal proceedings relating to criminal enterprises and racketeering. Senator Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, is the bill sponsor:
During discussion, Sen. Maria Chappelle-Nadal, D-University City, tells the sponsor about a situation involving part of her district that might relate to this proposal:
Senate Bill 352 has received first-round Missouri Senate approval and still needs another affirmative vote before it could move to the Missouri House of Representatives for similar consideration.
(Jefferson City) – Three Houston residents received an honorary Missouri FFA degree at at the 87th Missouri FFA Convention.
The Missouri FFA Association recognizes Honorary State FFA Degree recipients each year at its annual state convention for their valuable efforts and contributions to the FFA organization and its members. Those eligible to receive the Honorary FFA Degree include farmers, school superintendents, principals, members of the board of education, chapter advisors, teachers, staff members in agricultural education, business professionals and others who are helping to advance agricultural education and the FFA while rendering outstanding service.
Mark Kennedy, who retired in 2014 after more than 35 years of service as a state grassland specialist with the United States Department of Agriculture, and Richard and Shirley Best, who have assisted local FFA chapters by hosting area dairy cattle evaluation career development events at their farm over the years, were the three recipients.
All three also have FFA experience: Kennedy was active in FFA and has supported local FFA chapters throughout his career, while Richard Best was a four-year member of FFA in high school and served in leadership roles. Shirley was active in 4-H for nine years as women were not permitted to be FFA members in the 1960s. The Bests also provided cattle for CDEs at the Missouri State Fair and Cabool Farm Fest. The fair barn built for use by FFA and 4-H at the Texas County Fairgrounds was funded in part by a donation from the Bests.
(Jefferson City) (AP) – An effort by Missouri lawmakers to create statewide regulations for ridesharing companies including Uber and Lyft has received initial approval in the House.
The House on Wednesday approved the measure on a voice vote. Opponents from Kansas City and St. Louis say it would remove cities’ ability to protect residents.
The measure would require background checks and insurance as well as a local license for the companies to operate. Supporters say it would ensure Uber and Lyft could operate in the state with some regulations.
Democratic Rep. Jon Carpenter of Kansas City says the proposal is an example of big business taking advantage of local government.
The measure would block more restrictive local regulation of the companies.
It needs final approval in the House before going to the Senate.
(Thayer) – Police in Thayer are looking for the public’s help in finding a man who robbed a bank Wednesday morning.
The robbery of the Great Southern Bank in Thayer took place around 8:35 AM, according to the FBI, who is now involved in the case. The suspect is described as a white male in his mid-20s, roughly 5’7″ and 160 pounds, with dark hair. The vehicle in question was described as a dark four-door Chevrolet Malibu Hatchback.
A news release from the FBI says the suspect approached a teller at the bank counter and handed the teller a note demanding cash. The teller complied and handed over an undisclosed amount of money. The suspect then fled the bank on foot, heading west. No weapons were displayed and no injuries were reported.
The FBI says Great Southern Bank is offering a $3000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the suspect.
Bank officials told Ozark Radio News that they are not commenting on the incident at this time.
Anyone with information on the robbery should call the Thayer Police Department at 417-264-3819, the Missouri Highway Patrol at 417-469-3121, the Federal Bureau of Investigation at 417-882-3303, or contact their local law enforcement agency.
by Marie French, AP
(Jefferson City) (AP) – Emergency 911 systems in Missouri would get a new funding stream under a measure that supporters said Wednesday is needed to enhance outdated services across the state.
The Missouri House voted 123-32 to pass a measure that would allow local governments to collect a monthly fee of up to $1.50 on devices capable of using 911, including cellphones, with voter approval. It also would impose a statewide 3 percent charge on sales of prepaid phones and create a state 911 board that would disburse the money.
“We’re the only state without this mechanism for funding,” said the measure’s sponsor, Rep. Jeanie Lauer, R-Blue Springs. “Our state needs to enhance its 911 services.”
The bill now goes to the Senate, where it has stalled in recent years.
Lauer said that as landline use declines, a new source of revenue is needed to fund 911 services that are paid for with landline fees or local sales taxes. She said some areas of the state don’t even have service, and others may not be able to receive emergency texts or to identify a cellphone’s location.
Counties or cities would need the 911 board’s approval to seek to impose a monthly fee on devices of more than $1. They also would have to provide information to justify the fee and develop plans to consolidate operations.
The 911 board would disburse the prepaid phone sales money in an effort to encourage consolidation, bring 911 services to areas that don’t have them and enable existing services to field emergency texts. A portion would also go to the poison control center.
(Jefferson City) (AP) – A state audit released Wednesday shows that Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has continued to use money meant for other agencies to pay for expensive in-state flights and staffing, despite lawmakers’ efforts to stop the practice.
If Nixon had not pulled money from other departments and delayed payments to a later fiscal year, the Democrat’s office would have exceeded its roughly $6.6 million budget by $1.9 million over the past three years, the audit found.
“If the rest of state government ran that way, we would be in deep trouble,” Deputy Auditor Harry Otto said.
Nixon said he hadn’t seen the audit’s findings but added that he doesn’t plan to change the way his office operates.
“The bottom line is we’re going to continue to make sure that we call on the resources of other departments when we need them, and we share the talents and skills of those other departments,” Nixon said.
The report comes amid budget negotiations for next fiscal year by frustrated lawmakers, who have questioned Nixon’s use of a state plane to fly across Missouri and have attempted to rein in the budget for his office.
Since 2012, the budgets passed by legislators have included wording restricting most state agencies from paying for travel and personnel expenses for the governor’s office and other statewide elected officials.
But the audit shows that Nixon’s administration has continued to do so.
The audit notes that the Revenue, Elementary and Secondary Education, and Health and Senior Services departments were among 14 agencies that paid the salaries of six members of governor’s staff.
In a written response included in the audit, Nixon’s office said it accounts for the costs in a way that properly reflects the work that is performed. Still, those employees work out of the governor’s office and are supervised by Nixon’s personnel.
The audit called the office’s written responses “generally nonresponsive.”
The exception to the spending restrictions is the Department of Public Safety, which can foot the bill if Nixon needs transportation in the event of a statewide emergency. That department paid roughly $120,000 for flights that many times included only the governor, his family and staff and were intended for bill signings and economic development announcements, in addition to disaster assessments and emergency preparedness, the audit found.
Lawmakers again this year have proposed including provisions in the budget for next fiscal year that would strip money from Nixon’s office and cut funds for travel to stop him from using taxpayer dollars for flights. That budget plan has not yet been finalized.
Other findings from the audit show Nixon’s staff booked out-of-state flights and hotel rooms that were needlessly expensive, were granted raises above what most state employees received and that the office spent $1,300 for staff to attend a one-day float trip with Nixon and his family in 2011.