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(Mountain Home)- Join the Issues & Viewpoints book discussion at the Donald W. Reynolds Library on Wednesday, November 5, at 1:30PM.

The discussion will be on “The Willpower Instinct” by Kelly McGonigal, about how willpower works, why it matters, and how to get more of it. Multiple copies are available for checkout.

For additional information, contact Kathe Altazan, at, or call 870-580-0987 ext. 2975 or visit

In this April 21, 2014 photo provided by the Missouri Department of Corrections is Mark Christeson who is scheduled to die by injection for killing a south-central Missouri mother and her two children in February 1998. (AP Photo/Missouri Department of Corrections)

In this April 21, 2014 photo provided by the Missouri Department of Corrections is Mark Christeson who is scheduled to die by injection for killing a south-central Missouri mother and her two children in February 1998. (AP Photo/Missouri Department of Corrections)

(St. Louis) (AP) – The U.S. Supreme Court late Tuesday halted the execution of a Missouri man who killed a woman and her two children, citing concerns that his legal counsel was ineffective.

Mark Christeson, 35, was scheduled to die by injection at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday at the state prison in Bonne Terre before the late stay of execution was issued. Missouri Department of Corrections spokesman Mike O’Connell said it wasn’t clear what will happen next for Christeson.

“This is something that will be taken up in court,” O’Connell said.

Jennifer Merrigan, one of Christeson’s attorneys, declined comment.

The appeal to the Supreme Court raised several concerns about legal counsel Christeson has received over the years, including the failure of some of his attorneys to meet a 2005 deadline to file for an appeal hearing before a federal court. It is uncommon for someone to be executed without a federal court appeal hearing.

The high court denied a second appeal challenging the state’s planned use of a made-to-order execution drug produced by an unidentified compounding pharmacy.

Christeson would have been the ninth man executed in Missouri this year, matching an all-time high for the state set in 1999. Another execution is scheduled for Nov. 19 when Leon Taylor is set to die for killing an Independence, Missouri, gas station attendant in 1994.

In Maries County, the rural south-central Missouri county where the crime occurred, there is little argument with the death sentence, prosecutor Terry Daley Schwartze said.

“No matter how anybody feels about the death penalty, you can’t find a person around here who doesn’t feel it’s the right result for this case,” Schwartze said. “It’s so very awful.”

When he was 18, Christeson and his 17-year-old cousin, Jesse Carter, came up with a plan to run away from the home outside Vichy where they were living with a relative.

On Feb. 1, 1998, Christeson and Carter took shotguns and went to a home about a half-mile away where Susan Brouk, 36, lived with her 12-year-old daughter, Adrian, and 9-year-old son, Kyle. They planned to steal Brouk’s Ford Bronco, Schwartze said.

The cousins tied the hands of the children with shoelaces. Christeson forced Brouk into a bedroom and raped her. When they went back into the living room, Adrian recognized Carter and said his name.

“We’ve got to get rid of `em,” Christeson told Carter.

Court records show that Christeson and Carter forced Brouk and the children into her Bronco and took electronics and other items. They drove to a pond.

After kicking Brouk in the ribs, Christeson cut her throat, then cut Kyle’s throat and held him under the water until he drowned. Carter held Adrian while Christeson pressed on her throat until she suffocated. Carter pushed her body into the pond. With Brouk struggling to stay alive, the men tossed her into the pond, where she drowned.

Brouk’s sisters discovered a few days later that Brouk and the children were missing. A Missouri State Highway Patrol helicopter spotted one of the bodies in the pond, leading to a search that found all three.

Meanwhile, Christeson and Carter drove to California, selling Brouk’s household items along the way. A detective in Riverside County, California, recognized Christeson and Carter from photos police had circulated, and the men were arrested eight days after the killings.

Carter was sentenced to life in prison without parole after agreeing to testify against Christeson.

With Grizz, aka Tyler Crabtree of Alton, are Florence James, left, and Kristi Bash, owners of The Kloz Klozet and Cottage Flowers and Interiors, respectively.  (Missouri State-West Plains Photo)

With Grizz, aka Tyler Crabtree of Alton, are Florence James, left, and Kristi Bash, owners of The Kloz Klozet and Cottage Flowers and Interiors, respectively. (Missouri State-West Plains Photo)

(West Plains) – Grizz invites everyone to “Celebrate in Style” this holiday season and help the Garnett Library by attending the November 7 fall fashion show fundraiser for the Friends of the Garnett Library which is being hosted by The Kloz Klozet and Cottage Flowers and Interiors.

The event will be held at the West Plains Country Club and will include the latest holiday fashions and accessories, as well as home decor and gifts, organizers said. Doors will open at 11:30 AM for those who wish to come early to shop and socialize. Attendees also will have the opportunity to shop immediately following the show from 1-1:30 PM.

Admission is $25, with proceeds going toward furnishings for a collaborative learning space in the library. Seating is limited, so those planning to attend should purchase tickets in advance at the Garnett Library, 304 W. Trish Knight St.; The Kloz Klozet, No. 16 Court Square; or Cottage Flowers and Interiors, 917 W. Broadway.

For more information, call 417-255-7940 or e-mail

(Willow Springs) – The Willow Springs Seventh-day Adventist Church will be hosting a bread-making class on Sunday November 9 in the church fellowship room at 3 PM.

Organizers say the class is free, but registration is requested. To register, call at 417-469-2090.

The church is located at 314 N Walnut St in Willow Springs.

(Mammoth Spring) – The Common Sense Property Rights Coalition will meet Monday November 3 at 6 pm at Fred’s Fish House in Mammoth Spring, AR.

The primary speaker of the evening will be Brad North of Texas County, who will be representing the Missouri Militia according to Co-chair Kevin Jotz.

“The Missouri Militia is a private, non-profit volunteer organization operating as a state militia distinct from the National Guard, which can be federalized or drafted into federal service. During World War II most National Guard units served in a federal capacity, promoting many states to maintain separate state defense forces. In 1982 Governor Kit Bond signed an executive order allowing the creation of a state defense force. North will explain how his organization fits into state defense and how it works with other agencies.” Jotz said.

All area residents interested in private property rights, food freedom and protection of constitutional rights are invited to attend. For more information call 417-264-2435 or 417-270-1724.

(Lebanon) (AP) – A southwest Missouri man is accused of hitting his two children in the head with a hammer as punishment, while his wife is accused of biting one of them for the same reason.

28-year-old Richard Tubb and 23-year-old Brittny Tubb were charged last week after police received a call about the children having bruises on their faces.

Doctors who treated the children for facial bruises found a bite on the boy’s arm. Police say Brittny Tubb admitted biting the boy, while Richard Tubb admitted hitting the children with a hammer.

Brittny Tubb is charged with second-degree domestic assault. Her husband is charged with two counts of second-degree domestic assault and two counts of armed criminal action.

Their attorney was not available Tuesday afternoon for comment.

(Little Rock) (AP) – Republican Asa Hutchinson has raised more than double the amount brought in by Democratic rival Mike Ross during the past month as the two Arkansas gubernatorial hopefuls head into the final week of the campaign.

Hutchinson on Tuesday reported raising more than $451,000 between Oct. 1 and Oct. 25, compared to more than $185,000 Ross brought in during the same period. The two former congressmen are running to succeed Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe, who is barred by term limits from seeking re-election.

Hutchinson reported spending more than $480,000 this month, and Ross spent more than $265,000. Hutchinson reported having nearly $213,000 in the bank, while Ross reported more than $248,000.

Tuesday was the deadline for state candidates to file their final fundraising reports before the Nov. 4 election.

(Clayton) (AP) – A review by county prosecutors of drug arrests involving the Ferguson police officer who killed an unarmed, black 18-year-old in a separate incident has led to the dismissal of a half-dozen felony cases.

A spokesman for St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch said Tuesday that six felony drug cases involving Officer Darren Wilson won’t be prosecuted, primarily because Wilson missed several court appearances after going into hiding following Michael Brown’s early August death.

The dropped cases include a felony marijuana possession charge against 28-year-old Christopher A. Brooks that was thrown out on Monday after a judge had agreed to put the case on hold when Wilson missed a late September preliminary hearing.

Wilson had received a Ferguson City Council commendation for his role in Brooks’ arrest.

(Jefferson City) (AP) – Top Missouri Democrats are continuing to pump money into state campaigns as the Nov. 4 election approaches.

Campaign finance records show U.S. Sen Claire McCaskill donated $50,000 to the Missouri Democratic State Committee last Friday, bringing her total contributions to $590,000.

McCaskill donated $10,000 to state Senate candidate Jill Schupp on Saturday. It’s the first time she’s contributed to an individual candidate this year.

Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster also donated $50,000 to the Missouri Democratic State Committee last Friday, bringing his total this year to $150,000.

The donations are intended to help Democrats pick up seats in the Missouri Legislature, where Republicans hold a two-thirds majority in both chambers.

The two-thirds mark is necessary to override vetoes by Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon.

(Little Rock) (AP) – Arkansas’ highest court says the November ballot can include a proposal to gradually increase the state’s minimum wage.

The Arkansas Supreme Court’s ruling on Monday rejects a challenge by a Little Rock businessman who wanted to block a ballot question that asks voters to raise the state’s minimum wage from $6.25 an hour to $8.50 by 2017.

Arkansas is one of the few states with a minimum wage below the federal level of $7.25 an hour. Democrats had pushed for the issue to be on the ballot.

The businessman, Jackson T. Stephens Jr., had challenged the deadline that the state used to accept petitions for the ballot proposal. He also argued that the signatures submitted by supporters were invalid.

Early voting for the election began Oct. 20.