Missouri man claims to speak Arabic, threatens Oasis Truck Stop shooting HAZELGREEN, Mo. (March 4, 2013) — A man who claimed to speak Arabic and threatened to shoot a truck stop clerk early Sunday morning now faces a Class D felony charge of making a terrorist threat, according to Pulaski County Circuit Court records. Daniel Mark Lawson, 55, of Glencoe, is being held on a $100,000 bond with surety by a bail bondsman allowed; he could spend up to four years in state prison with a $5,000 fine if convicted. According to court records, three deputies were dispatched at 3:38 a.m. Sunday to the Oasis Truck Stop, which is located at Exit 145 of Interstate 44 at the junction of Highway 133, “for a suspicious activity call involving an individual threatening to shoot the store clerk” which had begun about 3:15 a.m. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Sgt. 1st Class James McClarney
Skyping while deployed: Guardsman electronically ‘attends’ engineer ball LAKE OZARK, Mo. (Feb. 7, 2013) — Although currently deployed to Afghanistan with the Missouri National Guard’s 1138th Engineer Company of Farmington and Fredericktown, one soldier was able to virtually join his wife at the 35th Engineer Brigade Engineer Ball. Sgt. 1st Class James McClarney, a platoon sergeant with the 1138th, was able to visit with his wife, JoLynn McClarney, via the video communication software Skype during the ball, which was held at Lodge of the Four Seasons. It is just the second time the McClarneys, who live in Imperial, have missed physically attending the ball together since 1988. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Matthew J. Wilson/Missouri National Guard
Chaplain (Col.) Gary Gilmore
State chaplain emphasizes warrior support at Missouri Guard engineer ball LAKE OZARK, Mo. (Feb. 7, 2013) — Warrior support for soldiers before, during and after deployment was the key topic recently at the Missouri National Guard's 35th Engineer Brigade Engineer Ball at Lodge of the Four Seasons. The ball, in its 34th year, is a gathering open to all Missouri Guard engineers that occurs almost annually and is presented by the brigade, which is headquartered at Fort Leonard Wood. It was the first time to host the ball for Col. William Blaylock II, who took over as brigade commander in December of 2012. "The engineer community in Missouri is bigger than the brigade and the brigade is spread out across the state. So the ball gives an opportunity for leaders within the brigade and our engineers outside the brigade to come together," Blaylock said. Col. Gary Gilmore, state chaplain and the ball's guest speaker, recounted the story of Elmer the Engineer, his grandfather who served during World War I, to more than 300 of the state's citizen-soldier engineers and their families. Through the story we learn the importance correspondence from home, whether it be letters or care packages, played in Elmer's moral and well-being while he was deployed for more than a year to France. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Matthew J. Wilson/Missouri National Guard
Crocker superintendent, school board president, vice-president resign CROCKER, Mo. (Feb. 6, 2013) — Following months of fighting, a closed-session motion to place him on paid administration leave that was later retracted in closed session at a special board meeting, and the resignation of two board members, Superintendent Jim Bogle is out as the head of the Crocker R-II School District. According to a Wednesday announcement from the Crocker school district, Bogle’s interim replacement will be retired Camdenton Superintendent Ronnie Hendricks, a Crocker High School graduate who served 20 years as Camdenton superintendent and has 40 years experience in education. The district’s official announcement gives no reasons for Bogle’s resignation. Bogle had been the focus of controversies several years ago in the Crocker district, but it’s not clear from the closed session minutes, obtained through the Missouri Sunshine Law, what prompted the new critics of Bogle or what finally caused his resignation. Neither of the two board members who resigned, former board president Bob Boulware or his replacement as president, Mark Sasfy, have publicly indicated their positions on Bogle’s work. Boulware, a longtime Crocker resident who had been superintendent of the Swedeborg R-III School District and Laquey R-V School District prior to his retirement, has had serious health problems in recent years. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina - 1 opinion posted
Former City Administrator Jack Fincher, 65, 'was the city of St. Robert' SAINT ROBERT, Mo. (Feb. 6, 2013) — When retired St. Robert City Administrator Jack Fincher died Saturday, he left a city behind where employees helped fix lunch on Wednesday for more than 60 members of his family, even though he’d been gone from the city administrator’s office for nearly a decade. Fincher’s final retirement for health reasons in 2004 didn’t end his community involvement. He ran for and was elected to the city council and continued to serve on the Pulaski County Ambulance District board, working with the same tenacity that had allowed him earlier in life to remain city administrator despite losing most of his lungs and riding in a wheelchair. For City Clerk Debbie Adkins — the city’s second-longest serving employee who knew Fincher 34 years ago when he was still working in the street department — Fincher was a fixture in city government. “He liked to say he was hired as a meter reader and worked his way up,” Adkins said. “Jack was a worker, and the thing about Jack was he knew this city. If somebody couldn’t locate a water line or anything, Jack knew exactly where it was… Jack loved St. Robert; he was totally, totally dedicated to St. Robert.” Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Crocker firefighters respond to a burning carport at the Sterling Apartments.
Two fires break out this week on Highway 17 south of Crocker CROCKER, Mo. (Feb. 6, 2013) — Firefighters from numerous area departments responded this week to two separate fires on Highway 17 south of Crocker, the first on Monday morning at the Sterling Apartments and the second early Wednesday morning at a home on the 17000 grid of Highway 17 near the intersection of Highway 133. According to Crocker Rural Fire Protection District spokesman Joshua Hall, Crocker firefighters were paged about 12:30 a.m. Monday to the Sterling Apartments and found a duplex “with heavy fire involvement from an attached carport.” Only preliminary information is available so far about the Wednesday morning fire, which broke out shortly before 2 a.m. when residents reported their back bedroom engulfed in fire. All residents evacuated the home, and when firefighters arrived they found the blaze had spread to about half of the home. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
New Pulaski sheriff plans weekly meetings with area residents DIXON/RICHLAND, Mo. (Jan. 25, 2013) — Want to meet your new sheriff? Beginning next week in Dixon and continuing for the next month in other communities, Sheriff Ron Long will be meeting local residents who want “to speak with him about ‘any’ law enforcement topic or matter of community concern.” Long, who was elected in November and took office at the end of January, will be at the Dixon Senior Citizens Center at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 31. The following week, he’ll be at First Baptist Church of Richland on Tuesday, Feb. 5, at the same time. The full schedule for the local visits hasn’t yet been announced but will be included in Long’s weekly “Sheriff’s View” column, he said. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Former St. Robert Fire Chief Chuck Fraley
St. Robert fire chief resigns Friday SAINT ROBERT, Mo. (Jan. 7, 2011) — Fire Chief Chuck Fraley has resigned after eight years as head of the St. Robert Fire Department for reasons that have not been released. “He did (give his reasons) but that’s between him, me and the mayor. He volunteered to resign, he explained those reasons, and the mayor accepted those reasons,” said St. Robert City Administrator Alan Clark, who said he doesn’t know Fraley’s plans for future employment. This isn’t the first time Fraley has resigned from a public position. He served as a member of the Pulaski County Sewer District board until last year when former sewer board chairman Mark Cortesini said he should resign due to missing many meetings. Cortesini was then asked to resign by his vice-chairman, Gary Porter, who is now the sewer board chairman. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Army Chief of Staff coming to FLW tomorrow; town hall to be held tonight FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (Jan. 3, 2011) — Post personnel have announced that Gen. George W. Casey, the chief of staff of the Army, will be coming tomorrow to Fort Leonard Wood to observe tornado damage. Residents needing to verify the condition of their home may call Balfour Beatty, the privatized housing contractor handling Fort Leonard Wood housing, at (573)329-0122. In addition, Balfour Beatty will be holding a town hall meeting at 6 p.m., tonight, Jan. 3, at the Stonegate Community Center. In a Monday morning announcement, Maj. Gen. David Quantock warned people arriving on post following holiday vacation to check with post officials before returning to their homes. Residents of the North Piney Hills housing area should report to the Family Assistance Center at Army Community Service (ACS), Building 486 between the hours of 7:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Jan. 3 to 7, or until further notice, post personnel said. USAA Insurance, a company whose clientele is active duty military, former military personnel and their families, has announced that they will open a second temporary claims filing location in addition to the off-post facility in St. Robert at American Legion Post 331. The second location in the Army Community Service office at Building 486 on Replacement Drive, is physically located on Fort Leonard Wood. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
As tornado hits home of the engineers, Army engineers hurried to help FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (Jan. 3, 2011) — Nobody wants a tornado to roar through their community and damage or destroy 159 homes. However, Fort Leonard Wood’s commander, Maj. Gen. David Quantock, noted that due to its status as home of the Army Engineer School, the post has large amounts of heavy equipment and trained personnel who can deal with structural damage and have done similar jobs during deployments to Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere. “We have the right equipment and right people to handle a disaster of this magnitude,” Quantock said during a Saturday afternoon press conference. “Of course, you never want this to happen, but it does happen, and we had the right people in place to take care of the immediate concerns and essential services we have here at Fort Leonard Wood.” Lt. Col. Keith Dupont from the 4th MEB concurred said his brigade’s personnel, which would ordinarily be training for combat engineer deployment missions, have been tasked with the mission of supporting Fort Leonard Wood families through the tornado disaster. “The primary difference is that it’s at home. You’re trying to take care of people here, just as we would anywhere we go,” Dupont said. “We are soldiers taking care of soldiers in this case. In Afghanistan and Iraq, as we do nation-building and recovery operations for those guys, it’s the same thing: we are trying to give them a better place that they can live and a time when they can control their own destiny. That’s what we are trying to do here — get our guys back on their feet so they can take care of business.” Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
USAA logs 80 tornado claims so far FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (Jan. 3, 2011) — The USAA Insurance claims office at American Legion Post 331 in St. Robert is now open, and spokeswoman Rebecca Hirsch said her company has already received about 80 claims from policyholders in Missouri as of Sunday afternoon. The USAA temporary claims office at the American Legion post, located at 484 St. Robert Outer Road in St. Robert, didn’t open until this morning, so those claims come from policyholders who used the company’s other methods to file a claim. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Maj. Gen. David Quantock thanks emergency responders.
Fort Leonard Wood commander thanks civilians for assistance after tornado FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (Jan. 1, 2011) — Missouri’s homeland security disaster planning for a major incident calls on Fort Leonard Wood’s engineer assets to be used for such situations as a New Madrid Fault earthquake in southeast Missouri. Just a few years ago when a major ice storm knocked down power lines throughout northern Pulaski County, volunteers from the captains’ career courses at Fort Leonard Wood spent many hours knocking on doors to see if they could help with emergency relief. However, when a tornado struck Fort Leonard Wood on Friday morning, the post became the recipient of large amounts of outside aid. Firefighters from Waynesville, St. Robert, Crocker, Doolittle, and the Richland-based Tri-County Rural Fire Protection District responded on a mutual aid request; not long afterward, the major disaster response team from Columbia, Task Force One of the Boone County Fire Protection District, sent search dogs and heavy rescue equipment to search homes on post. Gov. Jay Nixon and Vicky Hartzler, who will soon take office as the congresswoman from the Fourth District, both called the post commander, Maj. Gen. David Quantock, to see if they could help. “(There has been) remarkable progress, remarkable teamwork with the surrounding communities,” Quantock said. “We really appreciate that; we couldn’t ask for better support from the surrounding community.” Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Military training won't be affected by tornado at Fort Leonard Wood FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (Jan. 1, 2011) — The central mission of Fort Leonard Wood, training soldiers in the engineer, chemical, military police specialties as well as basic training, won’t be affected by Friday’s tornado, Maj. Gen. David Quantock said in a Saturday afternoon press conference. Quantock said that while many houses were damaged or destroyed, the barracks used by basic trainees were mostly unharmed. Some windows have been blown out but there’s no structural damage, he said. “As the soldiers come back on, I don’t think we’re going to skip a beat with getting back to our mission,” Quantock said. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Military personnel work to help families get personal possessions.
Replacement housing available, but it's not clear who should pay to rebuild FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (Jan. 1, 2011) — Barely a day after being hit by an F-3 tornado, Fort Leonard Wood and off-post emergency crews have restored most utilities and are working to find emergency housing for displaced families. “Most of the essential services are all back on at Fort Leonard Wood,” said Maj. Gen. David Quantock, the post commander, during a Saturday afternoon press conference. “(There are) some heat, some gas shortages, particularly in the area that was hit, and how to isolate those to those houses that are still left untouched. That’s one of our major focuses right now.” The damage runs into the millions of dollars, but how many millions is not yet clear, Quantock said, and it’s also not clear who is going to pay the bill. “We have to figure out whose responsibility it is to replace those houses,” Quantock said. “Is it the privatized housing company? Is it the United States Army? Is it some other entity? We have to figure that piece out, and I know the lawyers are already starting to work on that piece.” Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Tornado survival training saved lives, Fort Leonard Wood commander says FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (Jan. 1, 2011) — Maj. Gen. David Quantock called it a “godsend” that despite 159 houses being damaged or destroyed, nobody was hurt and only four people suffered minor injuries. During a Saturday afternoon press conference, Quantock credited the fact that many people were away from post on the Christmas block leave commonly known as Exodus. However, he also credited training and preparation given to soldiers and their families, many of whom may be from parts of the United States where tornados aren’t common. “Some of this tornado training was also a big deal,” Quantock said. “Of the families we’ve been able to talk to, one in particular ran into a hallway; one ran into a closet. The only thing standing in that house was the closet and that’s where his little child, his wife and he were during the entire storm and were able to weather it out.” Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
This home near Delafield and Goethals was one of many destroyed.
Town hall meeting to be held today on Fort Leonard Wood tornado damage FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (Jan. 1, 2011) — Following up on a New Year’s Eve tornado that damaged or destroyed 159 homes, the garrison commander of Fort Leonard Wood will hold a town hall meeting at 10 a.m. this morning at the Stone Gate Community Center on Fort Leonard Wood to discuss the damage and response efforts. In an internet posting issued shortly before 10 p.m. Friday night, Col. Charles Williams apologized for the “long delay in providing any update to the community” but noted that garrison staff had been focused on emergency response to the affected areas for the previous 12 hours since the EF-3 tornado hit shortly after 9 a.m. Friday. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
USAA Insurance sets up temporary claims office at local American Legion FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (Jan. 1, 2011) — USAA Insurance, a company marketing insurance products to current and former military personnel, is setting up a claims office at American Legion Post 331 in St. Robert to handle claims stemming from the New Years Eve tornado which struck Fort Leonard Wood. Rebecca Hirsch from USAA corporate communications said her company has insurance adjustors in the area and expects to release claims data early next week. While claims can be filed online or by phone, setting up a claims office near the site of a disaster is an unusual step. The temporary claims filing location near Fort Leonard Wood is the only one set up so far to address the tornados which struck communities from Arkansas through Missouri and Illinois. “We’re always available and in the area when catastrophes strike. Because we had heard reports that the storms had hit the base directly, we wanted to be on site as soon as we could,” Hirsch said. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Deputy Collector Beth Deering tallies taxes.
County taxes still due today PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Dec. 31. 2010) — Tornados or not, personal property taxes are still due today. County Collector Terri Mitchell held special office hours today from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. for last-minute tax filers, even though every other office in the courthouse was closed. State law allows her to accept tax payments postmarked today, even if they arrive next week, but by now all local post offices are closed. There’s still one option left, however, for really, really late tax filers: using Mitchell’s internet website at www.pulaskicollector.com. Payments are accepted right up until midnight as payable on time. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Four hurt by Friday tornado; 159 homes damaged on Fort Leonard Wood FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (Dec. 31, 2010) — Post spokesman Jeff Maddy announced Friday evening that a survey of damaged and destroyed housing conducted by a specialized disaster response team from Columbia found nobody trapped. Only four people were hurt on Fort Leonard Wood by the New Year’s Eve tornado and all of those injuries were minor, Maddy said. Post officials noted that many Fort Leonard Wood servicemembers and families were away from the installation for holiday leave, and in many cases the houses destroyed by the tornado were empty. None of the injuries involved trainees. That section of the post wasn’t damaged by the tornado, Maddy said, and military training operations for both basic training and AIT are expected to resume Jan. 3. A total of 159 homes were damaged, with 41 destroyed and 32 others with significant damage, according to an announcement posted by Col. Charles Williams, the post’s garrison commander. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Power knocked out to much of post; dozens of homes wrecked on FLW FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (Dec. 31, 2010) — As the sun went down on New Year’s Eve, most of the housing areas for officers and senior enlisted personnel at Fort Leonard Wood remain without electricity. Temperatures are expected to dip into the 20s tonight, and some of Fort Leonard Wood’s upper-level personnel have had to evacuate their homes due to damage following a major tornado that ripped through the post this morning. Emergency arrangements have been made to host families in Davidson Fitness Center; rescue personnel and emergency workers worked for hours on the scene of a heavily damaged housing area. None of the major damage affected the barracks areas used by Fort Leonard Wood trainees, post spokesman Jeff Maddy said; basic trainees will still report to post as scheduled and those present have not had their living areas significantly damaged. “That side of post did not get hit at all from what I understand; the tornado totally missed that area,” said Maddy. “Training, regardless, will commence on the third of January. If there is a need to work around they will do.” Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Dozens of homes were destroyed by today's tornado.
Search dogs, heavy rescue equipment on way to help Fort Leonard Wood FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (Dec. 31, 2010) — Search dogs, heavy rescue equipment, and other emergency personnel are on their way from a Columbia-area fire department on a statewide mutual aid request from Fort Leonard Wood following a tornado touchdown. Information coming directly from Fort Leonard Wood has been spotty — power is out throughout much of the installation and damage is extensive — but the first clear indication of the extent of the damage came from a press release by the Boone County Fire Protection District’s Task Force One, which said that “an initial report from the Incident Commander is that a housing development of about 75 homes has been hit with about 75 percent of those homes being damaged.” NOTE: Click "comments" for live updates of damage reports. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
This tornado caused major damage on Fort Leonard Wood.
Tornado strikes Fort Leonard Wood; civilian firefighters called for help FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (Dec. 31, 2010) — A tornado has struck Fort Leonard Wood and fire personnel on post are requesting an emergency response from both Waynesville and Saint Robert firefighters. At 10:35 a.m., Fort Leonard Wood called for additional response from Crocker firefighters and from Tri-County firefighters in Richland. Detailed information isn’t yet available, but Waynesville firefighters have sent a brush truck and a fire engine with full crews armed with chainsaws to the post; St. Robert firefighters have sent one engine. The storm has now moved out of the Fort Leonard Wood area and is headed toward Rolla, currently 10 miles south of that city. NOTE: Click "comments" for live updates of damage reports.Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Crocker police say charges are pending against a man who shot this dog on Christmas Day.
Christmas Day dog shooting in Crocker leads to $2,000 vet bill, charges likely CROCKER, Mo. (Dec. 30, 2010) — When Jeremy King came to Crocker to visit his mother, Janet Eaton, on Christmas, he never expected his family would spend Christmas Day at an emergency veterinary clinic in Springfield paying $2,000 after one of his mother’s neighbors shot his dog. The motive for the shooting isn’t known, but according to a statement issued late Wednesday afternoon by Crocker police, the gunman is facing multiple criminal charges in addition to liability for the veterinary bill. The name of the shooter, who police said used a high powered pellet rifle to shoot the dog in the hindquarters as it was relieving itself about 7:30 a.m., hasn’t been released pending filing of charges. The shooter fired from two houses away onto the property of the dog owner’s mother, police said. King said the dog, a 54-pound yellow lab slightly more than three years old, never went onto the shooter’s property and there’s no reason the dog should have been shot. “Even to this day in our neighborhood she is known as the loveable lab,” King said. “If you got a treat she might try to take it away from you, but that’s it.” Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
County Clerk Diana Linnenbringer will be succeeded by Brent Bassett.
New county officials to be sworn in PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Dec. 30, 2010) — Today’s county commission meeting will be the last for County Clerk Diana Linnenbringer, who has already packed her bags for a planned move back to her hometown on the east side of the state. One of Linnenbringer’s last official duties today before turning the reins over to her successor, Brent Bassett, will be a 10 a.m. swearing-in ceremony for newly elected or re-elected county officials. In addition to Bassett, those officials will include incoming Presiding Commissioner Gene Newkirk, incoming Prosecuting Attorney Kevin Hillman, incumbent Circuit Court Clerk Rachelle Beasley, incoming County Treasurer Sue Rapone, two judicial incumbents, Associate Circuit Judge Greg Warren of the Probate Division and Associate Circuit Judge Colin Long of the Magistrate Division, and incumbent County Collector Terri Mitchell. Today’s ceremony will mark another step in an ongoing change in party affiliation in Pulaski County, which was once overwhelmingly controlled by Democrats. Except for Beasley, all of the contested races were won by Republicans, and except for Hillman, all of them will be replacing Democratic incumbents. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Outgoing commissioners discuss time in office, pending prosecutor lawsuit PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Dec. 30, 2010) — “After today, you guys become ‘honorable.’” Those were among the final words spoken Thursday by outgoing Presiding Commissioner Don McCulloch during his last county commission meeting. Addressed to his successor as presiding commissioner, Gene Newkirk, and to incoming County Clerk Brent Bassett, it’s a reference to the formal way of addressing elected officials — “The Hon. Don McCulloch, Presiding Commissioner” — in official correspondence. However, the commissioners also discussed a letter of a quite different sort which was hand-delivered to their homes this week notifying them of a lawsuit filed by outgoing Pulaski County Prosecutor Deborah Hooper arguing that the county didn’t follow state law in giving her a pay raise. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Selling GTO seized in drug raid nets extra cash for sheriff's department PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Dec. 30, 2010) — Sheriff J.B. King loves his little GTO — or at least his 30 percent of a 1970 GTO seized in St. Louis as part of a drug investigation that involved Pulaski County. While rollbars and helmets to be ready to go in a four-speed GTO aren’t on the list of authorized equipment, King said he can buy from a long list of other items approved by the federal Drug Enforcement Administration for equipment purchases using the proceeds from seized property used in drug trafficking. In this case, the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Department will receive a $3,999.22 check from the DEA that could be used for training or for overtime for drug interdictions, but most likely will go for equipment purchases. “The list is very long; everything from prisoner cages for cars to electronic surveillance to bulletproof vest to new weapons. I mean, the equipment field is almost unlimited,” King said. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Trash transfer station reopening today despite two-alarm Wednesday fire SAINT ROBERT, Mo. (Dec. 30, 2010) — Despite a two-alarm blaze Wednesday night which resulted in most of the fire departments from Pulaski County responding to a trash transfer station fire, the facility manager, Doug Adkins, says he’ll be open for business today. “He’s still got a functional office, so he should be pretty pleased,” said St. Robert Fire Chief Chuck Fraley. “After I clean it a little bit,” Adkins replied. The blaze filled the entire trash transfer station with smoke and the eastern portion had heavy fire involvement when firefighters arrived about 6:50 p.m. Wednesday night, but after knocking down the flames, they discovered the fire was mostly confined to a trash trailer truck that was scheduled to be transported from St. Robert to the Hartville landfill on Thursday morning. That’s the role of the St. Robert trash transfer station; large semi trucks run regularly between St. Robert and Hartville, depositing trash in that landfill which has been collected by both municipal and private trash haulers from all over Pulaski County. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Staff Sgt. Gloria Harrison
Committee of Fifty to honor Air Force Staff Sgt. Gloria Harrison in January PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Dec. 29, 2010) — Staff Sgt. Gloria Harrison will be honored at the January meeting of the Committee of Fifty for her work as a member of the Air Force Detachment at Fort Leonard Wood, organizational officials announced Wednesday. Harrison, a Miami native who now lives in St. Robert, is a unit training and education manager in the 366th Training Squadron, Detachment 7. Married with two children, she has served in the Air Force since 2004 and has been at Fort Leonard Wood since October 2007. Her goals include making E6 on her first time testing and completing the last two classes required for her bachelors degree in occupational education. She already holds two associates degrees and she hopes to receive an MBA. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Prosecuting Attorney Deborah Hooper
Hooper sues county for $43,000; lawsuit claims she wasn't paid enough PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Dec. 29, 2010) — While county commissioners ended their Monday morning meeting thinking they had a $102,000 end-of-year fund balance, they ended the day being served lawsuit papers at their homes by Bobby Ray, a bail bondman who delivered a lawsuit by outgoing Prosecuting Attorney Deborah Hooper claiming the county hadn’t paid her enough money and demanding an extra $43,715.98. According to the lawsuit, county commissioners erred by paying Hooper only $96,000 per year rather than the $106,181 per year she says she was entitled to receive beginning July 1, 2007 and $109,366 beginning July 1, 2008. State law specifies in RSMo. 56.261.1 that the salary of a full-time prosecutor is to be equal to that of an Associate Circuit Judge; the Missouri Citizens’ Commission on Compensation for Elected Officials, which is authorized by Article XIII:3 of the Missouri State Constitution, set those higher rates on Dec. 1, 2006. Hooper’s lawsuit says the county “refuses to recognize the higher pay scale established by ... that Commission” having “taken the position that a mid-term increase in the Prosecuting Attorney’s salary violates the constitutional prohibition of Article VII, Section 13, that ‘the compensation of State, County and Municipal officers shall not be increased during the term of office.’” Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Missouri officials meet with representatives of Panama in the state legislative chambers. (National Guard photo)
Panamanian police officials meet National Guard, other Missouri partners JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Dec. 29, 2010) — The Missouri National Guard State Partnership Program recently welcomed members of the Panamanian National Police and Ministry of Public Safety to Jefferson City. The focus of the visit was ethics within government in the United States at the local, state and federal levels, and Missouri participants included Waynesville attorney David Lowe, a JAG colonel in the Missouri National Guard. “The State Partnership Program is a tenant of Department of Defense Security Cooperation and links National Guard states and territories with partner countries for the purpose of fostering mutual interests, establishing habitual long-term relationships and providing international security and stability,” said Lt. Col. Rebecca Segovia-Johnson, Missouri State Partnership Program director. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Nancy K. Lane/Missouri National Guard Public Affairs
St. Robert firefighters use a ladder truck to hose down the transfer station roof.
St. Robert trash transfer station fire extinguished after two-alarm response SAINT ROBERT, Mo. (Dec. 29, 2010) — A two-alarm blaze Wednesday night at the St. Robert trash transfer station injured nobody, but brought dozens of firefighters from six departments to the city to extinguish the fire. Ladder trucks from St. Robert, Fort Leonard Wood and the Lebanon City Fire Department were all used in the blaze. The two city departments poured water onto the metal roof of the station; the Lebanon ladder truck was used later in the night to pour water onto a trash trailer where the fire began after it was pulled out of the building. Waynesville and Crocker firefighters as well as Tri-County firefighters from Richland also assisted at the blaze. The blaze was reported at 6:45 p.m.; the first firefighters arrived at 6:50 p.m. and reported heavy smoke showing from the building on JH Williamson Drive, which runs from Old Route 66 behind the St. Robert Community Center to the trash transfer station. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Christmas has no major county crashes PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Dec. 27, 2010) — Despite severe weather elsewhere in Missouri and adjoining states, Pulaski County largely escaped traffic crashes during the Christmas holiday counting period. The county’s only wreck was a non-injury crash on Friday morning which closed the left lane of eastbound I-44 at mile marker 157, about a mile east of the Waynesville exit, for about half an hour, ending at 3:43 a.m. Phelps County had a string of multivehicle crashes that closed all lanes of eastbound I-44 at mile marker 173 on Christmas Day, but those crashes didn’t involved Pulaski County residents. With only two fatalities recorded statewide, troopers reported Monday that the number of fatalities during a comparable Christmas counting period has never before been so low since Missouri began keeping records. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Joseph Matthew Trotter
Christmas weekend search locates federal firearms fugitive in Laquey PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Dec. 27. 2010) — Sheriff J.B. King announced Monday that his deputies, along with Waynesville police, spent several days hunting for a federal fugitive and successfully arrested him early Sunday morning, the day after Christmas. Joseph Matthew Trotter, 30, was found on Sumpter Road in the Laquey area, King said, and was taken into custody without incident at 2:30 a.m. The federal arrest warrant charges him with being a felon in possession of a firearm. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
End-of-year report: $102,000 more than planned in Pulaski County budget PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Dec. 27, 2010) — County commissioners received a pleasant surprise at their Monday morning meeting when they discovered total yearly revenues were more than $102,000 above the budgeted amount. Outgoing Presiding Commissioner Don McCulloch said county officials had budgeted for a 2 percent growth in sales tax from 2009 to 2010, but actually saw more than double that increase. “Some months we’d be up 5, 5.5 percent, the next month be down 4 percent, we ended up about 4.5 percent,” McCulloch said. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Emergency crews investigate a suspicious parcel.
Suspicious parcel shutters shopping plaza outside Fort Leonard Wood SAINT ROBERT, Mo. (Dec. 23, 2010) — Discovery of a suspicious parcel forced evacuation of the Clayton Towers shopping plaza on the second-to-last shopping day before Christmas, and threatened to shut down the main exit out of Fort Leonard Wood shortly before the daily rush of civilian traffic leaving the post. However, St. Robert Detective Jeff Saylor said an explosive ordnance disposal crew from Fort Leonard Wood sent a robot to examine the parcel and found that it contained nothing more harmful than hair care products and equipment. City police and firefighters cleared the area for reopening about 5:45 p.m., not long after Greyhound bus station personnel arrived for duty, and the incident didn’t disrupt bus service through the area. Saylor said police became aware of the parcel about 3:21 p.m. when dispatchers received a phone call reporting that a bag had been found near the trash dumpster by what’s commonly known as the “Lower Mini-Mall.” Several aspects of the parcel raised concerns by the caller and after examination, law enforcement personnel concurred that the parcel needed close attention. Saylor said military EOD personnel train regularly with their civilian counterparts in the St. Robert police and fire departments, many of whom also have military experience. “They take it very serious. A lot of our guys have active war time, and they’ve seen the outcome of things like that,” Saylor said. “We don’t take anything for granted, we don’t assume anything, and they’re very adamant that we don’t do that.” Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Radio problems hamper Richland RICHLAND, Mo. (Dec. 22, 2010) — While numerous criminal issues including a sex crime took place in Richland recently, technology issues took up most of Police Chief Mike Hurney’s report at Tuesday night’s city council meeting. Hurney said the police radio repeater system has been down about a month, likely due to interference coming from an unknown source. “I’ve never seen some much dramas over a repeater,” Hurney said. “We can’t pinpoint the interference. We’ve had the radio company here several times trying to figure out why this repeater is acting up. For about the last month we’ve been operating on the 911 repeater which over in Crocker. It doesn’t work really well but it’s better than having radios that don’t work at all.” Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Richland's employee insurance rates likely to increase, consultant says RICHLAND, Mo. (Dec. 22, 2010) — Insurance consultants aren’t always bringers of the best news, and John Parrish told Richland City Council members at their Tuesday night meeting that their city needs to expect an increase in their employee health insurance coverage. “There’s a policeman in here so I won’t get shot,” John Parrish told the council. “Depends on how bad the news is,” responded Police Chief Mike Hurney. Parrish said the news wouldn’t be too bad. The city’s current insurance is with Murphy Medical Plan, which is proposing a renewal rate increase per employee of $27.62 per month, which would increase the charge to $400.78 per month per employee. “I will tell you that this is one of the lesser increases, believe it or not,” Parrish said. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Angered by new sales tax, county gives Panera a new 'spread' for its bread SAINT ROBERT, Mo. (Dec. 20, 2010) — A special tax district intended to pay for economic development in the area now occupied by Panera Bread and Kentucky Fried Chicken met a buzzsaw Monday morning at the county commission. City attorney Kevin Hillman presented documents authorizing a sales tax district covering the former Ramada property owned by Steve Ehrhardt and the adjacent property of Kentucky Fried Chicken and explained that special tax districts can be approved either by a vote of property owners in the district — which in this case would be only two people — or by having the property owners sign legal documents which, according to state statute, are then “spread upon the record of the county commission” to create an official record. Commissioners weren’t happy. “I liked Panera bread until you told me this … It gives you more indigestion when you go to Panera,” said Presiding Commissioner Don McCulloch. “I’m telling you, people are going out of town because the tax is 7 percent or more,” said Western District Commissioner Ricky Zweerink. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Four injured in Friday wrecks PULASKI COUNTY, MO. (Dec. 20, 2010) — Pulaski County had no injury crashes during the weekend, but two Friday wrecks outside the county injured local people or involved county emergency response agencies. The best-known of the two wrecks happened about 12:50 p.m. in Phelps County near mile marker 173, commonly known as the Jerome exit, when a semi driven by Ronald M. Hungate, 64, of Harrodburg, Ky., rolled over and blocked the eastbound lanes for hours. According to Missouri State Highway Patrol reports, Hungate had been eastbound in a 2000 Peterbuilt semi truck and observed traffic ahead of his truck slowing. Hungate attempted to avoid a slower vehicle, drove to the right, overcorrected by steering to the left abruptly, and then overturned in the roadway, totaling his truck and suffering minor injuries. Later that evening in Maries County, troopers reported that Robert E. Stephenson, 73, of Meta, had been driving a 2002 Buick Century westbound when he crossed the centerline on Highway 42 at Route T west of Vienna in front of an eastbound 2005 Ford Escape driven by Jose E. Harrison, 29, of Crocker. Harrison drove into the ditch to avoid the oncoming car but was struck in the ditch. Harrison wasn’t hurt but his two passengers, Kelsay R. Thomasina, 27, of Iberia, and Angie L. Ward, 33, of Crocker, were both hurt; Thomasina suffered minor injuries and Ward had moderate injuries. Stephenson’s injuries were serious and he was airlifted by helicopter ambulance. In two unrelated Sunday incidents reported by state troopers in Pulaski County, troopers arrested Colby L. Swanzy, 22, on charges including drunk driving and Antonio L. Skelton, 33, on charges of driving while his license was revoked. Both are St. Robert residents. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Two injured by rollover wrecks DIXON/WAYNESVILLE, Mo. (Dec. 17, 2010) — Single-vehicle rollovers Thursday afternoon north of Waynesville and early Friday morning north of Dixon totaled both vehicles. According to Missouri State Highway Patrol reports, Roah L. Taylor, 49, of Crocker, had been northbound on Revere Lane a fifth of a mile north of the Waynesville city limits when she ran her 2004 Dodge off the right side of the road at 2 p.m., struck a tree and overturned, suffering minor injuries. State troopers and Dixon firefighters responded to a 2:25 a.m. Friday wreck on Highway BB in Maries County, about 3.5 miles northwest of Dixon. Troopers reported that Nathaniel K. Semrow, 23, of Wentzville, had been westbound in his 2003 Ford Focus when he lost control on a curve, began sliding, crossed the centerline, and went off the left side of the roadway before going down an embankment. His car overturned and came to rest on its wheels in a creek; Semrow suffered moderate injuries. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Waynesville council OKs agreement settling lawsuit with Sewer District PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Dec. 17, 2010) — After years of fighting and bitter lawsuits, members of the Waynesville City Council and the Pulaski County Sewer Board have both approved an agreement on who will provide sewer service in areas that were outside the Waynesville city limits when the sewer district was organized two decades ago but have since been annexed into the city. Details won’t be announced until later Friday morning. After a long closed session, the Waynesville City Council voted unanimously to approve the agreement Thursday night, with Councilman Mike France absent. While other areas are also affected, the most pressing problems involve the Buckhorn area, where the Skyline Cycles motorcycle dealership on the north outer road facing Interstate 44 and the Witmor Farms area at Exit 153 both needed sewer service. Waynesville built a sewer line to serve Skyline Cycles after its owners, Dave and Sherry Ernst, decided to move their dealership out of St. Robert and onto their new property in Waynesville. However, a major expansion including a hotel, commercial businesses, and a residential development with hundreds of homes planned by Rolla auto dealer Bill Peach on more than a hundred acres behind the now-closed Witmor Farms fizzled due largely to lack of sewer service. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Road personnel are trying to clear area roadways.
All local schools close Thursday; Fort allows two hour reporting delay PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Dec. 16, 2010 UPDATED 6:13 a.m.) — Icy road conditions on some but not all roads in the Fort Leonard Wood area have prompted the Waynesville R-VI School District and all other area schools to cancel classes on Thursday. Laquey and Dixon announced school cancellations shortly after Waynesville; Crocker announced cancellation shortly before 6 a.m. Richland and Swedeborg became the county’s last districts to close shortly after 6 a.m. The Plato R-V School District, whose buses travel some of the longest distances in the state of Missouri to pick up students in far-flung areas south of the post, let students out early on Wednesday and administrators decided to cancel classes on Thursday before the day was over on Wednesday. Numerous other districts farther south made the same decision. As of 4:55 a.m., a two-hour reporting delays has been authorized at Fort Leonard Wood with a liberal leave policy in effect. Any General Leonard Wood Army Community Hospital appointments prior to 9:30 a.m. will be canceled and rescheduled. Most roads on Fort Leonard Wood are in amber condition, which means “difficult to hazardous road conditions” with drivers needing to slow to 10 mph below the posted speed limit to maintain traction and a safe stopping distance. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Army Chemical School employee caught with 51.7 grams of cocaine PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Dec. 16, 2010) — It took more than a year after her arrest to file charges, but a civilian employee of the Army’s chemical school at Fort Leonard Wood now faces Class B felony drug possession charges accusing her of accepting delivery of 51.7 grams of cocaine on Nov. 21 of last year, with intent to distribute the controlled substance. The charges against Deneen A. Lee, 46, carry a sentence of five to 15 years in state prison. She’s retained local attorney Mark Prugh; on Dec. 7 her attorney waived formal arraignment, entered a plea of innocent, and requested a continuance — a temporary delay of further court action — because “she and her attorney are presently investigating the allegations,” according to court documents. Fort Leonard Wood public affairs personnel confirmed Wednesday that Lee was a civilian employee at what is formally known as the Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear School, but weren’t immediately able to confirm her GS level or job duties. In 2007, Lee was an instructional design specialist working in training development at the chemical school. Due to the use of potentially deadly chemical agents, the chemical school has some of the stricter security clearance requirements on Fort Leonard Wood. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
City council candidate filings begin PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Dec. 16, 2010) — One of Pulaski County’s longest-serving political figures threw his hat back into the ring Tuesday in the filings for the Waynesville City Council. Art Anderson, 86, was first elected to the Waynesville school board in the late 1940s when he was only 24 years old. Anderson later served for many years on the Waynesville City Council, retiring only four years ago. The seat is currently filled by Perry Roberts, who hasn’t yet filed. Former Richland Mayor Lucy Henson, now a city alderman is also seeking to regain her post as mayor which she held until six years ago when defeated by the incumbent, Mayor Bob Wall. Click for a complete list of filings to date for Pulaski County’s five cities. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Commissioners inspect road of man who threatened sewer district shooting PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Dec. 16, 2010) — County Commissioner Bill Farnham reported Thursday that he and Sewer Board Chairman Gary Porter visited the road of a sewer district customer who sewer district employees are asking be barred from their office due to shooting threats. Al Ellis came to Monday morning’s county commission meeting reporting that a manhole on Heart Drive, a private road leading into a trailer court, is high enough off the road that he can no longer get his vehicle to his house. “It is definitely a private road, it is not a country road, and the problem Mr. Ellis is referring to is the metal is, I’d say, 18 inches above ground. However there is enough room to drive a vehicle through the area if you’re cognizant of what you are doing,” Farnham said. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Devil's Elbow Bridge on the original Route 66
Farnham takes up Hartzler's photo request, asks for bridge funding DEVIL’S ELBOW, Mo. (Dec. 16, 2010) — Vicky Hartzler, the Republican candidate who defeated longtime Congressman Ike Skelton to represent Missouri’s Fourth District including Pulaski County, has sent out an e-mail to supporters and constituents asking them to send photos of locations in what will soon be her district so she can take them with her to Washington, D.C. At Thursday morning’s meeting of the Pulaski County Commission, Eastern District Commissioner Bill Farnham said he’ll take Hartzler up on her offer. “I think I’m going to send a few pictures of the Devil’s Elbow Bridge to our new congresswoman to see if we can get some federal money. She’s asking for pictures of things in the district,” Farnham said. “That’s called sucking up,” said Presiding Commissioner Don McCulloch. “Why not? We need money and that might work,” Farnham said. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Two separate single-vehicle wrecks injure three people on Monday PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Dec. 14, 2010) — Two single-vehicle Monday wrecks caused relatively minor injuries to the drivers but major damage to their vehicles, according to Missouri State Highway Patrol reports. Troopers reported that Mary J. Isley, 23, of Monnett, had been driving westbound on Interstate 44 inside the St. Robert city limits in a 2007 Chevrolet when she fell asleep at 3 a.m., ran off the right side of the roadway, and struck a traffic cone. Isley suffered moderate injuries; her passenger, Scott E. Smith, 25, of St. Louis, suffered minor injuries. Later that night, Gail L. Slye, 54, of Falcon, had been driving a 1998 Ford Explorer eastbound on Route K about seven-tenths of a mile south of Spring Road when she lost control on a patch of ice at 6:55 p.m., ran off the right side of the road, struck a ditch and overturned. Slye, who had been wearing her seat belt, suffered minor injuries. In an unrelated incident, state troopers in Texas County arrested Carl E. Nevills, 56, of Plato, at 1:24 p.m. Monday on charges including drunk driving. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Four injured by three Sunday wrecks PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Dec. 13, 2010) — A state trooper joined the list of three Sunday wrecks, mostly caused by winter weather conditions. Trooper Chase A. Stallcup, 25, of Waynesville, was northbound on Highway 17 north of Historic Route 66 within the Waynesville city limits responding to a minor wreck when his 2009 Ford Crown Victoria struck the rear end of a parked and unoccupied 1997 Ford Mustang at 2:14 a.m. that had been involved in the previous wreck. According to state patrol reports, both vehicles sustained minor damage and nobody was hurt. The rest of Sunday’s wrecks in the area were more serious, and both were south of Fort Leonard Wood. Troopers reported that Gilbert Thomas, 46, of Licking, was driving northbound at 11:45 a.m. in a 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer on Route AW about two miles south of the post’s South Gate when he lost control on a snow-covered roadway, crossed the center line, and sideswiped a southbound 2009 Chevrolet Traverse driven by Amanda A. Copley, 30, of Newburg. Thomas’ vehicle then slid off the right side of the roadway and overturned, coming to rest off the roadway. Copley was not hurt; Gilbert’s vehicle was totaled. Gilbert and his wife Marian J. Gilbert, 45, of Licking, both suffered moderate injuries while his daughter Megan E. Gilbert, 19, of Licking, suffered minor injuries. Less than an hour later, troopers responded to another wreck south of the post, this time on Highway 17 south of Evening Shade. Troopers reported that Denise K. Thompson, 50, of Plato, had been driving a 1997 Ford F-150 southbound when she failed to negotiate a curve on an ice-covered roadway, ran off the roadway and struck a ditch, causing minor damage to her pickup and minor injuries to herself. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Sewer District employee gets court protective order after shooting threat PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Dec. 13, 2010) — Government agencies often have to deal with angry or frustrated customers. However, an employee of the Pulaski County Sewer District has taken an additional step of asking Associate Circuit Judge Colin Long to issue an ex parte order banning one of their customers from coming to the sewer district offices, or “communicating with the (sewer district employee) in any manner or through any medium.” That customer, Al Ellis, is also ordered not to “abuse, threaten to abuse, stalk, molest or disturb the peace” of the sewer district employee. Long issued the ex parte order on Thursday, Dec. 9, and it will be reviewed this Friday by Associate Circuit Judge Greg Warren. Grounds for the order, according to court documents, are that Ellis has harassed as well as threatened to harass the sewer district employee. “He does not seem stable,” the sewer district employee wrote in her request for a protective order. “He calls the office frequently about all kinds of things. He called today and told me someone was going to come into the office and shoot me. He calls the district about things that do not have anything to do with the sewer district.” Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Waynesville firefighters inspect a rollover wreck.
Three Saturday rollovers injure nine PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Dec. 11, 2010) — Three separate rollovers wrecks on Saturday sent nine people to hospitals with a variety of injuries. The day’s worst wreck happened just north of Pulaski County in the Brumley area when a Crocker driver wrecked his pickup at the junction of Highway 42 and Highway U at 1:15 a.m. According to Missouri State Highway Patrol reports, Brady L. Long, 22, had been driving a 2003 Ford truck northbound when he passed another vehicle, lost control, and overturned several times, injuring seven teenagers in his truck. Troopers reported that Long, Jacob W. Brown, 16, of an unknown address, Mason J. Witt, 15, of Brumley, Garrett T. Fancher, 16, of an unknown address, Autumn F. Brown, 16, of an unknown address, Colt S. England, 19, of Crocker, and Megan K. Hentges, 19, of Jefferson City, all suffered serious injuries; Leslie N. Ponder, 17, of Dixon, had minor injuries. Long was arrested on charges including drunk driving. Troopers reported that Joshua S. Lopez, 18, of St. Robert, had been northbound in a 2000 Pontiac Grand Prix on Highway 28 about four miles north of I-44 when he lost control of his vehicle on wet pavement at 10:35 a.m., skidded off the right side of the roadway and overturned, suffering moderate injuries. The day’s third rollover didn’t injure the driver or two passengers, including an infant, but resulted in the driver’s arrest on an unrelated warrant. According to Sgt. Mike Jones, Brittney Reynolds, 20, of Waynesville, had been driving southbound on Superior Road about 3 p.m. when she saw a dead deer laying on the roadway, attempted to avoid the deer, but did hit it and ran her black 2006 Dodge Charger off the right side of roadway. The vehicle then overturned onto its passenger side but was caught by trees and didn’t fall farther down a steep hillside. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
911 Board tells tow companies that dispatchers don't play favorites PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Dec. 10, 2010) — When Shawn Fry of Jack’s Towing came to the Pulaski County 911 Board with questions about how tow companies were receiving calls, board members told him that no favoritism is given to any of the local tow companies unless a person involved in the wreck specifically requests a tow company. The county 911 dispatchers and the Waynesville city police daytime dispatcher all maintain a rotating list of tow companies, said 911 Director Michelle Graves at Thursday afternoon’s meeting. “Say you’re the second on the list and Doug’s in a wreck and he says, ‘I want Jack’s Wrecker.’ They select Jack’s Wrecker, and after you’re contacted you go to the bottom. You don’t stay second,” Graves said. “So actually when the owner requests it takes you out of the rotation?” Fry asked. That’s correct, Graves said, but the area tow companies all get about the same number of tow calls for vehicles whose owners don’t express a tow company preference. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Bus wreck snarled traffic bound for Plato, delayed some students PLATO, Mo. (Dec. 10, 2010) — The Plato R-V School District has gone many years without a serious school bus crash. Superintendent Leon Slape, who has been with the district since 2002, said the last Plato school bus crash was several years prior to that date when a bus hit a tree; nobody was hurt in that crash, Slape said. However, district administrative personnel had to spend much of Friday dealing with the fallout from a wreck that totaled a school bus and killed the driver of a car which crossed the centerline of a frost-covered roadway and was struck by the bus. “I’m just very thankful to the Lord there weren’t any kids on the bus at the time. We certainly feel for the family that had a loss here; we wish them the best,” Slape said. “There were maybe one or two students who saw the accident or who came up on it right as it happened, and of course, they were telling their friends, but the teachers were able to get them on a different thinking route ... Of course we had our counselors available; and the teachers were there to give a hug to those who needed it.” Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Car driver killed after crashing into Plato school bus on frost-covered road PLATO, Mo. (Dec. 10, 2010) — The Fort Leonard Wood area had its first winter weather fatality Friday morning due to icy road conditions, and it happened without snow even reaching the ground. State troopers report that a westbound Plato school bus driven by Nallena R. McComas, 40, of Success, was struck about 6:30 a.m. by Stella Burden, 54, of Falcon, who lost control of her eastbound 2004 Buick, crossed the centerline, and was killed; no students were on the bus and the bus driver was not hurt. The wreck on Highway 32 about a mile east of Lynchburg totaled both vehicles and snarled the roadway, delaying buses heading for Plato. With more wintry weather expected this weekend, Sgt. Dan Crain of the Missouri State Highway Patrol warned that drivers need to be careful of slick road conditions anytime weather turns cold and noted that two less serious wrecks also happened Friday morning due to frost-covered roads. “The road in patches was frosty and it was slick, and it’s one of those reminders that sometimes it doesn’t have to be falling from the sky, but the roadways can freeze and be very treacherous,” Crain said. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Insurance costs cut for 911 staff PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Dec. 10, 2010) — An insurance company’s decision to stop writing health insurance policies in Missouri led to major cost savings for the Pulaski County 911 agency and its employees. The Pulaski County 911 Board had previously used Principal Financial for its health insurance, with a $250 deductible for its employees. “The best plan closest to what we have that I found with the best rate was Mercy Medical,” said 911 Director Michelle Graves at Thursday afternoon’s board meeting. “We’re saving about $1,900 per month going to this plan.” Graves said, noting that she had budgeted for a 12 percent health insurance increase, so the new health insurance program would provide a major cost savings of about $20,000 per year. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
New radio repeater frequency allows regional emergency communication PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Dec. 10, 2010) — Fire, police and other emergency response agencies in Pulaski County could soon get a new repeater frequency allowing them to communicate with their colleagues in Laclede and Dent counties, Pulaski County 911 Director Michelle Graves reported at Thursday afternoon’s board meeting. Graves reported on a grant for a Highway Z repeater that will eventually be part of a State Emergency Management Agency statewide repeater frequency system. Waynesville Rural Fire Chief Doug Yurecko said the grant was originally going to include Phelps County but they opted out, so Dent County was added. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Congressman Ike Skelton
Saint Robert to honor Ike Skelton SAINT ROBERT, Mo. (Dec. 9, 2010) — Area city and community leaders have been invited to a Friday morning appreciation breakfast sponsored by the city of St. Robert for outgoing U.S. Rep. Ike Skelton, the chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. While Skelton was defeated last month in his re-election by former State Rep. Vicky Hartzler, Pulaski County was among Skelton’s strongest bases of support. The event will be 8 a.m. Friday in the St. Robert Community Center. City Administrator Alan Clark said the idea originated with Mayor George Sanders, and has nothing to do with politics. “In my opinion — and I’ve stated this before — politics gets checked at the door,” Clark said. “This is our community, our businesses, our elected officials, Fort Leonard Wood command element, to thank an honorable man for everything he’s done for this area because without a lot of his efforts, a lot of things wouldn’t be possible.” Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Widener requests sentencing advisory report; will learn fate in February PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Dec. 9, 2010) — Before nearly two dozen people in a Phelps County courtroom, the man charged with killing former Waynesville High School baseball coach Don Nelson in a drunk driving crash pleaded guilty Thursday morning as he had agreed to do. Associate Circuit Judge Robert C. Schollmeyer, who has been driving from Osage County to hear the case because of potential conflicts of interest with local judges, granted a request from George Harry Widener, 65, of Jerome, for personnel from the state’s board of probation and parole to produce a sentencing advisory report. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 23 at the Maries County Courthouse in Vienna; Widener could get five to 15 years in state prison for the negligent homicide charge. Both the Nelson and Widener families are well-known in the Waynesville area. In addition to being a sports coach, Nelson was also a radio sports announcer for KJPW/KFBD radio; Widener’s wife is a local real estate agent. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Airport fuel sales significantly increase PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Dec. 8, 2010) — Fuel sales are still continuing to climb at the Waynesville-St. Robert Municipal Airport, airport manager Chris Schrantz reported at the Joint Airport Board’s Wednesday meeting. “This is the first year that we ever went over 2,000 gallons per month in hundred low-lead sales,” Schrantz reported. “This is before we ever even got Cape Air coming in here; this is just general aviation , single engine, twin-engine piston -driven propeller airplanes.” Not only did fuel sales for that category exceed 2,000 gallons per month, they’ve done so three times this year, he said, and that trend is expected to significantly increase with the arrival of Cape Air, the local airport’s new commercial carrier to St. Louis. “With the incoming airline that trend is going to about double,” Schrantz said. Board members also reported that they are applying for a $2 million grant for major airport construction projects including a new community hangar to serve the Cape Air airplanes. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Ashley Gilbert pleads guilty, but only to institutional vandalism, not murder DIXON, Mo. (Dec. 8, 2010) — Dixon resident Ashley N. Gilbert finally pleaded guilty in court, but it wasn’t to the crime with which she was originally charged, beating and kicking a Dixon man to death in his home. Instead, her attorney filed a written plea Wednesday morning in which Gilbert, now 19, admitted that she “knowingly damaged a window in the Pulaski County Jail” on Aug. 26 of last year while being held on the murder charges. “The other case is not yet completed,” noted Prosecutor Deborah Hooper after Gilbert’s attorney, Brendon Fox, accepted the plea on Gilbert’s behalf. “She accepted it; our witness is in Washington state,” Hooper noted. The plea bargain accepted Monday is to the Class A misdemeanor of institutional vandalism and she accepted a sentence of a $100 fine, $238.19 restitution, and $118.50 court costs. That’s a lesser charge than the original Class D felony charge of damaging jail property, which carries a standard penalty of two to four years in state prison or a special term of up to one year in a county jail plus a $5,000 fine, and far less than the Class A felony murder charges of 10 to 30 years in state prison. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Police investigating missing money bag from Pulaski County Sewer District PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Dec. 8, 2010) — Missing cash has triggered a police investigation of the Pulaski County Sewer District, Sewer Board Chairman Gary Porter confirmed at the end of Tuesday afternoon’s board meeting. “I was informed that there was a money bag that had been found that belonged to the Pulaski County Sewer District, that there was a certain amount of cash missing from it, and I filed a formal complaint,” Porter said. Porter called the missing money a “minimal” amount — “less than $1,500,” he said. The checks in the missing money bag were located but the money in the bag was not recovered, Porter said. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Waynesville city electric, Pulaski County sewer rate study planned PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Dec. 8, 2010) — Both the city of Waynesville and the Pulaski County Sewer District have decided to initiate rate studies that may lead to at least some rate increases for customers. After an hour-long closed session Tuesday afternoon, members of the Waynesville Utility Committee voted to begin the study of residential electric rates using consultants from the BHMG company. The rate study is needed, Waynesville City Administrator Bruce Harrill said, because of the decision by Sho-Me Power, the city’s electric supplier, to cut off Waynesville, St. Robert, Richland and a number of other area cities while retaining electric cooperatives such as Laclede Electric and Gascosage Electric, which supplies Crocker and Dixon. That’s likely to result in rate changes by April 1, 2013, the effective date of the Sho-Me Power cutoff, when Waynesville and other cities move to a different supplier. The Pulaski County Sewer District rate study was undertaken for a different reason, according to Sewer Board member Nathan Purdome, who is also a bank official with Bank of Iberia. “It will basically give us a nice pro-forma look at where we are going to be four or five years down the road so basically we can plan,” Purdome said. “It will also go into our budgeting as well to make sure that four years, five years or six years down the road we are still a viable utility.” Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Troopers respond to Monday wrecks PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Dec. 7, 2010) — State troopers responded Monday to wrecks on opposite ends of the Interstate 44 corridor in Pulaski County on Monday. According to Sgt. Dan Crain of the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the morning wreck involved a 2010 Ford Escape driven eastbound by Michael N. Brass, 60, of Springfield, and a 1992 Freightliner dump truck drive by Grover G. McPherson, 58, of Rolla. Crain reported that as Brass’ car was overtaking McPherson’s dump truck at the 164 mile marker, the car struck the left rear of the dump truck causing Brass to run off the left side of the road and into the center median, where it overturned and came to rest on its top. The dump truck also ran off into the median and struck the cable barrier; neither driver was hurt. The day’s second wreck happened at 10:20 p.m. on Swindell Drive, about two miles farther west of the Buckhorn exit at Exit 153, and involved a 2003 Dodge Ram driven by Michael E. Clegg, 49, of St. Robert. According to state patrol reports, Clegg had been eastbound when he ran his pickup off the right side of the road, began sliding, and hit a tree, totaling his vehicle and suffering minor injuries. Clegg was arrested at 11:09 p.m. on charges of felony drunk driving as a persistent offender, leaving the scene of an accident, and careless and imprudent driving. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Blaze north of Crocker leads to three-alarm callout late Monday night CROCKER, Mo. (Dec. 6, 2010) — A major three-alarm fire north of Crocker has resulted in most fire departments in Pulaski County as well as some adjoining counties being called to assist. Early reports are sketchy, but firefighters from Crocker, Dixon, and Tri-County received a call to a structure fire on 11280 Battle Lane, a small road off Highway 17 several miles north of Crocker, shortly before 9 p.m. Monday. Firefighters remained on scene shortly before midnight and had 10 tankers running a water shuttle to a hydrant at Crocker High School. Other departments responding included Waynesville and Hazelgreen, as well as Mid-County and Iberia firefighters from north of the county line. Rolla city firefighters also responded for backup coverage. UPDATE: Crocker firefighters declared the fire under control at 12:18 a.m. A fire marshal is en route from the Lake of the Ozarks area with an estimated travel time of about an hour. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Farnham says 'Shoot every meth head,' but don't take away our Sudafed PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Dec. 6, 2010) — Eastern District Commissioner Bill Farnham read a news brief on his desk Monday morning from the Missouri Association of County Clerks and got mad. The cause? A news brief about Gov. Jay Nixon’s announcement that he will back legislation to require prescriptions for pseudoephedrine-based cold medicines so the medicine can’t be used as the key ingredient in methamphetamine. “Why should you have to pay $100 for a doctor visit to get $6 worth of cold medicine all because of a bunch of meth heads?” Farnham asked. “I think they ought to just shoot every meth head.”
Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Texas Road called 'Road from Hell' PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Dec. 6, 2010) — County commissioners received another objection to the condition of Texas Road, which runs east out of a St. Robert street known as Eastlawn down through a dry creekbed and then meets Highway Z, at their Monday morning meeting. Resident Art Lambert said the road condition has gotten so bad that he’s joked about sending the county a bill for road repair. Presiding Commissioner Don McCulloch agreed. “That is the worst road I’ve ever been on in my life; it’s the road from hell,” McCulloch said. “Two cars cannot even pass on it; it’s dangerous.” McCulloch also had some advice for his successor, Gene Newkirk, who has been attending recent county commission meetings. “Once you’re sworn into office, you’ll probably never be on Texas Road again without an armed guard,” McCulloch told Newkirk. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Rothmund's Towing personnel remove a wreck.
Two weekend wrecks hurt five PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Dec. 6, 2010) — Two weekend wrecks injured five people in or near Pulaski County, according to Missouri State Highway Patrol reports. The first of the two crashes involved a blue Aveo compact car and a green Suburban, both driving Saturday morning on Highway 28 about 1.5 miles north of Exit 163. Troopers reported that a 2010 Chevrolet Aveo driven by John J. Wade, 39, of Dixon, and a 1998 Chevrolet Suburban driven by Richard D. Best, 61, also of Dixon, had both been driving westbound when Best’s Suburban rear-ended Wade’s Aveo about 9:45 a.m. Best was not hurt but John Wade and his three children, Amber D, Wade, 6, Daniel A. Wade, 7, and Thomas J. Wade, 9, all suffered minor injuries. The second wreck happened at 11:50 p.m. Sunday on Route D just east of the Pulaski County line between Dixon and Jerome when Cassandra B. Harris, 19, of Granite City, Ill., was eastbound in a 1993 Mercury Topaz, failed to negotiate a left turn, ran off the right side of the roadway and overturned, striking a tree before coming to rest. Harris, who had been wearing her seatbelt, suffered only minor injuries. In an unrelated incident reported by state troopers in Pulaski County, troopers arrested Richard E. Arnold, 32, of Richland, at 10:17 a.m. Friday on a misdemeanor warrant from Cole County and for failure to register a motor vehicle. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Laquey Christmas bazaar held Saturday LAQUEY, Mo. (Dec. 4, 2010) — Those who want to buy craft items have about an hour left today before the Laquey Christmas Bazaar closes. Held each year on the first Saturday of December in the Laquey school gym during the last day of the Frisco League basketball tournament, the event brings numerous vendors each year. This year’s event attracted about 40 people, according to Pat Swearingin, vice-president of the Laquey Lion’s Club which sponsors the event each year. The event is scheduled to end between 4 p.m. and 4:30 p.m., she said; items available include homemade jams and jellies, quilts, and other craft items. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
The Laquey Marching Band passes the Laquey school during Saturday's parade.
Saturday Christmas Parade in Laquey begins series of holiday parades LAQUEY, Mo. (Dec. 4, 2010) — Saturday’s Christmas parade in Laquey kicked off the first of several parades in the Pulaski County parade season. Waynesville’s Christmas parade is Sunday at 2 p.m. running from Waynesville Middle School to downtown; Richland’s Christmas parade is next week Saturday at 11 a.m. In addition, Saint Robert will hold a Christmas event in the Community Center on Old Route 66 from 4 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Fort Leonard Wood’s Christmas tree lighting ceremony will be accompanied by holiday events from 4 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, and the Ehrhardt Properties family of hotels sponsor Christmas on the Boulevard at their facilities on St. Robert Boulevard next week Saturday from 5 to 7 p.m. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Sheriff King will ask judges to allow ankle bracelet alternative to jail ROLLA, Mo. (Dec. 3, 2010) — The eight judges of the 25th Judicial Circuit will decide this afternoon whether to support a proposal by Pulaski County Sheriff J.B. King to use ankle bracelet monitoring as a way to cut costs by keeping fewer inmates in the county jail. Presiding Judge Mary Sheffield said she’d like to learn more about King’s proposal. “He was looking at, instead of putting people in jail, to put ankle bracelets on them. That obviously restricts them,” Sheffield said. “I said, ‘Well, that’s still $8 a day.’ Normally we would make them pay but sometimes that doesn’t work either because the whole idea is it’s either jail or an ankle bracelet. His premise was, ‘Well, $8 a day is cheaper than $35 or whatever it is that you pay.’” Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Crocker auditor says city's financial position has dramatically improved CROCKER, Mo. (Dec. 2, 2010) — For the first time in years, auditor Marshall Decker said he’s happy with the city of Crocker’s fund balances. Meeting Thursday night with the city council, Decker reported that the city’s general revenue, street, and park funds are all out of negative numbers. The city’s largest governmental activities category is its general fund, which showed $331,314 of revenue, $261,873 of expenses, and a $69,441 transfer to cover an insurance claim. “You finished the year in the black, $38,152; now for the city of Crocker, that’s quite an accomplishment. You remember those big goose eggs for years,” Decker said. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Crocker police explain brand new patrol cars, mutual aid to sheriff CROCKER, Mo. (Dec. 2, 2010) — Police cars in Crocker are often secondhand vehicles purchased from other departments or in some cases even donated by other departments. Late-model patrol cars aren’t typical in Crocker. “We’ve had several questions from the general public reference to our 2010 Dodge Charger police vehicle and rumors of our 2011 Ford Expedition,” Police Chief Stephen North told aldermen at Thursday night’s city council meeting. “We’ve had a lot of questions about it, how we obtained it, and what funds were used … I would remind everybody that those have been purchased with grant money and is no cost to the city of Crocker.” Additional grant funds are currently being sought for adding a school resource officer to the Crocker Police Department with an assignment to the Crocker school. In other matters, Mayor Linda Wilson asked North to provide statistics on how often the city police are called out to assist Pulaski County sheriff’s deputies. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Leaf dump could close due to abuse WAYNESVILLE, Mo. (Dec. 2, 2010) — Frustrated by abuse of the city’s leaf dump on Highway F, Waynesville Councilman Mike France proposed Wednesday that the dump be closed to all users except city workers and contractors. “That thing is out of control. I know it is a service we offer to our citizens, but they keep throwing the plastic bags in there, full of leaves and stuff like that without any regard,” France said. “I’ve seen them dump most recently a trash bag with the trash in there.” The problems aren’t limited to throwing inappropriate items in the leaf dump but also failing to obtain a key and simply throwing items over a locked gate, France said. Councilwoman Diana Stanford cautioned that closing the leaf dump could quickly create other problems. “Then they’ll start throwing that in the ditches again if we take that service away,” Stanford said. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Waynesville asked to allow gas saving low-speed vehicles on city streets WAYNESVILLE, Mo. (Dec. 2, 2010) — Councilman Mike France wants to see low-speed vehicles authorized within city limits as an option for people who want to save gas. At Wednesday afternoon’s meeting of the Waynesville Police and Emergency Services Committee, France said he became aware of low-speed vehicles, commonly abbreviated as “LSVs,” when his sister-in-law purchased one in Illinois. He then did research and found they’re allowed in Missouri on non-state highways, but only if individual cities pass ordinances to allow them. “What brings this about?” asked Councilwoman Diana Stanford. “You’ve got a proposed budget cutting thing where they’re looking at adding 15 cents to gas taxes,” France said. “I don’t know how much it would be utilized right now, but if you remember when gas prices went up, Crocker, Dixon, the surrounding communities passed ordinances where they were allowing ATVs and stuff like this. I don’t think we need ATVs but there are LSVs.” Responding to questions from committee members, France explained than an LSV “is like a golf cart that you drive on municipal streets. It has to have seat belts, it has to have turn signals, it has to have brake lights.” Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Waynesville police pledge 'full force' response for Christmas events WAYNESVILLE, Mo. (Dec. 2, 2010) — Police Chief Bob Carter says ten officers will be out in “full force” tonight and Sunday to help with tonight’s Christmas on the Square in downtown Waynesville and Sunday’s Christmas parade from Waynesville Middle School to downtown. Officers will begin moving cars out of the downtown square after the courthouse closes and will shut down traffic about 5:45 p.m. on Historic Route 66, Carter said during Wednesday afternoon’s meeting of the Waynesville Police and Emergency Services Committee. For Sunday’s parade, lineup is scheduled to begin at noon by the middle school with the parade beginning at 2 p.m. However, Carter said he knows some people arrive earlier and his officers begin setting up cones about 10:30 a.m. by Fleetwood. Both Mark Twain REACT volunteers and Waynesville firefighters will be assisting police at the Thursday and Sunday events, though Carter said REACT has been losing volunteers. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Waynesville police to order some of last Ford Crown Vics to be built WAYNESVILLE, Mo. (Dec. 2, 2010) — A last-minute motion before the Waynesville Police and Emergency Services Committee means that the city may get one of the very last Ford Crown Victoria police interceptor vehicles produced before the model is phased out in 2011. “I talked to (City Administrator Bruce) Harrill briefly since we got it late; we have this little window to order the Crown Vic for 2011. This will be the last year for Crown Vics,” said Police Chief Bob Carter. “The cutoff is Friday morning to get them ordered or you don’t get them.” The new police interceptor model will be a Ford Taurus; a Ford Escape will be available for better mileage. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Maj. Gen. David Quantock
Commanding general denies desire to keep troops from going off-post FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (Dec. 1, 2010) — Anonymous emails circulating in the civilian community near Fort Leonard Wood make numerous claims that post personnel are locking down trainees and barring soldiers from leaving post, thereby hurting local businesses. Sales tax revenues don’t support claims of a decline in local business, and at Tuesday night’s meeting of the Committee of Fifty, the post commander took the claims head-on and denied that they’re true. Calling the emails a “sensitive subject,” Maj. Gen. David Quantock told the assembled local businessmen that as a military police general commanding what was historically an Army engineer post, his MP credentials have caused some eyebrows to rise. Quantock said he understands that military personnel are the mainstay of the local economy, and said it makes no sense to bar soldiers from going off post. “I am not barring anybody from going off the installation, I guarantee you. We want you to be just as successful as we are,” Quantock said. “We want them to get off, we want them to spend money. We want them to do those kinds of things to improve the community because the more they do that, the more businesses that come into the area which is good for everyone.” Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Incoming Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler tours Fort Leonard Wood FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (Dec. 1, 2010) — Incoming Congresswoman Vicky Hartzler, a Republican who defeated House Armed Services Committee Chairman Rep. Ike Skelton, toured Fort Leonard Wood on Tuesday, following up on an earlier tour of Whiteman Air Force Base. Speaking to local business leaders at Tuesday night’s Committee of Fifty meeting, Maj. Gen. David Quantock said he believed the tour went well. “We had a great chairman here. Ike Skelton served his great country for 34 years and he’s got a little bit of time left. We can’t ever replace him and we can’t thank him enough for what he has done for Fort Leonard Wood and for his country, being here for 34 years,” Quantock said. “But we’ve also got a new person, Vicky Hartzler, who came and visited us today. We brought her to Fort Leonard Wood (and showed her) the great synergy we have between the community businesses and the Fort.” Col Scott Spellmon, Fort Leonard Wood’s new chief of staff, outlined what that tour involved. “I think we had a great visit with Mrs. Hartzler; today we had an opportunity to introduce her and show her a little bit about Fort Leonard Wood and the multiple missions and activities that we have ongoing on the installation,” Spellmon said. “General Quantock and each of the commandants had an opportunity to show just a small piece, a highlight of their particular areas.” Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Traditional Crocker Christmas parade replaced this year by tree lighting CROCKER, Mo. (Dec. 1, 2010) — The traditional Christmas parade won’t be held this year in Crocker, but Mayor Linda Wilson says city leaders have alternate plans on Friday that they hope will draw many residents and those from area communities. “We have a tree, a white pine in our park, and its name is Elmer,” Wilson said. “We’re going to have a bonfire and have some music and have some cocoa and cookies, and at 6:30 p.m. we’re going to actually light the tree.” The tree lighting will be with electric lights, not setting the tree on fire with a bonfire. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Waynesville 'Christmas on the Square' starts downtown shopping season WAYNESVILLE, Mo. (Dec. 1, 2010) — Cities and towns throughout the United States once sponsored downtown shopping events to kick off the Christmas holiday shopping season, and Waynesville Mayor Cliff Hammock remembers attending those events in his community while growing up. “It brings back fond memories,” said Hammock. “Of course a lot of the older businesses that I am accustomed to and used to are no longer there, but again, it is more of a spirit of unity family and community coming together to reflect upon what we are grateful for as a community and a nation.” This year’s Christmas on the Square will be held from 5:45 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, with many businesses open late to show off what they’re selling. Even some service-oriented business such as banks and law firms will be open to provide snacks or warm drinks to visitors. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Maj. Gen. David Quantock
Fort Leonard Wood commander outlines plans for installation growth FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (Nov. 30, 2010) — Major construction underway at Fort Leonard Wood will expand the post without hurting the off-post housing or hotel markets, Maj. Gen. David Quantock said Tuesday night at a Committee of Fifty dinner event honoring him as the post commanding general along with his senior leadership team. Quantock said about $300 million worth of construction is currently underway and another $300 million will begin soon. Planned family housing improvements have created excitement for soldiers but concerns for some real estate agents, developers, and owners of residential rental property. However, Quantock said there’s no reason for that concern. “A lot of times people start getting concerned, ‘Oh my God, they’re going to stop buying up houses off post which is quite the opposite,” Quantock said. “Just the quality of life is going up” for on-post housing, he said, noting that the number of on-post residents will actually drop from about 2400 residents to about 1800. On a related issue, Quantock said that during late summer, probably around August, he expects discussion will begin on converting the on-post lodging facilities into privatized hotels. “Every single military post right now will not only have privatized housing … but everybody’s going to privatized hotels,” Quantock said. “What that means basically is that the quality of the hotels on post will go up but the quantity will not; basically the number of rooms will stay about the same. We do not want to compete with off-post; that is a big deal, so we worked that pretty hard.” Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Post commander thanks local schools for supporting military families FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (Nov. 30, 2010) — While Fort Leonard Wood’s commanding general thanked many in the off-post community at Tuesday night’s Committee of Fifty dinner for their support of the installation, he singled out the schools for special thanks and said that was a major area of importance, both for him and for his wife. “Things that Melissa and I used to think of as we travelled round the Army our 30 years is where are the kids going to school,” said Maj. Gen. David Quantock. “It drove a lot of our decisions of where we are going to be assigned is where our kids were going to school. I mean, Hawaii is a great station, but if your kids are a certain school age you don’t want to go to Hawaii because the high schools are horrible. Well, our high schools are premier, and it is a big deal for folks who want to come here to send their kids to great schools.” Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina