Archive for August, 2013
(Mountain Home) – The Baxter County Sheriff’s Office reports that two people have been charged with felony battery related to the abuse of a child.
33-year-old Andrea Krupp of Gamaliel and 35-year-old Richard House of Mountain Home were booked into the Detention Center Thursday afternoon on charges of felony 2nd degree domestic battery.
The sheriff’s office says that on the evening of August 16, deputies responded to a home in the 3800 block of Buford Road to investigate a child abuse complaint. Upon arrival, a babysitter told deputies they had found bruising on the face, arms, chest, legs and bottom of a six-year-old boy.
After confirming the injuries, the child was taken into protective custody by Family Services.
Investigators say the child’s mother and boyfriend had slapped the boy and had been using a wooden board or paddle to discipline the child. A press release from the sheriff’s office states the paddle appears to have been made from a 2×4 or similar object, with the dimensions being approximately 1 1/8th inch thick, 21 ¼ inches long, 3 ½ inches wide, with a handle roughly cut into one end.
Several interviews were conducted beginning August 19th. Statements from suspects and witnesses were recorded, and additional evidence was gathered.
Both were released from detention after posting $5,000 bond each as indicated on the warrant. Krupp and House are scheduled to appear in Baxter County Circuit Court on September 5.
(Little Rock) (AP) – State transportation officials are reminding drivers to use extra caution when driving through work zones during the Labor Day holiday.
The Arkansas State Highway and Transportation Department says it has been working to open as many travel lanes as possible for the weekend. But even with those efforts, the agency says travelers will likely face work zones and possible delays due to an increased volume of holiday traffic.
They are advising drivers to find information about road conditions at ArkansasHighways.com.
(Richmond Height) (AP) – Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon calls a state income tax cut plan a “reckless experiment” that would cause deep cutbacks in services for children with disabilities and threaten economic progress in the Show-Me State.
The Democratic governor made those comments Thursday at Delta Gamma Center for Children with Visual Impairments in Richmond Heights.
Nixon was in the St. Louis area at the same time as another governor, Republican Rick Perry of Texas, who was pushing for an override of Nixon’s veto of House Bill 253. Perry told KMOX Radio that Missouri’s tax policy is “onerous” and its economic climate less than helpful for business.
Nixon countered that he has made four tax cuts while in office – just not at the expense of vital programs.
(Jefferson City) (AP) – Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster has sided with Gov. Jay Nixon in determining that a vetoed tax cut bill could have applied retroactively.
At issue is a provision triggering an automatic one-half of a percent reduction in Missouri’s income tax rates if the federal government makes it easier for states to collect taxes on online sales.
Koster released an analysis Thursday concluding that the tax-rate reduction could apply retroactively, entitling people to refunds on three previous years of taxes. That backs Nixon’s assertion but is at odds with an analysis by the legislative research office.
Koster examined the issue at the request of House Speaker Tim Jones.
Jones wants to override Nixon’s veto of the tax cut. Jones dismissed Koster’s analysis as a “partisan opinion” “parroting the governor’s talking points.”
(Springfield) (AP) – A man who admitted stealing up to $1.16 million from the Missouri State University bookstore was sentenced Thursday to five years and three months in prison and ordered to make restitution.
Mark Brixey, 48, of Ozark, stole from the bookstore from 2003 until 2012, when the theft was discovered while he was on vacation. He pleaded guilty in March to wire fraud, money laundering and filing a false income tax return.
Investigators have said Brixey embezzled most of the money through a student textbook buy-back program and while selling discontinued books to bulk book-buyers.
University and law enforcement officials have said they didn’t know what Brixey did with most of the money.
Brixey was ordered to report to prison by Oct. 15.
“I offer no excuses for what I did because what I did, quite frankly, was inexcusable,” he said.
When the theft was discovered, auditors found $81,000 in cash in Brixey’s desk drawer. He resigned the day before he otherwise would have been fired, according to university officials.
Brixey worked at the bookstore as a student and was hired full time in January 1991. He was promoted to director in October 2000.
(Golden City) (AP) – Hundreds of people filled a southwest Missouri church to say goodbye to a 12-year-old girl who was abducted as she played in a park, then sexually assaulted and strangled to death.
The Golden City High School gym was filled to capacity Wednesday to honor Adriaunna Horton, who was reported missing Aug. 19 after she was seen getting into a vehicle in Golden City. Her body was found two days later in Dade County.
Bobby Bourne Jr., 34, of Lockwood, is charged with first-degree murder, forcible rape, statutory rape and child kidnapping in her death.
During Wednesday’s service, Brother David Powell, pastor of Golden City First Christian Church, said the days surrounding the girl’s death were “full of pain.”
“It’s hard to make sense of what happened because it is hard to understand evil,” Powell said, “but Adriaunna is not the victim, she is a victor and she’s singing in Heaven today.”
“We won’t look at each other the same,” he said. “We need to rally around each other and love one another like Adriaunna would have wanted. We rejoice in her life and celebrate her loving spirit and beautiful smile.”
To remember Adriaunna’s love of horses, her casket was carried to the Golden City IOOF Cemetery on a horse-drawn wagon. In front was one mounted horseman leading another saddled horse without a rider.
(Ft. Leonard Wood) (AP) – Military authorities say a soldier was found dead at Fort Leonard Wood.
The Army says in a news release that the soldier was found in a barrack’s bathroom early Thursday. He was pronounced dead at the fort’s hospital.
The soldier’s name has not been released.
An investigation into the cause of death is being conducted.
(St. Louis) (AP) – Gov. Jay Nixon touted a $3 million expansion of an auto parts manufacturer Thursday as an indication that Missouri is a good place to do business, despite claims to the contrary from Texas Gov. Rick Perry.
The timing of Nixon’s job announcement was no coincidence, as Perry made a personal marketing pitch to business leaders in St. Louis to consider relocating or expanding in his home state.
The Republican Texas governor, who is weighing a 2016 presidential bid, also waded into an intense political battle in Missouri by encouraging the state’s Republican-led Legislature to override a veto of an income tax cut bill by Missouri’s Democratic governor.
During an interview Thursday on KMOX radio, Perry described Missouri’s tax policy as “onerous,” its regulatory climate as “not particularly helpful to businesses” and its legal system as allowing “too many frivolous lawsuits.” He then added that “Missouri is a great state” with “wonderful hardworking people.”
The radio station has been running ads paid for by TexasOne, a public-private marketing partnership, in which Perry criticizes Nixon’s tax-cut veto, touts Texas’ business environment and concludes: “Come check out Texas.”
Nixon appeared on the radio show Thursday immediately after Perry. While acknowledging that Missouri offers incentives to businesses that relocate from other states, Nixon did not take too kindly to Perry’s aggressive manner of marketing Texas nor his interjection in Missouri’s tax-cut debate.
“As for me taking my time to run to other states, and run ads, and then being involved in an override of a bill I haven’t read and don’t understand … the action he’s taken here just crosses the line,” Nixon said.
As evidence that Missouri remains attractive to businesses, Nixon attended a groundbreaking Thursday for a road improvement that he said would facilitate a $3 million expansion at Toyota Bodine’s auto parts manufacturing plant in Troy, about 50 miles northwest of St. Louis. Nixon said the expansion could add 35 jobs. The state Department of Economic Development said it is providing a $350,000 grant for the project.
“With balanced budgets, skilled workers and well-developed infrastructure, Missouri is a great place to do business,” Bob Lloyd, president of Bodine Aluminum, said in a written statement released by Nixon’s office.
Nixon also defended his veto of the income tax cut.
The legislation would gradually reduce Missouri’s corporate income tax rate nearly in half and lower the top tax rate for individuals from 6 percent to 5.5 percent over the next decade, so long as state revenues continue to rise by at least $100 million annually. It also would phase in a 50 percent tax deduction for business income reported on individual tax returns.
But Nixon said the bill is “riddled with both errors and mistaken policy.” Among other things, he noted that it would impose sales taxes on prescription drugs and textbooks and could lead to funding cuts for education.
Missouri lawmakers are to convene Sept. 11 to decide whether to override Nixon’s veto.
(Little Rock) (AP) – Arkansas cotton growers have battled pests and disease this year, and the emergence of a fungus late in the season indicates a potential threat in the years ahead.
State growers are expected to harvest estimated 270,000 acres of cotton in 2013, down by more than half from 600,000 acres a year ago. As recently as 2006, Arkansas growers planted nearly 1.2 million acres of cotton.
Agriculture officials say growers will suffer yield losses due to tarnished plant bugs. And the emergence of Corynespora leaf spot is a new challenge for Arkansas growers. The fungus has caused problems in other cotton-growing states.
The disease can be controlled by spraying fungicide, but that adds costs. The leaf spot tends to flourish in wetter conditions, such as in northeast Arkansas this year.
(Little Rock) (AP) – The Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office is warning of a scam that’s using the agency’s name.
Officials said Wednesday that people have complained that they received calls demanding payment over the phone for a supposed outstanding fine. The caller identified himself as a “Lt. Allen.”
Sheriff’s spokesman Lt. Carl M. Minden says the calls are a fraud. The department doesn’t collect fines; that’s the job of the courts. And the sheriff’s office doesn’t take debit or credit cards.
Also, the department doesn’t have a “Lt. Allen.”