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Your World Today - March 4, 2011

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Breaking NEWS!!!!

Dent County Sheriff Rick Stallings released this afternoon that an arrest has been made in the double homicide of Dennis and Mary Lewis. Gary L. Stevens, age 58, the brother of Mary Lewis, was taken into custody this afternoon by Detectives with the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Dent County Sheriff's Office at a residence in Holts Summit, MO. Stevens is being transported to Dent County by the Highway Patrol this evening.

UPDATE!!!!

Dent County Sheriff Rick Stallings released that on Saturday, March 5, Dent County Prosecuting Attorney Brandi Baird charged 58-year old Gary L. Stevens, with two counts of Murder in the First Degree, two counts of Armed Criminal Action, one count of Unlawful Possession of a Firearm and one count of Tampering with a Motor Vehicle in the First Degree. A warrant was issued by the Circuit Court in Dent County on Saturday and bail was denied. Stevens is being held in the Dent County Jail. The arrest and any charges are merely accusations, and each defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

The Salem Board of Aldermen met for their regular meeting Thursday afternoon at the city hall council chambers. At the meeting, the board discussed sledding on the East Salem Hill and the Mayor thought that the sledding was stopped due to the possibility of the city being liable for accidents. City Attorney Nanci Wisdom said that the insurance company didn’t see a problem with the sledding, but Alderman Randell would like to get that in writing before any decision is made. In unfinished business, Mayor Brown thought an ordinance would be needed that said if a garage was being used as a garage and not for commercial use, then the charge should be calculated as residential. Instead it is a city policy and one that deals with this garage issue will be in the next meeting’s packet. Also in unfinished business, the mayor gave the reasons for his veto of Bills #3213-3217. He listed the push to get rid of a number of positions over the last three years including the city engineer, economic development director, city clerk and director of public works as well as the words in the ordinance of “until death” that made some aldermen uncomfortable; possible Sunshine Law violations as he was told that three alderman were going to present these bills before they were ever brought out in open session; and the appearance of discrimination against the other appointed positions. The board overrode the veto of the mayor with a 4-0 to accept Bills #3213-3217 relating to five individual positions in the city. The board approved Bill #3218 reducing the prompt payment discount from 2% to 1% effective immediately as the city no longer gets discounts or patronage checks from Sho-Me Power. Bill #3219 was a bill that asked to raise the electric rates to cover the two increases from Sho-Me Power for 2010 and 2011. It was postponed until the new fiscal year budget preparation gets underway after a lengthy discussion to see what financial condition the city is in. The residential rate would go from $0.0908 cents per kilowatt hour to $0.09382 cents per kilowatt hour in the proposed bill. In the Director of Public Works report, the board approved having a booth at the Business Expo on April 9th. The mayor reported the sludge shed, sound system for the council chambers and city surplus equipment is currently being advertised for bids. The mayor reported the city census went up 96 people to a total of 4,950, an increase of 1.98%. Alderman Kenneth Nash reported that the city needs to enforce the house number ordinance and the mayor stated that is going to be done; and Alderman Randell said that there are a number of tattered American Flags throughout town and Mayor Brown was going to get with Richard LaBrash and see if anyone is taking care of those flags. He also said that the city investigated an extremely high electric bill and found a faulty electric furnace, but he also wanted to remind people that if they have higher than normal bills, they should look at their own electric use as to why that bill may be higher than it normally would be. City Attorney Nanci Wisdom then read Bill #3220 creating the office of the City Administrator and all the details relating to the office for the first time. No vote was taken. After the bills were approved, the board went into closed session.

The Dent County Commissioners met for their regular meeting Thursday morning at the Dent County Courthouse. Harold Tubbs was in attendance to ask the commission about trees very close to the Doss Road and Dent County Road 5015 intersection that are dangerously close to the road in the right-of-way that need to be removed. Commissioner Dennis Purcell will check it out and speak with the landowners involved before the tree would be removed. In the road report, Purcell said that grading was going to be done on Dent County Roads 2440, 2470, 4150, 4155, 5450 and 5460, while rock was going to be added and grading was going to be done on Dent County Road 4157. Rock was also going to be added to Dent County Road 6110. Purcell said that brush was still being cut on the Turtle Loop, this time on Dent County Road 5615. In District 2, Commissioner Gary Larson reported that rock will be added to soft spots and grading will be done on Dent County Roads 2570, 4283, 4285 and 4287. Larson said that one grader was broken down and Erb Equipment will have a replacement grader here by Monday. He also said that brush was going to be cut on Dent County Roads 2020 and 4280. Larson stated that Sam Gorman has stepped up to be come an interim road supervisor during the absence of Charlie Malone due to health problems. Presiding Commissioner Darrell Skiles reported on the Ozark Rivers Solid Waste Management Board meeting held Tuesday and said that they have a contract with a new company to recycle appliances for the district that does not charge to remove the freon from refrigerators. He also said that Brady Wilson, the manager from the Rolla Recycling Center, said that in 2010, there was an eight percent increase in the amount of recycled products at the center while there was a two percent decrease in the amount of product going to the landfill. Dent County Clerk Angie Curley said that absentee voting for the April election continues and the last day to register to vote in the April election is March 9th. At the last meeting, Prosecuting Attorney Brandi Baird came in to discuss the employee handbook and records storage. Tom Haines also came in to discuss the Swiney Bridge replacement project on Dent County Road 5680 near Bunker. The next meeting of the Dent County Commissioners will be Monday morning at 9:00 at the courthouse and the meeting is open to the public.

The public is invited to attend the Candidates Forum, presented by the Salem Area Community Betterment Association, The Salem News and KSMO Radio, on Tuesday, March 29th at the Ozark Natural and Cultural Resource Center located at 202 South Main Street in Salem beginning at 6:30 pm. The forum will feature candidates Phillip Giacomelli and Mike Godi, running for the West Ward Aldermanic seat in the City of Salem municipal election, to the held on Tuesday, April 5th.  If you are unable to attend the forum, the event will be carried live on KSMO Radio 1340 AM.

The Salem Area Chamber of Commerce March membership luncheon meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 8th at the Southwest Baptist University Salem Campus beginning at noon. The program will be about social and local media and how to reach potential customers. The luncheon is being sponsored by Fidelity Communications and there is no cost. RSVP’s for the luncheon must be in by Friday, March 4th by calling the Chamber at 729-6900 or e-mail the Chamber at chamber@salemmo.com.

Sports [TOP]

Jason Arnott scored for the Capitals late in the third period, and Washington held on for a 3-2 victory over the St. Louis Blues at Verizon Center. Alexander Steen and B.J. Crombeen lit the lamp in the Blues' third consecutive loss, and sixth in their last seven games. Ty Conklin stopped 27-of-30 shots. The Blues face the NY Islanders Saturday at noon.

The Missouri Basketball Tigers will host the Kansas Jayhawks in their final regular season game starting at 11:00 on KSMO. Missouri has to win to finish above .500 in the Big 12 conference as they are 8-7 going into the game. This game will help determine the seedings in the Big 12 Tournament next week.

Mark Hamilton drove in two runs as St. Louis got past Washington, 7-5, in Grapefruit League play in split squad play while Allen Craig picked up two hits for the Cardinals in the Cards 3-0 loss to the New York Mets. You can hear the Cards game Sunday at noon on KSMO Radio when they face the Florida Marlins.

Mitch Maier went 4-for-4 with a walk and two runs batted in, leading the Kansas City Royals to an 8-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in Cactus League action.

The Salem Winter Sports Banquet will be held on Tuesday, March 8th at 6:30 at the Salem High School Cafeteria to salute the Boys and Girls Basketball Teams and the Cheerleaders.

Obituaries   [TOP]

Funeral services for Vina E. Blankenship of Salem, age 80, will be Saturday at 11:00 at the James and Gahr Mortuary in Salem. Visitation will be from 10:00 until service time. Interment will be in the North Lawn Cemetery.

Funeral services for Manford T. Rhea of Steelville, age 92, will be held Monday at 11:00 at the First Baptist Church in Steelville. Memorials may be given to the First Baptist Church or Gibbs Care Center in Steelville. All arrangement are under the direction of the Britton-Bennett Funeral Home in Steelville.

Funeral services for Verna Ruth Parry of Salem, age 89, will be held Monday at 11:00 at the James and Gahr Mortuary in Salem. Visitation will be Sunday from 4:00 to 7:00 pm. nterment will be the Asher Cemetery in Phelps County. Memorials are suggested to the music department at the Salem Christian Church.

Joint funeral services for Mary Lou Lewis, age 50 and Dennis Lee Lewis, age 57, both of Salem, will be held Monday at 1:00 at the Wilson Mortuary in Salem. Visitation will be from 11:00 until service time. Interment will follow in the Cedar Grove Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the Crime Victims’ Compensation Fund.

Weather [TOP]

Today..Cloudy  and breezy with a 40% chance for showers, high of 66.
Tonight..Cloudy with an 80% chance for showers and thunderstorms, low of 39.
Saturday..Cloudy and blustery with a 20% chance for rain or snow showers in the morning, high of 41.
Saturday night and Sunday..Partly cloudy, low of 22, high of 46.

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