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On Sunday, March 13th
at 5:06 in the evening, the Dent County Fire Protection District responded to a call for a structure fire on Dent County Road 3260. Upon arrival at 5:20, ten fire district personnel extinguished the fire. Inside the residence, the body of 89-year old Elwood Black of Salem was found. Dent County Coroner Gina White was called and pronounced Black dead at 8:05 that evening at his residence. Also at the scene were the State Fire Marshall and Dent County Sheriff Department deputies. White requested an autopsy to determine the cause of death and the autopsy will be performed by Dr. Friedlander. Firefighters were on the scene until 10:30.
A proposed Ozark Highland National Heritage Area for 13 counties in the Ozarks has apparently been withdrawn by the Ozarks Preservation, Inc. and the West Plains Council on the Arts. This decision comes on the heels of tremendous opposition to the plan at a public hearing in Mountain View about a week ago as well as their receipt of letters from county commissioners opting out of the program. According to their release that was e-mailed to media outlets, “In light of the situation that has developed and in a demonstration of our good faith in this effort, we have decided to redirect our attention toward opportunities to foster cultural conservation and economic opportunity that won't necessitate the involvement of the National Heritage Area program and will rely as much as possible on private funding. Many of our friends and neighbors are troubled by the association of National Heritage Areas with the National Park Service, which, sadly, has had strained relationships with many residents of our region over its history here.” They also say in their release that rumors and misconceptions about National Heritage Areas have caused many people to become alarmed as well as angry with the group. This is not accurate according to the Ozarks Property Rights Congress who say these assertions came from a number of comments expressed at the public hearing held in Mountain View about the accuracy of the proposal that stated that the plan was supported by local businesses, organizations and county governments through public hearings that were never held, or if held, were by invitation only and not publicized.
The Dent County Commissioners held their meeting Monday morning at the courthouse. District 1 Commissioner Dennis Purcell and District 2 Commissioner Gary Larson reported that crews would be out checking bridges, low watering crossings and for washouts as Dent County received about two inches of rain Sunday night. Presiding Commissioner Darrell Skiles reported that he attended a Public Housing Authority meeting in St. James last Thursday were he presided over a hearing. The group reviewed the audit report, which was good and clean. Skiles also said they discussed the PHA Voucher program that does include 100 rentals a month in Dent County, which totals about $27,000 for rental assistance. Skiles also attended the MRPC meeting last Thursday evening. One major topic was regarding the Missouri Broadband Now program. The program plans to have 95% of the residents in Missouri with access to broadband by January 1, 2015. Dennis Purcell agreed to represent Dent County when a panel meets on April 11th to coordinate those efforts in our area. Skiles said that he would be attending a meeting today at the MRPC office in St. James regarding the PACE (Property Accessed Clean Energy) program to find out more information regarding the program. Skiles along with Commissioners Purcell and Larson will be attending the South Central County Commissioners Association meeting, and Dent County Clerk Angie Curley will be attending the South Central County Clerks meeting on Wednesday in Houston. Curley also wanted to remind voters that the last day to absentee vote will be Monday, April 4th and the last day to mail out an absentee ballot is Wednesday, March 30th. The next meeting of the Dent County Commissioners will be Thursday morning at 9:00 at the Dent County Courthouse and the meeting is open to the public.
The Salem Park Board will conduct a meeting on tonight at the Salem Freedom Activity Center beginning at 6:30 pm. After the election of officers, Parks and Recreation Director Greg Nash will give his report. There will be a discussion about the pool and program rates. The Board will discuss the 2011 youth basketball league signups and season dates and begin planning for the youth baseball/softball season. The Board will also discuss the soccer fields, along with the grant and work status for soccer. The Salem Park Board meeting is open to the public.
The United States Attorney’s Office announced that five people have been sentenced on multiple methamphetamine related charges for activities that took place between March 2009 and June 2010 in Phelps County. They include: 47-year old Lawrence Michael Breese of Rolla, was sentenced Friday, March 11th to 195 months in prison on one felony count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute in excess of 500 grams of methamphetamine; 51-year old Kenneth R. Chandler of Rolla, was previously sentenced to 37 months in prison on one felony count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute in excess of 500 grams of methamphetamine; 33-year old Ricky L. Canaday of Rolla, was sentenced to 36 months in prison on one felony count of conspiracy to distribute and possess with intent to distribute in excess of 50 grams of methamphetamine; 21-year old Ryan Lumsden of Rolla, was sentenced to five years probation on one felony count of distributing methamphetamine, and 31-year old Michael D. Coffman of Rolla was sentenced to five years probation on one felony count of distributing methamphetamine and one felony count of being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm. This case was investigated by the U.S. Forest Service and the South Central Drug Task Force. Assistant United States Attorney Jeannette Graviss handled the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Matt Holliday homered for St. Louis as the Cardinals and Atlanta Braves played to a 1-1 10-inning tie in Grapefruit League action. Kyle Lohse gave up one hit and struck out four over six scoreless innings for St. Louis, which limited the Braves to just two hits. The Cards play the Braves again today.
The 2011 St. Louis Cardinal pocket schedules have arrived. They are available around town at sponsors of Cardinal baseball heard on KSMO and at the KSMO station in the front room during regular business hours.
The Kansas City Royals did not play yesterday and will be back in action today. The Royals will face the Oakland A's today.
The St. Louis Blues will be in Anaheim tomorrow night to face the Ducks at 9:00 on KSMO Radio.
The Missouri Tigers are seeded 11th in the NCAA Tournament West Bracket and will face 6th seeded Cincinnati in the first round on Thursday.
Funeral services for Derry Brownfield of Centertown Mo., age 79, will be held Wednesday at 11:00 at the United Church of Christ in California, Mo. Visitation will be today from 4:00 to 8:00 at the Bowlin Cantriel Funeral Home in California, Mo.
Memorial services for Teresa Marie Coffman of Rolla, age 45, will be held Friday at 4:00 at the Living Water Worship Center in Rolla. Memorials may be made to the family or for the purple balloons for the service. All arrangements are under the direction of Wilson Mortuary of Salem.
Today..Mostly cloudy this morning, then becoming partly sunny, high of 48.
Tonight..Partly cloudy, low of 35.
Wednesday..Mostly sunny, high of 66.
Wednesday night..Mostly clear, low of 46.
Thursday..Partly cloudy and breezy, high of 75.
Thursday night..Mostly clear, low of 56.