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Your World Today - May 31, 2012

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Seven people died in traffic crashes over the 2012 Memorial Day weekend. Last year, four people were killed during the three-day weekend. The Missouri State Highway Patrol investigated 232 traffic crashes resulting in 95 injuries and five of the fatalities during the counting period of 6 p.m. Friday, May 25, 2012, through 11:59 p.m. Monday, May 28, 2012. The Sikeston Department of Public Safety and St. Louis Police Department each investigated one fatality. During this same counting period, 184 people were arrested by the Patrol for driving while intoxicated. During the 2011 Memorial Day weekend, the Patrol investigated 281 traffic crashes resulting in 127 injuries, and arrested 133 people for driving while intoxicated. There were no boating fatalities over the 2012 Memorial Day weekend. However, troopers investigated 14 boating crashes involving six injuries. Troopers also arrested 24 people for boating while intoxicated over the holiday weekend. During the 2011 Memorial Day weekend, officers investigated eight boating accidents, which included one injury and zero fatalities. One person drowned at the Lake of The Ozarks over last year’s Memorial Day weekend. Twenty-three people were arrested for boating while intoxicated during the 2011 holiday. Of the five fatalities investigated by the Patrol, two fatalities occurred in the Troop D, Springfield area; and one fatality occurred in the Troop A, Lee’s Summit area, Troop C, Weldon Spring area, and Troop F, Jefferson City area.

Numerous recreational activities will be available for the public as part of “America’s Largest Trailgating Party” National Trails Day, Saturday, June 2nd and Sunday, June 3rd. Join canoers and floaters in cleaning up the Jacks Fork River with Stream Team 713 on Saturday, June 2nd.  To volunteer, check in with the Steam Team members at river access areas along the Jacks Fork on Saturday morning for instructions and clean-up assignments.  An appreciation dinner will be provided for the clean-up participants Saturday evening. Want to know more about the Ozark Trail?  On Saturday, June 2nd, join a Park Ranger at the Pulltite Campground Amphitheater at 8:30 pm to gain knowledge of the Current River section of the Ozark Trail.  Obtain expert advice, what to expect, and trail preparations on this section of trail. On Sunday, June 3rd, take the challenge of a “Prize Hike” on the Pulltite Trail.  Check in at the Pulltite Visitor Contact Station between 8:30 am to 4:30 pm and pick up a Pulltite Trail Guide. During the hike, answer the questions on the trail guide that correspond with the numbered posts along the trail.  Return the trail guide and question responses to the ranger at the Pulltite Visitor Contact Station and receive a prize.  Prizes are limited so plan a hike early in the day. National Trails Day is sponsored by the American Hiking Society and is a celebration of America’s 200,000 miles of trails. For more information about these and other National Trails Day events, go to www.AmericanHiking.org.

The Dent County One Ton Weight Loss Challenge Committee would like to announce the winners of the eight month long community wide weight loss challenge. The team winner was Saved Calorie Crunchers, losing 92 pounds and over 8% of their body weight. The team members include Liza Arzt, Helen Baird, Mary Ellen Gill Hanning, Annette Hill, Leannette Beeson, and Hannah Harris. The team was able to choose a local Dent County charity to receive the proceeds from the challenge (over $1,200) and they have chosen the Salem Christian Church Day Care to receive the funds to enhance and improve the playground to enable the kids to have more outdoor space to be more active. Each member of the team received a $50 gift vouchers to Candi's Boot & More for a new and well deserved pair of shoes. The Dent Phelps Phat Cats came in a very close 2nd and can proudly give a new Wii Fit to their school for all their hard work. Shrinking Scholars & Team Bowers came tied for 3rd place. The individual winner was Mary Ellen Gill Hanning from Team Saved Calorie Crunchers and she will enjoy the prizes tucked away in her winner’s basket thanks to donations from local businesses. The committee would like to say thanks and congratulations to all who participated and made this challenge a success. The Dent County One Ton Weight Loss Challenge helped people lose an unofficial total of over 1,500 pounds!!! The next step to help maintain the weight loss that each member has achieved will be the Summer Globe Trot sponsored by the Salem Fitness Center. For more information, please call the Salem Fitness Center at 739-1127.

DNA test results show that four mountain lions seen in Missouri last year came from three Western states, illustrating the species’ capacity for long-distance travel. The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) confirmed 14 mountain-lion sightings in 2011. That was a sharp increase from the previous 16 years, when MDC was able to document only 12 cougar sightings. Four of the 2011 sightings yielded hair or tissue samples adequate for DNA testing. Eleven Western states maintain databases of mountain lion DNA. Comparing the genetic makeup of cougars found in Missouri enables biologists to learn if they came from one of these states. DNA tests tied two young male cougars to the Black Hills area of South Dakota. A raccoon hunter in Ray County shot one in January 2011. A Texas County homeowner shot the other one in September. DNA from the young male mountain lion killed by coyote hunters in Macon County in January 2011 was traced to central Montana. The remaining cougar, which left a tuft of hair on a barbed-wire fence after crossing the road in front of a motorist in Oregon County, was related to mountain lions from Colorado. DNA showed the Oregon County cat also was a male. The largest number of sightings documented by MDC in any previous year was two, in 2006 and 2010. MDC has confirmed two sightings so far this year. MDC has established a Mountain Lion Response Team to gather mountain lion reports and investigate those for which there is physical evidence.

The Mark Twain National Forest will offer two days of free day use and two free nights of camping at seven campgrounds June 8-10, 2012. Free camping is being offered in unreserved campsites both Friday and Saturday nights, and free day use is being offered at unreserved sites Saturday and Sunday, June 9-10, 2012. The free weekend is being offered in conjunction with National Get Outdoors Day and Missouri’s Free Fishing Days, which are celebrated on the Saturday and Sunday following the first Monday in June. The free use is available in these local campgrounds and associated recreation areas: Lane Spring in Phelps County; Loggers Lake in Shannon County; and Watercress on the Current River in Carter County. Missouri’s Free Fishing Days were established as a way to encourage people to try fishing so they can find out, or rediscover, the enjoyment associated with fishing.

Sports [TOP]

Brian McCann went 2-for-4 with a home run and four RBI to lead the Braves over the Cardinals, 10-7, in the rubber match of a three-game series. Matt Holliday and Tyler Greene each had two RBI in St. Louis' fifth loss in seven games. Kyle Lohse pitched five innings and gave up five runs on five hits while striking out three and walking one. The Cardinals have the day off.

Mike Moustakas and Alex Gordon both had an RBI double on Wednesday and the Royals defeated the Indians, 6-3, in the finale of a three-game series. Bruce Chen (4-5) gave up three runs on seven hits over five innings to win for the fourth time in his last five starts. Johnny Giavotella went 2-for-4 with a double and a go-ahead RBI single in the fourth inning for Kansas City, which has won four of its last five games, including two in a row to end this series. The Royals have the day off today.

Obituaries   [TOP]

Funeral services for Leonard Boyd Page of Ypsilanti, Michigan and formerly of Salem, age 83, will be held today at the Salem Full Gospel Church. Interment will be in the Cedar Grove Cemetery. All arrangements are under the direction of the Wilson Mortuary in Salem.

Funeral services for Artie Mae Stanfield of St. James, age 80, will be held Saturday morning at 11:00 at the James and Gahr Mortuary in Rolla. Visitation will be held from 6:00 to 8:00 tonight. Interment will be in the Adams Cemetery near St. James.

Graveside services for Connie Nivens of Salem, age 69, will be held Saturday at 2:00 at the Empire Cemetery in Salem. All arrangements are under the direction of the Wilson Mortuary in Salem.

Weather   [TOP]

Today..Cloudy with an 80% chance of showers, high of 68.
Tonight..Mostly cloudy with a 30% chance of showers, low of 47.
Friday..Mostly sunny, high of 67.
Friday night..Partly cloudy, low of 50.
Saturday..Partly sunny, high of 75.
Saturday night..Partly cloudy, low of 58.

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