RIVER RADIO NEWS 122013
BLOOMFIELD MAN KILLED IN CAVE DIVING ACCIDENT
A southeast Missouri man has died following an accident while on vacation.
According to the Dexter Daily Statesman, 52 year old Brent Cooper, of Bloomfield, was killed last week in a cave diving accident in Mexico.
The accident occurred on Tuesday, December 10th.
MAN PLEADS GUILTY TO MANSLAUGHTER IN SHOOTING DEATH OF SALESVILLE RESIDENT
A Salesville man has pleaded guilty to manslaughter and sentenced to 14 years in prison.
Johnnie Carl Baker faced a second degree murder charge in the November 12th, 2012, death of 65 year old Dennis Franklin Chapman of Salesville.
Baker, who is 48, insisted he accidentally shot Chapman while at a home in Norfork. The Baxter Bulletin reported Thursday that Baker told Judge John Putman the weapon fired while being oiled.
Investigators said Baker had given Chapman a soft drink bottle and told him to hold it so he could shoot at it.
Prosecutors said that even if Baker didn't intend to shoot Chapman, his actions were reckless. The judge sentenced Baker to 10 years, then added four years because he used a gun, which is allowed under state law.
WOMAN REPORTEDLY ROBBED AND STABBED IN NORTHEAST ARKANSAS
Police in Newport, Arkansas are investigating an incident where a woman was stabbed and robbed outside her home.
According to authorities, a woman told officers that she was walking from her vehicle to her residence on Hout Circle in Newport when a black male wearing dark clothing approached her.
The man ordered her to give him the plastic bag she was carrying which contained a Christmas gift for her child.
The woman then hit the man with her keys. The suspect reportedly knocked her to the ground and stabbed her in the leg with a knife. The suspect then fled the scene with the bag.
The victim was treated at an area hospital and later released. Authorities are asking anyone with information about the incident to call Newport Police at 870-523-2722.
TWO ARRESTED ON DRUG AND WEAPON CHARGES
Two Charleston men were taken into custody Wednesday night on multiple felony charges.
According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, 18 year old Jadarius A. McCain and Herandez M. Evans were each arrested in Mississippi County on felony charges of possession of marijuana with intent to distribute, unlawful use of a weapon, and tampering with physical evidence.
McCain is also facing additional felony charges of resisting arrest and receiving stolen property.
AREA SCHOOL EVACUATED FOLLOWING GAS LEAK
Students in Paragould got some unexpected time off of school yesterday morning following a gas leak.
Students at the Paragould Junior High and High Schools were evacuated, but eventually released back to class and the school day resumed as normal.
MISSOURI ATTORNEY GENERAL WARNS OF SCAM SEEKING UTILITY BILL PAYMENTS
The Missouri attorney general is warning people to beware of a scam in which fake representatives of utility companies are seeking money for supposedly overdue bills.
Attorney General Chris Koster says his consumer protection hotline has received several reports of phone callers claiming to be from a power company and demanding money to avoid disconnecting their service.
Koster says the scam has targeted residential and small-business customers and seems to have become more common as the weather has gotten colder.
The attorney general's office says people should never provide personal or banking information on phone calls they did not initiate. Koster suggests people hang up and instead call the utility company using a number listed on a bill or the company's website.
SEMO CHOSEN FOR $100,000 GRANT
Southeast Missouri State University has been chosen for a $100,000 grant from the USDA.
The university will receive the Rural Business Enterprise Grant to construct a greenhouse in Malden for rice breeding research.
The USDA has also announced that the Missouri Innovation Corporation received an Intermediary Relending Program loan of $1,000,000. The loan will be used to establish a revolving loan fund which will be made available to small businesses in Southeast Missouri and is expected to result in the creation of 200 jobs.
HIGHWAY PATROL WANTS EVERYONE TO DRIVE SAFE OVER THE CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY
The Missouri State Highway Patrol wants to wish everyone a merry and safe Christmas and remind them to drive safely during the holiday.
Last year, six people were killed and another 342 injured in 1,117 wrecks during the Christmas Holiday counting period.
Colonel Ron Replogle said in a release, “Please be a safe, courteous driver. Wear your seat belt, obey Missouri's traffic laws, and if you include alcohol in your celebrations, please don’t drive.”
WEEKEND BRINGS FLOOD WATCH FOR SOUTHEAST MISSOURI
With showers in the forecast this weekend, the National Weather Service is warning of possible floods.
The National Weather Service in Paducah has issued a Flood watch for all of Southeast Missouri, Southern Illinois, and Western Kentucky that will be in effect from 6 pm Friday evening through 6 am Sunday morning.
Three to five inches of rainfall is in the forecast for the weekend and with the ground conditions being saturated from the recent winter weather there is potential for flooding.
The weather service is advising people who live in areas that are prone to flooding to be prepared to take action should floods develop.
SURVEY PREDICTS ECONOMY GROWTH IN RURAL MIDWEST
A new survey of bankers suggests that the economy will grow at a healthy pace in rural parts of 10 Midwest and Western states in the months ahead.
The monthly survey's overall index rose to 56.1 in December from November's more moderate 54.3. But any score above 50 suggests growth.
Creighton University economist Ernie Goss says the region continues to benefit from the strength of agriculture and energy businesses. But declining crop prices and the lack of a farm bill are concerning.
The index is based on surveys of rural bankers in 10 states including Missouri and Illinois.
It ranges from 0 to 100, with 50 representing growth neutral. A score above 50 suggests growth in that factor in the months ahead.