KY3 Local News

Company blocked from selling execution drug to Missouri

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 9:34pm

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — A federal judge has temporarily blocked an Oklahoma pharmacy from selling a drug to the Missouri Department of Corrections for use in an upcoming execution.

The judge agreed late Tuesday to issue a temporary restraining order in a lawsuit filed by Missouri death row inmate Michael Taylor.

Taylor's attorneys say the Department of Corrections contracts with The Apothecary Shoppe, a compounding pharmacy in Tulsa, to provide the drug set to be used in his Feb. 26 lethal injection.

The lawsuit says several recent executions involving the drug, compounded pentobarbital, indicate it will likely cause "severe, unnecessary, lingering and ultimately inhumane pain."

The state hasn't confirmed the pharmacy is the source for its drug. There was no immediate word on whether the ruling could delay the execution.

Road to Sochi was difficult for Springfield's Emily Scott

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 9:17pm

The world is already taking notice of international skating star Emily Scott during her Olympic debut, but the road to Sochi almost did not happen for the 24-year-old Springfield native.

Emily Scott showed the world what she can really do, coming from behind, in her very first qualifying event at the Olympics.  No one was more proud than her coach of 20 years, Ted Hall.

"She was just a little girl that got brought out here skating when she was about three-and-a-half or four-years-old," Hall said.

Hall said he saw the potential in Emily by age 5.

"At 5 years old, this little girl had determination, just unbelievable, desire, heart; she knew what she wanted," Hall said.

During her elementary school years, Emily often trained up to five hours a day.  The tyke won her first ever world rollerskating title in China by age 7.  However, the home life that Emily had to overcome in those early years made going forward with her dream incredibly difficult.

NBC announcers talked about some of the struggles that she faced as Emily lined up for her first qualifying race in Sochi.  They pointed out Emily's mother and half sister are both in prison for crimes related to methamphetamine.

Emily's mother went to jail when Emily was just 8 years old.  Rosie Brown was Emily's teacher in Springfield when it happened.

"I knew the situation of her family life, and it really, really tugged at my heart a little," Brown said.

Brown said, even as a third grader, Emily was determined to stay focused on her goals.

"It's just amazing to me.  I just see where she originally was and what she accomplished," Brown said.

Coach Hall said Emily is a survivor who had remarkable maturity at a young age.

"She says, 'Well, mom chose that path, and I have chosen this path.'  She says, 'I'm going to go for it,'" Hall said.

Hall said Emily won every world title possible in rollerskating.  Coaches and other Olympians finally convinced her to take on the ice just five years ago, but the training was not easy.

"She was skating eight to ten hours a day and trying to work a night time job to midnight or one o'clock, go home, sleep for two to three hours, get up, and this was six days a week," Hall said.

Emily's dream nearly unraveled last summer when her Olympic funding was slashed by nearly 75 percent.  On her own, she did not know how she would keep training in Salt Lake City.  However, a driven competitor, she found a way.

"They cut the funding to $600 a month last year.  She worked a part-time job, applied for food stamps, somehow raised the money," NBC announcers said during his first Olympics race.

Emily's determination is already apparent at the games.  It may be a surprise to those who do not know her.

"It's amazing she's even here," announcers said during the race.

But those who do know Emily, like her Hillcrest high school history teacher, are not surprised at all.

"If you have passion, if you have ambition, you have a goal, and you work hard, you can make you can make it all the way to the top, and that's what Emily's doing right now," said Jeremy George, a Hillcrest teacher.

When asked after her first race if the Games are emotional for her, Emily had a simple answer.

"Oh yeah, definitely, but I can't think about that.  I'm just here to race," she said.

Emily skates again very early Thursday morning in the quarterfinals of the 500-meter race.  The longer races start this weekend, and those are the races that Emily considers her best events.

Missouri town's drinking water among best in the nation

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 8:43pm

Missouri water is recognized as one of the best in the nation, according to a taste test conducted February 12th in Washington, D.C.  The water sample from Callaway County Public Water Supply District (PWSD) 2 in Fulton placed 3rd among the top five finalists. The district’s water grabbed top honors April 2013 as the best tasting water in the state.  Following the statewide taste test, winners submit a water sample for judging in the National Rural Water Association’s Great American Water Taste Test. Missouri Rural Water Association (MRWA) is an affiliate of the national association, and it conducts its water taste test with similar criteria:  Judges decide the best tasting water by observing the clarity, bouquet, and taste.  A point system corresponds to each category, and the water sample with the highest overall score is the ultimate winner. Following the statewide taste test, water district employees credited the hard work of water operators for maintaining such a good water quality. Callaway County PWSD 2 has been serving the public since 1971.  During its years of operation, it has grown to a size that boasts 730 miles of pipeline and more than 13,000 customers.  Its eight active wells range from 1,400 to 1,600 feet in depth. By placing 3rd in the nationwide taste test, it added another victory for Missouri.  The City of Puxico in Stoddard County also won bronze two years earlier. Capturing first place at this year’s event was Curtis, Nebraska, followed by Stansbury Park in Utah which took silver.  Rounding out the finalists at 4th and 5th place respectively were Shenandoah, Virginia, and Point Sebago Outdoor Resort in Casco, Maine. The MRWA is proud of the accomplishment and recognizes the exceptional quality of water provided the customers of Callaway County PWSD 2.  In fact, statewide judges have commented in past years that Missouri water quality is superior to many places outside this state’s borders. Water taste tests highlight the quality and the value of this precious resource.  Additionally, these competitions remind us of the dedication that Missouri water operators offer to ensure that water quality remains consistently high. Besides heavy federal and state regulations requiring regular monitoring, water operators often find themselves in trenches in the middle of the night or during holidays and weekends, working in the worst conditions to repair broken lines and restore service. - more - The MRWA is a non-profit organization serving the needs of water and wastewater systems in Missouri.  Its staffing provide managerial and regulatory guidance, treatment assistance, leak detection, infrastructure mapping, source water protection guidance, smoke testing and camera work for wastewater collection systems, and training.

Even warmer weather ahead

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 6:43pm

Highs today were 12 degrees warmer than yesterday. It appears even warmer weather is ahead. Find out what to expect for Valentine's Day and the rest of the weekend by watching the forecast.

Couple from Springfield is 1 of 8 who sued to gain state recognition of their marriages

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 6:34pm

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit on behalf of eight gay couples that seeks to force Missouri to recognize same-sex marriages performed in states or countries that allow them.

The ACLU said on Wednesday that it will file the lawsuit in Jackson County Circuit Court, although the courts were closed on Wednesday because of the Lincoln's Birthday state holiday. The eight same-sex couples include Ashley and Kate Quinn of Springfield, who got married in Massachusetts in 2010.

The lawsuit was announced on Wednesday morning at news conferences in Kansas City, St. Louis, and Jefferson City, and another news conference in Springfield at 5 p.m.

In 2004, Missouri became the first state to enact a constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage after a Massachusetts Supreme Court ruling permitted gay marriage there. Missouri's amendment was approved by 70 percent of voters.

Seventeen states allow gay marriage. Missouri doesn't recognize the marriages and its Republican-led Legislature hasn't shown interest in changing that policy.

Kate and Ashley Quinn had been together four years before they decided to tie the knot in 2010 in Massachusetts. When they lived in Colorado, that state recognized their marriage. But, upon moving back to Missouri, their status went from married to legal strangers.

“They're challenging the constitutionality of that ban but they're specifically asking for their out-of-state marriage to be recognized in Missouri,” said Stephanie Perkins, deputy director of PROMO, a gay rights advocacy organization. “There are about 1,100 rights and laws that come along with marriage and many Missouri couples that are married in other states like Iowa, Illinois, Washington, those laws don't apply to many Missouri couples.”

On Wednesday, a federal judge in Kentucky ruled same-sex marriages performed out of state should be recognized there, which would make it only the second state, behind Oregon, to do so.  Opponents of the measure are well aware of this trend.

“This permissiveness seems to be sweeping the country and it seems predicated on individual rights,” said Perkins.

Some opponents are concerned about developmental and social outcomes for their kids, in addition to spiritual reasons.

“We didn't invent marriage. We believe God designed marriage and our aim is to promote what we believe God intended,” said Troy Casteel, director of Family Ministries for the Roman Catholic Church’s Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau.

Although the issue has gone to court before, advocates say this time could be different.

“We've absolutely seen a change in Missouri since 2004,” said Perkins. “We believe a lot of the voters who passed that may not have known what they were doing at the time or have changed their minds since; maybe a coworker or a friend has come out to them.”

---- In Louisville, the federal judge ruled Kentucky must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, striking down part of the state ban.

In a 23-page ruling, U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II concluded Kentucky's laws treat gay and lesbians differently in a "way that demeans them." The constitutional ban on same-sex marriage was approved by voters in 2004. The out-of-state clause was part of it.

The decision came in lawsuits brought by four gay and lesbian couples seeking to force the state to recognize their out-of-state marriages.

Heyburn did not rule on whether the state could be forced to perform same-sex marriages. The question was not included in the lawsuit. ---- The Associated Press' Jim Salter contributed to this report.

Nearly 4 million car seats recalled due to buckle issue

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 6:27pm

The popular brand Graco is recalling nearly four million child car seats. The release buckle is the problem for about a dozen Graco models. Workers with Mercy Injury Prevention Center say parents need to check before they click. "If they have Graco, they need to check and see what model they have to see if it's on the recall list," said Cheryl Weston, with Mercy Injury Prevention.

Bethany Marcol says her son's safety is everything. "We are in our cars a lot. If we can protect our children in our cars as much as possible ... that's the most important thing for me," Marcol said. A bad buckle could be costly in life or death situation. Researchers found food and dried liquids can make some harness buckles more difficult to open over time. "What if you found out the bad way? You were trying to get your son out in an emergency situation and you couldn't because that buckle was faulty," Marcol said. "Every second counts. If you are trying to get in the back seat to get your child out of their car seat. If you have problems pushing that button to release the buckle-- that's going to cost you precious time," Weston said.

The major recall might not be over. The government wants to add nearly 2 million more Graco car seats to the list.

Those with recalled seats can get a new buckle at no charge by emailing Graco consumerservices@gracobaby.com or calling 800-345-4109

Models Affected: 

From Graco's website

Toddler Convertible Car Seats: Cozy Cline, Comfort Sport, Classic Ride 50, My Ride 65, My Ride 70, My Ride 65 with Safety Surround, Size4Me 70, My Size 70, Head Wise 70, Smart Seat. Harnessed Booster Seats: Nautilus 3-in-1, Nautilus Elite and Argos.

Illinois woman paints snow around her house

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 6:23pm

 A woman sick of winter white is trying to get a little creative. Carolyn Bounds of Moline used paints and food coloring to decorate the snow in her yard. Bounds said she hoped to make people smile.

Police: Murder in east Springfield wasn't random

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 5:43pm

City police said Wednesday afternoon that no one was in custody for a homicide that occurred during a burglary at home in east Springfield.  Police said they were following leads, however, as they tried to find who shot Curtis Payne, 31, who lived at the house at 2357 S. Dollison Ave.  Police call the homicide a ‘targeted’ act but didn’t explain further.

Police got a call about a burglary in process around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday.  When police entered the home, they found Payne dead with apparent gunshot wounds. 

Police say Payne lived at the home with family members, including children, who were all home at the time of the shooting.  Detectives are questioning family and neighbors.

“If it were something that occurred out in public somewhere and there was no reason to believe there is a relationship between the suspect and victim, it would be a different situation.  But we have reason to believe there is some relationship there and this was done intentionally against this person for some reason, and we are just trying to determine now what that reason is,” said Springfield Police Lt. Tad Peters. 

Police don't think the general public should fear for their safety from the killer who is on the loose.

"There is not a reason to be concerned that there is a random shooter out there.  We have every reason to believe there is a specific relationship between these two people and that's what resulted in this shooting," said Peters.

An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday.

Some neighbors say this is a quiet neighborhood and are shocked at what happened.   None of the neighbors wanted to talk on the record, however.

Police encourage those who know anything about this case to call Crime Stoppers at (417) 869-TIPS (8477). You may also submit your information securely on-line or text “417SPD plus your message” to 274637 (CRIMES). You do not have to give your name and no attempt is made to find out who you are.

Crime Stoppers takes information about drug dealers, wanted felons, and all other felonies.  It pays rewards of up to $1,000 in cash for the information that leads to the arrest and the filing of charges against people involved in felonies.

Lots of melting on Thursday

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 5:37pm

Temperatures falling back into the low 20s tonight.

Springfield flights cancelled due to Atlanta ice

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 4:40pm

More than 175,000 people are without power after a wicked winter blast in several southeastern states.  Nearly an inch of ice fell in Atlanta, Georgia alone, causing blackouts, broken branches and traffic accidents. It's also affecting flights here in the Ozarks.  It's left about 200 passengers trying to fly out the Springfield-Branson National Airport stranded, and likely just as many trying to get from Atlanta to Springfield stuck in the ice storm.

Edwin Ortiz had hopes of making it home to his wife and three kids in Massachusets Wednesday night.  "After a month and a half of being on the road, we get to go home.  Unfortunately, it got cancelled, but still looking forward to getting home as soon as possible," says Ortiz. Ortiz's flight is one of four cancelled departures to Atlanta Wednesday, where everything, including the airport, is covered with ice.  "Whenever we have delays like this, especially when they're caused by weather in a market like Atlanta that doesn't typically get bad weather, the delays will probably last for several days," says Kent Boyd of the Springfield-Branson National Airport. Three Delta planes that were supposed to leave Springfield sometime Wednesday afternoon or evening are grounded here.  "I would expect those planes to be sitting out there at least through tomorrow, possibly longer.  You just don't know how long it's going to take to get things clear in Atlanta," says Boyd. George Raposa barely got out of Atlanta on his connecting flight Tuesday, and Wednesday was looking for an alternate route to Connecticut.  "I believe Delta's going to try and book me on another airline through Chicago, I think I just heard.  It may be one or two airports now, a roundabout way to get home," says Raposa. For those trying to fly from Atlanta to Springfield, it's likely not happening. "It's just best to stay where you are," says Boyd. Ortiz won't get home Wednesday night as hoped, but now has tickets for a flight through Chicago Thursday.  "Hopefully by Valentine's Day," Ortiz says. More than two-thirds of all scheduled flights to and from Atlanta have been canceled. That's more than 1,600 flights just by Wednesday afternoon.  Atlanta's airport has more passengers annually than any other airport in the world, at approximately 90 million.

Missouri eyes veterans lottery ticket

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 4:34pm

The Missouri House gave first-round approval to a measure that would create a separate lottery ticket to fund veterans' programs.  The bill endorsed on Wednesday would go on November's statewide ballot if it clears the Legislature.   The sponsor, Rep. Sheila Solon, R - Blue Springs, says revenue from sales of the lottery ticket would provide a dedicated funding source for cash-strapped veterans' homes.   Rep. Jeremy LaFaver, D - Kansas City, argues, however, the lottery is an inefficient way to fund government.  LaFaver also said the new ticket could take money away from public schools and higher education, which are partly funded by lottery revenue.

The bill needs one more vote before moving to the Senate.   ----   Veterans lottery bill is HJR 48 Legislature

UPDATE: Body of missing pilot removed, sent to hometown

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 4:00pm

      LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) - Crews have removed the body of an Arkansas Forestry Commission pilot from a crash site in Montgomery County.         Twelve days after disappearing during a wildfire patrol, the remains of pilot Jake Harrell were being taken back home to North Little Rock on Wednesday.         Harrell missed a check-in on Jan. 31 while flying over western Arkansas. An emergency beacon in his aircraft didn't work and searchers didn't spot the wreckage until Tuesday. Harrell was found dead at the scene.         The crash site was in remote and rugged wilderness and crews needed the extra day to remove the body.         Forestry Commission spokesman Adriane Barnes says federal investigators are working to determine the cause of the crash.         Funeral arrangements will be announced once they are complete.

Springfield man admits fleeing to Thailand to avoid paying child support

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 3:35pm

A man from Springfield who has been living in Thailand pleaded guilty in federal court for fleeing from the United States in 2007 to avoid paying child support.

Randy Lee Essary pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Brian C. Wimes on Tuesday.  Essary was a resident of Chon Buri, Thailand, where he was employed as the senior vice president of development for Eclipse Hotels and Development, which is based in Manila, Philippines and in Hong Kong.

By pleading guilty, Essary admitted he has failed to pay any court-ordered child support for his son for more than eight years, since January 2005.  Essary owes $164,891 in child support.

Essary was a resident of Missouri in 1996.  On Feb. 9, 1996, the Jackson County Circuit Court ordered him to pay $1,500 in monthly child support payments for his son, who currently resides with his mother in Utah.

Essary’s last documented entry into the United States and exit thereafter was on Sept. 12, 2007, to attend his daughter’s wedding in Illinois.  Essary did not fly directly into the United States for the wedding.  Instead, Essary flew from Thailand or the Philippines to Canada.  Border crossing records confirm Essary then walked across the border from Canada into the United States at Blaine, Wash.  He returned to Thailand in the same manner – by walking across the border at Canada and flying back to Thailand.

 Essary was arrested at LAX airport when he returned to the United States on Feb. 22, 2012.

 Under federal statutes, Essary is subject to a sentence of up to two years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $250,000 and an order of restitution. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

 This case was investigated by the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General.

Thursday: Springfield's Emily Scott goes for gold in 500 meters short track

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 2:33pm

Springfield's Emily Scott will go for Olympic gold Thursday morning in Sochi.

The Hillcrest High School grad will skate in the 500 meters quarterfinals beginning at 4:00 a.m.  She will race in the the second heat.  If she advances, she will compete in the semis at 5:10 a.m.  The finals will take place at 6:05 a.m.  Scott is the only American left in the race for gold. 

Scott will also compete in the 1000 meters and 1500 meters.  The 1500 meters begin Friday.

(Picture: Courtesy NBC Sports)

Mo. Senate postpones debate on income tax cuts

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 2:30pm

The Missouri Senate has delayed a debate on tax cuts while negotiations continue with Gov. Jay Nixon's office.

Senators had been expected to debate legislation Wednesday that would cut income taxes for individuals and many businesses.

But Senate Majority Leader Ron Richard said that debate will wait until next week to give more time for the Republican sponsor of the measure to try to work out a compromise with the Democratic governor's office.

Nixon vetoed an income tax-cut bill passed last year, citing technical problems and concerns that the measure could drain money available for public schools.

Richard said negotiations are focused on the dollar amount of the proposed tax cut and whether it should apply both to individual and businesses that report income on individual tax returns.

8 gay couples sue Missouri to gain recognition of their marriages

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 1:07pm

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit on behalf of eight gay couples that seeks to force Missouri to recognize same-sex marriages performed in states or countries that allow them.

The ACLU said on Wednesday that it will file the lawsuit in Jackson County Circuit Court, although the courts are closed on Wednesday because of the Lincoln's Birthday state holiday.  The eight same-sex couples include Ashley and Kate Quinn of Springfield, who got married in Massachusetts in 2010.

The lawsuit was announced on Wednesday morning at news conferences in Kansas City, St. Louis, and Jefferson City.  Another news conference is scheduled in Springfield at 5 p.m.

In 2004, Missouri became the first state to enact a constitutional amendment prohibiting same-sex marriage after a Massachusetts Supreme Court ruling permitted gay marriage there.  Missouri's amendment was approved by 70 percent of voters.

Seventeen states allow gay marriage.  Missouri doesn't recognize the marriages and its Republican-led Legislature hasn't shown interest in changing that policy.

----

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- A federal judge ruled Wednesday that Kentucky must recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states, striking down part of the state ban.

In 23-page a ruling issued Wednesday, U.S. District Judge John G. Heyburn II concluded Kentucky's laws treat gay and lesbians differently in a "way that demeans them."  The constitutional ban on same-sex marriage was approved by voters in 2004.  The out-of-state clause was part of it.

The decision came in lawsuits brought by four gay and lesbian couples seeking to force the state to recognize their out-of-state marriages.

Heyburn did not rule on whether the state could be forced to perform same-sex marriages.  The question was not included in the lawsuit.

Exchange student living in Springfield gets first taste of snow

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 1:02pm

It's a first for Daniel Abiola; he's never been in a snowball fight. Daniel is a foreign exchange student from Nigeria living with the Weiler family in Springfield.

At 17, he finally got to see something he's only seen on TV or in the movies: snow.

He was so excited the first time it snowed after he arrived in the Ozarks, he woke up at midnight to watch.  "Everywhere was white, and I was like 'Wow, is this how the snow looks? So pretty that even at night it's going to be white?' I really appreciate that."

Daniel's dream to see snow in real life came true-- again and again and again. With all the white powder, he also been able to experience some of the other things that come with snow such as shoveling the driveway.  He scoffed when his host mother warned him it wasn't as easy as it looks.

"She said that is very heavy. And I was like, 'I just used my hands; I picked up the snow,' and I said, 'this is not heavy,' he laughed. "I shoveled half way and I said, 'I'm done with this.'"

He had heard snow was slick, but he learned it for himself when he fell on his tush.  "I don't understand when anybody said sliding. I don't know how it feels, but then I know how it feels," he said.

Daniel is thankful he has touched and tasted snow, but now that he's lived with it for some time, he feels the way most of us do about it.

"When I would say, 'We're going to leave early for school, because of snow,' he would say, 'No, no, no we don't want any more snow; I'm sick and tired of this snow,'" explained Emma Weiler, his host sister.

While Daniel might be done with the snow, it might not be done with him. He doesn't return to Nigeria until the end of the school year and it could very well snow again.

Sweet Adelines offer Valentines Day greetings

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 12:57pm

For $35, you can give someone special a message of love on Valentines Day. Call (417) 890-6212 to schedule a time and place.

Lots of melting across the Ozarks

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 12:33pm

Temperatures above freezing today.

Police release homicide victim's name, call it 'targeted act'

Wed, 02/12/2014 - 12:11pm

The man who died during a burglary at a home at 2357 S. Dollison on Tuesday night was Curtis Payne, 31.  Police said he appears to have died from gunshot wounds.  An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday.

Based on preliminary reports, police believe this was a targeted act.  No further details are available for release at this time, and the investigation continues.

-----

Investigators are trying to determine how a man died during a burglary at a home on Tuesday night. 

Police say they responded to a 9-1-1 call coming from a home in the 2300 block of South Dollison Avenue (south of East Seminole Street)  just before 9:30 p.m.  The caller told dispatchers there was a burglary in progress. 

Upon arrival, officers secured the scene, entered the home and found a man dead.  Investigators would not say how the man died, or reveal his age or name.  Lt. Stacey Parton confirmed the man had been staying at the house, but could not say what his exact connection to the home was.

As of 11:15 p.m. Tuesday, Lt. Parton said police had not taken anybody into custody for the crime.

Springfield investigators worked at the scene into Wednesday morning.  Police said they hope to release more details later in the day.