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Updated: 1 hour 28 min ago

Video: Man says suspected Texas County shooter killed self near Summersville

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 2:45pm

The shooter may have killed eight people and wounded another in Texas County.

Video: Friend of Texas County shooting victim talks about tragedy

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 2:39pm

Eight people died late Thursday night around Tyrone, Mo.

Frigid cold Friday, snow Saturday

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 2:09pm

After single digit temps Friday morning we stay in the 20s for the afternoon. A few flurries are possible Friday afternoon with more snow starting Saturday afternoon.

Missouri issues licenses to grow hemp for epilepsy patients

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 1:32pm

A cannabis extract that some parents believe may help treat seizures experienced by their children with epilepsy may be available in Missouri this year. The Columbia Daily Tribune reports the Missouri Department of Agriculture last week issued permits for two companies to grow cannabis under a state law allowing some epilepsy patients to obtain an extract from cannabis plants. The extract legalized in Missouri must have low amounts of the high-producing chemical tetrahydrocannabinol , or THC, and high amounts of cannabidiol, or CBD, which is the component parents believe helps ease seizures. Families have moved to Colorado and other states where the CBD extract is available to their children with epilepsy. One of the growers licensed by the state says the CBD extract may be available by September.

Rally for wounded officer moves to historic Fox Theatre

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 1:21pm

The City of Springfield has moved its rally in support of Officer Aaron Pearson at 6:30 p.m. at the Historic Fox Theatre on Park Central Square.

The event will include a welcome by Mayor Bob Stephens; prayer and short service by Wesley United Methodist Church's Pastor Scott Bailey-Kirk; song by contemporary Christian band Kutless; and a few words from Officer Pearson's father-in-law Tom Dempsey.

The rally is the kick-off event to the Playin' and Prayin' for 1641 benefit concert at the Gillioz Theatre Friday at 8 p.m.

Crocker Police: Four children, covered in feces, rescued from 'deplorable' conditions

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 1:12pm

Two people in Crocker, Mo., are charged with child abuse and neglect after police said they found four children Wednesday with feces on their hands, faces, and in their hair.  Their mother, meanwhile, was giving birth to a fifth child in the hospital.  Police said she tested positive for methamphetamine.  That is what first lead police to the home.

Jeremy White and Rachel Valencia are both in the Pulaski County jail are charged with eight counts each of child abuse and neglect.

Police said they found four children surviving in deplorable conditions at a home on Eastside Street in Crocker, Mo., Wednesday.  Officers said furniture was overturned, there was rotting food on tables and floors, and feces smeared on the walls and covering the children's hands, faces, and hair.  Officers said drugs were strewn on the floor.

"The best way I can describe it is it was just unsafe and unsanitary for the kids," said Crocker Police Chief Chris Twitchel. There were no beds for the children, ages 8, 6, 2, and 1, other than a partial mattress shoved inside a small bedroom closet, according to court documents.  Police found feces on the walls and door frame of the closet as well.  They said the man living in the house, Jeremy White, admitted to them he kept the two-year-old in the closet. "Even though I am a police officer, I am a father too, and you never want to see children hurt like that or children in  any other condition like that, so it kind of pulls your heartstrings quite a bit," Twitchel said.

The two-year-old, court documents show, was wearing a diaper that had to be cut off.  There was scaring where cordage had been used to tie the diaper on for a continued amount of time, documents show. In addition to the Valencia testing positive for meth, officers said they found drug pipes and baggies of meth inside the home as well.  Much of the meth was found stored in a 'trick or treat' bucket meant for candy at Halloween.  The bucket was on the floor and fully accessible to the children, according to police.

Both Jeremy White and Rachel Valencia are in jail.  Each has a bond set at $100,000.

VIDEO: Remember the Schnick-Buckner murders of 1987.

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 1:01pm

In 1997, KY3's Jerry Jacob revisited the rampage that left seven dead in Laclede County in 1987. 

Missouri auditor's office open for business following death

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 12:26pm

The Missouri auditor's office is carrying on its business after the death of Auditor Tom Schweich. Schweich fatally shot himself Thursday at his suburban St. Louis home in what police describe as an "apparent suicide." His office was open for business Friday and released an annual report bearing Schweich's name about property seizures by law enforcement agencies. Auditor's spokesman Spence Jackson said the office also plans to go ahead with a scheduled release of an audit about the Joplin School District next week. He said Deputy Auditor Harry Otto and Chief of Staff Trish Vincent were running the office. Missouri law says Gov. Jay Nixon shall "immediately appoint" a replacement when a vacancy occurs in the auditor's office. He has not yet named a new auditor.  

Mount Vernon man killed in single-vehicle crash

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 12:22pm

A Mount Vernon man is dead following a single-vehicle crash that occurred two-miles west of his hometown on Thursday.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, a 1988 Ford Ranger driven by William Loftis, 51, ran off Route V, struck a ditch and overturned several times at approximately 9:30 a.m. 

Loftis died at the scene. A passenger was taken to a Springfield hospital with serious injuries.

Consumer Reports: Veggie chips vs. potato chips

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 11:41am

Consumer Reports just tested 32 different snack chips made from bean chips, pea chips, veggie chips, and kale.

Don’t get the idea that they’re as good for you as fresh vegetables, but most of the ones tested are a little lower in fat and calories than classic potato chips. Several of the new chips qualify as low sodium. And some are an excellent source of fiber. Consumer Reports found several to recommend: • Top rated: Calbee Snapea Crisps Original Lightly Salted. They’re airy and crispy, have a pleasant pea flavor, and are low in sodium. • Beanitos White Bean With Sea Salt are also recommended, with a white bean and toasty grain flavor. Ten chips have 6 grams of fiber—the same as a large apple! • Terra Original Real Vegetable Chips Sea Salt are the best tasting of the veggie chips tested. They’re a colorful mix of real fried veggie slices, including sweet potato. • Food Should Taste Good Falafel Tortilla Chips are also tasty and cost less than the others. Consumer Reports panelists found them “bold and unique,” with bean, corn, garlic, and coriander flavors. Consumer developed a simple recipe for homemade kale chips and in blind taste tests pitted them against commercial kale chips, costing $7. The homemade version won. Homemade Kale Chips: 1?2 bag (16 oz.) kale greens, washed, trimmed, cut into bite-sized pieces, and dried 2 cloves garlic, smashed 2 tablespoons olive oil 1?2 teaspoon salt 1. Preheat oven to 375° F. Place garlic and oil in a small bowl and let it sit for 30 minutes. Discard garlic. 2. Pile kale on two large baking sheets. Toss with olive oil, coating each leaf. Sprinkle with salt and spread evenly on the baking sheets. 3. Bake 5 minutes. Toss kale using tongs to ensure even cooking. Bake until kale turns dark green and is very crisp, about 7 to 9 minutes. Do not overcook. Cool before serving.

VIDEO: Missouri State Highway Patrol news conference on Texas County killings

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 11:17am

Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Jeffrey Kander briefs reporters about the multiple murder suicide in Texas County.

Springdale man charged after assaulting girl on her way home from school, police say

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 10:35am

A man has been charged after police say he assaulted a 13-year-old girl who was on her way home from school in Springdale on Tuesday. 

The Springdale Police Department states that they responded to the area of Tolleson Loop for a report of a man assaulting a juvenile female. When officers arrived, they met with the 13-year-old victim, who stated she had been dropped off by the school bus and was walking home. 

Police say the girl noticed that a man was following her, increased his speed, grabbed her and placed her in a headlock. According to a report, he then reached down and touched her between the legs, on top of her clothing. The report says that the girl was able to escape after the man, later identified as 20-year-old Julian Rivera, tried pulling her into an alleyway between two duplexes. 

During the investigation, detectives connected various older reports to Rivera that were similar in nature. 

Rivera is charged with two counts of sexual assault in the second degree, attempted kidnapping, two counts of sexual indecency with a child, and harassment. 

The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with further information on this case or a similar incident is asked to contact the Springdale Police Department at 479-751-4542. 

BREAKING NEWS: Watch live News Conference on Texas County deaths at 9 a.m.

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 8:59am

BREAKING NEWS: Watch live News Conference on Texas County deaths

Video: More snow on the way, and a crazy 7-day forecast

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 7:09am

Accumulating snow will affect the Ozarks on Saturday with a change to rain by Sunday.

Residents use neighborhood social network app to connect, help reduce crime

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 1:35am

Regardless if there's snow on the ground, Jackie Carl is outside playing with her dogs. She says being outside is how she met some of her neighbors.

"When I'm in the backyard, and they're in the backyard, we get to see each other," said Carl.

But now, a website and app, called Nextdoor, allows Carl to get to know her neighbors a little better, and make a connection with ones she doesn't know. Think of it as Facebook for neighborhoods.

"It tells how long they've lived here. This guy has lived here for 45 years," Carl said while looking at her neighbor's profile on the website.

"He's a photographer and he loves history and it has a map in relationship to me," she said.  "I think it's a good way for us to keep connected and be aware. I think the more we're all aware of whats going on in our neighborhood the better and safer we are."

Springfield Police say another way residents keep neighborhood crime down is by participating in watch groups.  Police held a meeting on Thursday for residents interested in participating in the neighborhood watch groups, a trend that's been increasing across Springfield - now with 17 groups in place.

Paul Duckworth was one of several who attended the meeting. 

"We have several sets of eyes and ears, rather than, and we cant just depend on the police," said Duckworth. "We know police are really busy in town and cant be everywhere."

And getting to know your neighbors is what Carl believes is the start - whether it's online or in person.

"It's a way for us to make those connections. It's kind of like when everybody would meet at the local café or meeting house when we had smaller communities and I think it's a way to create that small community," said Carl.

More than 50 Springfield neighborhoods use Nextdoor.

Newborn baby tests positive for meth, mother has 5 kids taken from her

Fri, 02/27/2015 - 1:26am

In a small house on Eastside Street, investigators made a heartbreaking find.

"The best way I can describe it is it was just unsafe and unsanitary for the kids.  Very unsafe and very unsanitary is about all we can release right now," said Crocker Police Chief Chris Twitchel.

Four little kids, who are ages 1, 2, 6, and 8 years old, were found living in disgusting conditions.   It was what tipped-off police about this situation that’s just as sad.

A local hospital had called authorities about a mother, Rachel Valenicia, who gave birth to a baby.  That newborn tested positive for methamphetamine.

Her other kids were all at home, which was being lived in by Jeremy White, 38.

Chief Twitchel said, once investigators got there, the four kids were placed in Children's Division custody, Also, the newborn infant was taken away from the mother (per state law when a mother tests positive for illegal drugs).  Unfortunately, this was not the first time officer have come to this house to check on the well being and safety of these children.

"Even though I am a police officer, I am a father too," Twitchel said. "And, you never want to see children hurt like that or children in  any other condition like that. So it kind of pulls your heartstrings quite a bit."

White was arrested and charged with eight felony counts.  That includes (for each child found in the home) a count of child abuse, and a count of endangering the welfare of a child.  Rachel Valencia was slapped with the exact same criminal charges.

"If you are not taking care of your child, and you are not feeding your child, and making sure your child is safe  and in a good environment, [then] you could face charges.

Still 30 degrees below average

Thu, 02/26/2015 - 11:41pm

Arctic air is keeping the Ozarks in the deep freeze. A winter mix is forecast for the weekend. Find out when the sun is going to return by watching the forecast.

State Auditor Tom Schweich dies after apparently shooting self on purpose

Thu, 02/26/2015 - 11:40pm

Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich died at a hospital in St. Louis on Thursday after shooting himself with a handgun at his home in Clayton, a suburb of St. Louis.  The Clayton police chief said his department's investigation is far from over but all indications are that Schweich meant to commit suicide.

Paramedics took Schweich to a hospital in St. Louis after a 9-1-1 call from his wife at 9:48 a.m.  He died of a single gunshot wound.

The Clayton police chief spoke at a news conference at 4 p.m.  He declined to reveal many details, but said Schweich's family is cooperating with the investigation.  Chief Kevin Murphy wouldn't speculate on whether Schweich had any physical or mental health problems, or whether anyone had made a political threat against Schweich that threatened to ruin his reputation.  He said he didn't know whether Schweich left a note.

The shooting occurred just minutes after Schweich called The Associated Press and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch to invite their reporters to his home for an interview in the afternoon.  Schweich said he wanted to go public with accusations that the Missouri Republican Party chairman had made anti-Semitic remarks about him.  The chairman, John Hancock, denied the accusations on Thursday.

A police source told the Post-Dispatch that Schweich's wife was in another room when she heard him making phone calls and then heard a gunshot.

Schweich was a Republican who won re-election to a second, four-year term in November.  He announced a month ago that he would seek the Republican nomination for governor in 2016.

Gov. Jay Nixon ordered flags at all Missouri state facilities to be immediately lowered to half-staff to honor his passing.

“I join all Missourians in mourning the passing of State Auditor Tom Schweich, a brilliant, devoted and accomplished public servant who dedicated his career to making Missouri and the world a better place,” Nixon said in a news release.  “From his courageous work to combat the illegal drug trade abroad in Afghanistan to his tireless efforts to protect the interests of taxpayers here in Missouri, Tom Schweich’s exceptional intellect and unwavering dedication to public service left a legacy that will endure for many years to come.  The First Lady and I send our most heartfelt condolences to Tom’s wife, Kathy, and two children, Emilie and Thomas, Jr.”

Missouri law says Nixon will have to appoint a new state auditor for the rest of the term.

Former Greene County Prosecuting Attorney Darrell Moore is the auditor's chief litigation counsel.

"Everyone is in shock," he said.  "We had no clue.  I am personally numb. None of this makes sense to me."

Moore's mother passed away last week, and he said he got a sympathy call from Schweich. Moore said he last saw Schweich on Tuesday.

"Everything looked up, same as always. He was upbeat. He's the brightest man I've ever known."

Moore called Schweich a "pure public servant."

“We would like to offer our prayers and sympathy to the family of Auditor Tom Schweich. Tom’s experience as a talented federal prosecutor, diplomat and Ambassador made him become a brilliant auditor. In his service to the state of Missouri, he led hundreds of audits, making it his mission to fight corruption and bring transparency to many offices across the state. Our heartfelt prayers go out to his family at this difficult time," said a statement from the leaders of the state Senate: Sen. Tom Dempsey, R - St. Charles; Sen. Ron Richard, R - Joplin; and Sen. Joe Keaveny, D - St. Louis.

"This is a tragic day for Missouri, which lost a dedicated public servant. Our sympathy and thoughts are with the Schweich family in is most difficult of times," said House Minority Leader Jake Hummel, D - St. Louis, in a news release.

“It was with immense sadness that I learned of the tragic passing of my good friend and fellow public servant, Tom Schweich. This is a devastating loss for our state as we have now lost a leader and a man of the highest integrity, character and dedication. I ask now that all Missourians pray for the Schweich family as they cope with this tragic loss," said House Speaker Rep. John J. Diehl, Jr., R - Town and Country.

“I am in utter shock at the news of Tom Schweich’s tragic passing. Tom will be remembered as a tenacious, energetic, effective elected official who worked tirelessly on behalf of the citizens of this state and this nation. I ask all Missourians to join me in praying for Tom’s family," Missouri Republican Party chairman John Hancock said in a news release.

“It is with a heavy heart that I send my thoughts and prayers to the Schweich family during this difficult time. Tom served his state and country admirably, and fought strongly for his values. With his passing, Missouri has lost a devoted public servant. He will be missed," said state Treasurer Clint Zweifel in a news release.

“I am very sad, and hurt so much for Tom Schweich’s family. He was a good man, and a dedicated public servant, who served our country in so many capacities with distinction and honor. Hug those you love," said U.S Sen. Claire McCaskill in a news release.

“I am shocked and saddened by the news of Tom’s passing. He was a true public servant and a friend. My thoughts and prayers are with Kathy and the kids," U.S. Rep Jason Smith, R - Salem, said in a news release.

“My entire family is shocked and saddened to hear the tragic news of Tom’s passing.  He was a dedicated public servant who worked hard every day to make Missouri a better place to raise a family.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to Kathy and the entire family during this incredibly difficult time," said U.S. Rep. Billy Long, R - Springfield, in a news release.

“I am deeply saddened by today’s news regarding Auditor Tom Schweich. Auditor Schweich was an extraordinary man with an extraordinary record of service to our state and nation. Our state and nation are better places because of his tireless dedication to duty and service. His wife, Kathy, and two children, Emilie and Thomas, will be in my prayers. I ask everyone to respect their privacy," said Catherine Hanaway, a former speaker of the Missouri House and U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri, who announced a year ago that she would run for the Republican nomination for governor next year.


Biography from the State Auditor's Office website: State Auditor Tom Schweich is a fifth-generation Missourian and a graduate of St. Louis County Public Schools, Yale, and Harvard Law School. Schweich began his professional career at the law firm of Bryan Cave LLP, where he has practiced law for over 20 years, focusing on government contracts, corporate internal investigations and audits, litigation, and commercial disputes. While this is Schweich’s first opportunity to serve the people of Missouri, he has a distinguished history of public service. In 1999 and 2000, Schweich was chief of staff for the DanforthPicture State Auditor Thomas A. Schweich Special Counsel investigation into the conduct of the U.S. government in connection with the 1993 siege of the Branch Davidian compound at Waco, Texas. Schweich then served as Chief of Staff to three United States Ambassadors to the United Nations. There, he helped uncover the Oil for Food Scandal, and helped root out corruption at the UN. Later, he served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State and Acting Assistant Secretary of State at the Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs in the State Department (INL). At INL Schweich oversaw the activities of 4,000 people in over 40 countries with an annual budget of $2.5 billion. Schweich helped design and implement programs devoted to police training, justice sector building, counternarcotics, counterterrorism, anti-money laundering, border security, and anticorruption. In his capacity as a senior U.S. international law enforcement official, Schweich led diplomatic missions to approximately 30 countries, including Pakistan, Nigeria, Botswana, Kenya, South Africa, Russia, Colombia, Guatemala, Poland, France, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Mexico, and Canada. From 2007 – 2008 Schweich served as the US Coordinator for Counternarcotics and Justice Reform in Afghanistan. In March 2007, President Bush accorded Schweich the personal rank of Ambassador. In Afghanistan Schweich’s work helped curtail the opium production across the country and rebuild the country’s legal infrastructure and law enforcement bodies. Schweich is the author of three books: Protect Yourself from Business Lawsuits (and lawyers like me) (Simon & Schuster 1998), Crashproof Your Life (McGraw-Hill 2002), and Staying Power (McGraw-Hill 2003). He also recorded the popular audio CD series on personal finance, Protect Your Wealth, published by Nightingale-Conant in 2004. He has written numerous articles and opinion pieces on foreign policy, politics, and the economy that have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, USA Today, The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Canada's Globe and Mail and other publications from Germany to Japan. He has been interviewed by hundreds of media outlets around the world from CNN to BBC, and was a regular contributor to KSDK-TV (NBC) in St. Louis on foreign policy issues.

Frigid Friday

Thu, 02/26/2015 - 7:33pm

The work week will end on a frozen note with winter weather ahead for the weekend. Get the weekend outlook and much more by watching the forecast.