KY3 Local News

Springfield's Brentwood Library gets $770,000 donation

Sat, 01/11/2014 - 4:43pm

A Springfield resident has donated more than $770,000 to the Springfield-Greene County Library District.

Library officials believe the $770,422 donation to the Library Foundation is the largest single donation in the library system's 109-year history. The money will be used to renovate the 41-year-old Brentwood branch library.

Kathleen O'Dell, library spokeswoman, says the anonymous donor is a long-time supporter of the Brentwood branch in particular and the library system in general

The major gifts phase of the library system's $2.5 million campaign kicked off in fall 2013. The campaign has now raised about $1.2 million through pledges and other private and staff donations.

Beautiful afternoon ahead

Sat, 01/11/2014 - 9:26am

Above average temperatures and mostly sunny skies for this afternoon and Sunday.

Ash Grove man convicted of sexually abusing his granddaughters

Sat, 01/11/2014 - 12:21am

An Ash Grove man has been convicted of sexually abusing his granddaughters.  

Greene County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Patterson says Brett Sanders, 54, sexually abused two of his granddaughters between 2008 and 2011. Both of the victims testified at trial Thursday. 

The prosecuting attorney's office states both girls were under the age of 12 at the time of abuse. 

Sanders is currently being held in the Greene County jail without bond. A sentencing hearing has been scheduled for March. 

Overcrowding at Ark. state prison causing problems for county jails across the state

Fri, 01/10/2014 - 11:59pm

The prison in Pine Bluff, Arkansas, is full.  There is no more space for people to go who are sentenced to prison.

In fact, there are nearly 24-hundred inmates sitting in Arkansas' county jails right now, who are supposed to already be in prison.

In Baxter County, a fourth of their inmate population has already been sentenced to the Department of Corrections, but must sit in Mountain Home, because there are no open beds in Pine Bluff.

"Their rules were too lax, and as a result, people were getting released either early or maybe they are out on parole, but they violate their parole and instead of being sent back to prison, they are left on the street with some other type sanction.  So once the incident happened in Little Rock where one of the parolees actually murdered someone, they tightened up those restrictions so that violations of parole sent you back to prison, for even some of the minor offenses… well, that is that many more hundreds and hundreds of people headed back to prison.  Prisons are full; it’s a vicious cycle," said Baxter County Sheriff John Montgomery said.

"It's just hard for society, or let's say legislators, to come to grips that they have to spend this money if they are going to pass laws that say they have to lock people up," explained Benny Magness, the Chairman of the Board for the Department of Corrections.

The sheriff tells KY3 that for the time being, there's no state money to reimburse county sheriff's offices for keeping inmates.  The Legislature knows another prison must be built soon, and will take up the measure in February.

Enjoy the weekend

Fri, 01/10/2014 - 11:50pm

The rain is all but over for the Ozarks tonight. A few flurries may fall in our northern counties however no accumulation is forecast. A nice warm up is in store for the area this weekend. Get the details of the warm up by watching the forecast.

City Utilities works to supply natural gas during peak demands now, in the future

Fri, 01/10/2014 - 11:37pm

Cold snaps, like the ones we’ve experienced this season, can easily put a strain on fuel supplies.

“Where our concerns are this time of year is not so much power,” explained Joel Alexander, spokesperson for City Utilities of Springfield.  “Where our concerns are would fall on the natural gas side.”

The colder it gets, the more people crank up their furnaces.  That equals more fuel being burned, which puts a tighter squeeze on gas supplies.

“When we start dipping down in temperatures we see right now, we want to make sure people have the adequate supply of natural gas being able to be delivered to them,” Alexander said.

Right now, all of Springfield's natural gas comes in through a single pipeline.  With the city continuing to grow, City Utilities has begun preliminary discussions about building another pipeline to keep up with demand.  But, Alexander said, such a project is likely still 5-10 years away.  It would cost many millions of dollars.

In the meantime, City Utilities has some things in place to try and stretch supplies as far as the go.  One example is equipment that can add propane to the system to supplement supplies.  And, during peak times, some large-scale commercials and industrial customers are asked to throttle down their gas use.

CU says it made that request in recent days during the worst of the cold snap.  It was the first time it’s had to do that since 2010.

“Right now, at this point, everything has been going very well, we have had minimal impact on any of the systems,” explained Alexander.

The utility says it also falls under the large-scale industrial category with the ability to decrease natural gas use.  During those peak periods, CU can curtail use of its natural-gas powered electricity generating units, and use its coal-burning units exclusively.

Ornery owl is captured, headed to remote location

Fri, 01/10/2014 - 9:50pm

Conservation agents on Friday afternoon grounded a dive-bombing owl who likes to target unsuspecting people in southeast Springfield is .

Folks in the Lakewood Village neighborhood contacted us on Thursday night after seeing our report about the multiple owl encounters.  They were pretty certain it was the owl that they know well.  We passed that information onto the officials, who made a successful capture.

The bird of prey had some people across southeast Springfield nervously watching the skies for about the past month.

"I just turned just in time to see the claws right here, coming at my face.  That's when I ducked, and he hit the head and started grabbing, and I started swatting," says Rance Cooper.

There are numerous stories of similar startling moments.  Timmery Clark's friend actually captured the owl perched atop her head. 

"When he was swooping at people, we thought, 'Well, that's kind of typical during the nesting season.'  But actually landing on people, that's so out of the realm of ordinary, we thought maybe this is one that somebody has hand raised, which I should state it's illegal to do," said Missouri Department of Conservation wildlife damage biologist James Dixon.

A viewer says a great horned owl in another southeast Springfield neighborhood actually had a couple weeks of human contact when it was young.

"It could just be he's so accustomed to people that he's trying to reacquaint himself with people," Dixon said.

Whatever the owl's story, it's gotten a little too up-close-and-personal with human.  Some even report scratches.  Dixon doesn't think it means any harm, however.

"I don't know what he was thinking, but I don't think he was out to harm her or he would have," Dixon said of Clark's photo.

The Missouri Department of Conservation and U.S. Department of Agriculture set up a live trap in the neighborhood where folks have gotten to know the owl well. 

"Absolutely, some more than they wanted to, I think," said homeowner Louis Griesemer. 

Griesemer says he's been able to call the owl to his balcony, and it frequently perched over his deck, leaving a mess of droppings and remains of its prey.

The MDC and USDA baited the trap with owl prey and set back to wait.  The great horned owl seemed to come when called, then sneaked in for its prey when no one was looking, but it wasn't quick enough to escape.  The owl was loaded into a kennel, and will be transported to Ozark County where it will be released into a much less populated area.

"He can be a nuisance, and he's definitely a threat to small animals, small pets, and so it's good to have him relocated.  We're, in a way, sad to see him go, but he needs to be in a better place," Griesemer said.

Nixa man sentenced to 12 Years for raping 3 women

Fri, 01/10/2014 - 9:34pm

A Nixa man has been sentenced to 12 years in the Missouri Department of Corrections, for the forcible rapes of three women between 2007 and 2008. 

The Greene County Prosecuting Attorney's office states Jamison Scott Marquart, 28, knew each victim he assaulted between April 8, 2007 and March 3, 2008. The three women reported the assaults to police shortly after they occurred.

Marquart had previously pled guilty on Oct. 30, 2013. 

18-year-old Springfield man found guilty in March 2013 shooting

Fri, 01/10/2014 - 9:26pm

A Springfield man has been convicted of two counts of unlawful use of a weapon and one count of armed criminal action in a March 2013 shooting.

Greene County Prosecuting Attorney Dan Patterson says Clyde C. White, 18, shot at a woman after she tried to investigate an argument between White and her son at a home. When the mother attempted to leave the home, White followed her in a vehicle and continued to shoot at her.

A sentencing hearing for White has been set for March. 

Mother of 3 kids killed in fire says she took lie detector test to clear name

Fri, 01/10/2014 - 8:37pm

The mother of three children who died in a house fire in Springfield nearly four years ago says she took a lie detector test on Friday to try to clear her name.  The cause of the fire at the home at 1711 Olive St. remains undetermined, and the case is still open to investigation.

"I just want to know.  Being their mom, I  want to know," said Violet Watson, the mother of the children.

Every day is a struggle for Watson.  She said she questions why a fire killed her three children at their home in March 2010. "The longer it's left open, the longer I don't get the closure that I need," she said.

Fire Department officials said Friday that the case is still open, and the cause remains undetermined. Police are still investigating as well.  Friday morning, Watson said, she voluntarily submitted to a lie detector test with investigators.

"I took a polygraph test, and I passed it.  I proved to them that I would never hurt my kids ever," she said through tears.

Investigators will not say if they have any suspects or persons of interest in the deaths of Alexis, 7; Kelsey, 5; and Devin, 4.

"I have dreams about them.  They all seem so real, and I wake up to reality," Watson said.

Her husband David Williams was initially charged in the case but those charges were later dropped.

"I was a potential suspect in the case, and I wanted to prove that I was not.   I didn't do nothing.  I went to bed with my kids.   I expected to wake up the next morning and take my kids to school, and that never happened," Watson said.

Springfield police would not confirm the results of the polygraph, citing it as part of an ongoing investigation.

Last March, Watson and the father of the children sued the owners of the home on Olive Street, Richard and Nancy Preffitt, for damages for wrongful death.   Online court files show they obtained a $300,000 settlement in that lawsuit, with $100,000 going to her attorneys, about $11,000 going to satisfy a Medicaid lien, $7,500 going to father Kevin Parker, and about $181,500 going to Watson.

Springfield's Gracie Gold ready for final night of U.S. Figure Skating National

Fri, 01/10/2014 - 8:29pm

Springfield's Gracie Gold has set herself up for a chance at gold at the Olympics in Sochi.  Gold is in first place going into Saturday night's finals at the U.S. Figure Skating Championships.  The event set the Olympic figure skating team.

9 flu deaths reported at 1 St. Louis hospital

Fri, 01/10/2014 - 8:20pm

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Influenza cases are rising sharply in Missouri, with nine deaths reported so far this season at one St. Louis hospital alone.

All nine deaths at Barnes-Jewish Hospital involved people in their mid-20s to mid-60s, hospital officials said Friday. That's unusual because flu deaths are more typical among the very young and the very old. Another 35 patients were sick enough to be treated in the Barnes-Jewish intensive care unit.

Officially, Missouri has reported more than 6,700 confirmed flu cases this season. Most cases in Missouri involve the H1N1, or swine flu, strain. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services lumps flu and pneumonia deaths together so the number of statewide flu deaths wasn't known.

Arkansas Lieutenant Governor Darr says he'll resign over ethics case

Fri, 01/10/2014 - 8:07pm

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas Lt. Gov. Mark Darr is leaving office, giving in to pressure from Democrats and fellow Republicans who threatened his impeachment over ethics violations.

Darr announced in a statement Friday evening that he will resign effective Feb. 1.

The Ethics Commission last month fined Darr $11,000, saying it found probable cause he misspent campaign funds and failed to keep accurate records. The lieutenant governor said he didn't believe he intentionally took money he was not owed.

Last August, Darr quit a race for a south Arkansas congressional seat after he was accused of misspending.

According to reviews of his finances, state officials said Darr made personal use of more than $30,000 of his campaign funds and improperly spent $3,500 on his state credit card.

Springfield ice skater Emily Scott goes for Olympic gold

Fri, 01/10/2014 - 7:35pm

We are less than one month from the start of the Olympic games in Russia, and one of Springfield's own will be on center stage.

Speed ice skater Emily Scott got her start when she was only 2-and-a-half years old.  Twenty years later, she is Olympics bound.

First, she learned roller skates, then inline skates at Springfield's Skateport, then moved onto ice skates.  It wasn't until about five years ago that Scott moved to ice skates, and, indeed, it was a good move!

She has qualified for the Olympic team in speed skating.  She is 23 years old now.

It's been a long road to the Olympics and there have been a lot of sacrifices. 

Her family says she moved to Florida when she was 14 years old to train for three years.  Then she moved back here to Springfield to graduate from Hillcrest High School, then moved to Utah after graduation to start ice skating for the first time.  Five years after putting on ice skates, she is an Olympian.

Scott placed second in the trials in the 500-meter races, but her grandpa says that is actually her weakest distance.  Her strength is the 1,000 meter and 1,500 meter distance, so he's hopeful she'll bring home gold.

Her dad is hoping to raise enough money to get to go watch her compete in Sochi.   His family set up a website where people can donate to his trip.  The flight alone costs thousands of dollars.

Rattled passengers wondered why plane landed in Tulsa instead of Springfield

Fri, 01/10/2014 - 7:25pm

The flight attendant said, "Welcome to Springfield, Missouri."

The planeload of rattled passengers wondered why they'd just landed in Tulsa.

An Allegiant flight from Florida was supposed to arrive at 6 o'clock Thursday night, but was diverted by heavy fog and a possible mechanical problem.

"It was a loud noise. Almost like we hit something in flight or something busted," said passenger Shawn Student. It was Student's first time on a plane. "I turned and looked at the passengers behind me which were veteran flyers and one of them was praying . I said 'was that supposed to happen?' They said no," he said. It was a rough landing and the destination wasn't clear. More than 100 passengers just spent hours on a plane for what was supposed to be a direct flight from Punta Gorda, Florida. The plane took-off hours later than scheduled. Passengers say they went through three crews and two planes before take-off. "The flight attendant said welcome to Springfield," said passenger, Tom Dryden. But they landed to Tulsa, Oklahoma. Passengers say Allegiant Air didn't offer travel suggestions. Many teamed up to rent cars to get back to Springfield. "That's not really what a 20-year-old girl wants to do.  I'm 20 and can't rent a car on my own so there's not a lot of options," said passenger, Amelia Haight.

The plane was scheduled to fly back to Florida. Leaving many of those Florida-bound passengers stuck in Springfield.

The next Allegiant flight leaving Springfield, going to Florida is scheduled to take-off Friday night.

Allegiant Air provided a bus and shuttled the remaining passengers to Springfield.

The airline says they will re-schedule tickets or refund all of the passengers. In some cases they'll get a $100 dollar voucher.

Beautiful weekend in store

Fri, 01/10/2014 - 6:58pm

The rain will come to an end later tonight and set the stage for a gorgeous weekend. Find out just how warm it is supposed to get Sunday by watching the forecast.

100,000 reasons to say thanks from us to you!

Fri, 01/10/2014 - 6:08pm

KY3 News is celebrated a Facebook milestone.

The news Facebook fan page reached 100,000 "likes" Friday evening.   More than 15,000 Facebook users have "liked" our page in the last month.  We thank all of our Facebook followers for making us the "place to be" on the social media site over the last few years.

Click here to "like" us too.

Hutchinson raises $445K for Ark. gov. bid

Fri, 01/10/2014 - 6:03pm

Former U.S. Rep. Asa Hutchinson's campaign says he raised more than $445,000 in the last three months of 2013 in his bid for the Republican gubernatorial nomination.

Hutchinson's campaign on Friday announced that he ended 2013 with more than $1.3 million in the bank as he seeks the state's top office. Wednesday is the deadline for candidates to file their fundraising reports for the quarter that ended Dec. 31.

Hutchinson won the GOP nomination in 2006 but lost the general election. He's running against businessman Curtis Coleman and state Rep. Debra Hobbs for the party's nomination this year.

Hutchinson's campaign said he spent $150,000 during the quarter.

Former U.S. Rep. Mike Ross is the only candidate seeking the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.

Shooting kills man in trailer park in Jonesboro

Fri, 01/10/2014 - 5:22pm

A man died after a shooting at a trailer park here on Thursday.

Jonesboro Police Sgt. Doug Formon says officers investigating a report of a stolen vehicle learned the thief might be at the Meadowview Trailer Park.  Once officers arrived, they found a man suffering from a gunshot wound.

Police discovered the shooting occurred at trailer No. 33.  They say Cpl. John Eidson approached the trailer and Michael Ware, 35, of Keiser opened the door and opened fire on the officer.  Police say Eidson returned fire, and Ware died in his trailer.

Police don't yet know whether the officer's bullet killed Ware or if he was injured in the earlier shooting at the trailer.

___

Information from The Jonesboro Sun.

Nixon starts effort to support Missouri's military bases

Fri, 01/10/2014 - 5:16pm

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is creating a new military partnership led by state Treasurer Clint Zweifel to focus on keeping and enhancing military bases, force strength and federal defense spending in the state.

The Missouri Military Partnership was given a March 31 deadline to submit a report laying out a strategy for protecting and improving the state's defense installations.

Nixon said Friday the military bases and service members are important for national security and Missouri's economy.  He said an economic impact study indicates the Missouri National Guard, Whiteman Air Force Base and Fort Leonard Wood support about 65,000 direct and direct jobs in Missouri.