The Reporter covers Miller, Morgan and Camden County in Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks and is published once per week on Wednesdays.
Lake area residents were shocked at the horrific accident last July on the Niangua Bridge. A dump truck hit a full-size pickup truck (above) head-on, killing the dump truck driver and three passengers in the pickup truck. A fifth victim, Donnie Schroeder, 14, suffered serious injuries and was airlifted by Staff for Life helicopter to University Hospital in Columbia. Mid-County Fire Chief Scott Frandsen said it was one of the worst accidents his firefighters have ever had to deal with. (Reporter file photo)
Published January 7, 2015
Fatal accident, injured fire chief, round out 2014
LO police chief resigns
LAKE OZARK – Police chief Mark Maples announced last week that he is resigning from his position.
Maples had recently come under fire – along with the Board of Alderman - over a decision to ban the open carry of firearms in the city. Maples, in his press release, did not state that - or any specific reason - for his resignation.
“Please be advised that I have submitted my resignation to the Mayor of Lake Ozark. My last day will be July 18, 2014. I have accepted a position in the private sector. I have enjoyed my nearly eight years as the Chief of Police for the City of Lake Ozark. I like to think that I leave the police department in better shape than when I found it in 2007. I am confident that the city and the police department will continue to improve and be true professional public servants. My sincere thanks to my staff, City Hall Staff, Mayor and Board of Aldermen.”
Rep. Miller rips into city board
OSAGE BEACH - A firestorm of back-and-forth bickering erupted towards the end of the Board of Aldermen last Thursday between State Rep. Rocky Miller and city officials.
Miller had been asked to speak to the board by Alderman Ron Schmitt about his voting in favor of four particular sales-tax-relief bills that had raised red flags in municipalities across the state.
Gov. Jay Nixon vetoed the legislation - Senate Bills 584, 612, 662 and 693 - on June 11. However, both the House and Senate will meet in September for a special session and could overturn the vetoes.
Miller said that he voted in favor of the four bills to encourage job creation and to eliminate a tax on experimental drugs for critically ill patients.
He asked the board how they arrived at a dollar amount that would be lost in sales tax revenue if the bills had not been vetoed, then claimed their figures were based on misinformation from the Missouri Municipal League (MML).
After a quick back-and-forth about the validity of the MML information, the state representative became argumentative.
“Apparently you and the governor want to keep the taxes on experimental drugs and the working poor,” Miller said. “Then you have a champion in Gov. Nixon. If you want to keep your revenue on the backs of the working poor, the ill and businesses, feel free,” he said.
At this point Alderman John Olivarri fired back at Miller’s assertions.
“You’re socializing this issue, sir,” Olivarri said to Miller. “I’m sick and tired of you ignoring the impact on our city.”
Luber vs Franken: tempers boil over at meeting
CAMDEN COUNTY - On the heels of a calamitous meeting with local business owner Theresa Townsend, two county commissioners ended up throwing angry accusations at each other and two others were drawn into the disturbing confrontation.
After he had Townsend removed from the meeting room by a Camden County deputy, Presiding Commissioner Kris Franken asked if there was any further discussion on the last agenda item.
Second District Commissioner Cliff Luber said he had recently made a request via email to Rowland Todd at the County Clerk’s Office for the commission meeting minutes for 2012.
“What I find disturbing, somewhere between the clerk’s office and your (Franken) office is that an email gets generated from you to Joyce Miller, the Lake Sun Leader,” Luber said, “where you accuse me of printing those copies for Mrs. Townsend so she doesn’t have to pay for them.”
He further claimed that the matter hadn’t come up until a Facebook posting by Amy Wilson (editor of The Westside Star) in which Townsend denied she ever asked for the commission minutes of 2012.
“My quandary is I have agreed and you agreed that I would come in on my own time and I would go through these (approximately 6,000) emails,” Luber said. “Now I’ve just about done that.”
The statement caught Franken by surprise.
“So you’re going through my emails?” he asked.
“Oh absolutely, you agreed to that,” Luber replied.
“No, I did not agree to that.”
“Well, I’ll read the minutes …”
“No, I said ‘under the right circumstances.’”
At this point both Luber’s and Franken’s tempers started to rise.
Luber asked what it was he was supposed to redact from the emails and Franken said Luber allegedly violated what the (Sunshine Law) attorney has told the county concerning Sunshine Law records.
“You don’t raise your voice at me, Mr. Franken.”
“I’ll do as I please.”
“No I don’t think you will!”
“No you won’t!”
Franken said he had three points to make. Number one, Luber had unauthorized access to his emails (“Well, that’s your opinion,” Luber said); number two, Luber was acting against everything the commission is supposed to be doing, and; number three, the fact that Luber doesn’t know what to redact is - (Luber starts to interrupt again) - shows he is not qualified to perform that work,” he said.
Luber and Franken became angry, talking over each other, trying to make their allegations and replies, ranging from Townsend to the Old Kinderhook $44,400 fee snafu.
“I’m not going to put up with this anymore,” Luber said.
“I told you, you did not have access to my emails,” Franken said to Luber.
“I didn’t hear that, Mr. Franken,” Luber said.
“I’m sure you didn’t,” Franken replied.
Oops! County EMA website leads viewers to Korean page
CAMDEN COUNTY VIA SOUTH KOREA - Who would have thought the resignation of an emergency management agency (EMA) official from Independence would lead to the county’s own EMA website being “hosted” by a South Korean software company?
If one clicks on the EMA link on the Camden County’s website (www.camdenmo.org), the link races down the Internet and deposits the user on a website apparently selling software in South Korea.
County EMA Director John Page was less than pleased when he found out about it.
“It was brought to my attention a couple of days ago,” Page said.
When Page saw the South Korean website, he had a less-than-pleased response:
“Ah, what the hell!”
Page discovered there’s not even the slightest hint of county emergency management at the foreign website.
The County Commission voted on May 6 to approve the construction of a new master computer that that would be able to fully utilize its current operating systems. The computer system would be built “in house” through the county’s Information Technology (IT) Department.
However, Page has been using the services of a “volunteer” to update the EMA computer system and its website while the county IT department has been busy with the new phone and E911 system installation.
This volunteer already has a full-time job at a Kansas City hospital IT department and also volunteers at the city of Independence with its own EMA and fire departments.
Page said the abrupt resignation of Independence’s EMA chief and fire chief has put a tremendous demand on the volunteer’s already limited free time.
Four dead in bridge accident
CAMDEN COUNTY - The catastrophic two-vehicle accident last Wednesday morning on the Niangua Bridge that took the lives of four people was one of the most horrendous events firefighters ever had to respond to, according to Mid-County Fire Chief Scott Frandsen.
“It was an extremely horrific accident,” Frandsen said. “It was one of the worst our crews had to deal with, and we deal with a lot of accidents.”
According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MHP), a 1993 Peterbilt dump truck driven by Randal Estes, 56, of Warsaw was traveling northbound on Highway 5 when it entered the Niangua Bridge.
The dump truck suffered a flat left front tire causing Estes to lose control of the vehicle. It then crossed into the southbound lane of the bridge, striking a 2010 Ford F-250 pickup driven by Terry L. Schroeder, 50, of Benson, Illinois head-on at approximately 7:40 a.m.
The Ford was pulling a boat on a trailer, the MHP stated. After striking the dump truck, the boat continued forward and struck the rear of the pickup.
Four people were declared dead at the scene by Camden County Medical Examiner Angela D. Halterman at approximately 9:03 a.m.: Randal Estes; Terry L. Schroeder; Cindy Schroeder, 46, also of Benson; and 14-year-old Dylan Schroeder, also of Benson.
Dylan’s twin, Donnie Schroeder, suffered serious injuries and was airlifted by Staff for Life helicopter to University Hospital in Columbia.
Frandsen said it took rescue crews approximately three hours to extricate the victims from the two vehicles.
Why no commissioner meetings?
CAMDEN COUNTY – Conspiracy theories are running wild in certain circles of the lake area as to the absence of County Commissioner meetings.
Day after day the same thing can be found on the agendas: “No Official Business Requiring Voting Action.”
That phrase appears quite often on the commissioner agendas but it has been a regular phrase day after day this month.
In fact, the commissioners have not had any business on any agenda since July 10, when the blowup occurred between Commissioner Cliff Luber and Presiding Commissioner Kris Franken and the removal of Theresa Townsend from that meeting.
Though different theories have been stated many point the finger of blame at Franken.
• The Political Action Committee of Kim Krostue told Franken to not have any more meetings until after the election.
• Maybe Franken is not having meetings to avoid another blowup with Luber?
So since Franken is the one these conspirators are pointing to, we decided to call him and ask him what the deal was.
Franken’s answer won’t please some people but it’s very simple: There’s no business to put on the agenda.
“There really is no business. I know that sounds crazy but there’s nothing sitting on the desk,” Franken told The Reporter. “Usually we have a sheriff’s agreement or something, but I’m not kidding you, there has been nothing.”
So according to Franken, it’s a very unusual situation for the commissioners but it shouldn’t last long.
$200,000 lawsuit filed against county, Summit Gas
CAMDEN COUNTY – Summit Natural Gas, along with Camden County and a property owner, have been named in a lawsuit claiming that their actions resulted in over $200,000 in damage to a lake area home.
The suit was filed in last month (July) by Jonas and Donna Bereisa (Plaintiffs) of Sunrise Beach.
Also named in the suit is property owner Matthew E. Alyward.
The property that is claimed to have been damaged is located on Grandview Drive in Eagles Cove Subdivision.
The suit claims that “During the rain events on or about August 5, 2013, the capacity of the street drainage system was exceeded causing runoff water carrying sediments to overflow the culvert and flood the Premises.”
According to the suit, the water overflowed the drainage system, went into their yard and eventually overflowed the foundation and going into the structure, causing water damage.
In addition to the repair cost, the event also caused:
• “Diminution in the fair market value of the Premises and surrounding property as a result of the damages…and the Premises now have a history of flood damage
• “Diminution in the fair market value of the Premises and surrounding property as a result of the risk that it will be flooded in the future.”
The suit asks for monetary damages in excess of $200,000, plus interest, attorney fees and court costs from each of the defendants.
Primary 2014: Hasty, Gilley, farmers win, MoDOT loses
LAKE OF THE OZARKS - Election results from last Tuesday’s primary decided a hotly contested race for Camden County Presiding Commissioner as well as Camden County Prosecuting Attorney.
Challenger Greg Hasty beat incumbent Kris Franken for the Presiding Commissioner spot with a vote of 4,421 to Franken’s total of 3,105. Hasty’s campaign outspent Franken by thousands of dollars, donated mainly from Lake of the Ozarks Properties, Inc. in Claremont, California.
There was no Democrat running in that particular primary election, although Hasty could still face an “Independent” or official “Write-In” challenger in November’s general election (any candidate could face the same predicament in November, especially those that ran unopposed.)
In addition, incumbent Brian Keedy lost the Camden County Prosecuting Attorney slot to Michael Gilley with Keedy’s 1,456 votes falling short of the 3,676 garnered by Gilley. A third candidate - Cole Bradbury - racked up 2,300 votes.
One of the more divisive constitutional amendments was Constitutional Amendment 7.
The amendment called for a 10-year three-quarter-cent sales tax to benefit the Missouri Department of Transportation; it didn’t fare very well in the lake area with all three counties coming out against the measure
According to Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander, voter participation was highest statewide in the contest over Constitutional Amendment 7, which failed statewide.
Mutual aid reluctantly approved
MILLER COUNTY - The unincorporated area of Lakeside was at the heart of a give-and-take discussion last Tuesday night between the City of Lake Ozark and a representative of the Miller County Sheriff’s Department (MCSD).
Lake Ozark’s Board of Aldermen approved a mutual aid agreement between the MCSD and the city’s police department but did so somewhat reluctantly.
Several city officials expressed their frustration at what they considered to be a glaring omission in the proposed agreement: the lack of MCSD commissions to city police officers, especially while responding to incidents in Lakeside.
The “city” of Lakeside is located just past Bagnell Dam and is surrounded by the Lake Ozark city limits. Lakeside is a city in name only, much like Montreal and Macks Creek in Camden County, and is the home of Willmore Lodge.
Lake Ozark Alderman Larry Buschjost - a veteran of the Missouri State Highway Patrol - had liability concerns.
“How are our officers covered if (they’re) not commissioned,” Buschjost asked Captain Louis Gregory from the MCSD.
“If we request you, you are working for the sheriff’s department, not the police department,” Gregory said, implying an automatic - albeit temporary - commission.
He added the MCSD would have to keep track of up to 200 “commissioned” officers from Camden, Pulaski and Morgan counties as well as cities such as Lake Ozark and Eldon in separate mutual aid agreements.
“It’s just too hard to keep track of so many people,” Gregory said.
City park damage slowly but surely being rectified
OSAGE BEACH - Storm damage repairs to the City Park took a step closer with the tentative approval of a $227,932 contract for the project.
The Board of Aldermen gave first- and second-reading approval to the ordinance authorizing a contract with Hutchins Telecom, LLC last Thursday night.
The majority of the funds will come from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) at a 75/25 split with FEMA at $147,699 and the city picking up the rest at $80,233.
A major sticking point of the Hutchins contract is the cost of a cable buoy system - also known as a floating debris boom - for the city park fishing pond.
According to Public Works Director Nick Edelman, the debris boom is similar to what Ameren Missouri uses in front of Bagnell Dam.
“Its purpose is to catch debris before it gets to the intake structure in the pond,” Edelman said in a report to the board.
Alderman Steve Kahrs pointed out a disparity between the two bidders:
Hutchins put the cost at approximately $26,000 while the other bidder on the repair project placed the cost of the debris boom at approximately $9,000.
In addition, FEMA will not pay for any portion of the floating debris boom nor a concrete headwall (which would include removing and replacing existing pipe). Those two line items cost out at $31,000 which is part of the city’s total $80,233 expenditure.
Edelman said he also noticed the difference in price between the two bidders and plans to talk to Hutchins Telecom in an effort to reduce the cost of the debris boom.
The overall project is intended to restore the City Park to its original condition before the rain storms and floods of August 2012.
Fiore is the first death in Shootout history
LAKE OF THE OZARKS - A Rhode Island man has died as a result of injuries sustained during a dramatic boat racing accident August 23 at last week’s Lake of the Ozarks Shootout.
Michael Fiore, 44, passed away during the evening of August 26 at University Hospital in Columbia, according to Frank Sciacca, General Counsel of Outerlimits Offshore Powerboat Company
Fiore and driver Joel Begin, 47, of Quebec, Canada had lost control of a 42-foot Outerlimits catamaran late Saturday morning due to wind interference, according to the Missouri State Highway Patrol - Water Division (MWP).
The boat became airborne near the race’s finish line and overturned twice before re-entering the water bow first, the MWP stated. It came to rest right side up after flipping end-over-end on the water.
Speedboats participating in the Shootout usually have two people in the cockpit: one driving the boat while the other controls the throttle. In this case, Begin was the driver and Fiore controlled the throttle.
The accident had occurred at approximately 10:30 a.m. at the 34 Mile Marker of the lake’s Main Channel in Camden County, the MWP stated.
Begin had apparently also suffered serious injuries but was later released from Lake Regional Hospital in Osage Beach.
Fiore’s death marks the first time in its 26-year history of a fatality connected to the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout racing event.
New ‘live fire training center’ coming for sheriff’s department
CAMDEN COUNTY - The Camden County Sheriff’s Department (CCSD) will soon have a new “live fire training center” at its quarry-firing range in Linn Creek.
The County Clerk’s Office was scheduled to accept bids of behalf of the CCSD for the construction of a new training center through 10 a.m. yesterday.
The new facility will be created using solid fibrous concrete with an overall floor size of 1,500 square feet along with an open roof.
Sgt. Chris Moehle said the new live fire training center couldn’t come at a better time.
“We had one (at the firing range) that was 12 years old,” Moehle said. “It got to be a safety issue; the walls could have dropped on our officers.”
Moehle said the new facility will duplicate an average-sized home and have four rooms - a large “front room”, two 15-foot by 15-foot rooms and one 20-foot by 20-foot room.
A live-fire training center (also known as a “shoot house”) is a live ammunition small arms shooting range used to train military and law enforcement personnel for close contact engagements in urban combat environments.
They are designed to simulate residential, commercial and industrial spaces and used to teach personnel infiltrating techniques and how to overwhelm a target in the quickest and most efficient manner possible.
“We will be simulating building-clearing techniques our officers will use,” Moehle said.
However, a lot of training is involved before CCSD officers would participate in a live-fire exercise using the facility, according to Moehle.
He said that simulated firearms (known as “Red Guns”) - along with simulated ammunition - would also be used before any final live-fire exercise with tactical teams.
County Recorder warns owners of deed letters
CAMDEN COUNTY - County officials are warning residents and property owners of an official-looking letter demanding $83 for property assessment and grant deed document fees.
Camden County Recorder Donnie Snelling said his office has received a number of calls from residents detailing a recorded deed notice, demanding a fee of $83 for copies of the documents with a deadline of Oct. 3.
At first glance, the notice looks very official when explaining why one needs a copy of their current for property assessment profile and grant deed. It also is personalized with public information about the property owner, date of sale, parcel number, square footage and the legal property address.
“I don’t know where they got the mailing addresses,” Snelling said
County Assessor Eddie Whitworth revealed a possible source for the letter‘s facts and figures.
“They may have got the information of the Camden County GIS website,” Whitworth said. “They can get a lot of that (information) simply from that site.”
Snelling said property assessment profiles and grant deeds are readily available through his office at a cost of $1 per page; most documents are one to three pages long, he added.
The Camden County Recorder views the letter as a misleading notice masquerading as an official requirement.
“This is kind of a scare tactic, this is very deceptive,” Snelling said. “People could end up paying a lot more money than they need to.”
“It’s not illegal, it’s just not right,” Whitworth said.
EPA, Army Corp ‘power grab’ has city upset
OSAGE BEACH - A proposed expansion of the federal definition of the “Waterways of the United States” has city officials crying foul.
The Board of Aldermen approved a resolution condemning the proposed definition at its regular meeting last Thursday night.
According to City Attorney Edward Rucker, the new definition is so broadly written that it may include privately or city maintained roadside ditches and storm drains.
“This would directly impact the Public Works Department to move storm water, to maintain ditches and culverts,” Rucker said.
The proposed broadening of what constitutes the “Waterways of the United States” comes from both the Army Corp of Engineers (ACE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the city attorney stated.
“This is unbelievable,” Alderman Steve Kahrs said. “This is a power grab by the EPA and Army Corp of Engineers; it affects private ownership as well.”
State Rep. Rocky Miller - who was at the board meeting to address the same issue - also noted that the EPA could achieve the same extremes dealing with carbon dioxide emissions through the EPA’s Clean Water Act.
“There’s a lot of people who are unhappy about this change,” Miller said.
Kahrs said he had read the proposed definition and have a rather obvious opinion on it.
“It’s legalese for ‘this is the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen in my life’,” Kahrs said.
Emergency personnel administer aid to the vehicle’s occupant in an accident last October at the Camdenton Fire Department building. The vehicle drove into the wall of the building and pinned City Fire Chief Drew Stark between the vehicle and his desk. Stark is still on the road to recovery. (Reporter file photo by Jeff Thompson)
Fire chief injured as car slams into building
CAMDENTON - Fire Chief Drew Stark was struck by a vehicle while sitting at his desk at the city fire department building on Friday, Oct. 24 at about 4:10 p.m.
According to Camdenton Police Chief Laura Wright, a 1993 Pontiac Grand Prix - driven by Jacqueline G. Johnson, 52, of Camdenton - was traveling at a “swift” rate of speed when it struck the east corner of the building where Stark’s office is located.
“The vehicle impact caused significant damage to the exterior wall on the east side and the vehicle was more than halfway inside the building,” the Camdenton Police Department (CPD) stated.
Stark was pinned between his desk and the vehicle. He was taken by ambulance to the Camden County Ambulance District headquarters where he was transferred to a Staff for Life helicopter and transported to University Hospital in Columbia.
According to a posting Saturday morning on the Camdenton Fire Rescue Facebook page, Stark’s injuries were “not as serious as previously thought, however they are still evaluating him. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.”
Johnson was taken by ambulance to Lake Regional Hospital in Osage Beach where she was treated and released, the CPD stated.
“Based on the investigation, (Johnson) was arrested and charged with Assault Vehicular 2nd Degree to Emergency Personnel while intoxicated with alcohol or drugs, a Class B felony,” the CPD stated.
Camdenton gives approval to airport name change
CAMDENTON - The Board of Aldermen finalized its decision to change the name of Camdenton Memorial Airport despite an impassioned plea against the measure from a city resident.
The airport will officially be known as Camdenton-Lake of the Ozarks Regional Airport; the aldermen initially approved the change at its Oct. 7 meeting but needed to change city code to reflect the new title.
Jack Chapman - a member of the city’s Airport Board - spoke out in favor of the name change.
He said the Airport Board had spent a lot of time discussing possible name changes and that adding “Lake of the Ozarks” to the title would generate online attention.
However, resident Max Fisher spoke out against the name change.
“I feel renaming the airport will have little effect in drawing more people to the lake,” Fisher said.
He reminded the board that the airport had been dedicated in 1949 to honor servicemen that had been killed during World War II. Fisher added that his uncle died while serving in the Army Air Force in Europe.
Election: voter turnout higher but no surprises
LAKE OF THE OZARKS - For the majority of the lake area, the Nov. 4 general election was one with very few choices for voters to make.
Nearly every county office was dominated by Republican candidates without any opposition from the Democratic party, or any other political party for that matter.
The only elected positions featuring a choice of candidates - on a state or federal level - were State Auditor, U.S. Representative District 3 and U.S. Representative District 4.
However, all three incumbents - State Auditor Tom Schweich, U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer and U.S Rep. Vicki Hartzler - easily won re-election.
Each of the following state positions in Camden County had only one candidate:
State Senator Dan Brown, State Rep. Diane Franklin and State Rep. Rocky Miller; again, all three easily won their re-election bids.
Locally, Camden County voters said no to a proposed $7.9 million bond issue for Public Water System District 3.
Republicans dominated the ballot box in both Miller and Camden counties and nearly all of the candidates were incumbents.
Out of all the Camden County seats, Greg Hasty and Michael Gilley were the only candidates that are not incumbents. Both Hasty and Gilley faced heated battles that culminated in the primary election held in August of 2014
Legal or not? Homosexual marriage ruling leaves Recorders in gray area
CAMDEN COUNTY – A circuit judge St. Louis has overruled the voters in the state last week when he declared the ban on same-sex marriage unconstitutional.
Either that or:
A circuit judge in St. Louis has ruled that the state constitution does not apply to St. Louis.
The ruling by the judge has left counties – including Camden County – in a gray area as to whether homosexual marriage is legal or not.
In part of the ruling the judge says it is a violation of the equal protection and due process guarantees of the United States Constitution but in the other section the judge specifically applies it to “the City of St. Louis”.
That is where the trouble lies: Is it legal for the entire state or just for St. Louis?
“Our attorney for the Recorder’s Association of Missouri has been monitoring this real close and when the judgment came down she researched it,” Camden County Recorder Donnie Snelling said. “It appears to her and to me that the judgment takes great pains to state that it applies only to the city of St. Louis at this time.”
The judge’s ruling has caused confusion among the county recorders throughout the state because it didn’t state a clear-cut course of action for the entire state, just for St. Louis.
“What scares me is the way the ruling is worded that it can be interpreted either way,” said Snelling. “Until I get some kind of directive I’m not going to issue them. I figure I have less liability not issuing them than issuing them.”
That will depend on a judge’s decision, which Snelling thinks will come down quickly.
“It’s a very gray area at this time and I’m not going to do it,” said Snelling “There has to be some kind of directive from the attorney or a court. We can’t do something based on the news.”
Summit Gas offers settlement in trespassing case
CAMDEN COUNTY – Summit Natural Gas (SNG) has made an offer of settlement in a trespassing suit filed by a county resident.
A suit filed last year by Michael Stark accuses SNG of trespassing and property damage.
Stark claims SNG entered his property and installed a gas line without his permission and on property SNG did not have an easement for.
SNG’s response, through their attorney Diana Carter, says the gas company did enter Stark’s property but made a simple mistake.
“…SNG admits that it entered upon a portion of the land…believing it had the right and authority to do so, to install pipe.”
They also admit that they did not pay Stark monetary compensation for an easement on the property but deny that they trespassed.
The settlement, submitted to court by Carter, offered to pay damages and court costs to Stark.
“This offer of judgment does not constitute an admission of liability, but Defendant SNG offers to have judgment taken against it on the Plaintiff’s claim…in the amount of $10,000, plus court costs.”
The offer also stated Rule 77.04, which gives Stark 10 days to accept the offer.
The offer was dated Sept. 15 and no response had been filed by Stark in the court documents.
Camdenton under fire: Pit Bull law
CAMDENTON - What is - and is not - a pit bull was debated at last week’s Board of Aldermen meeting in response to a resident being ordered to remove her American Bull Dogs from within the city limits.
According to Misty Brown, she received conflicting responses from city employees concerning her two American Bull Dogs named Karma and Chaos after purchasing a home within the city limits.
Brown said she was first told by a City Hall employee that her two dogs did not fall under an ordinance banning pit bulls.
However, she later received a visit from the city’s animal control officer and a police officer and was issued a citation because her two dogs met five of eight characteristics listed within the pit bull ban ordinance found within Section 210 of the city ordinances.
Brown disagreed with the city’s assessment.
“They show characteristics of a pit bull but they are not pit bulls,” Brown said, adding that the dogs have American Kennel Club (AKC) papers showing their American Bull Dog designation for at least six generations.
Brown said she has been forced to move the dogs to another location outside the city and is considering selling her home.
Her lawyer - Mark Webb - also spoke to the board.
“I find this law to be arbitrary,” Webb said. He added that “a mean dog comes from a mean owner.”
Alderman Sandy Osborn disagreed.
“Most of the pit bulls that attack are known to be family dogs,” Osborn said. “I’m not willing to let that happen (in Camdenton).”
Mayor John McNabb stated that Brown had initially “talked to someone whose main duties are collecting water and sewer bills” about the pit bull ordinance and that she “should have gone to the appropriate person.”
Versailles man killed in shootout with police
MORGAN COUNTY – A 41-year-old man has been killed in an alleged shootout with police last week.
Last Wednesday (Nov. 26) deputies from the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, along with the Versailles Police Department responded to 18548 2nd St. in Versailles to a call of an assault in progress.
Upon arrival, officers confronted Randall Roden, of Versailles, who police say had assaulted another individual.
While attempting to restrain Roden, he was tasered twice, however, Roden fired multiple rounds at the officers from his pistol, according to police.
One of the bullets fired by Roden ricocheted and struck a Morgan County Deputy, resulting in minor injuries.
Officers returned fire which resulted in the death of Roden. An autopsy is currently being scheduled the results were not available at press time.
The investigation is being conducted by members of the Missouri State Highway Patrol's Division of Drug and Crime Control.
Audit: Miller County over-collected $450,000 in taxes
MILLER COUNTY - Once again the county has received a “poor” rating from the State Auditor’s Office (SAO) based on a 2013 audit released Nov. 17.
Most notably, the audit claims the county failed to sufficiently reduce the property tax levy during 2013 resulting in an over-collection of over $450,000 in property tax.
The audit further states “(t)he County Clerk's annual sales tax reduction calculations were incorrect and the 2013 tax levy reductions were improperly reported to the State Auditor's office.”
According to the SAO, the “poor” audit rating - the lowest rating an entity can receive - indicates “(Miller County) needs to significantly improve operations”; the audit also “contains numerous findings that require management's immediate attention” and “if applicable, most prior recommendations have not been implemented.”
Sheriff hit with $500,000 personal injury suit
CAMDEN COUNTY – Sheriff Dwight Franklin, Camden County and other staff at the jail are being sued for personal injury in an alleged incident that occurred in 2011.
The petition was filed by attorney Erik Bergmanis on behalf of Frank Otto Blakely.
The suit claims that on or about Nov. 26, 2011 Blakely was arrested, taken into custody and incarcerated in the Camden County Jail.
While using the recreational area of the jail, Blakely slipped and fell, breaking his arm, according to court documents.
Franklin is blamed for the wet, slippery floor which caused the fall.
The break was bad enough to require surgical repair and the insertion of a steel rod in the arm, according to court documents.
The suit claims that Blakely’s constitutional rights under the Eighth Amendment were violated because the jail staff failed to render help after he broke his arm.
The Eighth Amendment says: “Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.”
The documents then list 10 points where his rights were violated and his suffering was prolonged after he broke his arm.
Blakely is asking for $500,000 in damages along with attorney fees, punitive damages, prejudgment interest “at the maximum legal rate” and other relief the court deems necessary.
School employee accused of $127,000 felony stealing
CAMDEN COUNTY - A former Camdenton R-III School District employee has been charged with felony stealing after allegedly siphoning off more than $127,000 since 2009.
Cassandra Franklin - 38 years old, of Macks Creek - was the focus of a recent in-house investigation by the school district accusing the former head cashier of “embezzling money from the Food Service Department at the Camdenton R-III High School,” according to a probable cause statement filed Dec. 4 by Camdenton School Resource Officer Chris Williams.
According to Williams, School Superintendent Tim Hadfield had been informed of the loss of revenue problem on Sept. 19.
“The investigation began when the Kitchen Manager Dee Dee Burkhart reported to (Food Service Director) Dawn Matthews that records of meals being prepared and served by the cooks did not match cashier records of meals being paid for by students,” Williams said in his statement.
“Matthews stated she reviewed records and reports for each day Franklin worked for the last six school years and observed similar patterns of manipulation to the reports and deposit amounts made by Franklin while performing her duties as head cashier,” Williams said in his statement.
According to Williams’ statement, a review of school year receipts starting in 2009 and running through the current school year revealed the following shortages totaling $127,048.22.
“Mr. Hadfield stated that when presented with the results of their initial investigation (on Sept. 22), Franklin admitted she had been stealing cash from lunch money given to her by students since the beginning of the school year and that she had taken approximately $3,000 in that time period,” Williams stated in his report.
According to Williams’ statement, Franklin said she “did it because she was having financial hardships at home” and noted that Franklin’s employment with the school district was terminated at that point.
One dead in head-on collision
CAMDEN COUNTY - A head-on collision last Wednesday afternoon on Highway 54 took the life of an Eldon woman.
According to Linn Creek Police Sgt. Matt Burns, a 1996 Ford Thunderbird driven by 36-year-old Victoria Jeffries was traveling eastbound on Highway 54 at approximately 3:25 p.m. when the vehicle crossed over the grass median.
The Ford Thunderbird struck a Chevy one-ton pickup head-on that was driven by Bradley Smith, 33, of Camdenton, Burns said.
Both Jeffries and Smith were transported by ambulance to Lake Regional Hospital in Osage Beach where Jeffries later died of her injuries, according to Burns.
Smith suffered serious injuries.
Traffic was backed up for a number of hours, Burns said, after closing westbound Highway 54 down to one lane which re-opened at approximately 5:43 p.m.
The investigation into the accident is continuing, Burns added.
The Linn Creek Police Department was assisted by the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MHP), Osage Beach Fire Department, Camden County Sheriff’s Department (CCSD) and the Camden County Ambulance District.
Woman, child found dead
MORGAN COUNTY – The bodies of a woman and a child were found dead at the scene of a fire in Barnet last week.
On Friday, Dec. 12, at approximately 6:45 a.m., Morgan County Communications received a report of a structure fire at 21606 Hwy 52 in Barnett, MO.
Once the fire department arrived at the location they attempted to contain the fire, which was located in one of the upstairs apartments.
While fighting the fire, firefighters discovered the body of a child inside the apartment.
The Morgan County Sheriff’s Office was then notified and responded to the scene. A short time later, another body, that of an adult female, was also discovered inside the residence.
Deputies notified the Missouri State Fire Marshals Office and the Missouri State Highway Patrol for assistance with the investigation.
The investigation into the cause of death placed the blame on a Christmas tree.
The future name of the airport caused a headache for the city of Camdenton in the last part of the year. A
proposed name change brought complaints to the Board of Aldermen causing the board to reconsider the
new name several times. (Reporter artist rendering)
Camdenton chooses another name for _________ Airport
CAMDENTON - Camdenton Memorial Airport may finally have a new name.
Or it may not.
It has become somewhat of a Gordian Knot for both city officials and veterans since one resident spoke out against changing the airport name in October to “Camdenton Lake of the Ozarks Regional Airport.”
A final yet tentative recommendation from the Board of Aldermen on Dec. 16 - “Camdenton Memorial Lake Regional Airport” - will not formally reach the Airport Advisory Board until next year.
According to Airport Manager Corey Leuwerke, members of the Airport Board have had informal discussions about the name-change brouhaha since the last aldermen meeting earlier this month but are not scheduled to meet until February of 2015.
Leuwerke spoke to city officials about the informal discussions last Tuesday night, saying that “Camdenton Lake Regional Memorial Airport” was a provisional decision. He also said that the name itself needed to be as short as possible because it could be arbitrarily abbreviated.
“We need to keep it to five words,” Leuwerke said, pointing to the contraction in some publications of Osage Beach’s “Lee C. Fine Airport” to “Fine Airport.”
He added that “Lake” and “Regional” were important words to have in the name because of listings in airport directories and on Internet searches.
Leuwerke also asked the board for a formal decision about creating a monument or marker at the airport to explain the reason for its’ “Memorial” designation. (The airport was dedicated in 1949 as Camdenton Memorial Airport as a tribute to the servicemen and women who died during World War One and Two.)
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