Former Clay County Missouri Deputy Sheriff Miles A. Guthrie Arrested, Charged With Receiving Stolen Property And Unlawful Use Of Weapon

May 17, 2012

LIBERTY, MISSOURI – Prosecutors have charged a former Clay County deputy sheriff with receiving stolen property and unlawful use of a weapon.

Miles A. Guthrie, 22, was arrested Wednesday afternoon by personnel from the Clay County Sheriff’s Office. He had worked in the office for six months.

A release from the Clay County Sheriff’s Office did not specify the type of stolen property involved in the charges.

Prosecutors said he was being held in lieu of $25,000 bond. He’s scheduled to appear in court next week.

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Savage Black Beasts Kill Random White Jogger In Daytime Drive-By Shooting In Raytown Missouri

May 16, 2012

RAYTOWN, MISSOURI – After three days, the Metro Squad expects it will disband on Wednesday and turn over the investigation into the murder of Harry Stone to the Raytown Police Department.

Stone, 60, was killed while jogging Sunday morning at about 7:20 at 67th and Blue Ridge Blvd. Police suspect the murder could have been a gang initiation or a dare.

On Tuesday police returned to canvass the area to try to find evidence that will lead them to Stone’s killer. About 35 cadets from the police academy assisted.

Several people witnessed Stone’s murder. They told police a dark-colored car driving north on 67th Street passed Stone as he was jogging, and without slowing down, opened fire on him. Witnesses say there were two black men inside the car.

“It was daylight. There were witnesses,” said Thomas Prudden, a Raytown police detective. “But it was such a quick incident and there was nothing to tell you it was going to happen. Somebody driving by, holding a gun outside and shooting and then driving off. You can imagine how hard that is to investigate or get evidence from.”

Also Tuesday, police determined that a car they stopped Monday night that matched the description of the suspect vehicle is unrelated to the crime.

Monday night at about 7:30 p.m., police tried to stop a dark-colored car, but the driver sped away. Police chased him to 61st and Agnes, where about 15 officers from three agencies surrounded him.

The driver was taken into custody but Tuesday morning police determined he was not connected to Stone’s murder.

The suspect vehicle is a dark-colored, 4-door sedan captured on surveillance video from the BP gas station near the scene of the murder.

Stone’s daughter spoke to the media Monday afternoon.

“Do the right thing,” Susan Li pleaded to those who may know something about the crime.

Li said her father was very active, jogging nearly everyday by himself or with his dog. He was also active in the church. He is survived by his wife, children and grandchildren.

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Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Missouri Congressman Emanuel Cleaver’s Inability To Pay Loan For Car Wash May Be Bailed Out With Taxpayer Dollars

April 11, 2012

MISSOURI – Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.), who is facing a lawsuit for failing to pay down a 2002 Bank of America loan that he used to buy a car wash in Missouri, could have a good chunk of the $1.5 million he owes paid off by taxpayers.

According to the Kansas City Star, the Small Business Administration (SBA) backed about three-quarters of Cleaver’s 2002 loan, which means that if the loan goes bad, the SBA could pay off $1.1 million of that debt.

The Star reports that the SBA is unclear exactly how much it would pay to Bank of America, and said it would depend in part on how much Cleaver pays to the bank.

However, the suit filed by Bank of America on March 30 indicates that Cleaver has had trouble making payments throughout the life of the loan. According to the bank’s filing, Cleaver’s loan was for $1.35 million, and he now owes $1.2 million in unpaid principal after 10 years.

But if $240,000 in unpaid interest and nearly $60,000 in late fees and other charges is added, Cleaver now owes more than $1.5 million, more than the original loan value.

“The Cleaver Company has defaulted on the Note by failing to make payments as required by the terms of the Note and by failing to make payments,” Bank of America wrote in its filing.

Cleaver released a story last week in which he said, “This is a business dispute. The business has been run by an outside manager for years. Because this is a legal matter I am limited in what I can say and I hope you respect that.”

SBA also did not immediately return a request for comment, and did not have any public statement up on the Cleaver loan on its website.

Cleaver was elected to Congress in 2004, two years after he received the 2002 loan with SBA backing.

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3 Baxter Springs Missouri Firefighters Fired For Looting Businesses Night Of May 22nd Joplin Tornado. Fire Chief Suspended Amid Investigation

June 18, 2011

JOPLIN, MISSOURI – Three firefighters are fired and the Baxter Springs fire chief is placed on administrative leave while an investigation is underway into the looting of Joplin businesses on the night of the May 22nd tornado.

In a statement from Baxter Springs Mayor Jennifer Bingham, she says the city of Baxter Springs upholds a zero-tolerance policy and as a city we will stand united against any such behavior.

It is unclear yet whether three unnamed firefighters were on duty at the time of the looting.

Last Saturday, Fire Chief Les Page was asked to take an administrative leave of absence.

Mayor Bingham says Page was not involved in the wrongdoings of the three firefighters. He has been with the department for nearly 40 years. In his absence Art Mallory has been named acting fire chief.

At this point Joplin authorities have not yet filed charges against the three firefighters.

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St. Louis Missouri Corrections Officer’s Stupidity To Blame For 2 Escaping From $101 Million “State-Of-The-Art” Jail With Homemade Rope

April 23, 2011

ST. LOUIS, MISSOURI – A “knuckle-headed corrections officer” is to blame for the escape of two men who apparently climbed down a homemade rope Friday morning to escape from a St. Louis detention center, the mayor’s chief of staff said.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that Vernon Collins, 34, and David White, 33, were discovered missing just before 7 a.m., but police believe they might have been gone for 90 minutes by that time.

White was later caught at a gas station wearing what a station clerk described as a “Bruce Lee wig,” the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported. He was taken into custody about 4 p.m. after police surrounded an older-model white Cadillac at a Phillips 66 station. Collins remained at large Friday afternoon.

Collins was in jail on a charge of assaulting a law enforcement officer, while White was being held on charges of assault, burglary and property damage. Collins also is accused of overpowering a corrections officer.

Jeff Rainford, Mayor Francis Slay’s chief of staff, told the newspaper the escape was the first at the $101 million, state-of-the-art downtown jail built in 2002 and it happened when a corrections officer failed to fully investigate noises coming from the men’s cell.

Police said the inmates apparently broke out a second-story window and scaled down the front of the building using black cloth tied together with rope. A security camera mounted below the broken window appeared to have been knocked off its mount and was dangling from the building Friday morning.

No blood was visible near the window or on the ground.

Both men were being held in the center’s medical unit, Rainford said. He said a nurse heard noises coming from their cell in the middle of the night and told a corrections officer, who went to the cell and asked what was going on. The inmates told the officer they were exercising.

The nurse heard noises again and the same officer went back to the cell, but didn’t go inside, Rainford said.

“This was not some master-minded scheme,” he said. “This was one knuckle-headed corrections officer.”

White, who had been in the jail’s infirmary with a broken leg, broke the other one while escaping, police said.

Daphne Golden, who was waiting at the jail to bail out her son Friday morning, said she heard corrections officers declare that all inmates were accounted for over an intercom at shift change around 6:30 a.m. Moments later, jailers began running around, yelling to secure all doors and windows, she said.

“They were running around like wild people,” she said.

The jail is run by the city’s Public Safety Department. Corrections superintendent Eugene Stubblefield said the men used a bedsheet to escape.

St. Louis Police Capt. Sam Dotson said police are reviewing video surveillance to see if anyone helped the two escape.

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Carter County Missouri Sheriff Tommy Adams Arrested For Methamphetamine Distribution

April 19, 2011

VAN BUREN, MISSOURI – One county on the edge of the Missouri Ozarks seemed oddly immune to the scourge of methamphetamine ravaging the state, boasting few meth raids or arrests in recent years. Some residents now think they know why, after a meth bust landed the Carter County sheriff himself in jail.

Tommy Adams, county sheriff for a little more than two years, was arrested earlier this month after giving meth to an informant at his cabin on a remote and hilly gravel road, according to a court document. He also allegedly snorted the drug himself with a straw. Authorities would not detail the extent of Adam’s alleged meth involvement, but charged him with meth distribution. He is being held in Cape Girardeau County jail on $250,000 bond.

Now, a county once seen as an exception has become the latest example of how deeply meth has saturated every corner of rural Missouri life. Other rural law enforcement officers have been linked to drugs over the years, but Adams is one of the first arrested for meth.

“I think it’s pretty sad,” said Vicki Babbs, 46, of Van Buren. “You’ve got someone who’s sheriff riding around high on meth with a gun. It’s pretty scary.”

County residents hope the case sheds light on the extent of the local meth problem as well as other crimes. Days after the sheriff’s arrest, his chief deputy, 23-year-old Steffanie Kearbey, was charged with burglary and receiving stolen property — a gun taken from the department’s evidence room.

No state has been hit harder by the meth epidemic than Missouri, which led the nation in meth lab busts every year for a decade before Tennessee took over the top spot in 2010, dropping Missouri to second. Missouri has reported more than 13,000 meth lab incidents in the past seven years. The highly-addictive drug, made by cooking common chemicals, has caused countless fires and explosions, along with severe health problems among users.

Carter County sits in the Ozark Mountain foothills, surrounded by the Mark Twain National Forest. Thousands of visitors come each year for float trips and to visit Big Spring State Park, just outside of Van Buren, where crystal-clear water bubbles constantly into a meandering stream.

Just more than 6,000 residents live here. Good jobs are hard to come by.

Adams, 31, worked as a laborer around Ellsinore, his hometown, before getting his law enforcement certification about four years ago, and was soon hired as an Ellsinore city officer, Mayor David Bowman said. “I never had any trouble with him,” Bowman said. “He was outgoing, friendly.”

After just two years of law enforcement experience, Adams, a Republican ran for sheriff in 2008 against favored Democratic incumbent Greg Melton. But just weeks before the November election, Melton died in what was ruled a suicide. It was too late for the Democrats to replace him, and Melton’s name remained on the ballot.

Adams won by a single vote — 1,424-1,423 — and took over the $37,000-a-year job.

Other southern Missouri counties have had dozens of meth lab busts in recent years. But Carter County had just five since Adams took over as sheriff — two in 2009, three in 2010.

“I think meth is out there and maybe he knew what was going on,” Carter County Presiding Commissioner John Bailiff said. “I think a lot of people just turn a deaf ear to it, including maybe the sheriff.”

Lloyd Parsons, 37, a member of the Van Buren Fire Department, never figured Adams for one of the bad guys. He described Adams, the married father of an infant son, as professional and knowledgeable.

“I’ve worked several accidents with the guy and he knew his stuff, even the medical part,” Parsons said.

But Richard Stephens, who was a Van Buren officer before being appointed as temporary sheriff until a special election can be held this summer, said he had concerns about Adams.

“I had a suspicion that things weren’t being handled effectively and professionally,” said Stephens, 42. He would not elaborate, citing ongoing state and federal investigations.

Mark Alan Kennedy, attorney for chief deputy Kearbey, said his client had no law enforcement experience before the sheriff paid for her certification training, then hired her for the $20,000-a-year job.

He said Adams was the “instigator” of the crimes alleged against Kearbey. She is accused of selling a gun that had been stolen from the sheriff’s department’s evidence room and taking a duffel bag of coins from a house.

“We’re hoping that an eventual jury will understand that this young woman was under a lot of pressure from the sheriff,” Kennedy said. “She was new in law enforcement, and acted under threats of loss of her job or physical threats.”

Adams and his attorney declined several interview requests. The Missouri Attorney General’s office has taken over prosecution of the case.

Stephens and county commissioners are trying to ease the minds of residents left angry and disappointed.

“They’re upset about the breakdown in trust,” Stephens said. “We need to be bending over backward to try and regain that trust with the public.”

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City Of Hazelwood Missouri Targets Girl Scout Cookie Sales

March 24, 2011

HAZELWOOD, MISSOURI –  The city of Hazelwood says they do support the Girl Scouts but not when they are violating the home occupancy code.

They’d been warned, but the city says the Girl Scouts Abigail and Caitlin Mills continued to sell Girl Scout cookies from a stand in front of their home. A neighbor complained anonymously because of all the people and the traffic and the dogs barking at all the people and the traffic.

“Based on this complaint, the city of Hazelwood had to take action,” says spokesman Tim Davidson. He says it is also against city code to sell products from home.

And while he has heard some complaints from residents that Hazelwood is being too harsh on the teens, Davidson says others have pointed out that one tenet of the Girl Scouts is good citizenship.

“The fact that we did have this code in place, it’s the responsibility of every good citizen to respect the laws that we have,” said Davidson.

But the girls’ mother, Carolyn Mills, is vowing to let them keep selling their cookies, until they reach their goal of 2,000 purchases.

She says the cookie stand is equally important as a learning opportunity. “This is teaching leadership, communication, entrepreneurship,” Mills explains. “They’re getting to know the value of money, and how to keep people from ripping you off.”

Mills says the cookie stand has been a six year tradition, that started by chance. “We were parked in the driveway, counting the cookies in the back of the van, when suddenly a car pulled up and the driver asked if we had any extras,” explained Mills. “And then another car pulled up. And another.”

UPDATE:

The battle of the cookies is over in Hazelwood.

Wednesday the Rev. George Hutchings bought the last 36 boxes. Hutchings took some boxes and told the mother and daughters to give the rest to neighbors.

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