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Local News

Storm Chasers From Quebec


A group of storm chasers from Quebec, Canada is moving through Joplin for the next few weeks. Jolyane Limoges  is a nurse who is part of Xtreme Chase Quebec.

"We're going to be based in Oklahoma because, obviously, Oklahoma is pretty much a bullseye.  We're going to stick around Joplin too, and probably go back because it's spring and you get this weather often, right?"

Limoge tells News Talk KZRG chasing storms is her passion.  "I don't know why, it's just the chaos that comes with it that drives you and makes you feel alive.  It's the only place I can say that I'm perfectly happy. And I don't know why, I can't find a good reason.  I can't pinpoint why I love it so much, I really can't, but I love it."

You can follow Xtreme Chase Quebec on Facebook; but it's in French, so you may need a translator.

MSSU President Search


Missouri Southern State University's search for a new president is hitting the home stretch. Scott Meeker, MSSU communications and new media specialist, tells News Talk KZRG they're no longer taking applications.

"They have 35 applicants so far.  Their screening commiteee is going to be meeting on Monday to begin reviewing those applications.  They're reviewing those behind closed doors, and that's not in open information, so we do not know any of the names of the candidates who have applied at this time."

So there's no word if interim president Dr. Alan Marble is one of those 35 applicants. Meeker says the goal is to hire a new president by mid-summer.

MO House Votes To Move Primaries To June


Missouri House members have narrowly approved legislation moving the state's primary elections to June.

Primaries for Congress, the state Legislature and statewide offices now take place in early August in even-numbered years. The bill would move them to the third full week in June.

The House approved the measure Thursday on a vote of 84-67, sending it to the Senate. 82 votes are required to pass legislation out of the House.

Supporters said earlier primaries would give candidates more time to raise money and prepare for general elections. Republicans have had contentious primaries in past elections that left candidates for statewide offices short on cash and bruised.

Opponents argued that holding primaries in June could lead to more campaigning during the legislative session, which ends in mid-May.

 

Former OSU Basketball Player's Conviction Overturned


Oklahoma's criminal appeals court has overturned the conviction of a former Oklahoma State basketball player accused of sexually assaulting two women at an off-campus party in 2010.

The Court of Criminal Appeals on Tuesday reversed the conviction for Darrell Williams because several jurors made unauthorized visits to the crime scene.

Williams was convicted in 2012 of two counts of rape by instrumentation and one count of sexual battery.

Two women testified that Williams groped them against their will at the party. But Williams' attorneys argued that he was misidentified, noting that the women identified Williams as their attacker after police showed them a lineup of the Oklahoma State basketball team.

At sentencing, Williams received no jail time but was ordered to register as a sex offender.

 

2 Executions In OK Tuesday


Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin says two death row inmates at the center of the state's legal flap will both be executed Tuesday, the state's first double execution since 1937.

Her decision comes after the Oklahoma Supreme Court removed one of the final obstacles standing in the way of the executions of Clayton Lockett and Charles Warner.

Fallin said Thursday the Oklahoma Department of Corrections is working on specifics and logistics of how the executions will be carried out.

The high court ruled late Wednesday that Lockett and Warner are not entitled to know the source of the drugs that will be used to kill them.

It also dissolved a stay of execution it had issued earlier in the week in a sharply divided and much criticized 5-4 decision.

 

Leggett & Platt First Quarter Financials


Carthage-based Leggett and Platt announced earnings of 37 cents per share..a 12 percent increase from the previous year and a first quarter record for the company. This, even though first quarter sales were down one percent at $919 million. Leggett and Platt Board Chair and CEO David Haffner says he's encouraged by the positive momentum of several businesses, including automotive, aerospace, bedding, furniture and office.

Columbus District Asking for $30 Million Bond


The Columbus school district is in desperate need of some repairs. That's why their asking the voters for $30 million this May. The district wants to build a new two-story building for the 1st through 8th graders, renovate the high school and football stadium, as well as add storm shelters. Even though they haven't had a bond issue on the ballot in over 30 years, Superintendent David

Holder Cancels OKC Speech


U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder canceled plans to speak to a group of Oklahoma City police cadets amid a planned protest by conservative lawmakers and organizations. Holder's planned visit to Oklahoma City Thursday drew the ire of several conservative lawmakers, including Oklahoma Congressman James Lankford, who said Holder's visit was ``incredibly inappropriate.''
 

Wood Pleads Not Guilty


A youth football coach accused of kidnapping, raping and killing a 10-year-old girl has pleaded not guilty. 46-year-old Craig Michael Wood appeared Thursday in Greene County Circuit Court in Springfield. Wood is accused of abducting Hailey Owens while she walked home from her best friend's house, just two blocks from her own home. She was found dead hours later in the basement of Wood's home. Wood's preliminary hearing, which was scheduled for Thursday, has been rescheduled for May 22nd.

Arrest In Joplin Shooting


A woman from Joplin has been arrested in connection with a shooting Wednesday morning.  30-year-old Jennifer Crouch was taken into custody Wednesday afternoon, accused of shooting 44-year-old Robert Johnson of Joplin.  Captain Derek Walrod with the Jasper County Sheriff's Office tells News Talk KZRG the incident began as a dispute between neighbors at 913 South State Line Road around 10am.

"During the dispute, Ms. Crouch brandished a small caliber firearm and shot Robert Johnson in the abdomen area. He was taken to a local hospital, where he's recovering from his injuries and we transported her to the Jasper County Detention Center."

Crouch was arrested for second degree assault and armed criminal action.  Walrod says more charges could follow as the investigation continues.

Electrical Problem At Joplin Theater


There was a report of smoke last night at the Hollywood 14 Theaters in Joplin, but it wasn't a fire. Joplin Fire Chief Mitch Randles tells News Talk KZRG a bad flourescent light ballast caused the smoke. He says there was a problem with a transformer and it began smoking. No one was injured. Randles says the theater is making repairs.

Nixon Reacts to Impeachment Hearing


A Republican-led Missouri House wants Governor Jay Nixon gone. They'll be holding a hearing today to discuss impeaching the Democratic governor. It stems from Nixon's decision to allow same-sex couples who were legally married in other states to file joint tax returns. He tells News Talk KZRG he's following the law.

"We don't recognize gay marriage, but as far as joint
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