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Local News

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

3M Announces $18 Million Expansion


3M is expanding. The company announced Wednesday that they'll be investing $18 million in their Nevada plant which will allow them to expand their production of film graphics while adding 22 skilled labor jobs. This will be the the seventh time the plant has expanded since opening in 1971. Plant manager Todd Cantrell tells News Talk KZRG, of all 70 countries that the company is located,

OK Rep. Wants To Impeach State Supreme Court Justices


A member of the Oklahoma House is drafting a resolution seeking the impeachment of state Supreme Court justices who granted a delay of execution to two death-row inmates.

Republican state Rep. Mike Christian told The Associated Press on Wednesday that five justices engaged in a ``willful neglect of duty.''

Under the state constitution, the Supreme Court handles civil cases while the Court of Criminal Appeals takes those involving inmates.

Inmates Clayton Lockett and Charles Warner were scheduled to die this month. They filed a lawsuit in civil court challenging secrecy surrounding execution drugs. They did not challenge their convictions.

The Court of Criminal Appeals has said it couldn't weigh in because it didn't have the power. The high court said a ``rule of necessity'' led to the stay.

Webb City Teacher Arrested


A now former Webb City High School teacher is charged with having sexual contact with a student. 29-year-old Carrie Njoroge of Oronogo was arrested yesterday; in a statement to News Talk KZRG, Webb City Superintendent Dr. Tony Rossetti says the district found out about the allegations last Thursday and notified local authorities. She resigned from her post as choir and music theory teacher the

Weir Woman Sentenced for Sex with a Child


A Weir woman will spend the next 11 years in prison. The Cherokee County Sheriff's Office tells News Talk KZRG 37-year-old Melissa Coles has been sentenced to 134 months for committing illegal sex acts with a child during a six-month period in 2009. She had fled to Arizona but was caught and brought back to Kansas last year, and pled guilty this past January.

OK Troopers To Get Raises


Governor Mary Fallin has signed a bill that would give Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers their first pay raise in seven years, although the pay hike won't come unless money is included in a separate budget proposal.

Fallin on Tuesday signed the bill that passed both chambers without opposition.

The bill removes the salary schedule for troopers from state statutes and authorizes across-the-board pay hikes of between 14 percent and 20 percent. Those increases are based on the recommendations of a study conducted last year on state employee compensation that found trooper salaries were below a regional average.

But the Legislature and governor still must agree to fund the roughly $8.5 million price tag for the raises as part of a broader budget agreement.

Carthage Still Selling Naming Rights


The Carthage School District is still bringing in naming rights money for its new early childhood center. Carthage Director of Special Services Beth James tells News Talk KZRG the School Board has approved more naming rights.

"Four rooms have been selected for naming rights through various organizations and individuals. As well as bricks, and an additional $100,000 has been given from the Southwest Missouri Bank for the Parents as Teachers portion of the building."

So how much has been raised in naming rights for the early childhood center?  "We had $350,000 from the Steadley Trust and then, of course, the $300,000 from the different portions of the building.  And then smaller amounts with the classrooms and the playground and that kind of thing."

James says in all, the District has brought in close to $700,000 for naming rights to various parts of the early childhood center. She says she's not expecting more large donations, but smaller ones for benches and bricks are likely.

COUNTRY MUSIC NEWS
Martina McBride Brings Everlasting Music on Tour
Martina McBride will take a timeless sound on the road when she kicks off her Everlasting tour in May.
Miranda Lambert Backstage at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
Every once in a while, I'm lucky enough to see a country artist's belongings up close, including their makeup collections, their wardrobe for the night or maybe their guitars.
Carrie Underwood Makes Time's Most Influential List
I don't know what makes me happier about this Most Influential list announced Thursday (April 24) by Time magazine ...
A Fest Request for More Legendary Moments
I can't even begin to count the number of country music festivals I've been to in my life. And yet I couldn't name one single moment that stood out to me as unforgettable.
Nashville Stars Take the Stage for On the Record
Nearing the close of its second season, ABC's hit drama Nashville will break from its weekly storyline Wednesday (April 23) with Nashville: On the Record.
Sara Evans Honored to Represent Women on Country Chart
I'm sitting at our dining room table chugging my coffee, looking over the current country charts, and so far, I have to say it's looking pretty good.
Jerrod Niemann: Blown Away, Then and Now
Jerrod Niemann's current single "Drink to That All Night" is at the top of the Billboard country airplay chart for its second week in a row. And Niemann sounds like he is blown away by that.
16 Songs Indicating You're in Front of a College Frat House
I've been on four college campuses in the past three days. And while I've seen a lot of impressive brick buildings, nothing has stood out to me more than the way the fraternity houses seem to be completely immersed in modern country music.
How Tim McGraw's Song Became a Duet
Remember how Tim McGraw and Faith Hill sang together at the ACM Awards a few weeks ago and how great they sounded together?
Country Music Hall of Fame Selection Is a Nashville Guessing Game
Even reporters who have covered country music since the advent of vinyl records never guess correctly who's going to be inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in any given year.
Site of Johnny Cash's Former Home Sold
Barry Gibb of the Bee Gees and his wife Linda have sold Johnny and June Carter Cash's former home in Hendersonville, Tenn., for $2 million, according to The Tennessean, Nashville's daily newspaper.
Dierks Bentley Checks in From Mile 17
While the rest of the world was watching the Boston Marathon on Monday (April 21), I was watching Dierks Bentley watch the Boston Marathon.
Blake Shelton Again Dispels Divorce Rumors
Whenever Blake Shelton decides it's his turn to defend his marriage to Miranda Lambert, he usually takes to Twitter. But this time, he went on live TV to do it.
Hall of Fame to Induct Ronnie Milsap, Hank Cochran, Mac Wiseman
Ronnie Milsap, songwriter Hank Cochran and singer, musician and businessman Mac Wiseman are the 2014 inductees into the Country Music Hall of Fame.
Justin Moore Looks Forward to a Short Vacation
If I had a family as absolutely adorable as Justin Moore's brood, I'd want to take a little time off from the road, too, to spend more time with them.