The Springfield News-Leader from Springfield, Missouri on July 18, 1996 · Page 15
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The Springfield News-Leader from Springfield, Missouri · Page 15

Springfield, Missouri
Issue Date:
Thursday, July 18, 1996
Page 15
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I ACROSS THE OZARKS 2B I NEIGHBORS 3B I DEATHS 4B I LIFE & TIMES 5B I COMICS 9B ; THURSDAY, July 18, 1996 News-Leader Questions? Story Ideas? Call our Help Desk at 836-1 199. PAGE IB "SPRINGFIELD 10 Ozardcrs cfisrocd In moth bust In what's called the largest federal drug sweep since the crack-dealing Chicago Boys were taken down in Springfield two years ago, 18 Ozarkers are charged in connection with a methamphetamine operation that's led to 26 criminal charges. " 'Officers from local, state and federal law agencies announced the completion Wednesday of a six-month probe that resulted in charges including meth distribution, running a drug house and weapons violations. "Federal forfeiture laws could result in the seizing of items including thousands of dollars in cash, a Springfield home and a bar, property in Benton County and an ATV and Wave Runner, said Chris Whitley, spokesman for the U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Missouri. The investigation ended with the serving of search warrants in Springfield and another undisclosed location. Police on alert after 21 car windows broken Another round of ruthless vehicle-window smashings has two Springfield police detectives searching for possible juvenile suspects. At least 21 windows were broken late Monday night and early Tuesday in an area south of Battlefield Road and west of Campbell Avenue, Sgt John Waugh said. Mostly, vehicles were hit with what appeared to be a slingshot-fired marble. Add to that a few dozen more similar smashings last month in south-central Springfield and the damage from these unexplained acts adds up, officials say. While Waugh said juveniles may be responsible, he could not explain why. There appear to be no strong suspects. ava ; Slain girl's parents find bomb parts on car Stanley Workman walked out of his rural Douglas County home, noticed the box on the hood of his car and picked it up. There was handwriting on the box: ."BOOM YOU'RE DEAD" ' He called the police. Workman and his wife, Joan whose daughter, Kelle Ann, was found slain seven years ago this week are now wondering who put the makings of a bomb on their vehicle. ; The box contained parts for a bomb, but no explosives, police say. It was discovered Tuesday morning. "It was like losing Kelle all over again," Joan Workman said Wednesday . Police aren't saying whether there's any connection between Kelle's still-unsolved death and this week's discovery. , Members of the Missouri Highway Patrol's bomb-disposal unit are investigating. WALNUT GROVE Order to boil water for drinking lifted A boil-water order was lifted for Walnut Grove residents Wednesday afternoon. The city has been using a temporary pump for a few weeks, since officials noticed problems with the 21-year-old permanent pump. The permanent pump should be repaired and back in the ground the week of July 29. For information, call City Hall at 788-2596. Correction . . The News-Leader strives ; . for accuracy and fairness. We will correct any errors or misunderstandings created by stories, headlines or '.- photographs. - , Readers may request a correction by calling the as-, signment desk at 836-1258. re In a string of break-ins this week, entry is gained from unlocked garage doors. By Robert Keyes News-Leader As quickly as Gale Campbell could sic her two dogs on the man standing in the kitchen of her south-central Springfield home, he was gone. And on Wednesday two days af ter the burglary that was one of six similar break-ins reported to police detectivesdidn't know if they were dealing with the work of one daring burglar or more. Onepossibilitymulledbypolice:The "Tiptoe Burglar" had resurfaced three years after entering several dozen oc- Teen gets 5 years for role in robbery By Ron Davis News-Leader A Willard teen was hit with a five-year prison sentence Wednesday for his part in the brutal beating and robbery of a Bois D'Arc woman. Curtis Sutton, 17, pleaded guilty in May to a charge of second-degree robbery. He was one of three young men who broke into a mobile home belonging to JoAnn Dorser, 65, on Nov. 5. The men beat Dorser, stole her keys and entered JoAnn's Expressway Lounge, which Dorser owned. They were looking for $10,000 in cash in a safe. The money wasn't there. The next day, family members found Dorser, and she spent two weeks in the hospital. Now braindamaged, she remains in a nursing home. Charged in the crime: Sutton and his older brother Alton, 22; and Brandon Stevens, 17. Alton Sutton was sentenced to 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to second-degree robbery. He allegedly called one of Dorser's daughters after the robbery and asked how her "veggie mom" was doing. Stevens was convicted on Tuesday of first-degree robbery. A jury recommended a 25-year sentence. Curtis Sutton's sentence of five years in prison is the minimum; he faced up to 15. He was 16 at the time of the crime, and he helped law enforcement by implicating Stevens in the crime. Prosecutors say Stevens was the only one who entered Dorser's trailer. KYTV files By Ron Davis News-Leader Unless a subpoena for KYTV's unedited tape of an interview with Texas inmate Robert Craig Cox is quashed, "every county prosecutor, every attorney general, every U.S. attorney throughout this state will be looking over every reporter's shoulder during every interview," the TV station's lawyer said. City bet wrong: Voters want voice on casino The comments flying around Jim Humbird's barbershop Wednesday were as sharp and pointed as the scissors he used to whack the 10-inch po-nytail off Arthur Juede's head. The topic: Springfield City Council's refusal to hear a proposal to bring a casino-resort to town. City leaders gambled that thev could turn their backs on millions of dollars for the city and thousands of new jobs generated by the casino without a public meeting or Duttine the issue up for a public vote. They lost that bet, according to Humbird and his patrons. "It's silly to turn down 5,000 jobs," Humbird said, guiding the clipper along Juede's now hairless neck. "Why should people who like togam- FOR YOUR INFORMATION Pel adoption: The Humane Society of the Branson Tri-Lakes Area will hold a pet adoption from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and from noon to 6 p.m. Sunday at PetsMart, 3500 S. Glenstone Ave. Call 272-8113. fed w liQid win cupied University Heights-area homes and sneaking off with wallets and purses. A suspect was never charged with those crimes. Police Sgt. John Waugh couldn't say . But "the thought has crossed my mind," he said. "We're going to be looking at that." Some of the details of this week's break-ins sound similar to what happened back then: The apparent invitation of easily spied wallets snatched up from kitchens or living rooms, the peculiarity that someone would be so bold as to enter an occupied home. Parents of Willard Olympians receive scrolls i ' L ,f, - ; t J o mjim.:, r:1-TEAM .-rrfi V k.' -Vs. OLYMPIANS A J' ' ' J, ., ... ' court motion to keep tape from jury In a motion filed late Wednesday, Arthur Hudkins asked the Missouri Court of Appeals-Southern District to stop a grand jury from obtaining the hourlong videotaped interview with Cox, a suspect in the disappearance of Springfield's three missing women. Greene County Judge J. Miles Sweeney last week refused to quash the subpoena issued to reporter Dennis Graves. But he gave a week to ble have to drive to Kansas City or St. Louis or Tunica, Miss.? Half of my customers make a trip there once a month. It's silly to let those Baptists run this down. Look at the people playing Powerball Steve Koehler and Lotto. What's the difference?" Juede nodded in agreement, being careful not to move too much as Hum-bird clipped away the last few hairs. "At least put it up for vote. They're so quick to have tax votes on things that don't create jobs," the 24-year- Beyond that, similarities seem stretched. The Tiptoe Burglar didn't slip under unlocked garage doors as this week's burglars did. Often, he pried open windows. Tiptoe didn't spend much time riffling autos before entering homes, as those responsible for the recent intrusions did. Still, a theme of fear runs consistent when strangers are entering homes again and again. Gale Campbell is "scared to turn the lights out," her husband Joe said. "We double check everything before we go to bed." The Campbells, burglarized early Monday morning, have learned a lesson now being preached by police lock up. Denise McGill News-Leader appeal. Graves offered to hand over the material he aired but said as a reporter, he had "qualified privilege" to defy the subpoena Hudkins told Sweeney the unedited tape contains no relevant information that the jury could use in its investigation of the 1992 disappearances of Sherrill Levitt, Suzanne Streeter and Stacy McCalL But Sweeney said KYTV couldn't argue the tape has no evidence, be old said, admiring his haircut "At General Electric where I work, that's all they're talking about Some are worried about the crime, but most think it would bring better-paying jobs, and they all think we should have had a say." Jim Laverty, 65, was next to slide into Humbird's chair. Laverty's wife, Marilyn, sat nearby, watching her husband get a summer trim. "I don't know why they won't put it to a vote. It wouldn't win anyway. What are they afraid of?" Jim said. Marilyn, 61, agreed. "We've got to get away from us being told what to do," she said. "It seems like more and more you're told what you can and can't do." The retired couple has been to Las Our city editor is Chick Howland, BlOOd drive: The Community Blood Center of the Ozarks will have a blood drive from 1 to 6 p.m. today at the First' Assembly of God in Bolivar. Call 227-5302 for more information. In all of this week's burglaries, the intruder had little trouble slipping under an open garage door and into an unlocked home. Autos were almost always open, keys were sometimes left in the ignition. "We pretty much gave him an opportunity by leaving our garage door open," Joe Campbell said. So did three homeowners living near the James River Freeway and South Broadway Avenue, a good distance from the Campbells' home just southwest of Bass Pro Shops. The brash break-ins were first noticed about a month ago with three reports by residents living in the 600 See BURGLARIES, Page 4B Denise McGill News-Leader Jovial parents Florence Pyrah (rightj and Judy Endicott talk to well-wishers of their Olympics-bound children, runner Jason Pyrah and volleyball player Lori Endicott. For days, supporters wrote messages and warm wishes on long scrolls that were set up in Murfin's Market in Willard. The scrolls were presented to the Olympians' parents Wednesday at the store. The women will take the scrolls to their children in Atlantalaterthisweek. cause the station doesn't know what evidence might be useful to the jury. In his appeal, Hudkins said if the subpoena isn't quashed, grand juries could "subpoena the hard drive and software of a newsroom's computer system and search through reporter's conceive of a more chilling effect on the First Amendment profession of news gathering and dissemination." Vegas. Jim's sister works there as a tour director for a casino. Marilyn said it was a nice place to visit, but she wouldn't want it here. Jim said he has talked with friends who are opposed to a casino in Springfield "but they go to Vegas four times a year." Jobs there pay well, he said. His brother-in-law works in construction and is "booked solid with work for the next six years." Jack Rogers walked into the north-side shop just before noon. He didn't .have an appointment, but Humbird said he could take him after Laverty. "I like to gamble," the 38-year-old Rogers said. "But there's no reason why we need a casino here. If I want to gam 836-1 170, or fax, 837-1381 ; page edited by Laura Williams, 836-1 199 Nature trip: "Underwater Adventure Trip" will be offered by the Nature Center from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Wear swimsuit and bring a towel; carpool to stream pool. Ages 7-adult. Call 888-4237 to register. Recent burglaries Since Sunday six homes have been burglarized in Springfield. I July July 15-1:50 a.m. July 14 or 15- between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. CO !2 V) July 14 or 15- two homes between 8:30 p.m. and 6:30 a.m. Robert Keyes, Chuck Todd News-Leader City police baffled by mysterious letters By Deborah Barnes News-Leader Take four well-known names, a fake letter and a controversial home maintenance law. Now you have the pieces of a puzzle that has Springfield police stymied. The letter looked official to several unsuspecting homeowners who received it in recent weeks. After all it has the city's logo and the mayor's name on top. ". It distorts the requirements of the city's home maintenance law, which the City Council suspended months ago, by ordering residents to remove yard flowers, paint their houses and limit the number of cars in a driveway. It warns that violators who could not make the repairs themselves would have to pay city contractors $80 an hour to do the work. None of this is true. But the tale gets even stranger. The letter wasn't signed, but the names of Mayor Lee Gannaway, Councilman John Wilson, Greene County Commissioner Darrell Decker and judicial candidate Don Bur-rell Jr. grace the bottom. :. . Gannaway and Wilson voted for the unpopular home maintenance law, but Decker and Burrell had nothing to do with it. And to add insult to injury, Burrell, a Springfield lawyer, is identified in the letter as a sex therapist. Burrell laughed about his new job description, joking that he wasn't sure whether he'd been promoted or demoted. He said he has no clue who sent out the letter. "The obvious connection is that it was folks who are either up for election or will be soon. I assume it has something to do with politics, but I don't know who was targeted," Burrell said. "Was it one of us or all of us?" Gannaway said the letter didn't bother him personally, but he said he was concerned about people who received it and thought it was real See LETTER, Page 4B ble, I can go to Vegas. I wouldn't ever go if there was one here. I would go out of state and make it a vacation." Rogers, wearing a Vegas T-shirt, said that because Springfield is in the Bible Belt, a casino here would be met with a lot of protests. J That's OK with him. "They have a right to their opinion, just like I do." But Humbird, sweeping hair on the floor into a neat pile, said the council's action has cut offresidents' chances to express their opinion. "It should be up to the people, not the council," he said. Steve Koehler is the News-Leader's Ozarks columnist I'Cunchina 2 July 14 1 or 15- I 5 between I 8:30 p.m. - and 6:30 I n ! fjuyAV-1 4:23 a.m. I 11

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