The Springfield News-Leader from Springfield, Missouri on April 4, 2009 · Page 1
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The Springfield News-Leader from Springfield, Missouri · Page 1

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Saturday, April 4, 2009
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FAITH INSIDE LOCAL FIGHTER JERI SITZES MAKES SWITCH TO MM A ID u Springfield ftr t.a- I,."' I , NEWS-LEADER.COM 0ZARKSM0BILE.COM Springfield, Missouri Saturday, april 4, 2009 75c T Y 2W8 i" w ASSOCIATED PRESS FILE PHOTO A gunman shot the pastor to death and injured several others March 8 at the First Baptist Church in Maryville, III. Churches consider security Some area churches are taking security measures to protect their congregations in light of recent church shootings. 1C ONLINE NOW ""V -" wuldgors XlftV VICKY WHEELER Leonard Wheeler is pictured at the helm in the Outdoors Recreation gallery. Enter outdoors photo contest If you enjoy shooting outdoors photos, post your pics in MyOzark-sOutdoors.com for a chance to win an ATV. Add up to one photo per day through April 28 in fishing, hunting, nature or recreation galleries to enter the free random drawing. Become a member at News-Leader.com to start adding your photos today. Go to MyOzarks Outdoors.com to find galleries and contest rules. Two more News-Leader contests are also happening this week: Join the conversation at Ozarks.MomsLikeMe.com to participate in the Great Grocery Giveaway, where $2,100 in gift cards will be awarded. Vote for your favorite pet at News-Leader.comPetldol Local homes showcased online Take a look Inside great local homes by checking our our "Home of the Week" galleries. They're organized by Tilli Sjgn styles. Check them out now at OzarksSpaces.com YOUR COMMUNITY MSU to keep tuition level MSU's Board of Governors voted Friday to keep tuition unchanged for next year, but growing enrollment may boost the university's budget a bit. 8A Christian County ballot issues A 911 sales tax issue and the question of home rule for Nixa are big issues for Christian County in Tuesday's election. 6A Index Automotive Business Classified Comics Crossword Dear Abby Deaths Employment Faith Garage Sales Heloise Horoscope IF 4B 6D 3C 2C 2C 5A 6D 1C 6D 2C 2C Lottery Merchandise NationWorld Real Estate . For Sale Rentals Sports Stocks Sudoku Television Voices Weather 2A 60 3B 70 7D ID 4B 2C 7A IB 2B in,, is Weather ggo Windy today, with . periods oi sun 410 and clouds and a thunderstorm tonight. 2B Precipitation: 20 A GANNETT NEWSPAPER VOL. 119, NO. 94 2009, NEWS-LEADER nysprm m w field .com m o o ji(DV tfirMrt,: ...... ,S .' '1 : I i" I NEWS-LEADER V fILE PHOTO V V . 0 , I ..5,4, . M ' - f" I : lA ' I I 1 1 " . - . iwe - i , ' -$. ""; , , r , it - '", " i ... f ROBBERY, CAR THEFT: STATUTORY SODOMY: CHILD MOLESTATION: BURGLARY: Matthew Kenneth B. Crawford Clifton Junkins has felony warrants allegedly confessed Colt Plotke charged I. Ortega charged in but not arrested 2007, never arrested Lack of resources to enforce warrants undermines justice system Police say Colt S. Plotke molested a 14-year-old boy before knocking him unconscious last year. He's wanted for the crime, yet walks free. Police say Kenneth B. Crawford robbed a grocery store and stole a car in May 2007. He's faced no consequences for the alleged felonies. The list goes on. Greene County has more than 19,000 active warrants, more than 3,000 for felonies. But local law enforcement say they have too few resources to actively pursue most wanted suspects, leaving their capture up to chance. And leaving them free to, in some cases, commit other offenses. The hole in enforcement can have dire consequences. In two of eight homicides that occurred in the city last year, the suspects were long wanted on less severe crimes. "What it actually does is undermines the foundation of government," said Springfield City Councilwoman Cindy Rushef-sky, a former prosecutor. "There Greene County warrants: Serious offenses Using data provided by the Greene County Sheriff's Office, the News-Leader 5)0 laentmea i,4U4 outstanding warrants tor serious teiony ana misaemeanor offenses. Here's how those warrants break down. f , Data: To view a list of s Greene County warrants v X0M visit News-Leadeccom .COM I Data: To view a list of Municipal Court warrants visit News-Leadeccom Offenses include: assault, arson, child abuse, animal abuse, sex offenses (attempted rape, child molestation, deviate sex assault, indecent exposure, prostitution, child pornography, sex abuse, sexual misconduct, statutory rape, sexual assault) burglary, elder abuse, false imprisonment, stealing, forgery, kidnapping, robbery, stalking, theft, drug (paraphernalia, drug trafficking). Sex mtf offenses L, '""-dith 4 (68) f wvr 'Vmmv "V ,j Other . " (78) SOURCE: GREENE COUNTY SHLRIFF S OFFICE are people out there that have to be brought into the system." Greene County's list of outstanding warrants includes 800 assault charges and almost 70 sex offenses. Nearly 500 are for burglaries, thefts and stealing. There are warrants for kidnapping, arson, identity theft. Yet the victims of these alleged crimes are left waiting indefinitely for justice. "It just makes a mockery of the system," said Steve Ijames, a former Springfield police major. "Many of these cases, if you can NEWS LEADER just avoid contact with the cops you don't face justice." Ijames is a member of the Safety and Justice Roundtable, a citizen commission tasked with fjr- ii studying the area's ' criminal justice sys-, , tem. ' if ' - The croun has met c I periodically since late 2007 and is in the process of forming final recommendations for how to im prove justice in Springfield and Greene County. Among the issues they're ex- Ijames Clearing warrants Know the whereabouts of a wanted individual? Submit tips anonymously by calling Greater Springfield Area Crime Stoppers at 869-TIPS or visit www.tipsubmit.com. pected to address is warrant enforcement. "You've got some serious crimes, then you've got a huge amount of warrants for just petty See Warrants, Page 4A Story by DIRK VANDERHART NEWS-LEADER Photos courtesy of Greene County Sheriff's Office Stimulus revives hope for hiring on police force By Amos Bridges ABRIDGES6NEWS-LEADER.C0M Springfield police hope federal stimulus money will help fill some of the 32 police officer positions left vacant due to a continued hiring freeze. The department is asking City Council for permission to apply for a grant of about $4.5 million enough to pay the salaries and benefits of 25 new officers for three years from the U.S. Department of Justice. The council is scheduled to vote Monday on an emergency ordinance authorizing the application, which must be submitted by April 14. The Community Oriented Policing Services grant program, administered by the Justice Department, was created in 1994 with the goal of funding at least 100,000 additional police officers nationwide. Several area agencies, including Springfield, have received grants in the past, but fund ing largely dried up during the Bush administration. .M M M,? j yp, . 14 Mil,.!,,,, "''A. ( ' .s -r t ' - s J t" - - i-.--.-J NEWS-LEADER EILE PHOTO Any officers hired as part of the COPS Hiring Recovery Program will likely do community-oriented police work as well as other assignments. "All that got revived with all the federal stimulus," said Springfield Police Chief Lynn Rowe. As part of this year's stimulus package, the Justice Department is parceling out about $1 billion as part of its COPS Hiring Recovery Program. "It will be on a competitive application process and we may get one, we may get five ... we may get 25," Rowe said. See Police, Rowe i w y f .' v s k wi m f w Mm n k- a m m f m kiM w ra or r i L u 1 1 1 1 w Ml h i'i 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 I HI a N Terminal EEHw. DMllon "f ,r - - I . springfleld-Branson j rl I , HM IOH At AIRPORT ! ! wV S fb.Mii f lm""mr """ - "I ufc"w ' " oam S. " I Tips still trickle in in 1991 abduction By Amos Bridges ABRIDGES(SiNEWS-LEADER.COM It's been 18 years since Angela Hammond was abducted from a grocery store parking lot in Clinton. The 20-year-old bank worker, recently engaged, was talking to her fiance on a pay phone April 4, 1991. It was late, so when a suspicious-looking man in a green truck pulled into the lot and approached another booth, Hammond started relaying de tails over the phone. Moments later, the conversation ended with a scream. Despite several weeks of intense searching, Hammond was never seen again. After almost two decades, Clinton police haven't given up. "We really don't consider Hammond Clinton Sprinqlield this to be a cold case at this point," said Clinton Police Sgt. Paul Abbott. "We've been working on this case diligently for the last 18 years. On occasion we have fewer and fewer leads, but here recently it seems like there's been renewed interest by the public ... We feel like this is an open, active investigation right now." Abbott and other investigators hope renewed public attention, as well as advances in DNA test ing and other forensic techniques, will help identify a suspect and shed light on Hammond's fate. "Once we started talking about it, everyone else started talking about it, too," Abbott said. "Wre would get a trickle of a lead here, a trick-See Hammond, Page 3A iomfiivimmimijiGiifli) www.flyspringfield.comnew

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