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Welcome to Pulaski County Daily — Pulaski County’s best in-depth FREE news coverage, delivered seven days a week, 365 days a year, for comprehensive news in the Fort Leonard Wood area of south-central Missouri.
Pulaski County Daily News

Insurance proposal not likely to help county, commissioners say

An insurance representative's proposal to the Pulaski County Commission isn't likely to help the county, several commissioners said during a Monday morning meeting with insurance representative Charles Galen Floyd of Group Benefit Services, Inc. Floyd said his company manages partially self-funded plans. Responding to questions from Presiding Commissioner Gene Newkirk, Floyd gave a list of counties participating in his company's plan. None are in the immediate area. Western District Commissioner Clinton Jarrett asked where the closest clinics are; Floyd said the closest clinics qualifying for the company's reduced rate are in Rolla and at the Lake of the Ozarks. "I don't see families driving an hour to go to an emergency care clinic, especially when we have three clinics right here," said County Treasurer Sue Rapone.

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Darrell Todd Maurina

Boil advisory issued following St. Robert water main break

SAINT ROBERT, Mo. -- St. Robert officials announced Saturday evening that they issued a boil advisory following a water main break earlier in the day. The boil advisory covers residences and businesses on all of Eastlawn Avenue and all of Kathy Lane, Bell Drive, April Drive, Charlotte Circle, Shara Drive, Phoenix Avenue, Dogood Circle, Woodland Lane, Meadow Lane and Kale Court, then from the intersection of Eastlawn and Marshall Drive going north of Marshall Drive to 200 Marshall Drive (Hidden Valley Plaza) and all of Liberty Parkway, Vickie Lynn Lane and Bruce Drive, as well as all of the Woodridge Subdivision, which includes Ridgeview Drive, Cedar Court, Oak Court, Walnut Court, Ash Court, Locust Court, and Sycamore Drive.

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Darrell Todd Maurina

Mayor apologizes for Saturday St. Robert water outage

St. Robert Mayor George Lauritson has apologized to local businesses that lost water for up to six hours today on what, for many, is one of their busiest days of the year. According to Lauritson, a water main break ran ten feet down a water main, and that break required shutting off numerous water valves to repair the break. Many though not all businesses on Highway Z and on Missouri Avenue north of Eastlawn lost water, and the city's water tanks have been depleted, which may lead to low water pressure until the tanks refill.

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Darrell Todd Maurina

Richland loses Earth to Go lawsuit; jury awards $620,000 damages

CAMDENTON, Mo. (Sept. 16, 2022) -- A civil jury this afternoon determined that the City of Richland is legally liable for a breach of contract by the city, which was renting a city-owned factory building to the Earth to Go business and a related operation, Biodegradable Food Service. Jurors awarded the Earth to Go business $620,000 in damages, with attorney fees to be determined in a subsequent Oct. 20 court hearing before Judge Aaron Koeppen. The decision today after nearly four hours of deliberation and a five-day jury trial could have returned a much larger verdict against the city, which had accused the companies and their owner Kevin Duffy, of "squatting" by refusing to pay rent. The company accused the city of failing to repair a roof causing hundreds of thousands of dollars of damage to its equipment and inventory. Lawsuits were filed in 2018 but the case dates back to 2014 when, according to the company, conditions at what was then a city-owned facility had deteriorated to the point that the company could no longer manufacture its biodegradable food service products and sell them to customers. "This is a day we have looked forward to since August 2015," said Earth to Go attorney George Restovich. "They can run, they can't hide. Today is their day; they've been running for six years."

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Darrell Todd Maurina

Friday wreck injures two southwest of Dixon, one lifeflighted by helicopter

DIXON, Mo. (Aug. 6, 2022) -- A single-vehicle Friday afternoon wreck on Highway 133 southwest of Dixon injured two Dixon residents and totaled their vehicle. According to Missouri State Highway Patrol reports, Harry L. Emfinger, 67, was moderately injured, but his passenger, Janet S. Rosario, 60, suffered serious injuries and was medevaced by LifeLine air ambulance to University Hospital in Columbia.

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Darrell Todd Maurina

Osborne honored as Fort Leonard Wood's top drill sergeant

Staff Sgt. Krista Osborne
Osborne honored as Fort Leonard Wood's top drill sergeant

Fort Leonard Wood's drill sergeant of the year, Staff Sgt. Krista Osborne, was honored Friday by the Committee of Fifty, a local military support organization. The post's top enlisted soldier, Command Sgt. Maj. Randolph Delapena, himself a former drill sergeant at Fort Sill, said he was impressed by Osborne's work and predicts she'll do well at the upcoming Army-wide drill sergeant competition next month that will name the top drill sergeant for TRADOC (Training and Doctrine Command). "She's doing it way better than I did," Delapena said.

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Darrell Todd Maurina

Eastern District is seriously over budget, Presiding Commissioner warns

PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Aug. 4, 2022) -- Eastern District Commissioner Charles Bassett is seriously overbudget in his road expenditures, Presiding Commissioner Gene Newkirk announced Thursday morning, and that could have serious consequences not only for the county but personally for Bassett, Newkirk said. "I have to inform you guys that when you know you are over budget, you can be held personally responsible for everything over budget... anything you spend from here on with asphalt or rock, I have to tell you about that."

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Darrell Todd Maurina

Lightning leads to Dixon water outage
Lightning leads to Dixon water outage

DIXON, Mo. (Aug. 4, 2022) -- Mayor Mike Null announced Thursday afternoon that a water outage that began about 1:30 p.m. is due to a lightning strike. "The plan is to have it pulled tomorrow and fixed the following day," Null said in a prepared statement. "Currently we have the two backup wells running. They are smaller in size and will take time to fill the lines and towers. Please try and conserve water to help with filling the towers. I will keep everyone updated."

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Darrell Todd Maurina

Heavy rain ends local drought, brings power outages
Heavy rain ends local drought, brings power outages

The Waynesville-St. Robert area finally received rain Wednesday evening after a long drought, but the rain came along with a severe thunderstorm warning, and numerous reports of downed power lines and other lines after the storm passed, along with vehicles crashing on I-44 due to hydroplaning. Initial reports of power outage locations could not immediately be confirmed.

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Darrell Todd Maurina

St. Robert resident asks for rezoning to allow horses and agriculture in city limits

SAINT ROBERT, Mo. (Aug. 3, 2022) -- A rezoning reversion request from residential to agricultural use attracted concerns at Wednesday's St. Robert Planning and Zoning Commission and objections from numerous neighbors near the Zeigenbein Road property, but after extensive discussion, zoning commissioners agreed to recommend that the city council vote next week Tuesday to rezone the property provided that the owner agrees to restrictive covenants that would bar potentially problematic farm animals or other agricultural uses. Speaking at Wednesday's planning and zoning meeting, property owner Kevin Johnson explained his request for a zoning reversion of property he owns from R1 residential to A1 agricultural. He said he bought the property in March and doesn't plan to have a commercial farming operation, but his grandchildren would like to have a horse. "I don't intend to put a poultry barn in, I don't intend to put pigs in," Johnson said.

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Darrell Todd Maurina

Incumbent commissioner loses by wide margin, St. Robert alderman behind by one vote, most other incumbents retain seat

Poll worker Don Murray brings ballots into the courthouse.
Incumbent commissioner loses by wide margin, St. Robert alderman behind by one vote, most other incumbents retain seat

PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Aug. 2, 2022) -- County voters have selected a new Western District Commissioner, with Andy Helms soundly defeating incumbent Clinton Jarrett by more than a two-to-one margin, and decided that Mack Wilkerson rather than Lorna Lea West will succeed retiring County Treasurer Susan Boksan Rapone. By only a single vote, challenger Glen Askeland appears to have defeated incumbent St. Robert Ward I Alderman Theresa Cook. In other races, Presiding Commissioner Gene Newkirk fended off a challenge by Joe Krill, Cullen Township Democratic Central Committeeman Mark C. Prugh retained his seat over challenger Wayne Gifford, and Crocker City Hall officials succeeded in convincing voters to pass a $4 million water and sewer bond issue.

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Darrell Todd Maurina

Polls close in an hour for hotly-contested county races and two city issues
Polls close in an hour for hotly-contested county races and two city issues

PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Aug. 2, 2022) -- When voters go to the polls today, they'll find almost all contested local races on the Republican Party primary ballot. Polls close at 7 p.m., with precincts open in Waynesville, St. Robert, Dixon, Crocker, Swedeborg, Richland, Laquey and Big Piney.

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Darrell Todd Maurina

Three-vehicle Sunday crash injures two drivers

PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Aug. 1, 2022) -- The I-44 construction zone east of St. Robert claimed three more cars Sunday evening, with a wreck near the Highway 28 exit sending two of the three drivers to Phelps Health in Rolla with moderate injuries. Troopers reported that Anavel Gutierrez, 59, of Pharr, Texas, and Noah M. Canu, 24, of Berkley, were stopped in traffic on eastbound I-44 at mile marker 163 due to construction ahead at 6:08 p.m. when a 2006 Chrysler PT Cruiser driven by Judy A. Bingham, 77, of Elyria, Ohio, struck the rear of Gutierrez's 2022 Chevrolet Colorado, causing it to strike the rear of Canu's 2017 Toyota Corolla, totaling the PT Cruiser and extensively damaging the Colorado.

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Darrell Todd Maurina

Plato woman hurt after hitting tree in car crash

PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (July 30, 2022) -- A Friday afternoon wreck injured a Plato woman, according to Missouri State Highway Patrol reports. Troopers reported that Dorothy L. Petty, 65, had been driving her 2014 Ford Escape westbound in Felton at 2:43 p.m. two miles south of Highway 32 when she ran off the right side of the roadway and hit a tree, suffering minor injuries and causing moderate damage to her vehicle.

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Darrell Todd Maurina

Editorials and Opinion

Biden's botched Afghanistan pullout will hurt America for decades to come
Sadly, all of us in America are going to have to deal with the consequences of President Joe Biden's failure in Afghanistan, and are going to have to deal with them for decades to come. The attached article from the Washington Examiner, the cover story of that publication with numerous experts "assessing where Biden's monumental blunder has left America in the eyes of the world, most notably in the view of our enemies," needs to be a warning of the consequences of showing weakness to the world.
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Darrell Todd Maurina


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