Marine honored as Fort Leonard Wood’s Joint Service Junior Enlisted Member of the Year PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Oct. 30, 2015) — Committee of Fifty members honored Marine Sgt. Carl W. Weiffenbach Friday, who was recently promoted to that rank and earlier this year was named Fort Leonard Wood’s Joint Service Junior Enlisted Member of the Year during March’s Best Warrior Competition. Marine Staff Sgt. Jonathan Bigelow introduced Weiffenbach as a Marine who “has done fairly well for himself, and that is an understatement.” Bigelow noted that Weiffenbach only recently enlisted in the Marines, doing so in May 2013, and said it’s tough to make the rank of sergeant only two years after enlisting. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Crocker students receive Choices program instruction
Chamber and Rotary Club present 'Choices' program at Crocker CROCKER, Mo. (Oct. 28, 2015) — Volunteers from the Waynesville-St. Robert Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club of Pulaski County presented the Choices program at the Crocker R-II School District on Oct. 26 and 27 to Crocker eighth graders over the course of two hours. According to event organizers, the main goal of the Choices program is connecting with the students and showing them there are many things to consider when planning their futures. The Crocker school presentation was sponsored by Columbia College, Fort Wood Thrift Shop and Rotary Club of Pulaski County; presenters were Russ Dixon of Mid Missouri Credit Union and Maria Vigil of Mid Missouri Women Veterans Post 1783. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Waynesville-St. Robert Chamber of Commerce
Commissioner says he's 'being beat up' over Hunters Point road PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Oct. 29, 2015) — Road issues in the Hunters Point subdivision south of Waynesville across I-44 led to a frustrated resident calling Western District Commissioner Ricky Zweerink, who said he “didn’t have nothing to do with this (but is) being beat up.” According to Zweerink, the caller lives on Select Road, objects to her road’s condition, and said two decades ago money was paid on a bond for road maintenance. That was long before Zweerink, who was elected in 2008, took office. The Western District didn’t initially include Hunters Point but that was added to Zweerink’s district following the 2010 census, a boundary change which took effect with the 2012 election. “She raised Cain,” Zweerink said. “I ain’t forgot that, I won’t forget it… I don’t know what to tell her because I didn’t set that up.” Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Four Wednesday crashes injure at least two people, one vehicle totaled PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Oct. 28, 2015) — Emergency personnel from Crocker, Waynesville and St. Robert responded to separate crashes today at different locations, one on Interstate 44 near the Phelps-Pulaski County line in which a vehicle driven by Terrance L. Stubits, 55, of Fenton, was totaled and the driver seriously injured after driving into the rear end of an eastbound 1985 Peterbilt semi truck driven by Nicholas P. Evans, 29, of St. Louis, one on Missouri Avenue and VFW Memorial Drive north of the main gate to Fort Leonard Wood, and the third at the junction of Rockport Road and Resort Road near Crocker. In addition, a local resident, Trashawn D. McKinney, 22, of St. Robert, was a passenger in a Wednesday crash in Phelps County. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Crocker, Waynesville top area APR school test reports CROCKER, Mo. (Oct. 27, 2015) — Crocker R-II School Superintendent Gary Doerhoff reported at tonight’s school board meeting that his district has the second-highest APR school testing reports in the Frisco League, coming in behind the Licking district in Texas County. The Crocker district’s results of 97.5 are also the highest in Pulaski County, beating out second-highest Waynesville with a score of 96.8. The Waynesville R-VI School District has more students than all other Pulaski County schools combined and therefore isn’t in the Frisco League, which includes all other K-12 districts in Pulaski County as well as many schools in Texas County to the south and Miller County to the north. The other Frisco League districts are Licking with 98.6, Plato with 97.1, Iberia with 97.1, Laquey with 89.3, Dixon with 88.2, Richland with 87.9, Newburg with 79.6, and Stoutland with 66.8. Responding to questions from Crocker board members about some of the scores being “embarrassing,” Doerhoff said districts under 70 are at risk of losing accreditation. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
A wreck on Highway 28 blocked traffic Tuesday.
Five locals injured in Tuesday crashes PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Oct. 27, 2015) — Emergency service personnel spent much of Tuesday rushing from wreck to wreck, dealing with crashes on Highway 17 north of Waynesville at the junction of Longview Lane leading to the Shalom Mountain/Northern Heights Estates residential subdivision, on Highway DD and Buttercup Road south of Crocker, and on Highway 28 near the Waynesville Rural Fire Protection District fire station. Madison Nickels, 16, Bailey A. Nickels, 15, and Isaac L. Nickels, 11, all of Crocker, all suffered minor injuries in the wreck near Crocker; Christina Flores, 18, of Waynesville, suffered minor injuries in the wreck near Longview Lane. Outside the immediate area, a Polk County crash in Halfway injured a Richland man, Richard L. Balsley, 54. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Mayor Luge Hardman
Hardman announces candidacy for re-election as Waynesville mayor WAYNESVILLE, Mo. (Oct. 27, 2015) — Mayor Luge Hardman announced Tuesday morning that she plans to run for a second two-year term as mayor of the city of Waynesville. “I have enjoyed the last four years as your mayor,” Hardman said in a prepared statement. “I enjoy the people, the activity and seeing the results of our planning and hard work. After filing for office in December, I will release a specific list of goals that I would work to accomplish in a second term.” Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Col. Pete Nielsen
Hospital commander hopes to improve basic trainee experience with Army medicine FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (Oct. 27, 2015) — Fort Leonard Wood’s hospital commander, Col. Pete Nielsen, wants soldiers to have better experiences with Army medicine starting with their first days in uniform during basic training. A new program, the first-ever to be established at a TRADOC basic training post, is intended to ensure “that impression (of Army medicine) be professional, coordinated, and optimize their ability to get back to training so they can be medically ready… to be assigned to a unit anywhere,” Nielsen said. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Post officials prepare for Halloween FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (Oct. 27, 2015) — Ready for Halloween? Maybe not yet, but at Tuesday’s Community Information Forum, formerly known as Woodworks, Fort Leonard Wood officials said they’re ready for families of military personnel and servicemembers who want to celebrate the night safely. Lt. Col. Chad Goyette said MPs will be present in the housing areas as well as providing additional personnel for the post’s access points on Halloween night. MWR representative Megan O’Donoghue said the post’s official Trick or Treat time for door-to-door candy gathering will be 6 to 9 p.m. The Eagle Point area gets packed, she said, and she encouraged families to consider visiting haunted houses with their children. “Has everybody enjoyed the haunts so far?” O’Donoghue asked. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
**EDITORIAL** Waynesville isn’t Ferguson; we must not act that way WAYNESVILLE, Mo. (Oct. 26, 2015) — Following a weekend of social media uproar, it’s likely most people who pay attention to Waynesville sports, and also many who live in Camdenton, know at least something about what happened Friday at the Waynesville-Camdenton football game. Many facts are in dispute. What’s not in dispute is that a young woman who is a member of the Waynesville High School band, and whose mother happens to be from an ethnic minority group, wrote a letter to the Camdenton High School principal objecting to the conduct of a number of Camdenton fans. The key sentence is this: “Many students (and adults) representing your school chose this time to scream rude comments, obscenities, and racial slurs.” A question needs to be asked to those who criticize Rachel Slabaugh: Whatever did or did not happen on Friday, comments on social media have made clear this kind of conduct has been happening for years. Her letter got something done. Has anything else worked that anyone else has tried? These problems are not new, and sometimes strong action is needed. What Ferguson showed America is that regardless of what did or did not happen with a specific incident, too many members of minority groups have silently put up with racial bigotry and abuse, not just for years but for decades, and get very angry when a new incident blows up — not so much because of the new incident but because of a long history of prior problems which they perceived didn’t get properly addressed. Thanks to social media, incidents which years ago would have been known only to dozens or hundreds of people are now known to thousands or tens of thousands, and once they go public, the new reports can and sometimes do unleash massive amounts of pent-up resentment over racial bigotry. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Commissioners hoping for FEMA reimbursement soon PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Oct. 26, 2015) — Sheriff Ron Long’s threat of a libel lawsuit against those making online claims he was arrested for drunk driving wasn’t the only item handed by county commissioners Monday morning. Commissioner Ricky Zweerink said he’s received notification that 21 roads and road portions damaged by the August 2013 flood have been approved by FEMA Federal Emergency Management Agency officials for payment of $300,000 to $400,000 in his Western District. In the Eastern District, Commissioner Lynn Sharp said he expected a smaller amount of work in the Big Piney area to the southeast of U.S. Army Fort Leonard Wood to be on the approval list.
Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Krill to health department staff: 'You must take vacations, not cash' PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Oct. 26, 2015) — A member of the county health board said Monday that he believes health department employees should be forced to take vacation time rather than being allowed to cash out their excess leave time. Board member Joe Krill said continuing to allow employees to cash out their leave will cost the district about $10,000 as an annual benefit, and while the board is showing a surplus this year, it would be the first time in half a decade for the district to show a surplus. "If we keep handing out candy and the candy jar gets empty, somebody's got to fill it, and it's not fair to the taxpayers in this case,” Krill said.
Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Sheriff Ron Long
Sheriff warns of libel litigation following online drunk driving claims PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Oct. 26, 2015) — Responding to online attacks which surfaced Saturday saying local media were failing to report the arrest of the sheriff for drunk driving, Sheriff Ron Long came to the Pulaski County Commission, presented a copy of his criminal history report to the county commissioners, and said there’s no truth to the claims. He also warned that he may take legal action against those circulating the claims. “I just went next door and had my criminal history ran, which shows any arrest I would have had and any convictions that I would have had,” Long said. While Long is not a member of the Vent it Out Facebook group, but some members of local law enforcement agencies are members and alerted Long to the thread in advance of the county commission meeting. Presiding Commissioner Gene Newkirk also denied the claims on the Vent it Out group and asked that the thread be removed. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Three injured, two seriously, in Sunday St. Robert rollover wreck SAINT ROBERT, Mo. (Oct. 26, 2015) — An early Sunday morning rollover wreck injured three St. Robert residents and totaled their vehicle. According to Missouri State Highway Patrol reports, Tiffany A. Fleeger, 27, had been driving her 2002 Ford Explorer eastbound on Interstate 44 near Exit 161 in St. Robert at 2:20 a.m. when she ran off the left side of the roadway and overturned, causing moderate injuries to herself and serious injuries to her two passengers, Ashley Teel, 26, and Jeremiah R. Carrasco, 15, who were airlifted from the crash scene. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Two vehicles totaled in separate single-vehicle weekend wrecks PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Oct. 26, 2015) — Two separate early morning single-vehicle weekend wrecks totaled both vehicles, according to Missouri State Highway Patrol reports. The worst of the two wrecks was Sunday, injuring three St. Robert residents, with two of the three Jeremiah R. Carrasco, 15, and Ashley Teel, 26, seriously injured and transported by Lifeline air ambulance, and the driver, Tiffany A. Fleeger, 27, moderately injured. Early Saturday, Brian Lambe, 29, of Waynesville, suffered only minor injuries in his wreck. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Camdenton, Waynesville school officials pledge investigation of racial slurs at Friday football game WAYNESVILLE, Mo. (Oct. 24, 2015) — Waynesville R-VI School District officials have released an official statement in response to allegations that fans of the Camdenton High School football team used racial slurs at Friday's night's Camdenton-Waynesville football game. The incident came to public attention when Rachel Slabaugh, a Waynesville High School Tiger Pride Band member, sent a letter to the Camdenton principal, posted it on her Facebook page, and that letter was re-posted by recently elected Waynesville R-VI School Board member Paul Shultz. According to Slabaugh, "many students (and adults) representing your school chose this time to scream rude comments, obscenities, and racial slurs at our band." Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Man arrested after fleeing scene of Highway Y rollover wreck SAINT ROBERT, Mo. (Oct. 24, 2015) — State troopers arrested a Waynesville man on charges including drunk driving and leaving the scene of a crash following an early Saturday morning rollover wreck on Highway Y north of St. Robert. According to Missouri State Highway Patrol reports, Brian D. Lambe, 29, was driving northbound in a 1999 Jeep Cherokee when he ran his vehicle off the left side of the roadway near Lemming Lane at 1:15 a.m., overturning and striking a mailbox. Lambe suffered only minor injuries but his vehicle was totaled. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Bomb threat prompts extra security for Waynesville parent-teacher conferences WAYNESVILLE, Mo. (Oct. 23, 2015) — Responding to a Thursday night bomb threat at Waynesville Middle School, Waynesville R-VI School District officials have tightened security for today's parent-teacher conferences, which will continue as planned. Students had not been scheduled to be in school today, Friday Oct. 23. According to an announcement issued early this morning, school officials "were notified of the alleged threat Thursday evening." Waynesville Police Department officers and Pulaski County Sheriff's deputies "completed a thorough search of the building and found nothing suspicious." Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
A rollover wreck injured two drivers.
Three-vehicle Highway 28 wreck rolls one vehicle; two hurt PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Oct. 23, 2015) — A Friday afternoon three-vehicle wreck on Highway 28 about a mile north of Exit 163 of Interstate 44 totaled all three vehicles but only minor injuries to two drivers, with the third driver unhurt. According to Missouri State Highway Patrol reports, Alvin F. Moore, 65, of Waynesville, was driving northbound on Highway 28 about 12:43 p.m. when his 2009 GMC Sierra struck the rear of a northbound 1989 Mercury Grand Marquis driven by Ora K. Wiedenkofer, 78, of Dixon, and the side of a northbound 1999 Toyota Tacoma driven by Randy W. Shy, 57, also of Dixon, causing both Wiedenkofer and Shy to have their vehicles run off the right side of the road and causing Shy’s Tacoma to overturn. Weidenkofer was able to come to a controlled stop. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Commissioners deal with noisy neighbors, cemetery burial complaints PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Oct. 22, 2015) — County Commissioners dealt with multiple complaints by area residents at their Thursday morning meeting, including requests to help with a person buried in what a relative considers an improper place and a woman who said a group of neighbors need help with a man who they say is deliberately playing loud music and has erected an electric fence in a residential area. Elizabeth Goodspeed of Layla Road said her neighbor has been “pushing the envelope of unfriendliness” with regard to pit bulls. “He has been doing numerous things in the neighborhood to annoy, if you will,” Goodspeed said, presenting photographs of signs she said the man has placed on property saying people are not allowed to walk their dogs. According to Goodspeed, the man has also installed electrified fences and Goodspeed said she’s afraid kids riding their bicycles will hit the fence and be electrocuted. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
County inches closer to getting federal OK to fix August 2013 flood-damaged roads PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Oct. 22, 2015) — After more than two years of frustration and delays following the August 2013 flood which caused an estimated $20 million worth of damage in Pulaski County, county commissioners reported at their Thursday morning meeting that they may finally be getting approval to move ahead with some of the larger county road repair work. “This is going to be a bellwether telling us what they’re going to do going forward… this will tell us what the name of the game is,” said Western District Commissioner Ricky Zweerink. “I haven’t found anything that does work yet, but we’re going to try one more time.” Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Jaguar extensively damaged after hitting deer near Buckhorn BUCKHORN, Mo. (Oct. 21, 2015) — Deer encountering living jaguars aren’t likely to avoid getting eaten, but a Jaguar sports car won’t be moving under its own power anytime soon after hitting a deer early Wednesday morning east of the Buckhorn exit on Interstate 44. According to Missouri State Highway Patrol reports, Ezekiel A. Kaplan, 21, of Pittsburgh, was driving westbound on I-44 at 2:24 a.m. when his 1996 Jaguar XJ6 struck a deer at mile marker 152, was extensively damaged, and came to rest in the roadway. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Hunter finds volatile commercial-grade explosives in Mark Twain National Forest PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Oct. 20, 2015) — A hunter’s foray into the woods to find deer early Saturday morning found something quite different: a box of volatile explosives which Pulaski County Sheriff Ron Long said were very dangerous and could have killed someone who found them and moved them without proper precautions. Col. John Groves, the chief deputy for the sheriff’s department, said the items, which were found in the larger containment area of the Mark Twain National Forest, weren’t the sort of ordinary explosives which sometimes turn up near an Army installation. They’re commercial-grade explosives comparable to what might be used by a state highway department for blasting operations. “This is not something you, I, or anyone else can just walk in and buy,” Groves said. ““We continue to work our own piece of it in conjunction with those other agencies … if they stole it, you’re talking back to federal level crimes. If the intent was to sell, give away, for ill-gotten means you are dealing with federal, not to mention the lower level of state crimes.” Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Two Dixon residents were hurt in this rollover wreck.
Two Dixon residents injured in Saturday wreck DIXON, Mo. (Oct. 17, 2015) — A two-vehicle Saturday afternoon wreck on Highway D off Highway 28 about five miles south of Dixon injured two Dixon residents and totaled their vehicles. According to Missouri State Highway Patrol reports, Teresa L. Stoke, 40, had been westbound and stopped at a mailbox when her 1996 Toyota Corolla was rear-ended by a 2013 Toyota Tacoma driven by Virgil D. Breitmeyer, 75, whose vehicle went off the right side of Highway D, overturned, and came to rest on its top. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Commissioners concerned about employee health insurance costs PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (Oct. 15, 2015) — County Commissioners continue to be concerned over insurance plans and how the county can avoid facing federal fines for not providing adequate insurance. At a previous commission meeting, the commissioners learned that under the rules of the Affordable Care Act, more commonly known as Obamacare, employers the size of Pulaski County with between 50 and 100 employees will soon have to provide insurance to employees which is considered “affordable” to those employees. “They're just looking for a way to fine you,” said Presiding Commissioner Gene Newkirk.
Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Waynesville debates who can remove city police chief if needed WAYNESVILLE, Mo. (Oct. 15, 2015) — Police Chief Dan Cordova now has an indefinite appointment to head the Waynesville Police Department and won’t have to be reappointed for two-year terms, but questions on how he should be removed if needed caused concern for at least two councilmen at Thursday night’s Waynesville City Council meeting. Councilman Mike France asked why the new ordinance says the city administrator, rather than the full city council, has the authority to remove the police chief. While emphasizing that he “wouldn’t arbitrarily fire anyone for no legitimate reason,” City Administrator Bruce Harrill said supervision of city staff and department heads is part of his job. “If something happened you may not always have the occasion to pull a meeting together. There are provisions to appeal,” Harrill said. “If you wanted to overrule that decision, I wouldn’t do something unwise, I could even suspend him.” Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Dixon City Marshal Michael Plummer and Sheila Plummer
Dixon city marshal and wife arrested on multiple felonies DIXON, Mo. (Oct. 14, 2015) — In his Tuesday night report to the Dixon City Council, Marshal Michael Plummer, the elected head of the Dixon Police Department, drew laughs when telling aldermen that his department's recent problems include bats flying inside the local elementary school and setting off alarms. Plummer now has considerably more serious problems, He's being held in jail on a $100,000 cash-only bond facing a grand jury indictment on 15 separate charges, and his wife is jail in lieu of a $15,000 cash-only bond on a single Class C felony charge "related to the stealing of water and water services by not billing or changing and reducing the water meter readings to her parents’ home while she was the City Collector." County officials confirmed that both Plummers were arrested today and remain in jail. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Dixon approves water rate increase DIXON, Mo. (Oct. 13, 2015) — Members of the Dixon City Council agreed Tuesday night to increase water rates by two cents, raising the rate to 0.210 for in-town residents and 0.220 for out-of-town customers, but left the city sewer rates and base charges for water and sewer unchanged. That vote, which was unanimous except for Alderman Lynn Whitten, who was absent, followed a proposal presented by Mayor Shawn Wethington, who said leaving the base usage rate unchanged means the increase will primarily affect large-volume water users rather than ordinary water customers. That could include customers who fill their swimming pools. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
Dixon street repair to be sent out for bids now that sewer work is done DIXON, Mo. (Oct. 13, 2015) — A year of torn-up streets in Dixon due to sewer work will soon come to an end, but City Engineer John Doyle cautioned aldermen at Tuesday night’s city council meeting that the amount of street work will depend on paving bids and the actual interest rate the city receives on an upcoming auction of $980,000 in municipal bonds. Doyle’s bid list has 20,907 feet of streets to be let out for bid with paving to begin in the spring. “I’m hopeful that the bids come in really good for the city,” Doyle said. “If these bids come in within budget, great. I don’t think they will.” Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina
**EDITORIAL:** A conservative case against the Confederate flag PULASKI COUNTY, Mo. (June 23, 2015) — It’s not my normal practice to comment on events in other states and other places. In general, local elected officials and local community leaders know their own local situations best. People from outside those areas ought to pay much more attention to what local people say rather than listening to what outside commentators say. I’m making an exception with the recent church shooting in Charleston and follow-up controversy over the Confederate flag. As conservatives, we need to make clear that we belong to the party of President Lincoln, not the party of General Lee. We fly the Stars and Stripes, not the Stars and Bars. And we certainly don’t support those who shoot people in church attending a prayer meeting. It is entirely American to say “America: Love it or Leave It” to people such as Dylann Roof. As conservatives, we need to fly our American flag proudly and remind him that we fought a war against people like him. Here’s some news, Mr. Roof: We won that war. Your side lost, along with its flag. Click here to read more on Pulaski County Daily News ... Darrell Todd Maurina