Charges filed in connection to officer-involved shooting in Wyatt, MO

MISSISSIPPI COUNTY, MO (KFVS) – Original Post

Charges have been filed in connection to an officer-involved shooting in Mississippi County, Mo. on Friday that left a deputy and a suspect hospitalized.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, deputies from the sheriff’s department were serving a warrant at a home on Pecan Street in Wyatt, Mo. around 9 a.m. on Friday, March 10.

That warrant was part of a narcotics investigation at the home, according to police.

Investigators say Jonathan Lee Jones, 36, of Wyatt, started shooting toward the deputies and deputies returned fire.

One of the deputies was hit in the leg. Jones was hit in the upper torso.

The deputy was taken to a local hospital with what investigators believe is a non-life threatening injury. He has already undergone surgery and is listed in stable condition.

Jones was taken to a Cape Girardeau hospital. He had surgery and is listed in critical, but stable condition.

He faces six felony counts of assault first degree, six felony counts of armed criminal action, one felony count of unlawful use of a weapon, and one felony count of resisting or interfering with arrest for a felony.

Jones also faces six counts of unlawful possession of a firearm and four counts of delivery of a controlled substance except 35 grams or less of marijuana or synthetic cannabinoid.

Jessica N. Lannom, 29, was charged with possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute and possession of a controlled substance. Lannom is being held at the Mississippi County Jail without bond.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Division of Drug and Crime Control is investigating the shooting.

Time, monetary donations most needed in Perryville after tornado

PERRYVILLE, MO (KFVS) – Original Post

It has been almost a week since the “Night of Destruction,” and the community of Perryville is seeing an outpouring of support.

But, at this point, what do they really need?

City officials say financial and volunteer hour donations are most needed.

“We have so many resources, so many goods coming in, it’s becoming a logistical problem, ” said Mayor Ken Bahr

The Mayor said financial donations, even if they are small, can help families in the long run.

“Money does not have an expiration date, so it can be used long term, and we do expect some long-term problems, and long-term solutions, and money is an ideal vehicle to meet those needs,” Mayor Behr said.

If you don’t have money to give, another way is to volunteer.

However, it’s important to plan ahead by using the volunteer hotline, and not just show up.

“We’d like for them to not just spontaneously arrive. The jobs are getting less frequent, and we still have lots of jobs to do,” said Frank Wideman with University of Missouri’s Perryville extension campus.

Wideman is helping organize volunteers where they are most needed.

Jennifer Streiler is one of many volunteers donating her time to a donation center.

“Anytime you have extra people living with you – that’s extra toilet paper, extra paper towels, extra soap, and we have all of those things here. So people who have extra people in their home definitely need to come in,” Streiler said.

Streiler said even the little things are available.

“People who have lost their property, they’re thinking big picture, but all of these things we could save a family hundreds of dollars,” Streiler said.

No matter how you give back, the Perryville community is grateful.

“This community sure thanks the neighbors, and friends, and families, and strangers that have shown up to help us out,” said Wideman.

“Crisis brings out the best in people. I always thing there’s more good than there is bad, and certainly this is all evidence of that,” said Streiler.

For more on how to help click here.

Storefront in Perryville opens to help those affected by tornado

PERRYVILLE, MO (KFVS) – Original Post

For victims of the Perryville, Missouri tornado, getting help is now a little easier.

A storefront in Perry Plaza is now open to those in need.

It looks just like many convenience stores, but the difference with this one is for those impacted, everything is free.

Since the tornado donations keep coming, the city set up this location to manage them.

It’s run by a team of volunteers, and has everything from food, to cleaning products, water, and even diapers.

The storefront’s manager, Lisa Carroll, said this is set up for long-term care.

“This is a marathon, not just a race. So, this is just not to provide support this week, or next week, or the week after. This is to really help all of our friends and neighbors from the time that this tornado affected their community, affected these families, and individuals until they’re all settled back into their homes,” Carroll said.

Emergency Management Director, Hank Volker, for Perry County said all donations are going to a good cause.

“The folks here understand it’s a big deal, the donations that are coming in. The survivors are really appreciating it,” Volker said.

The store-front opened on Monday, and manager Lisa Carroll said Volker is putting his all into it.

“He kind of teased, you know, thanking everybody for coming to Hank-Mart. So, it was a name that he kind of came up with, and it kind of stuck,” Carroll said.

“I always wanted to own my own business, but I’m not really making any money on it,” Volker said.

No money needed, just a helping hand.

“We don’t just go away after a couple weeks. They’ll be here until they’re back into their homes for them with whatever they need,” Volker said.

“if it takes us six months, we’re here six months. If it takes us longer than that – we’re here longer than that,” Carroll said.

No matter what they need, one shopping cart at a time.

“We’re here to make life easy in any little way, easier in any little way that we can for those survivors and their family, because we are truly just glad that our community has every single one of them back. Anything we can do to lessen their load that’s what we’re here for,” Carroll said.

The storefront is open during the daylight hours, and will be in Perryville one way or another for as long as survivors need it.

“Come see us at Hank-Mart,” Carroll said.

Volker said donated items are no longer needed, but financial donations are, and can be donated through City Hall in Perryville.

Stoddard County teen collects luggage for foster children

STODDARD COUNTY, MO (KFVS) – Original Post

A teen in Stoddard County, Missouri is helping foster children one suitcase at a time.

Ashlynn Wyman from Dexter wants to make sure every foster child has a suitcase.

She got the idea from seeing her mother and grandmother’s lives in social work and hearing about children carrying their lives in bags from home to home.

Wyman said some children only have trash bags to carry their belongings in, and she thinks they deserve more.

“When you go from house to house and you put it in trash bags you’re basically saying your life’s not worth that much, and every single person is worth more than a single trash bag, or a single suitcase, we’re worth more than that. So, I wanted them to feel like they have something of their own,” Wyman said.

Wyman said she’s already received 120 bags, but can always use more.

Sikeston, MO hopes to revamp Union Pacific rail line with ‘Rail Trail’

SIKESTON, MO (KFVS) – Original Post

It’s not always safe to walk or cycle along the highway, and one Scott County city is looking to address that with an area you’ll want to enjoy.

Sikeston City Manager Jonathan Douglass says a bike trail is something the city has been looking at for a while.

“The first time I visited town and saw the abandoned railroad corridor, I thought to myself – that would be great if they could build a rail trail there,” Douglass said.

The old Union Pacific railway was a much busier place to be years ago for the city, and now Douglass is working to bring that foot traffic back on two wheels.

“The Rail Trail is one of those quality of life features that people see and it’s just one small part of everything that’s offered in the community,” Douglass said.

In total The Rail Trail will cost $2 million dollars, which Douglas says he’s hoping to pay for with grant money.

They already have Phase 1 of the project covered.

“We’ve already received a grant for phase one from MODOT to fund 75-percent of that portion,” Douglass said.

The goal is to start the trail at the old Railroad Depot, have the path go down toward Sikeston High School, and travel along Highway 62 all the way to Miner.

“It’s along a main drag in town where there aren’t sidewalks in some portions, so it will provide a safe place to travel. It will be set back from the roads a significant distance, even more so than a typical sidewalk would be,” Douglass said.

The project includes landscaping, signage, and even some lighting along the trail.

“It will really make that look a lot cleaner, and more polished, and really a good image as you travel along those portions of town,” Douglass said.

Douglass says as long as they can find the funds, the city will continue to expand the pathway.

“If we’re fortunate, maybe every year we can do one of those phases, and in four or five years have it done,” Douglass said.

The trail is set to be approved by the city council next week.

If everything goes as planned the city hopes to break ground this summer.

Sikeston DPS donates unused bicycles to Heartland veterans

POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) – Original Post

The power of Facebook is helping Heartland heroes in need.

The Sikeston Department of Public Safety donated almost 50 bikes to the John J. Pershing Medical Center.

Lisa Mullin is a social worker for the veterans clinic in Sikeston.

“I put it on Facebook and I just said – ‘hey, I’m thinking of this program if you guys can help me out and let me know,'” said Mullin.

She said helping a veteran get a bike recently inspired her to start a program.

“I had 20 people say ‘Hey! I’ve got a bike! Hey! I’ve got a bike!’ And then Danny said ‘we have about 200 bikes,'” said Mullin.

“[I] saw the need so I made a contact through my department and that’s where it went from there,” said Danny Adams, a public safety officer in Sikeston.

The city stores bikes that are found, lost, or stolen. Many are unable to find a home, and many are sent for scrap.

“I thought what better place for them to go would be to homeless veterans,” said Adams. “It’s just helping your fellow soldier out, as they call your battle buddy. You’ve got to take care of them, so we can take care of them this way to help them get an education, or job, or at least make their doctor appointments.”

When Adams said buddies, he meant it, because both Adams and Mullin are Air Force veterans who served in Iraq.

“Here I had such a hard time finding a job. I was a mom – a new mom – and I didn’t have my education yet, so I had to go get on welfare, and it was really hard. So, just those little things along the way help so much,” said Mullin.

Together, they delivered 50 bikes to their fellow service members.

“It’s going to mean a whole lot because these guys need this transportation. Whatever needs to be done I like to be able to help. It makes my heart happy I guess you could say,” said Adams.

“After going through and getting my education I am financially stable, so to give back to where I was and to remember that other people are still needing help. So why can’t a veteran help a veteran if it only takes a simple post? Hey, we need this help – and the whole community is ready to help,” said Mullin.

Employees of the VA will be working to fix the bikes and get them ready for the road.

SEMO to become smoke free tobacco free campus

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KFVS) – Original Post

The Southeast Missouri State University Board of Regents has decided to make the University a smoke-free, tobacco-free campus.

Beginning with the fall 2017 semester, the use of all tobacco products, including cigarettes, will be prohibited on all University properties, in all University facilities and vehicles. The semester begins Aug. 21.

Under the revised policy, smoking and the use of tobacco products will be allowed at designated outdoor smoking areas outside the Show Me Center and the River Campus Cultural Arts Center during public events and performances.

Prohibited products include lit cigarettes, cigars, pipes, e-cigarettes and smoking products, products or devices used to smoke or mimic smoking, and the use of smokeless tobacco products.

According to a University spokesperson, the Office of Student Conduct will handle noncompliance by students while Southeast Human Resources will be responsible for disciplining faculty and staff members.

Mother, 2 children found dead in murder-suicide in Ripley Co.

RIPLEY COUNTY, MO (KFVS) – Original Post

The Ripley County Sheriff’s Office reports finding a mother and her two children dead in a murder-suicide.

Around 2 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 26, the bodies of Laura Coleman, 32, and her two young children, Gunner and Maycie, were discovered in Coleman’s rural Ripley County home near the Fairdealing area.

Laura Coleman’s mother is grieving after losing three of her family members in a matter of moments.

She said the loss is unfathomable.

“I don’t know how to speak to what has happened, because no one understands,” Ellen Martinez said.

She said she spoke to her daughter two hours before the tragedy struck. Coleman was getting ready to head to Arkansas with her two children.

“We were getting ready to celebrate Maycie’s fifth birthday this weekend,” Martinez said.

No one understands why Coleman took her life and the lives of her children.

“She lived her life to protect her kids,” Martinez said. “She’s had a rough last few years. We got her to a safe place. They’ve actually done really well.”

Martinez said her daughter loved her children deeply.

“Maycie was just the light of her life,” she said. “Laura loved her children and her life above anything else.”

She said the Ripley County community has opened their arms to her.

“Thank you for the support and the lack of judgment,” she said. “This could have been anyone’s child.”

Ripley County Sheriff Mike Barton was visibly shaken from the incident. He said it’s hard to talk about.

“We all have children and grandchildren,” he said, “so it’s hard.”

“You never know when that one little moment is going to be the last time you get to say, ‘I love you,’ or touch their hand or look into their eyes and see their future,” Ellen Martinez said. “Just take a moment today, because nothing else matters but them.”

He said a school worker found the scene after going to the home because the children, a four-year-old girl in kindergarten and a two-year-old boy, didn’t show up for school. The school worker then went to the police department.

The Current River Major Case Squad was activated to investigate leads in the case, and officers from the Ripley County Sheriff’s Office, Doniphan City Police, and Missouri State Highway Patrol responded.

Autopsies on Coleman and her two children were scheduled for Friday morning.

Sheriff Barton said the autopsies showed the children were shot and killed and then Coleman turned the gun on herself.

The People’s Community Bank in Doniphan is accepting donations from anyone would like to donate to the families of the victims.

Risco referee revived with portable defibrillator at basketball game

RISCO, MO (KFVS) – Original Post

When a referee at a basketball game in Risco, Missouri collapsed on Tuesday, Jan. 31, a fifth grader rushed to save his life.

The principal said without a defibrillator nearby, referee Donnie Jenkins could have died.

Jenkins is recovering and is thankful for a team of people who came together to get him the help he needed.

“Anytime you’re in a crisis like that seconds matter, ” Principal and Coach Brandon Blankenship with Risco Schools said.

When the emergency happened, Blankenship said his son CJ didn’t hesitate.

In between the basketball games, Jenkins collapsed.

“Donnie’s talking to CJ and then he collapses there onto the desk and then he rolled – kind of slid off of that into the floor,” Blankenship said.

“I crawled underneath the desk, and then I went and got my grandpa,” fifth grader CJ Blankenship said.

That triggered a group who rushed to Jenkins’ aid.

“They got the AED out that we have here in the gym,” Blankenship said. “They had to shock him twice, and finally got a pulse. He went several minutes without a pulse.”

The school got the automated external defibrillator with grant money which now makes the cost seem small.

“If we would have not have had the AED here at the gym and had it so readily available – I don’t know that he would have made it,” Blankenship said.

Meanwhile, CJ’s dad said he’s a hero.

“He’s really proud of me for doing that,” CJ said.

And the machine played a big part.

“I really think the AED saved his life,” Blankenship said.

It was the Risco community who saved Jenkins life.

“I had to make a list to get them all,” Blankenship said.

Three nurses, paramedics, and one boy – who sprang into action.

“I’m so proud of our community,” Blankenship said. “Nobody hesitated to jump in there and help out.”

Blankenship said that’s the Risco spirit and looks forward to having Jenkins back on the court.

“We’re praying for him, and we hope he’s on the road to recovery,” Blankenship said.

“I hope that you are getting better, and I hope that you are feeling better,” CJ said.

Coach Blankenship said he spoke with Jenkins this morning and told him he was proud to talk to him.

Jenkins told him that he’s proud to be here.

‘Right-to-Work’ gaining momentum in Missouri

CAPE GIRARDEAU COUNTY, MO (KFVS) – Original Post

Some state lawmakers wasted no time in working to make Missouri the next right-to-work state.

On Tuesday, January 10, house members heard testimony about changes to the way workers pay union dues and what those dues can go toward.

Those arguing for the bills say right-to-work attracts business and grows jobs.

Opponents say the idea is a race to the bottom and weakens labor unions.

The possibility of right to work passing has many business owners excited, and union workers frightened.

We asked a union leader in Cape Girardeau, and the chamber of commerce to take a closer look at this legislation.

“We’re just trying to make a living here, and I think we’re a benefit to the community, and why we would make this such an agenda baffles me.”

Rick McGuire with Labors Local 104 in Cape Girardeau said right to work allows business owners to bypass union agreements.

“For people that don’t like unions to try to get involved in their unions and their negotiations between them and their contractors which is what we do,” McGuire said.

However, John Mehner, the president and CEO of Cape Girardeau’s Chamber of Commerce, said that’s not it at all.

“Missouri would I believe the 28th state that does not require employees of a business that has a union to join that union. They can choose not to pay the union dues, and not be a part of the union,” Mehner said.

Mehner said right to work allows them to be competitive for big business.

“It is, in fact, a selection criteria for a substantial number of manufacturing and logistics businesses that consider relocation,” Mehner said.

Right to work was vetoed in June of 2015 by former governor Jay Nixon.

He said it would be “a significant step backwards for Missouri” by reducing wages and limiting training.

While newly appointed Governor Eric Greitens openly endorsed it.

It’s something, McGuire said, that has some of his members worried.

“They’re scared. They’re scared about what might happen, and I think we’re going to be okay, but they’re asking me why would anybody want to mess with our way of life,” McGuire.

Mehner said unions can still thrive, but now workers can make their own decision.

“It doesn’t keep someone from joining the union at all. It just gives them the choice,” Mehner said.

McGuire said union dues go to things like health insurance, a pension fund, and training.

Mehner said right to work would give individuals the option to opt-out if their employers already offer these benefits.