Cape Girardeau students help family sandbag home


A family leaving near rising waters got a lot of help on Tuesday, May 2 after a call was sent out on social media.

One Facebook post could make all the difference.

“We just posted that we needed some help,” Pam said. “That we needed help filling some sandbags, and any help would be appreciated, and we had a very good turnout.”

“My friend’s mom texted her mom last night and asked if we could come help so we came and helped,”

Homeowner Kenny Lindsey is grateful.

“Humble,” he said. “It makes you feel humble that people would come in and help you like this, and it just makes you feel good.”

This isn’t the first time he’s had this problem.

Teen Challenge in Cape Girardeau helped sandbag his home for the New Year Flood in 2016.

“It’s supposed to be a hundred year flood, and they’re coming every year now so I expect they’re going to keep coming,” Lindsey said. “So, I expect I better get a levee up around this place.”

Something he plans to finish by the fall. For now, his family is happy so many people would reach out a hand to help.

Lindsey said when he bought the home more than 50 years ago, flooding was a concern but at that time water levels never got this high.

Current River Bridge open to traffic in Doniphan, flood cleanup continues

DONIPHAN, MO (KFVS) – Original Post

My work was also featured on CBS Evening News with Scott Pelley.

The Current River Bridge in Doniphan is back open after the river ran out of its banks.

The police and fire department phone numbers returned to the old, pre-flood numbers on Tuesday, May 2; however, 911 is still out.

According to police, the temporary numbers will stop working at 1 p.m. on Tuesday.

Engineers with the Missouri Department of Transportation inspected the bridge Tuesday morning and determined it is still structurally sound.

Sheriff Mike Barton said there are at least 20 businesses dealing with high water. This includes several banks, stores, Sonic and more that may be total losses.

Two business owners talked about the moment they saw the water coming.

“Scary. It was very scary, not knowing what it’s going to do,” said Bob Cape, owner of Aire Serve. “Are you going to go to work the next day or have a business the next day? You don’t know.”

“It was surreal,” Kenny Smith, owner of Two Brothers Appliance, said. “It was a moment of, ‘Wow. A tide is coming in like at the ocean, but it’s not leaving like it would at the ocean,’ so it was kinda scary. Yes, it was.”

The City Hall, Sheriff’s Department and Police Station were severely damaged.

The department is now operating out of the Ripley County Ambulance Shed.

The First Church of God was also under water. They have multiple buildings, but only the upper level of one can be used.

Pastor Lary Earl believed the water was around six feet high. You can see couches, tables and even hymnals floating in the auditorium.

Earl said he’s never seen anything like it.

“It’s absolutely unbelievable,” Earl said. “One of our oldest members was just here and he’s never seen anything like this, and every generation the church was able to build a new church, so we don’t know what we’re going to do but if we rebuild here or rebuild somewhere else, I know God’s in control and we’re going to be okay. It’s just stuff. But still, 35 years of my ministry is sitting down there water-soaked.”

All of his sermons, notes and files are gone.

He also said they lost a kitchen full of refrigerators and appliances.

However, Earl said he’s inspired by the outpouring of support from churches offering to help rebuild.

Sheriff Barton said the Current River crest hit lower than expected at 30 feet. Even at that level, they’ve never seen water so high.

There have been about half-dozen rescues by boat. Sheriff Barton said they’ve had to rescue people who tried to drive through high water and some who did not get out of their cabins fast enough.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop E said officers responded off of Route H at CRD 12 in Ripley County and there were 12 total rescues at that location, including three children and one dog.

Trp E officers responded off Rt H at CRD 12, in Ripley Co. 12 total rescues at this location including 3 children and one dog. 

The Cape Girardeau Fire Department posted on Facebook that members of the Southeast Missouri Homeland Security Response Team completed eight to 10 rescue evacuations near the Doniphan area on Sunday.

One of those removed was a 100-year-old resident.

The response team consists of the fire department, Sikeston Department of Public Safety and Jackson Fire Rescue.

Sheriff Barton is asking everyone in his county to stay home unless they really need to get out.

Tetanus shots are available to those that need one at His Place Church. The church is also serving as a shelter.

Southeast Health Center of Ripley County in Doniphan has a short-term phone number because of phone line interruptions. If you need to reach the center, you can call 573-707-3626.

Perryville, MO holds event to find bone marrow match for 6-year-old boy

JACKSON, MO (KFVS) – Original Post

A bone marrow registration event in Perryville, Missouri on Friday, April 28 had a large turnout.

From 3 p.m. to 7 p.m., people gathered at the Amvets Post in Perryville on West Saint Joseph Street to register as a donor.

If you couldn’t make it to Perryville on Friday you can still see if you are a match.

You can sign up online here and it only takes a few minutes. They send you a mouth swab in the mail, and you send it back.

The best part is it’s totally free.

The event was for six-year-old Wade Wachter of Jackson, Missouri.

He was born with Schwachman-Diamond Syndrome, a rare genetic syndrome. His family is asking the public for help after tests show his bone marrow is failing.

In the last few months, it went from manageable to life threatening.

Wade Wachter looks like a normal kid. He plays sports, goes to school, but he’s had SDS since he was born.

“At his last bone marrow biopsy it was pretty much detected that it is in the stages of failing,” said his mother, Jenni Wachter.

If his bone marrow fails, Wade could die.

“You always hear of people having rare diseases, but you don’t realize that’s going to happen to you,” Wachter said.

Wade’s syndrome also makes him small. He has to take growth hormones daily.

Wade said he feels different.

“Because everybody in my class doesn’t have a syndrome like I do,” Wade said.

The Wachters are asking their Heartland community to see if one of you are Wade’s match. The one that would safe his life.

“Everybody who swabs is providing us, and other families with illnesses or the need for a bone marrow transplant with help. We definitely need a complete stranger to save our son’s life,” Wachter said.

Even though Wade’s syndrome is a huge part of his life, his mom said it doesn’t define him.

“He has a lot of doctor’s appointments, a lot of lab draws, a lot of procedures that most kids don’t have, but besides the medical stuff. He actually is a normal kid. He is learning, he is playing sports, he is goofy, he is adorable. He’s still my son, but he does endure a lot more medical problems than most kids,” Wachter said.

A simple swab could mean a lifetime of memories for the Wachters.

“Follow your heart. If you feel like it’s something that you have the power to provide, saving another person’s life with your bone marrow, do it. If you’re healthy, and you’re of age, and you have the heart to do so, please. Please,” Wachter said.

Here is some information on bone marrow donation we found out from the National Bone Marrow Program:

  • The typical commitment for the donation process is 20-30 hours over a 4 to 6 week period–not including travel.
  • There is usually a short hospital stay involved — that sometimes includes overnight.
  • Bone marrow is retrieved by putting needles in both sides of the back of your pelvic bone — under anesthesia.
  • The average recovery time for the donor is about 20 days.

Family speaks out after man killed in crash between motorized bike, Stoddard Co. Sheriff’s Office vehicle

DEXTER, MO (KFVS) – Original Post

The family of a Dexter, Missouri man is mourning after he was hit and killed in a crash with a Stoddard County sheriff’s deputy on Saturday, April 22.

David Griggs was running an errand on Saturday evening on his motorized bicycle.

His girlfriend, April Farquhar found out about the crash when she drove by.

“It was scary,” she said. “He wasn’t responsive.”

Janet Palmer said she was waiting at the intersection of Stoddard and Highway 25 when she saw the deputy coming with his emergency lights on, headed to a call.

“I kept saying, ‘Oh my God, oh my God,’ because I could see the collision happening but there’s nothing you could do to stop it,” she said.

Griggs was taken to the hospital but didn’t survive.

“You look back and you think, ‘What would you do? How would you prevent it?’ and I don’t know what anyone could have done because it was split second and it was done,” she said.

Farquhar isn’t holding a grudge.

“I just hope the guy that hit him is okay,” she said. “Accidents happen. It really does.”

Farquhar said now, she’s focused on moving forward and remembering the man she loves.

“He was a great guy, an awesome father,” she said. “Life is short. I want to enjoy every minute with my kids.”

Funeral arrangements for David Griggs have been made.

Visitation will be from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Wednesday, April 26 at Shelby Funeral Home in East Prairie. Funeral services will be conducted at noon on Thursday, April 27 at Shelby Funeral Home, with Brother Jimmy Griggs of Sikeston officiating.

Missouri State Highway Patrol Sergeant Clark Parrott said the crash happened around 5:43 p.m. in Dexter, Mo. near Gary’s Convenience Store on Highway 25.

According to authorities, Derrick Durall, 25, of Bloomfield, was going north on 25 with his emergency lights and siren on. At the same time, David J. Griggs, 22, of Dexter, was crossing 25 on a motorized bike. Griggs was hit by Durall’s vehicle and taken by ambulance to an area hospital where he was later pronounced dead.

Sgt. Parrott said officials are still investigating the incident. At this time, no charges have been filed.

The Stoddard County Coroner said an autopsy is scheduled for Sunday, April 23.

Stoddard County Sheriff Carl Hefner said he has no comment at this time.

BEE AWARE: Bee season underway; dos and donts from a keeper

JACKSON, MO (KFVS) – Original Post

With spring weather in full bloom, bees are becoming more active.

For some of you, it might be sweet, but it might make you want to run.

So, we talked to a keeper with the buzz on how to deal with bees, and why the last thing you want to do is kill them.

Being close to bees might make you nervous, but Grant Gillard has been doing it since the ’80s.

“If you see a swarm of bees. First thing, don’t panic,” Gillard said.

Gillard said the middle of April is the beginning of bee season.

“We’re seeing the swarms, which sometimes show up in your backyard. They show up at the park, in parking lots, they show up in different places,” Gillard said.

He said this means the bees aren’t out to get you, they’re just passing through.

“They’re moving through looking for a new home, and they’re looking for another hollow tree. It could be any cavity that fits a certain size that meets the bee’s expectation,” Gillard said.

That new home may be in your yard.

“Don’t do this, I have to lock the doors down. I have to get all the kids out of the yard. Don’t freak out, and don’t spray them,” Gillard said.

If you see one, just be cool and walk away.

“Waving your hands frantically as if this will give them some kind of communication that you want them to go away. It doesn’t. This to the bees is just movement. It makes them more agitated,” Gillard said.

Gillard said the best thing you can do for bees is something you might not expect. You might want to keep those weeds in your yard.

“Don’t mow it every other day. Just let it go, let it grow up a little bit. Let things flower. Let the bees enjoy it, and then mow it off, and it’s going to regrow, but don’t mow it so incessantly,” Gillard said.

Whatever you do, don’t kill them.

“We’ve seen a decline in bees. Mostly through pesticides, and through a loss of habitat, and lots of foraging opportunities,” Gillard said.

Remember, they make the sweet stuff.

“Those swarms are valuable to us, and so there’s a beekeeper around that will come and get them, and usually for free,” Gillard said.

Southeast University leaders discuss mumps cases


More cases of mumps on Southeast Missouri State’s Campus.

The University is reporting five additional cases since last week.

With over 300 cases reported at Mizzou this school year, SEMO administrators say eight is low in comparison, but still eight more than they hoped for.

Assistant Vice President, Dr. Bruce Skinner says the school is working to sanitize high volume areas, and communicating with students about how to stay well.

“Mumps is highly contagious, but mumps is a frail virus, meaning it’s not contagious unless you’re in very close proximity to people. So, large gatherings of people where you are shoulder to shoulder is where you’re most at risk. If you’re walking through a dining area, or walk by someone going to class – very low risk. But, close proximity for extended periods of time are when you’re most at risk and that’s why we ask people to self-quarantine if you suspect you have mumps,” said Dr. Skinner.

Students on campus who say the idea of mumps freaks them out, so they are taking precautions.

“It’s really scary being in greek life, because that’s where the cases have started, and it’s just super scary. I’m trying to wash my hands all the time. Not just using the restroom or anything, just whenever I can. I wash my hands and I just stay away from people who are coughing or sneezing,” said freshman Kaylee Mauk.

“Staying away from people that look like they have it or paying – I guess, looking up symptoms in case I have it, and washing hands – stuff like that,” said freshman Sam Teipe.

Speaking of symptoms – here is what the Center for Disease control says you should look out for.

If you have a fever, headache, muscle aches, being tired, loss of appetite, and above all else swollen glands under the ears on one or both sides.

The organization reports it usually takes a couple weeks to recover.

If you think you might have it – Dr. Skinner says quarantine yourself, and get to a doctor as soon as possible.

For more information about mumps on Southeast Missouri State’s Campus visit their website.