(AP) – State Stories PM

| September 24, 2012
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GLADSTONE, Mo. (AP) – Clay County authorities have charged a Kansas City ex-convict in the beating death of an AT&T technician. Clay County authorities charged 35-year-old Bryan Middlemas with first-degree murder, attempted robbery and armed criminal action. Forty-one-year-old Kevin Mashburn died early Wednesday after he was clubbed in the head with a crowbar during an overnight shift in the Kansas City suburb of Gladstone. Mashburn managed to pull himself into his service truck and radio for help. Authorities found him unconscious in his truck and he died at a hospital. Court documents say a former cellmate told police Middlemas talked about attacking Mashburn. Middlemas is being held on $1 million bond. It wasn’t immediately known if he had an attorney.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) – A former band instructor at secondary schools in Jefferson City has admitted inappropriately touching a female student. Christopher Knehans pleaded guilty Monday to two counts of sexual contact with a high school student. The two instances of inappropriate touching happened in September 2011. Knehans was the band instructor at Thomas Jefferson Middle School and an assistant at Jefferson City High School. Under a plea agreement, Knehans will face a minimum of 30 days and a maximum of 60 days in jail for one of the counts. There is no agreement on the sentencing for the other count. Sentencing is set for Dec. 12.

KIRKWOOD, Mo. (AP) — A day before the final deadline to stay in or drop out of the Missouri Senate race, congressman Todd Akin insists he’s not quitting. Akin appeared Monday with former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich in the St. Louis suburb of Kirkwood, ahead of a fundraiser in support of Akin’s campaign. Akin is seeking to unseat incumbent Democrat Claire McCaskill in the November election. Many Republicans distanced themselves from Akin after his comments in August about what he called “legitimate rape,” including GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney and his running mate, Paul Ryan.

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — A report shows the SAT college-entrance exam scores of Missouri high school graduates fell this year. The College Board’s 2012 SAT report released Monday puts the state’s average score in critical reading at 584, in math at 587 and in writing at 564. All three declined from the state’s 2011 scores but remained above the national average. One thing that helped Missouri exceed the average is that just 3 percent of its graduates took the test. The ACT historically is more popular in the central states, with the SAT more popular on the East and West coasts. The Missouri students taking the SAT tend to be more prepared, with many of them considering admission to out-of-state schools.

VERSAILLES, MO. (AP) – Authorities have identified a man who drowned while trying to save a struggling swimmer at the Lake of the Ozarks. The Missouri State Highway Patrol’s Water Patrol Division identified the victim as 67-year-old Ernest Ekstam of Gravois Mills. The patrol says Ekstam jumped into the Lake of the Ozarks around 6 p.m. Friday near the .3 mile marker of the Gravois Arm. Ekstam then began to struggle himself. A life jacket was thrown to him, but he lost conscious. He was pulled into a passing boat and pronounced dead at the scene.

ST. LOUIS (AP) – The Edward Jones Dome now has bullet-hole damage after a shooting outside the home of the St. Louis Rams. A 21-year-old man in a car was approached at 2:20 a.m. Sunday by a suspect with a gun who demanded his car. The victim put the car in reverse and the suspect fired shots. Investigators found a bullet hole in a window at the dome. The victim was apparently not hit. Police are searching for the suspect.

SENECA, Mo. (AP) — Community leaders in the southwest Missouri town of Seneca are rallying to keep their library open. The Newton County Library Board recently voted to close the Seneca library branch. The decision came after voters rejected a levy increase that would have raised $7 million annually for the Neosho-Newton County Library system. The money would have been used to expand the Neosho library and pay for deferred maintenance. Overall, the proposal was rejected 1,687 to 940. In Seneca, it was defeated by 175 to 30. The Seneca branch closure is set to take effect Nov. 1 and will save $67,000 annually. But now library backers are circulating a petition. They want the board’s decision rescinded or postponed for a year.

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — A Springfield hospital is receiving a $2 million donation to help improve its neonatal intensive care unit. Mercy Hospital in Springfield says the gift is from local businessman Bobby Allison. A news release says the capacity of the neonatal intensive care unit will almost double to 53 beds. Each family also will have its own room, with space for the baby or babies. The rooms will be equipped with sliding glass doors and monitoring technology that will allow staff to keep watch over the babies. The improved facility at Mercy will be named for Allison and his mother, Betty.

Category: News, State News