Panama Canal expansion could impact Missouri ports

MODOT officials say the widened canal will open more freight shipment opportunities to Missouri.

Franklin School construction proceeds as planned

The $10 million project is being constructed next to the old school. It will open for the 2012 school year.

Dino's Pizza damaged by fire

The Cape Girardeau Fire Department estimates $250,000 in damages, but the building is not a total loss.

Mississippi River Basin nitrate pollution remains high

Nitrates flowing from the Mississippi River into the Gulf of Mexico contribute to the formation of areas known as dead zones.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Sun Security Bank taken over by Great Southern Bank

ELLINGTON, MO (KRCU) - Ellington-based Sun Security Bank is no more.

The bank’s board of directors chose to turn Sun Security over to the Missouri Division of Finance last Friday because the bank was on the brink of insolvency.

Great Southern Bank, which is based in Springfield, then agreed to take over Sun Security.

Missouri Division of Finance spokesperson Travis Ford says the bank’s failure is a common story.

"The demise of this bank is mainly attributed to overly aggressive and risky lending strategies. And that’s usually what brings down a bank. Making loans to folks who cannot repay. In this case, it was commercial and real estate development," Ford said.

The bank had assets valued at 350 million dollars, which Ford says makes it an average-sized Missouri bank. Great Southern has 3 billion dollars in assets.

Sun Security had 27 branches, primarily in southern Missouri, including Fredericktown, Marquand, Arcadia, Pilot Knob, Viburnum, Annapolis, Lesterville and Piedmont.

Jacob McCleland, KRCU

China hub lingers another week

JEFFERSON CITY, MO (MISSOURI DIGITAL NEWS) - The long debated China hub bill will linger for at least another week as the Missouri House and Senate are set to meet on Monday.

Following a Republican caucus Tuesday afternoon, Senate President Pro-Tem Rob Mayer says the special session will end next week with or without a China hub bill.

Mayer says he hopes that the Senate can alter the House's mindset.

"We have the opportunity to go to conference to argue or present our position as to why we're where we're at and at the end of the day we'll see if we change anybody's mind," Mayer said.

There are no termination dates included on any of the tax breaks surrounding the China hub bill.

Mayer says the Senate won't pass the bill if these dates aren't included.

Alex Gordon, Missouri Digital News

Redhawks lose Terrell for season

CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (KRCU) - When a football team is having a rough season it is hard to imagine things getting any worse.

For the Southeast Missouri State University football team things got worse on Saturday while at Tennessee State University.

After an 18-yard run early in the game, junior running back Levi Terrell was forced to leave the game early, with what turned out to be a broken collar bone.

Coach Tony Samuel said the team doesn’t have time to have a bad attitude about losing its second leading rusher.

"We just had a very good practice. We're going to get ready with whoever steps in, you know, that’s how you handle things," Coach Samuel said. "Everybody that plays this game understands that, there’s no down morale or anything like that. If anything we need to focus on getting ready for a really tough game, and in my mind a game we need to go and win."

Terrell, in his first year at Southeast, entered Saturday’s game with back-to-back 100 yard rushing games, and had 320 yards on 47 carries with 3 touchdowns on the season.

Samuel said there are two or three guys who can step in and fill Terrell’s position, including Lennies McFerren and Renard Celestin.

The Redhawks next game is Saturday October 15 at 2 p.m. at Eastern Kentucky.

Drew Yount, KRCU

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Paducah Convention Center Director charged with stealing $200K

PADUCAH, KY (WKMS) - Former Paducah Convention Center Director John Patrick Kerr is charged with stealing more than 200 thousand dollars in convention center funds. City officials fired Kerr Sunday before his arrest that evening.

Police also arrested his alleged accomplice, Susan Wilson. Convention Center Board Chairman Jim Sigler says Kerr would pay out a fake invoice to Wilson, who would then pay him a kickback from the Convention Center’s money.

Speaking on radio station WKYX, Sigler says Kerr used unauthorized checks to bypass the board’s oversight.

"The fictitious vendor invoices were paid with a series of single signature Convention Center Corporation checks that Mr. Kerr was not authorized to use for payment of usual and customary vendor services. None of the fictitious invoices were presented to me or any other board member for approval," Sigler said.

He says the scheme took place over the course of a year or more, and was discovered by their bank when they noticed a series of suspicious payments.

Sigler says the city will pursue every available option to recover the stolen funds. He says Steve Dolittle will serve as interim Executive Director and says that events at the center will continue as scheduled.

Shelly Baskin, WKMS

Missouri is nearing peak foliage season

MARYVILLE, MO (KXCV) - The Missouri Department of Conservation says the state is nearing the peak of its fall foliage season.

Fall color almost always peaks around October 15th in Missouri, but due to dry weather conditions, the trees will be turning a little bit earlier.

Conservation Department spokesman Jim Low says the lack of rain could also impact the vivid colors we see this year.

"I would just call it maybe a little bit less than the usual amount of fall color, but it’s still going to be pretty and in any part of the state there will always be some trees that are just spectacular," Low said.

The Missouri Department of Conservation says , however, seasonal conditions, such as freezing temperatures, heavy rains, or strong winds, could still cut short the fall-color season by stripping leaves from trees.

Kirk Wayman, KXCV

Ste. Genevieve hosts "The Way We Worked"

STE. GENEVIEVE, MO (KRCU) - Ste. Genevieve is the first city in Missouri to host a Smithsonian exhibit entitled "The Way We Worked."

The multi-media exhibit includes photographs, large graphics, audio and artifacts that examine the role of work in the American consciousness.

Stephanie Bell is Ste. Genevieve’s Director of Tourism.

"It's an overview of how work and work ethic has impacted America over the past one hundred years and how it has changed, and it has gone through some major changes, and you can see that clearly through the exhibit," Bell said.

Each community that hosts the exhibit will add to it by contributing their own scrapbook about work in the local region. Bell says the scrapbook will then go on to become a part of the permanent exhibit.

The exhibit is funded by the Missouri Humanities Council and Smithsonian Institution.

The locations for this exhibit include the Welcome Center and Linden House. "The Way We Worked" runs through November 5th.

Lauren Campbell, KRCU
Photo by James Earl Westcott. Courtesy of Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service

Pujols powers Cards over Brewers

MILWAUKEE, WI - Albert Pujols had a huge night, and the St. Louis Cardinals rode to a 12-3 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park Monday night.

The Cardinals first baseman collected five RBI’s, a homer, and three doubles. His home run was a two-run first-inning blast off Milwaukee starting pitcher Shaun Marcum, who had a rough night. Marcum allowed five runs over four innings pitched.

By winning Game Two on Milwaukee’s home turf, St. Louis essentially stole home-field advantage for the National League Championship Series.

The series is now tied at 1-1 and moves to St. Louis for Game Three Wednesday night.