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UPDATE ON THE DEVELOPING STORY: Reports indicate that one boy has died as the result of falling through the ice on a farm pond near Nevada, in Vernon County, with two others being rescued. The boys were reportedly playing on the frozen pond about 9:00 A.M. Saturday morning, when they fell through the ice. One boy was able to exit the pond on his own. Nevada and Vernon County Emergency personnel responded to the incident, and were able to extract a second boy from the pond. He was taken to a local hospital for treatment. Reports also indicate that the third boy was in the water for around 90 minutes before rescuers could locate him. Local authorities have not released any names of the 3 boys involved, only saying the boy who died was under 10 years of age.

DEVELOPING STORY: Three kids were reportedly trapped in a pond in Vernon County Saturday morning. Nevada and Vernon County Emergency Personnel responded to the situation, that occurred sometime before 10:00 A.M. Saturday morning. Emergency personnel reported they believed the kids might have been trying to walk on the ice. No further information is available at this time, but we will continue to monitor the situation and report any further information as it is released.

A Butler man has been arrested on charges of burglary and unlawful use of a weapon. Bates County Sheriff’s Office Officials says, on February 8th, Bates County Deputies began the investigation of a reported burglary in Bates County. Deputies identified the suspect to be 27 year old Erik Adams. On Thursday, Butler Police Department Deputies stopped Adams for allegedly driving while revoked, and driving while intoxicated. Adams was placed on an investigative hold in the Bates County Jail, while offers were seeking a warrants. Adams was served a warrant, while in custody, charging him with burglary and 2 counts of unlawful use of a weapon. He is still being held in the Bates County Jail Bond has been set at $35,000 cash or surety.

With wintry weather mix expected across much of our region this weekend, motorists are advised to check road conditions before traveling. The Missouri Department of Transportation is advising state motorists of the possibility to experience a mix of snow, freezing rain, and rain this weekend. The mix of precipitation is forecasted to start as snow Saturday, and conclude as rain tomorrow. MoDOT crews are already out in full force treating roads before the winter mix starts, and continuing during and after the storms have left our area. Motorists are advised to check up to the minute road conditions before they travel on MoDOT’s Traveler Information Map online at The Missouri Department of Transportation reminds travelers to use extreme caution, and avoid travel if at all possible.

Area residents are reminded to continue to return completed personal property lists. Vernon County Assessor Cherie Kaye Roberts, reminds property owners, including businesses, that Saturday is the last day to report all personal property owned or held on January 1st to the Assessor's Office. Those not returning a completed list to the assessors by the deadline may be subject to a penalty. Penalties range from $10 to $100, depending upon the value of the property, with state statues providing the assessor almost no discretion to waive the penalties. Personal property lists can also be dropped off in the drop by at the Vernon County Courthouse, 100 West Cherry Street in Nevada. The deadline to return the personal property list is Sunday, March 1st.

Missouri’s Governor has appointed an interim Auditor. Missouri Governor Jay Nixon announced Friday that he has appointed John Watson as interim State Auditor, until a permanent appointment can be made. Watson will resign immediately prior to a new appointment of State Auditor. Watson currently serves as Senior Advisor to the Governor, and was previously the Chief of Staff to Governor Nixon from January 2009 until December of 2014. Governor Nixon says, the appointment will help ensure continuity of government operations. Under Missouri Law, when a vacancy occurs in the office of State Auditor, the Governor shall immediately appoint an interim Auditor to fill such vacancy.

Cottey College is hosting a one-man show Saturday on their Nevada campus. Sam Lloyd, who played Ted from the TV show Scrubs, will perform his one-man show entitled, “Fully Committed” Saturday night at 8:00 P.M. in the Auditorium of the Haidee and Allen Wild Center for the Arts, located on the Northeast corner of Austin and Tower streets in Nevada. Lloyd plays Sam Peliczowski, the reservationist at a Manhattan restaurant, along with 36 other characters. Lloyd was awarded Best Solo Performance for the role at the StateSceneLA awards. Tickets for Sam Lloyd's “Fully Committed” are $6 for adults and $5 for those under age 18 or over age 62. Healthcare workers will be admitted free. Tickets will be availabe at the door the evening of the performance. For more information, contact the Cottey Ticket Office at 417-667-8181, ext. 2186.

Area outdoors men and women can now review all new changes and additions to trapping, fishing, and turkey hunting regulations in the state of Missouri. The Missouri Department of Conservation has released new 2015 regulation booklets including the Summary of Missouri Hunting and Trapping Regulations, the Summary of Missouri Fishing Regulations, and the Spring Turkey Hunting Regulations and Information. Booklets are available online and at MDC offices, nature centers, and other places where permits are sold. These booklets contain related regulations information in an easy to read format, including regulation changes and other new information for the year ahead. Conservation makes Missouri a great place to hunt, trap, and fish. For more information on hunting, trapping, fishing, and other outdoor activities, or to view 2015 regulation booklets, visit

Missouri’s State Auditor has died of an apparent suicide. State of Missouri Auditor Tom Schweich passed away Thursday from a reported self inflicted single gunshot wound. Schweich was 54. Clayton Police Chief Kevin Murphy says, paramedics responded to an emergency call from Schweich's home that came in just after 9:45 A.M. Thursday morning. Schweich was taken to a St. Louis area hospital, where he was pronounced dead. Governor for the State of Missouri, Jay Nixon, ordered all flags on Missouri state facilities to be immediately lowered to half-staff to honor his passing. Schweich was poised to make a strong run as the leading contender for the governor's office in next year's election.

Fire burned in a Nevada home Thursday evening. According to Nevada Fire Department Fire Captain Troy Denney, just before 6:15 P.M. Thursday evening, Fire Department Personnel were dispatched to a structure fire in the 1100 block of South Main Street in Nevada. Captain Denney says, on arrival, Fire Department Personnel found heavy smoke coming out of the front of the residence, with fire coming out the back of the residence. Fire crews were able to quickly knock down the fire, but due to the extensive fire spread, and construction of the home, overhaul took some time. No injuries were reported. Captain Denney says, the cause of the fire was accidental in nature, caused from the used of a fryer that boiled over. The American Red Cross was notified to assist with the occupants of the residence.

St. Clair County Sheriff's Office investigators have been investigating a Phone Scam. Officials say, they have received several calls from area residents reporting a call from an individual claiming to be an IRS Agent. The recorded message claims that the victim owes money to the Internal Revenue Service and if the citizen does not follow instructions regarding payments, the IRS will confiscate the victims assets. These calls are bogus and the resident should be cautious to avoid becoming victim. Some victims have received additional calls from an individual claiming to be from the IRS and states that the victim owes money, and if payment is not made, a warrant will be issued. Citizens who are contacted by the scammers should not provide any personal information to the caller. If you are contacted, St. Clair County Sheriff's Office officials encourages you to document the time and the phone number of the call. You are also encouraged to contact your local law enforcement officials if you have any information that would be helpful to combat the crime.

The Nevada R-V Board of Education meet in a special session Thursday morning. The board heard the consideration of two different bus insurance settlement options. The board unanimously approved the acceptance of the option from Cameron Mutual Insurance of a settlement of $29,676.00 for the bus. The 2005 Blue Bird bus was damaged in an accident on January 30th, where no students were on the bus at the time of the incident. The board also unanimously approved the consideration of the purchase of a 2005 International Bus from National Bus Sales with 67,000 miles. The next regular scheduled meeting of the Nevada R-V Board of Education is set for Wednesday, March 11th 7:00 P.M. in the Central Office in Nevada. The meeting is open to the public.

Two Rich Hill residents have been arrested in connection to a reported theft in Rich Hill. Bates County Sheriff's Office Officials says, on February 12th, Bates County Deputies began the investigation of a report of theft in rural Bates County, in the Rich Hill area. The victim said he had items stolen from his property, including multiple square beams and one aluminum fuel tank. A two week long investigation has lead Deputies to take John Brockmeyer and Debbie Brockmeyer into custody in connection to the theft. Both Brockmeyer's are being charged with a class C felony. Both are being held in the Bates County Jail. Bond has been set at $10,000 cash or surety for both suspects.

A Butler man has been arrested on a felony warrant in Bates County. Missouri Highway Patrol Officials say, Troopers arrested 25 year old Ryan Baker, at about 3:00 P.M. Wednesday afternoon in Bates County. Baker was stopped and arrested by Troopers on a felony Bates County warrant. Baker is being held in the Bates County Jail. No further information on the incident is available at this time.

Preperations are continuing for the annual Nevada/Vernon County Chamber of Commerce Gala and Awards Banquet. The banquet, scheduled for Saturday, March 7th, will feature an “Evening on Bourbon Street.” Tickets are still on sale for $35 for an individual and $65 per couple, with those tickets on sale though Friday. The banquet will be held at the Nevada Eagles Lodge, with social hour starting at 6:00 P.M. and Dinner at 7:00 P.M., followed by the Awards Ceremony. Entertainment will be provided by Grand Marquis, a Jazz Band from Kansas City, who was voted as a 2011 International Blues Challenge Finalist. To help sponsor the Gala or reserve tickets, contact the Nevada/Vernon County Chamber of Commerce at 417-667-5300.

Area residents can return to their regular commuter route in Blue Mound Township. The Vernon County Bridge Department has announced that 2300 Road, North of C Highway, four-tenths of a mile South of Fairhaven, in Blue Mound Township, Section 27/26, will be completed Thursday. Crews will complete the work of replacing a culvert underneath the roadway. The road is expected to be opened late Thursday afternoon. Once open, normal through traffic will now be conducted and allowed through the area. For more information, contact the Vernon County Commission at 417-448-2505.

The Nevada Police Department is looking to education local residents on law enforcement activities with the Citizens Police Academy. Nevada PD will host their annual Spring Citizens Police Academy, starting in April. The program provides citizens an inside look at the operations of the Nevada Police Department through lecture and interactive based activities. Nevada Chief of Police Graham Burnley says, this year attendees will get a look at the new facility. The program will run over an 8 week period, every Wednesday night starting April 1st to May 20th. This year's 2015 Academy includes topics such as 911 communications and emergency dispatching, traffic stops, criminal investigation, and traffic enforcement and drug recognition. Anyone interested in attending is encouraged to apply. Applications are be accepted through March 15th and can be found on

Area youth are encouraged to submit artwork for the 2015 National Missing Children’s Poster Contest. The Missouri Highway Patrol Officials invite all Missouri schools to participate in the National Missing Children’s Day Poster Contest. The contest is open to all Missouri 5th grade students, who will create an 11 by 14 poster that reflects the 2015 contest theme of “Bring Our Missing Children Home.” Each school is asked to submit their winners no later than March 1st. For more information regarding the National Missing Children’s Day Poster Contest, call 573-526-6178.

The trial of a Nevada man accused of kidnapping a New Jersey man nearly 5 years ago, is set to begin Tuesday. Jury selection will begin Tuesday at the Sussex County Courthouse in New Jersey for the trial of 50 year old Douglas Stangeland, of Nevada. Stangeland is being charged in the kidnapping of Jeffrey Muller of Newton, New Jersey on January 8th, 2010. 48 year old Lonnie Swarnes, of Rich Hill, is also being charged in the kidnapping of Muller. Both men face further charges in Vernon County for an assault against a Nevada resident. Stangeland and Swarnes refused bargain deals offered to them in 2011, which would have resulted in each receiving a 23 year sentence. If convicted, both men would face life sentences, with 30 years of parole ineligibility. Three additional men were arrested in 2010 and extradited to New Jersey in connection to the case, charged with first degree kidnapping. 26 year old Andrew Wadel, of Rich Hill, received sentences from both New Jersey and Vernon County in June of 2012, where he was sentenced to 18 years in prison. 60 year old Roy Slates and 53 year old William Barger, both of Nevada, have sentences that are currently pending. Slates was given a 5 year suspended sentence in November 2011, having pleaded guilty in New Jersey to conspiracy to commit theft by extortion. In Vernon County, he pleaded guilty to felonies of concealing a felony and hindering prosecution. Stangeland's trial will likely being by mid-March, after a few weeks for jury selection, with Swarnes trail to follow.

The Vernon County Extension Council Elections will begin Tuesday. The country extension council works with the Extension staff members in planning and making recommendations for educational programs. The Vernon County council is composed of 20 members, with 18 elected and 2 appointed. Voting throughout the county will be by districts, with Vernon County divided into 2 districts: Northern, which is North of 54 Highway, and Southern, which is South of 54 Highway. Ballot boxes have been placed at the Extension Center, Farm Bureau, Farm Services Agency, YMCA, and Producers Grain/MFA. Anyone who is over 18 years of age is eligible to vote, with voters only have a selection of those candidatese in their district. Election of members will run through Tuesday, March 3rd.



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