Maintenance Worker Burned in Small Hospital Fire

There was a small fire this morning at Lake Regional Hospital in Osage Beach. A fire protection district spokesperson says there was a short in an electrical room on the roof. It burned a maintenance worker and started a small fire. Maintenance personnel put it out, and the injured worker was in the hospital ER before firefighters arrived. The fire didn’t interrupted Lake Regional operations. The maintenance worker had 3rd degree burns to a hand and arm.

Hickory County CARES

A food pantry that serves Hickory County will stay afloat. A group of volunteers formed a non-profit called Hickory County CARES, and that’s helped keep the pantry open and people are getting more food. That’s also a worry. A spokesperson says they hope they’ll have enough pledges and donations to carry us through the rest of the year with the current level of demand. Eleven churches in Hickory County are now involved in collecting donations for the food pantry. If you’d like to make a donation of food or money to the pantry in Wheatland, you can reach them by phone at (417) 459-4639.

Miller County Shooting – 3 People Critically Injured

Three people were critically injured in an overnight shooting near Eldon. The Miller County Sheriff’s office says it happened shortly before midnight, near Chicky’s, off Highway 54 .. and two suspects are in custody, one of them a juvenile. The victims were transported to University Hospital in Columbia. Details of the circumstances surrounding the shooting haven’t been released. An investigation is underway.

State Budget Cuts Higher Education Funding, Eliminates Jobs

Governor Jay Nixon is proposing to balance the state budget by making more cuts to programs and services, while holding the line on taxes. In his State of the State address Tuesday night, Nixon proposed a nearly $23 billion budget for the next fiscal year that would cut funding to state universities for the third year in a row:

The governor budget proposal also calls for eliminating the jobs of hundreds of state employees, to help close a projected $500 million gap between expenses and revenues.

Governor Nixon emphasized efforts to create more private-sector jobs, across the state, especially in the science and technology sector:

The governor is proposing a small increase in funding for public schools.

Miller County Sheriff: Burglary Ring Busted, Copper Thefts Investigated

One adult and two teenagers arrested Tuesday morning after Eldon Police responded to a burglary-in-progress call at the Radio Shack on Highway 54 may also be responsible for break-ins at several other area businesses over the past month. According to Miller County Sheriff Bill Abbott:

Three of those other burglaries, most recently Sunday night, were at the Eldon Country Club.

Abbott says Miller County deputies are also working with the Highway Patrol on a “big copper theft ring”:

The Sheriff says anyone with information should call his office at 573- 369-2341.

No DUI Blood Tests Without a Warrant

Missouri’s Supreme Court’s ruled that police have to get a warrant before ordering a blood test on an unwilling drunken-driving suspect. They did make one exception, and that’s when the delay could threaten a life or destroy potential evidence. The court ruled that just because booze starts clearing from the blood stream when someone stops drinking, isn’t one of those situations. The ruling came in a case out of Cape Girardeau County, and their assistant Prosecutor says he’ll appeal that decision to the U.S. Supreme Court.

State Budget Has Gaps

The governor’s proposed state budget has a $500 million dollar hole.

In the State of the State, Jay Nixon laid out a path forward without a general tax increase but also without federal stimulus. Amy Blouin heads up the Missouri Budget Project and says the cuts that need to be made will have to be found.

The one area that could see an increase is the lowest in the nation Missouri cigarette tax.

Most states surrounding Missouri tax an average of a dollar a pack.