Final Co-Conspirator Pleads Guilty in Sex Trafficking Case

“The Rodent” pleads guilty to conspiracy to commit sex trafficking by force, fraud, or coercion in U.S. Western District Court.

Sixty-three-year old Michael Stokes of Lebanon, known as “The Rodent,” plead guilty before the court last week to his role in the torture of a mentally deficient 20-year old woman. Stokes, kept the woman at a home, tortured her, abused her, and promoted her abuse publicly at clubs and in magazines.

Three other men, 33-year old Bradley Cook of Kirkwood, 51-year old Dennis Henry of Wheatland, and 45-year old James Noel of Springfield, have all started or completed their cases. Cook will spend 20 years in federal prison without parole and pay restitution to the victim. Henry, the former postmaster of Nevada, has plead guilty and faces fifteen years and restitution. Noel plead guilty and faces five years and restitution.

Interceptors Headed to Osage Beach

New 2013 Ford Interceptors will soon be on patrol in Osage Beach.

The city signed off on the purchase of four of the Interceptor Utility All Wheel Drive vehicles at their last Thursday meeting.

Osage Beach Police Chief Todd Davis says the vehicles are state of the art electronically.

Joe Machens Ford will supply the vehicles on state contract for just over $100,000.

Road Work for Week of the Ninth

Here’s a look at the road work for the week.

In Morgan County on Route 52 between Route C and Route AA, one lane will be open for roadway maintenance all this week.

In Miller County on Route 52 between St. Elizabeth and the Maries County line, one lane will be open until Thursday for a culvert pipe replacement. And on the Route 52 bridge over Highway 54, one lane is open Tuesday through Friday for bridge maintenance and repair.

In Camden County on old Route 5 between Route 7 and the Laclede County line and on Route A between 54 and 7, one lane will be open in both areas for road maintenance. And one lane will be open on the Lake of the Ozarks Community Bridge this week for a bridge inspection.

Linn Creek Fire Started By Overheated Exhaust Fan

Investigators have determined the cause of the spectacular fire that destroyed a 10,000 square foot building at Woodland Scenics in Linn Creek yesterday afternoon, according to Osage Beach Fire Protection District Chief Jeff Dorhauer:

The blaze was so intense that firefighters had to stay outside the building. The plant, which manufactures model railroad scenery supplies, is Linn Creek’s largest employer, with about 150 workers. It’s not clear how many were inside when the fire broke around noon yesterday, but everyone made it out safely. Nearly a dozen fire departments, some from as far away as Columbia, were called to assist in battling the blaze. About one-third of the main complex was reduced to rubble. The parts of the plant not damaged by fire reopened this morning.

Hurricane Deck Contract Awarded

American Bridge Company out of Overland Park, Kansas, will build the new Hurricane Deck Bridge without closing Highway 5.

The company was awarded the $32,000,000 contract for the project this week and plans to build a new complete bridge east of the existing structure. The new Hurricane Deck will have two twelve foot driving lanes and seven foot shoulders on each side. The bridge is slated to be complete in late 2013.

Bus Driver Arraigned After Incident on School Bus

A Cole Camp man who was a school bus driver in the Stover district is facing statutory sodomy and child molestation charges.

Forty-four year old Tommy Estes was arraigned Wednesday after a report from the Department of Family Services into the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office on Tuesday the 27th.

The sheriff’s department says the offense happened August 31st of last year on a Morgan County R-1 school bus, the victim was the last student on the bus.

Estes is being held on a $100,000 cash only bond. Morgan County R-1 and local child advocacy centers are assisting Morgan County in the investigation.

Chief Says Free Rides Keep Roads Safe

Four people took advantage of the Osage Beach Police offer of a free ride home inside city limits on New Year’s Eve.

Police Chief Todd Davis says the city has offered the free rides since he started as an officer back in 1993.

Chief Davis says overall the city celebrated quietly, ringing in the new year.