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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - A preliminary hearing date is now set for Craig Michael Wood, the middle-school football coach accused of kidnapping and killing a 10-year-old girl in Springfield, Mo.
 
A judge last week scheduled Wood's preliminary hearing for 9 a.m. April 2 at the Greene County Courthouse. Wood remains jailed without bond. The purpose of a preliminary hearing is to determine if there is enough evidence for a case to go to trial.
 
Fourth-grader Hailey Owens was killed in February. Police say she was walking near her Springfield home when she was abducted. Authorities say her body was found in Wood's basement later that day.
 
Published in Local News

The Ferguson-Florissant School District is moving forward with plans to terminate Superintendent Dr. Art McCoy.

 

On November 6 the board placed Dr. McCoy on paid leave. The next step in the procedure is to hold a hearing with McCoy so he can hear the reasons for his termination. The hearing will be in a closed session, unless the two sides agree to hold the meeting in open session.

 

In a statement posted to the school district's Facebook page, Board President Paul Morris says that after the hearing they will decide if McCoy's contract should be terminated with cause.

 

The school board has not released the reason they placed McCoy on leave last month.

 

The full statement is posted below:

Dear Ferguson-Florissant School District Families, Staff and Community,
 
As you know, on Nov. 6, the Ferguson-Florissant Board of Education placed Dr. Art McCoy on paid administrative leave. Since that time, the Board has looked into several areas of concern and an independent, third-party investigation has been completed.
 
As a result of conclusions reached through these investigations, the Board has voted 6-1 to issue a notice of charges to Dr. McCoy stating reasons the board is considering terminating his contract for cause. Dr. McCoy and his attorney have received the statement of charges.
 
In accordance with the superintendent’s contract with the Board of Education, Dr. McCoy will receive a full hearing of these charges. The hearing will be conducted in closed session, unless a mutual agreement is reached between the Board and Dr. McCoy to hold the meeting in open session. Only after the hearing will the Board determine whether to terminate Dr. McCoy’s contract for cause, which would relieve the District’s responsibility to pay Dr. McCoy’s salary and benefits.
 
This was a very difficult decision, but one that we believe is in the best interests of our students, parents and community. It was made after a thorough, independent investigation and much careful deliberation among all members of the Board of Education. We recognize and are grateful for Dr. McCoy’s contributions to our students since becoming superintendent. Unfortunately, we find it necessary to take this action at this time.
 
We want our students, their families and our community to know that we will continue to work tirelessly to ensure that every one of our students receives the highest-quality educational opportunities available, and that we will work closely with our District community to forge the path forward with the ultimate goal of success for all of our students.
 
Sincerely,
 
Mr. Paul T. Morris
President
Ferguson-Florissant School District Board of Education
 
Published in Local News

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - A group of eight Missouri lawmakers are calling upon Missouri's governor and attorney general to investigate concerns raised about Education Commissioner Chris Nicastro.

The lawmakers made the request Wednesday after The Kansas City Star reported that newly disclosed emails raised questions about the selection of CEE-Trust as a consultant. The Indianapolis-based firm's bid for developing an improvement plan for the Kansas City district and other struggling schools was nearly three times higher than the closest competitor.

The emails also highlighted some of Nicastro's behind-the-scenes work to create a special district that would operate some of the state's lowest-performing schools.

The lawmakers say the emails raise concerns about Nicastro's "fitness to lead."

Nicastro says the focus should be on ensuring that children "have the quality schools they deserve."

Published in Local News

   Former Illinois state trooper Matt Mitchell is asking for the fourth time to have his driver's license reinstated at a hearing Tuesday morning at the Secretary of State's Mount Vernon office.  A similar appeal in July was denied.  

   Mitchell lost his license after pleading guilty to causing the 2007 crash that killed Collinsville sisters Kelli and Jessica Uhl.  Mitchell had been driving his patrol car in excess of 120 miles an hour and texting when he slammed into the Uhl's car.  

   A decision on Mitchell's license reinstatement is not expected for 90 days.

Published in Local News

   Call it the tale of two hearings.  

   Missouri Senate and House committees each held hearings Wednesday on the state's Medicaid program.  Each focused on different perspectives.  

   At the House hearing in St. Louis, most testified in favor of expanding Medicaid under the federal Affordable Care Act.  But at the Senate hearing in Jefferson City, the stress was on the need to overhaul the system first -- by finding ways to reduce costs and improve care.  

   The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Missouri's 8.5-billion dollar Medicaid program currently serves 875-thousand low-income seniors, people with disabilities, and families with children.  Expansion would add about 260-thousand low-income, working people.

Published in Local News

   SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) - A New York man charged with trying to extort money from embattled celebrity cook Paula Deen is scheduled to appear before a federal judge to change his plea.

   Thomas George Paculis was to appear Friday afternoon in U.S. District Court in Savannah, where he pleaded not guilty during his last hearing in July.

   Court records filed last week say 62-year-old Paculis of Newfield, N.Y., has signed a plea agreement with prosecutors. But details have not been released.

   Prosecutors and Paculis' defense attorney have declined to comment.

   Authorities say Paculis contacted Deen's attorney threatening to reveal damaging statements by the former Food Network star unless she paid him $200,000. That happened after documents became public that showed Deen acknowledged using racial slurs in the past.

 
Published in National News

On the home page of the Ballwin/Ellisville Patch online newspaper, the news outlet features a breaking news item alerting readers that there would be breaking news on McGraw in the Morning at 9am today  (Wednesday) on KTRS 550AM (The Big 550).

Below is the story:

"Ellisville residents should listen to tomorrow's radio show sitting down," said Ellisville Mayor Adam Paul, due to the nature of what will be announced. The show will be 9-10 a.m.

Embattled Ellisville Mayor Adam Paul is scheduled as a radio guest on the McGraw Show—radio station 550AM—at 9 a.m. Wednesday. He is slated to discuss items he referred to Tuesday afternoon as "unbelievable."

Paul tells Patch major breaking news and developments will be released regarding his impeachment hearing, which is currently scheduled for April 1.

"If you are an Ellisville resident, you do not want to miss this segment," he said. 

Paul was suspended in February after the Ellisvile City Council approved a resolutionalleging the mayor had violated the city charter on several occasions. 

His interview will last until 10 a.m. "It will expose a lot of things, and connect the dots," he said.

 

 

http://ballwin-ellisville.patch.com/articles/mayor-adam-paul-impeachment-development-ellisville-residents-can-listen-live-wednesday-morning

Published in Local News

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