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Colin Jeffery

Colin Jeffery

Fort Leonard Wood transitioning to traditional training

Monday, 09 December 2013 12:19 Published in Local News

FORT LEONARD WOOD, Mo. (AP) - The U.S. military's withdrawal from the Middle East has prompted Fort Leonard Wood to return to its more traditional ways for training recruits.

During the wars in the Middle East, the fort trained recruits in the ways that mimicked the experiences they would encounter there.

Maj. Gen. Leslie Smith, commander at the fort, says the change is part of a large shift at the post back to missions that existed before the wars.

For example, the Army Engineer School will continue studying how to counter improvised explosive devices. But more attention will be paid to traditional missions such as building and demolishing structures and bridging rivers.

Smith told The Springfield News-Leader that with troops not deploying as much, the focus is on how to keep them combat-ready.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) - After going nearly three years without an execution, Missouri is preparing for its second in three weeks.

Allen Nicklasson is scheduled to die at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday for killing Richard Drummond, a businessman who stopped to help when he saw a car stranded along Interstate 70 in 1994. Nicklasson and two others forced Drummond to drive to a secluded area, where Nicklasson killed him.

One of the other men, Dennis Skillicorn, was put to death in 2009. The third, Tim DeGraffenreid, was spared the death penalty.

Missouri executed racist serial killer Joseph Paul Franklin on Nov. 20, the state's first-ever execution using a single drug, pentobarbital.

Nicklasson's attorney, Jennifer Herndon, has asked the Missouri Supreme Court to intervene and says she will also seek clemency from Gov. Jay Nixon.

Tea party battles business over Braves stadium

Sunday, 08 December 2013 09:13 Published in National News

ATLANTA (AP) — A suburban Atlanta county has spawned the latest skirmish between tea party conservative and mainstream business interests.

Republicans on the Cobb County commission have business backing for their commitment of several hundred million dollars to help build a new baseball stadium for the Atlanta Braves. But tea party activists and other citizens' groups maintain that the deal is crony capitalism that gives public money to a private business.

Debbie Dooley of the Atlanta Tea Party says several citizens' groups are exploring possible challenges to the plan to redirect property taxes to cover stadium debt. They're also looking at recall petitions aimed at Cobb commissioners.

Commission Chairman Tim Lee maintains that the investment will pay for itself by spurring economic activity in and around the stadium slated to open in 2017.

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