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.
With cold weather here, the Humane Society of Missouri urges all pet owners to bring their pets inside and exercise caution when exposing pets to the cold. Pets rely on their owners to help stay warm during cold weather. As a general rule, if it’s too cold for you, it’s too cold for your pets!
Here are some tips for caring for you pet in the winter months:
BRING YOUR PET INSIDE: Don't leave your pet outside in the cold for prolonged periods of time. Remember, thermometers might show one temperature, but wind chills can make it feel much, much colder. Limit time outdoors and be mindful of frostbite on ears, tail and feet. If you run with your dog, pay attention to cold paws and if it gets too cold, leave your pup at home. House cats should always be left indoors. It is the law in the City of St. Louis.
ACCLIMATE YOUR PET TO COLD WEATHER: If your pets spend a lot of time outdoors, make sure to introduce them gradually to dropping temperatures, rather than exposing them to the extreme cold all at once.
PROVIDE ADEQUATE SHELTER: Adequate shelter is mandated by law. If your dog lives outdoors, you must provide a well-insulated and draft-free doghouse. The opening should face south with a sturdy, flexible covering to prevent icy winds from entering. Line the floors of the shelter with straw, not hay. Towels and blankets can become damp or freeze, making the space colder.
BEWARE OF ANTIFREEZE AND ROCK SALT: Antifreeze often collects on driveways and roadways. Although it smells and tastes sweet to your pet, it is lethally poisonous. If you suspect your pet has ingested antifreeze, contact your veterinarian immediately! Deicing products like rock salt can irritate footpads. Be sure to rinse and dry your pet's feet after being outside. Pet stores often carry pet-safe ice melts that do the job and won’t harm your pets.
DRY OFF WET PETS: A wet pet is a cold pet. Towel or blow-dry your pet if he gets wet from rain or snow. Also, it is important to clean and dry paws to prevent tiny cuts and cracked pads.
PROVIDE PLENTY OF FOOD AND WATER: It takes more energy in the winter to properly regulate body temperature, so your pet needs additional calories if he spends a lot of time playing or working outdoors. Your pet is just as likely to get dehydrated in the winter as in the summer, so be sure to provide plenty of fresh water. Snow is not a substitute for water. Refill outside bowls often to prevent freezing.
CAREFULLY KEEP PETS WARM INSIDE: Keep your pets warm, dry and away from drafts while inside. Space heaters and other supplemental heat sources can burn your pet. Keep portable heaters out of reach and make sure all fireplaces have adequate screening. And, of course, never leave your pet alone with an unattended fire.
GROOM REGULARLY: Your pet needs a well-groomed coat to keep him properly insulated. Short- or coarse-haired dogs might get extra cold so consider a sweater or a coat. Long-haired dogs should have their paw hair trimmed to ease in cleaning and snow removal.
To report an animal in distress, please call the Humane Society of Missouri at (314) 647-4400. For more information on how to care for your pets during cold weather months, visit the Humane Society of Missouri website www.hsmo.org.
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - The University of Missouri is teaming up with South African researchers to preserve historical records related to political prisoners at an infamous symbol of the apartheid era.
Missouri's College of Education has signed a research agreement with the University of the Western Cape in Capetown and the Robben Island Museum. The island is where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned for most of his 27 years behind bars in the country he would later lead.
Missouri already works on several projects with the historically black university in South Africa, including a study-abroad program in the MU law school.
The new agreement will enlist archivists and research librarians from Missouri to help digitally preserve Robben Island documents for use by researchers worldwide.
Average retail gasoline prices in St. Louis have fallen 2.1 cents per gallon in the past week, averaging $2.99 per gallon for regular gas on Sunday.
This compares with the national average that has fallen 0.7 cents per gallon in the last week to $3.24 per gallon. This is according to the gasoline price website StLouisGasPrices.com.
Prices yesterday were 3.3 cents per gallon lower than the same day one year ago and are 9.8 cents per gallon higher than a month ago.
The national average has increased 3.9 cents per gallon during the last month and stands 10.4 cents per gallon lower than one year ago.
COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - A Columbia police detective is taking a fresh look at a journalist's 2001 slaying after one of two men originally convicted of murder was freed after his case was overturned.
The Columbia Daily Tribune reports police are reviewing the sizable case file in the death of former Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt, who was strangled and beaten to death in the newspaper's parking lot.
Ryan Ferguson spent nearly a decade in prison, but was released in November after an appeals court panel ruled that prosecutors wrongly withheld evidence from the defenses. Missouri's attorney general opted to not retry Ferguson.
Chuck Erickson continues to serve a 25-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to killing Heitholt. Ferguson says his former high school classmate is innocent.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Illinois state prison inmates are among those who have been taking part in recovery efforts after last month's deadly tornadoes. The Illinois Department of Corrections says department staff and inmates have helped with debris removal.
The two dozen tornadoes that swept across Illinois on November 17th damaged or destroyed more than 2,400 homes and killed seven people.
The crews will head next to the city of Diamond on Tuesday.
CASEYVILLE, Ill. (AP) — Authorities say a former metro-east police officer has been charged with driving under the influence and impersonating a police officer.
Caseyville Police Chief Jose Alvarez says 56 year old Harold J. Johnson of Brooklyn is being held in the St. Clair County Jail with bond set at $10,000.
Authorities say Johnson was pulled over for a traffic violation early Saturday. Alvarez says Johnson was driving under the influence and claimed to be a Brooklyn police officer during the stop. He had a loaded gun with him, which police seized. Police later learned Johnson had been fired from the Brooklyn police force earlier this year, but he hadn't turned in his gun and badge.
It was not immediately clear if Johnson has an attorney.
CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (AP) — A large swath of southern Missouri is working to dig out from a storm that has coated the region with a mix of snow, ice and sleet.
The National Weather Service says that from Thursday to Friday, 6 to 12 inches of snow fell in areas of the state south of Interstate 44, with some of the heaviest accumulations recorded near the Missouri-Arkansas state line.
Another storm system was forecast to hit the state overnight into Sunday, dumping 1 to 3 inches in north and west-central Missouri, with the heaviest snows near the Iowa-Missouri border. Only a dusting of snow is expected further south.
Although a wind chill advisory covering much of the southern half of the state was allowed to expire mid-morning Saturday, temperatures remain well below average today.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Five thousand miles from Sarajevo, a small Catholic college in St. Louis wants to preserve the intimate stories of Bosnian exiles displaced by war in the former Yugoslavia two decades ago.
The Bosnia Memory Project at Fontbonne University began several years ago when professor Benjamin Moore and a colleague created a class on the local immigrant experience. An estimated 70,000 Bosnians live in the St. Louis area, making it the largest such settlement outside the country of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Moore and his students have recorded nearly 60 interviews in an oral history project but eventually hope to have 1,000 entries. He says the project provides a vital historical record for younger Bosnians who grew up in the United States and know little about the country their parents and grandparents called home.
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Four new inductees into the Hall of Famous Missourians include a physician credited as the father of osteopathic medicine and a science fiction writer.
The hall is a collection of bronze busts that generally has honored people chosen by the House speaker. However, half the new inductees this time were chosen through a public nomination and vote.
The four inductees were identified to The Associated Press by House Speaker Tim Jones before they were publicly announced.
The people's top choice was Andrew Taylor Still, who founded the American School of Osteopathy in Kirksville. Science fiction writer Robert Heinlein also won public support.
For his part, House Speaker Tim Jones chose suffragist Virginia Minor and the late conservative politician Mel Hancock.