Thursday, August 30, 2007


A grand jury in Wyandotte County, Kan., has indicted three Kansas City-area businesses on obscenity charges. The adult-entertainment industry says Philip Cosby is to blame.

According to AVN:
Cosby heads the Kansas City chapter of the National Coalition for the Protection of Children and Families (NCPCF). Earlier this year, he organized a petition drive calling for grand jury investigations of 32 adult businesses in Kansas and Missouri for promotion of obscenity. Enlisting the help of church leaders and community activists, Cosby's group delivered the petitions to six county courthouses in May.
Guys like Cosby are the scariest culture warriors.


"Radical self expression" is the Burning Man way, and one guy has taken it to new heights. As SF Gate's culture blog explains:
A Burning Man participant was found dead this morning, hanging from the inside of a two-story high tent, according to Mark Pirtle, special agent in charge for the Bureau of Land Management.

The apparent suicide would be the festival's first in its 21 year history, Pirtle said.

Pershing County coroners are investigating the scene and preparing to remove the body. Pirtle said the man was hanging for two hours before anyone in the large tent thought to bring him down. "His friends thought he was doing an art piece," Pirtle said.
Put 36,000-plus free thinkers on an ancient lake bed and someone, or thing, is bound to get burnt.


Still working our way through the Definitive 200 albums of modern popular music, we've been sidetracked by new ear candy. Among our aural pleasures:

Champion from Kanye West, because it's a killer Steely Dan riff lift.

That's The Way (My Love Is) from Smashing Pumpkins. Yeah yeah: Billy Corgan whines. But it's talented whining.

The Pretender from Dave Grohl's Foo Fighters.

LoveStoned from Justin Timberlake.

Well Thought Out Twinkles from Silversun Pickups.

Not on the list is the new Paul McCartney (Nod Your Head sucks) or the new leaked Britney tracks. Even CHATTER has its standards.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007


William and Alice Paw live in Daly City, Calif. They live in a bungalow, and they apparently support Sen. Hillary Clinton for president.

How do we know? Wall Street Journal details a great story:
Six members of the Paw family, each listing the house at 41 Shelbourne Ave. as their residence, have donated a combined $45,000 to the Democratic senator from New York since 2005, for her presidential campaign, her Senate re-election last year and her political action committee. In all, the six Paws have donated a total of $200,000 to Democratic candidates since 2005, election records show.

That total ranks the house with residences in Greenwich, Conn., and Manhattan's Upper East Side among the top addresses to donate to the Democratic presidential front-runner over the past two years, according to an analysis by The Wall Street Journal of donations listed with the Federal Election Commission.

It isn't obvious how the Paw family is able to afford such political largess. Records show they own a gift shop and live in a 1,280-square-foot house that they recently refinanced for $270,000. William Paw, the 64-year-old head of the household, is a mail carrier with the U.S. Postal Service who earns about $49,000 a year, according to a union representative. Alice Paw, also 64, is a homemaker. The couple's grown children have jobs ranging from account manager at a software company to "attendance liaison" at a local public high school. One is listed on campaign records as an executive at a mutual fund.

The Paws' political donations closely track donations made by Norman Hsu, a wealthy New York businessman in the apparel industry who once listed the Paw home as his address, according to public records. Mr. Hsu is one of the top fund-raisers for Mrs. Clinton's presidential campaign.
Hsu's lawyer told the paper that this wouldn't be a story if his client's last name was Smith.


A bit of housekeeping, and a quick thanks to you for stopping by CHATTER. We get an e-mail when someone leaves a comment. Putting them in a folder for digital filing made us realize your role: More than 6,700 comments.

Add to that a half-million page views and pretty soon, you've got yourself a digital village. Thanks for building it.

Monday, August 27, 2007


In California there are 177 different jobs that require a license.

In Missouri, there are 41. The Show-Me State is dead last in the 50-state rankings.

Reason has the story. Supporters say licensure is required to keep people safe. Or is it just a way for states to suck money from people in certain professions? You tell us.


Sen. Larry Craig (R-Idaho) had pleaded guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct, after being busted in the men's room of the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. Cops say he was trolling for sex.

Roll Call reports:
After he was arrested, Craig, who is married, was taken to the Airport Police Operations Center to be interviewed about the lewd conduct incident, according to the police report. At one point during the interview, Craig handed the plainclothes sergeant who arrested him a business card that identified him as a U.S. Senator and said, “What do you think about that?” the report states.
Last year, Craig denied a blog report that claimed he's gay. Monday, Craig's web site offers this lukewarm defense:
"At the time of this incident, I complained to the police that they were misconstruing my actions. I was not involved in any inappropriate conduct.

"I should have had the advice of counsel in resolving this matter. In hindsight, I should not have pled guilty. I was trying to handle this matter myself quickly and expeditiously."
Craig has been a senator since 1991.

Who cares if he's gay? No one should. But Craig supports the Federal Marriage Amendment, and voted against a bill that would have included sexual orientation in the federal definition of hate crimes.

Saturday, August 25, 2007


For you, a pocketful of shells:
•Be sure and visit Life of Jason. Good guy, good blog, different perspective. As the poet-philosopher Rodney King might say, let's all just get along.

•The radio board belonging to Art Morris has a boffo thread going. Topic: When should a radio newsroom help a radio personality?

•First Michael Vick (sorry, Dustin), now Earl Simmons, better known as rapper/actor DMX. KPNX reports that police raided DMX's home in Maricopa County and seized several pit bulls. They also found the remains of three other dogs on the property. One of the dead dogs had been burned.

•Is Fidel Castro dead? That's the rumor for Saturday.
Go and fight the bulls on parade.

Thursday, August 23, 2007


Arthur Bremer was not quite 22 when he shot George Wallace in 1972.

Wallace was running for president. Bremer's bullets paralyzed Wallace, ended his political career, and created a bizarre life-imitates-art-imitates-life circle.

Bremer is scheduled to be paroled this year. The New York Times notes a special condition of Bremer's release:
“He can’t be around political candidates or any elected official,” said Ruth A. Ogle, a program manager at the Maryland Parole Commission. “He can’t go to a rally, a public appearance, a political dinner, anything like that.”

In 1996, the commission denied Mr. Bremer’s application for parole, saying early release would mean “open hunting season” on politicians.
Bremer became the inspiration for the character Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver. Bickle, in turn, inspired John Hinckley, Jr. to shoot Ronald Reagan.

All for the love of Jodie Foster.


... The News 2K, a newish blog covering Missouri media markets.

And while you're at it, a Big Howdy to Eric the Wise and his blog, Eric's Words of Wisdom. Actually, he has it as Erics' Words of Wisdom, but the editor in us can't let it slide.

One more holla, this one to The View from "I" Level, straight outta the Bible Belt's Buckle.

All three added to the CHATTERWORTHY blogroll, so visit early and often.


AKA the man behind He was killed over the weekend in a motorcycle wreck. He was buried in Carthage on Thursday.

Earlier this month, Feather wrote about getting his dream cycle:
It is red and shiny. I need to work on taking off from stop signs or otherwise getting out on the road into traffic. I killed it the other night because I didn't give it enough gas. I was half-way into the road when it died. No traffic was near enough to worry about it, but it could have been a bad situation. I got it started again no problem but at that point I had entered panic mode a bit and gave it too much gas which also isn't good. Almost ran it off the other side of the road. Can't let my fear get the best of me.
His parents left a note in the comments section of his blog. In it they said:
The world is a lot less bright without him.
Contributions to a memorial scholarship in his name can be sent to Ulmer Funeral Home, 1208 Garrison, Carthage, MO 64836. We're pitching in, and hope you will, too.


Always-reliable sources say the News-Leader has shuttered its Branson bureau and laid off writer Kathy Buckstaff. The move comes as Branson opens its convention center and goes into direct competition with Springfield for that yummy rich market.

The Branson bureau had been a News-Leader fixture for almost two decades. Then again, the paper used to have a full-time correspondent in Jefferson City, too. Times change, and we change with them. Or at least we're supposed to.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


Johnny Ray Conner, 32, was killed Wednesday. He was condemned for killing a store clerk in 1998.

The BBC reports:
Earlier this week, the EU urged Texas to end the "cruel and inhumane" practice. Texas's governor said it was a "just and appropriate" punishment.

Members of Conner's family and that of the victim, Kathyanna Nguyen, witnessed the execution through windows in the death chamber.

Before he was put to death, Conner - who had always maintained his innocence - asked for forgiveness and expressed love to his family and Ms Nguyen's family.

"What is happening to me is unjust and the system is broken," he said in his final statement.

His final words were: "I bear witness there is no God but Allah and the Prophet Muhammad. Unto Allah, I belong, unto Allah I return. I love you."
In all, the United States has executed 1,090 inmates since the death penalty was resurrected in 1976.


A thread on IFHY shows how far the cable-network spellcheckers have fallen.

Last week a poster on IFHY wrote to TLC, the cable network, and pointed out a font error:
(CHATTER readers, being a brilliant bunch, know that "your" should have been "you're.")

TLC -- it's supposed to stand for The Learning Channel -- wrote back and said so sorry, we'll alert programming. And they must have, because this week's chyron read:
We are all doomed.


Sean Penn is brilliant in All The King's Men, but the movie is ruined by bad accents from co-stars Jude Law and Kate Winslet. That said, at least they tried to sound like they were from Louisiana. Anthony Hopkins doesn't even bother to try. For us, his is the worst movie accent in film history.

The bloggas at Deputy Dog have their own list of 13 godawful accents that have rolled off the lips of alleged actors. Kevin Costner in Robin Hood. Brad Pitt in The Devil's Own. Julia Roberts in Mary Reilly. Delightfully bad, all.

Your picks? No fair targeting Tony Curtis in Spartacus. Some things are sacred.


Randy at The Turner Report has a story that's quite the talker -- specifically, allegations that the theater department at Missouri State University is, as Turner puts it, "the Peyton Place of the Midwest."

A graf of scandal:
In motions filed Tuesday in U. S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri, Jay Raphael, former head of the university's Department of Theatre and Dance, and Rhythm McCarthy, a professional dancer and a teacher in the department, are asking the court not to allow fired theater instructor George Cron to introduce any evidence that Raphael and Ms. McCarthy had a romantic relationship or that Ms. McCarthy had a romantic relationship with Cron.
Cron didn't get tenure at MSU; he claims he was kicked to the curb after he refused McCarthy's alleged advances.

Monday, August 20, 2007


Check out this thread, with its bizarre publicity photo, and tell us that execs at Nickelodeon are not gobbling massive amounts of prime pharm product.

The show Yo Gabba Gabba launched Monday on Nick Jr., the place where little kids yell at the TV screen because they're under orders from Dora and the guy with Blue. Elijah Wood was the guest host. Make of this what you will.

Nick describes YGG thisaway:
Yo Gabba Gabba! is a fun live-action program for young children ages 1 and up. Join our host DJ Lance Rock as he introduces us to friendly toy monsters in a magical land full of music, dance, colorful cartoons, and simple life lessons that will get you and your children up off the floor to learn and dance along. Just say the magic words! YO GABBA GABBA!!
Thirty years after "Pinhead", the words "gabba gabba" still mean only one thing -- time to put on some Ramones.


The blogger known as Granny Geek gets the point for this obit:
Astronomers have spotted a space oddity in Earth's neighbourhood - a dead star with some unusual characteristics.

The object, known as a neutron star, was studied using space telescopes and ground-based observatories.

But this one, located in the constellation Ursa Minor, seems to lack some key characteristics found in other neutron stars.

Details of the study, by a team of American and Canadian researchers, will appear in the Astrophysical Journal.

If confirmed, it would be only the eighth known "isolated neutron star" - meaning a neutron star that does not have an associated supernova remnant, binary companion, or radio pulsations.

The object has been nicknamed Calvera, after the villain in the 1960s western film The Magnificent Seven.
Neutron stars happen when stars with great masses go the supernova route. The inner gooey goodness collapses, protons and electrons merge, neutrons are formed. Voila -- a neutron star.

Calvera is 250 to 1,000 light-years away.


The Queen of Mean went to prison as a tax cheat and was hated for being, well, mean. Her publicist said Monday that Helmsley is dead.

DC, our Texas bureau chief, gets the point.

Thursday, August 16, 2007


The once-funny comedian used to demand -- and get -- $20 million a picture. But his Ace Ventura and Dumb & Dumber days are long dead, and now he's the guy who ruined The Grinch and Lemony Snicket.

The fallout: No more $20 million up front, plus percentage. For his latest project, Yes Man, Carrey has been forced to accept what Deadline Hollywood calls the worst talent deal ever:
He'll receive NO upfront cash and NO first-dollar gross ... Instead, Jim has a cash-break deal in theory of at most 36.2% on the back end -- which in reality may turn out to be a lot less. ...

[G]etting top-tier talent for no money upfront with cash-break back end is like a wet dream for Warner Bros. "This is a deal you make with someone who's star has fallen," a studio source told me tonight. Which is why I've learned that Warner Bros execs were privately patting themselves on the back for coming up with it and then dancing in the hallways when Carrey's reps finally went for it. ...

[M]ovie after movie of his has collapsed in development (Spielberg's The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty remake, 20th's Used Guys, Paramount's Ripley's Believe It Or Not) and his most recent release, New Line's The Number 23, was dead on arrival. Since then, the actor has sat around booking no major movies beyond toon voiceovers (20th's Horton Hears A Who, a sop for the Used Guys deal going south, and Disney's A Christmas Carol directed by Robert Zemeckis) for nearly a year.
We miss "In Living Color."


The jazz drummer died in his sleep on Thursday. He'd been ill for some time. Variety's obit includes these facts:
Known for a layered style that was as much melodic and full of tonal color as it was rhythmic and steady, Roach is among the few musicians who brought about stylistic changes to jazz. His bebop and hard bop styles continue to be the standard in jazz to this day.

Born in North Carolina to a mother who was a gospel singer, he grew up in the Bedford-Stuyvesant section of Brooklyn. A few years after taking piano lessons, he took up the drums at the age of 10.

From the start of his music career, Roach was involved in numerous situations that would later be designated historic. As a teenager in the early 1940s, he was part of the dawn of bebop, drumming with alto saxophonist Charlie Parker in clubs on such benchmarks of the style as "Woody 'n' You," "Koko" and "Now's the Time."

Roach worked with Thelonious Monk and Bud Powell on their earliest recordings and was part of Miles Davis' "Birth of the Cool" sessions in 1949 and 1950. He co-founded Debut Records with Charles Mingus to give musicians control over their recordings.
Part of the dawn of bebop. A great way to be remembered.


Kenneth Ray Burton is a "career flasher." Or so say prosecutors, and a judge in Redwood City, Calif., agrees.

Burton, 52, was sentenced to 13 years, four months in prison for showing off his dangly bits to a woman on a train.

The Associated Press reports:
Police arrested Burton last year after he allegedly began masturbating in front of a woman on a Bay Area Rapid Transit train.

Prosecutors sought the lengthy prison sentence because Burton already had two prior convictions for indecent exposure and a previous conviction on six counts related to sexual assault, San Mateo County Chief Deputy District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe said. ...

"Our concern was, 'Are we being too lenient? Are we adequately protecting the public?'" Wagstaffe said. "We have a person here who has done this for many, many years. And with all likelihood, he will be doing it again."
The reaction from his fellow inmates should be interesting.


Dude's driving drunk. Cops try to nab him. Dude leads cops on a chase before bailing from his car and fleeing on foot.

And then, as WKMG reports:
The man was spotted fleeing while still clutching a beer.

"There was a 12-pack of Corona he was working on in the front seat," Orange County sheriff's Cmdr. Jeff Stonebreaker said. "He decided to take one of those over the fence with him. So, he bails out of the car and runs from the deputies with a beer in his hand."

The driver, who was not named, was arrested and charged with DUI and aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer.
Authorities said the driver has a history of DUIs.
And a thirst for bad beer.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


We met a great dog today. But when she gets wind of this photo gallery in the New York Daily News, she's going to round up her canine companions and wage war.

Wigs on dogs? This one looks like a 'do we sported in the Flock of Seagulls days. God help us all.


The local radio ratings for Market # 142 are in, and spring was not kind to several radio stations. Radio & Records lists the Arbitrons this way:
•KTTS remains No. 1 in the market, posting a 15 rating, up from 13.6 last fall.

•KSPW, the station known as Power, is up to No. 2 with a 7.5, up from 6.7 last fall.

•KTOZ, better known as Alice, enjoyed a huge rebound, up from 4.7 to 7.2 -- from 7th place to 3rd in the market.

•KGBX, the adult-contemporary station, tumbled from 2nd place to 4th. Its ratings went from 8.2 to 7 -- a marked decline for an always popular station.

•Rounding out the top five is KOMG, the classic-country station with the impressive billboard campaign. Rating: 6.1, up from 4.7 last fall.
So who lost out?
KSGF, the talk station, fell from 4th place to 10th. Its ratings number fell from 6.0 to 4.4.

•KWTO-FM, aka The Jock, tanked -- 2.7 to 1.6 -- throwing the fate of the all-sports station into doubt.

•For all its impressiveness with KTTS and KSPW, corporate owner Journal doesn't seem to have the knack for rock. KZRQ, the active-rock station, slid from 4.2 to 2.6. To be fair, this wasn't a good book for alt/new-rock; KQRA also fell, losing a ratings point to land with a 4.7.
All numbers are the broadest possible -- 12+, Monday-Sunday, 6 a.m. to midnight. Every station will dissect the book and find numbers to show their strengths (we're No. 1 with weekend-listening women 35-44), but these numbers are for overall listenership.

No surprise that Art Morris' Missouri Radio Message Board has a good discussion on the numbers. As one poster notes, congrats to the winners, and better luck next time to the losers.


Holy cow, he's not gonna make it. The former N.Y. Yankees shortshop and broadcaster died Tuesday in a New Jersey nursing home.

Best known by some for his star turn on "Paradise by the Dashboard Light," from Meat Loaf's Bat Out of Hell album.

No more praying for the end of time.

Monday, August 13, 2007


Reuters reports she was the oldest person in the world. She died Monday night. Reuters helpfully notes:
She apparently died of old age, Kyodo said.
Minagawa was born Jan. 4, 1893.


The New York Times called her the aristocrat of the people, with this killer line:
[B]y night (she) reigned over New York society with a decided disdain for pretension and by day devoted her time and considerable resources to New York’s unfortunate.
Philanthrophy was her devotion for more than 40 years, according to The Times:
[H]er third husband, Vincent Astor, heir to the fur and real estate fortune of John Jacob Astor, died and left about $60 million to her personally and an equal amount for a foundation “for the alleviation of human suffering.” Her husband had told her, “You’ll have fun, Pookie.”
We'll never think of Chris Rock in the same way now.

Brother Richard gets the point.

Sunday, August 12, 2007


The former Wisconsin governor is no longer a GOP candidate for president. According to Real Clear Politics:
"I want to thank the people of Iowa who were welcoming and supportive as well as my volunteers and contributors from around the country," said Thompson. "I have no regrets about running. I felt my record as Governor of Wisconsin and Secretary of Health and Human Services gave me the experience I needed to serve as President, but I respect the decision of the voters. I am leaving the campaign trail today, but I will not leave the challenges of improving health care and welfare in America."

Thompson, who was elected to serve four terms as Wisconsin Governor and four years as Secretary of Health and Human Services, began exploring a presidential bid last December. Weeks ago, he told supporters and the news media that if he did not do well in the Iowa Straw Poll, he would step aside and leave others to work for the Republican nomination.
He kept his word. Maybe now he can spend some time on the anthrax attack that happened on his watch. His Oct. 4, 2001 media briefing is a classic of misdirection and misstatements:
Q Mr. Secretary, given what we know, is there any reason to believe this is a result of terrorism?

SECRETARY THOMPSON: It appears that this is just an isolated case. There's no evidence of terrorism -- at this ...

Q Do you know if he happened to work around wool or any of the products that might have --

SECRETARY THOMPSON: We don't know that at this point in time. That's entirely possible. We do know that he drank water out of a stream when he was traveling to North Carolina last week. But as far as wool or other things, it's entirely possible. We haven't got all of the investigations done. And we're doing a tremendous extensive job of investigating everything. ...

Q Mr. Secretary, do we know, was this inhalation anthrax? Was this fellow a hunter?

SECRETARY THOMPSON: It appears at this point in time it's inhalation.

Q Do you know if he was a hunter?

SECRETARY THOMPSON: We don't know that. We know he was an outdoorsman, so it's entirely possible that he was --

Q Mr. Secretary, can you be certain that it's an isolated case?

Q Can you explain why he was drinking from a stream? (Laughter.) Is that a reason -- should we know that? Why are you giving us that detail?

SECRETARY THOMPSON: Just because he was an outdoorsman, and there is a possibility that -- there are all kinds of possibilities ...
And all kinds of unanswered questions, still.


Sunday digital housecleaning (and more storage space from Apple) brings additions to the CHATTER Public File:
•The file squirrelhunting.jpg, a fine use of action figures and road kill.

•A little something we call fdr.jpg, a seldom-seen photo of Roosevelt in his wheelchair.

•911_hijackers.jpg has mugs of all 19 hijackers onboard the four planes of Sept. 11, 2001.

•Worth saving (and reading) is dover_decision.pdf, the 139-page decision from Judge John Jones in the Dover court case pitting evolution against intelligent design.

•McD1, McD2, McD3 and McD4 are four jpegs of the creepy yet hot female Ronald McDonald tested in Japan.

•The hero/anti-hero Hunter S. Thompson is the image in hst.pdf, a 413kb file.

•If you like a gun-toting moll, sparky_blaine.jpg is for you.

•From 1925, josephine_baker.jpg is a NSFW pic of the great beauty.

•Elvis as Jesus? See elvis.jpg for details.

•Attention all harried moms -- insane_mom.jpg may seem disturbing and familiar.
Just click here to get to the Public File. Hit the eyeball to preview, the arrow to download.


A: This entertainer turned impresario made a fortune on game shows, including "Jeopardy" and "Wheel of Fortune."

Q: Who is Merv Griffin?

The Associated Press reports:
Griffin died of prostate cancer, according to a statement from his the family that was released by Marcia Newberger, spokeswoman for The Griffin Group/Merv Griffin Entertainment.

Griffin, who began his career as a $100-a-week radio singer in San Francisco, created the "Wheel of Fortune" and "Jeopardy!" game shows, soon moved on to become the featured vocalist in Freddy Martin's band.

That led to a brief film career, in which he appeared opposite Doris Day and Kathryn Grayson, and later to a successful TV career as host of "The Merv Griffin Show," which aired for more than 20 years.

His biggest financial break, however, came from inventing and producing "Jeopardy!" and "Wheel of Fortune."

After they became the hottest game shows in television, Griffin sold the rights to them to the Columbia Pictures Television Unit for $250 million, retaining a share of the profits. He started spreading the sale money around in treasury bonds, stocks and other investments, but quickly became bored.

Friday, August 10, 2007


Hope not. Or hope so, depending on the day. The Wall Street Journal's blog reports:
The possibility of a sale of Gannett isn’t too far-fetched in light of all the consolidation lately in the ailing newspaper industry (with Knight-Ridder, Tribune, and now Dow Jones all being acquired). In fact, in a posting we did examining the possibility of more deals in the industry, we fingered Gannett as the most likely to be snapped up next.
Papa G's stock is down 23 percent this year, and now trades at a 10-year low.


Gerry Carnahan, 48, was arraigned Friday morning in Greene County on charges of first-degree murder and forcible rape. Twenty-two years and two months after the beating death of Jackie Johns, police and prosecutors say they have the guy who's good for it.

Carnahan was 28 when Johns died; he's 49 now, and looks several years older. His appearance in court coincided with a written statement from local defense lawyers Dee Wampler and Joe Passanise, who expressed sympathy for the Johns family while entering a not-guilty plea for Carnahan.

The Ozarks was a remarkably different place in 1985 -- much more naive to the awful shock that comes when a woman is abducted and killed. When Jackie Johns' body was found in Lake Springfield on a Saturday morning, five days after she'd disappeared, the dispatcher for the Christian County Sheriff's Department cried, openly and without shame. It seemed absolutely appropriate.

For the next seven years, everytime a woman vanished, Gerry Carnahan was the invoked boogeyman. He wasn't evil incarnate, as many tried to portray him -- but even setting aside the alleged links to unsolved slayings, he was involved in disturbing crimes, including the attempted kidnapping of a woman from Sunshine and Ingram Mill.

Carnahan was sent to prison for four years for that bit of nastiness. He's apparently spent his time since on family business, living much of the year in China.

Thursday, August 09, 2007


A news conference is planned for 6 p.m. Thursday in Ozark to announce the news.

Jackie Johns lived in Nixa and was a former beauty queen for her city's Sucker Days festival. She vanished after leaving work at a livestock auction barn cafe. Her car was found south of Springfield on U.S. 160.

Her body was found five days later in Lake Springfield. She had been beaten to death.

No one was ever charged in her slaying, though one suspect was dogged by police for years. That man, Gerald Carnahan, was later convicted of attempted kidnapping in an unrelated case.

Christian and Greene County cops are holding the news conference. More news in this space, and across the media spectrum, when it happens.

Edited @ 8 p.m. Carnahan is charged with first-degree murder and rape. The probable cause statement is damning; it says Carnahan's DNA was taken on August 8, and it's a match to evidence saved from Johns' death.

Before this is all over, Gerry Carnahan will have much to say.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Barry Bonds broke Hank Aaron's home-run record late Tuesday, with a fifth-inning shot off Washington's Mike Bacsik. The Associated Press has the story. Thirty-three years after his own record-setting homer, Aaron offered a taped message of congratulations.

Monday, August 06, 2007


Arise and read what AFP reports:
Physicists said they can create "incredible levitation effects" by manipulating so-called Casimir force, which normally causes objects to stick together by quantum force.

The phenomenon could be used to improve the performances of everyday devices ranging from car airbags to computer chips, say Professor Ulf Leonhardt and Dr Thomas Philbin from Saint Andrews University.

Casimir force -- discovered in 1948 and first measured in 1997 -- can be seen in a gecko's ability to stick to a surface with just one toe.

Now the British scientists say they can reverse the Casimir force to cause an object to repel rather than attract another in a vacuum.

"The Casimir force is the ultimate cause of friction in the nano world, in particular in some micro-electromechanical systems," said Leonhardt, writing in the August issue of New Journal of Physics.
No-fun scientists say we're still a long way from human levitation. Dammit.


Anita Lewis of Elmira, N.Y., held a rummage sale, during which time she sold a ceramic turtle for 50 cents. The buyer said he was going to use the turtle as a cookie jar.

Inside the turtle: the ashes of Lewis' husband's former wife.

The Associated Press reports:
Lewis said she had hauled items into her yard early Saturday while her husband slept. The buyer quickly selected the large turtle container, despite being unable to get the lid open.

Her husband's previous wife collected turtles.

"We have lots of turtles," Anita Lewis said. "It didn't even register that this was the one (containing the ashes)."

Sunday, August 05, 2007


In their rush to prove they're not "weak" on terror, House Democrats voted early Sunday to approve President Bush's spy program.

The vote was 227-183.

As the Washington Post reports:
Privacy and civil liberties advocates, and many Democratic lawmakers, complained that the Bush administration's revisions of the law could breach constitutional protections against government intrusion. But the administration, aided by Republican congressional leaders, suggested that a failure to approve the legislation sought by intelligence officials could expose the country to a greater risk of terrorist attacks.

Democrats facing reelection next year in conservative districts helped propel the bill to a quick approval. Adding to the pressures they felt were recent intelligence reports about threatening new al-Qaeda activities in Pakistan and the disclosure by House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) of a secret court ruling earlier this year that complicated the wiretapping of purely foreign communications that happen to pass through communications nodes on U.S. soil.

The bill would give the National Security Agency the right to collect such communications in the future without a warrant. But it goes further than that: It also would allow the monitoring, under certain conditions, of electronic communications between people on U.S. soil, including U.S. citizens, and people "reasonably believed to be outside the United States," without a court's order or oversight.
The NSA will be in charge of oversight, via "a system of internal bureaucratic controls." Details of those controls are none of our business.

Saturday, August 04, 2007


Barry Bonds tied Hank Aaron's home-run record on Saturday, smacking a 382-foot homer in San Diego.

It's clear he's a cheater, but does that even matter anymore?

Thursday, August 02, 2007


Ratings for local radio stations are due out in about two weeks. Our last report on the Arbitron numbers showed a decline for CHR, an increase for talk.

Make your predictions now:

•Will KTTS remain King of Local Radio?

•Will Alice rebound from its decline from last fall?

•Will active rock keep making a comeback?

Place your virtual bets now.


Crime stats for the first six months of the year are out. Springfield is more crime-ridden than it was in 2006.

The police chief likes to blame the increase on "thugs and drugs." Is that too simplistic an answer?


•Crimes against persons up 16.3 percent.

•Robberies jumped 55 percent (from 106 to 164).

•Crimes against property up almost 12 percent.

•Total crimes up 12.6 percent.

Auto thefts remain on the increase -- up 37.3 percent for the first six months of this year, as compared to the same period in 2006. Meanwhile, the solve rate for auto thefts is down; fewer than one in five vehicle thefts is cleared by cops.