February 19, 2009

High Speed Chase, Shootout, Manhunt… All in a Day’s Work For Local Law Officers

Reports of shots fired at a Scotland County Sheriff’s deputy brought more than 50 law enforcement officers from nearly 20 different Missouri and Iowa agencies to the northeast Missouri community where a nearly day-long search for three suspects ended without further incident late Thursday afternoon, February 12th.

The incident began Thursday morning when Scotland County Sheriff’s Deputy Bryan Whitney located a suspect wanted for fleeing from officers the previous week during an attempted drug arrest.

A warrant for the arrest of Christopher J. Armstrong, 23, on drug charges had led Whitney back to the man’s residence on Route EE in northernmost Scotland County. Officers had been watching the home ever since Armstrong had fled from the scene on February 6th, after an alleged meth lab was discovered by responders to a grass fire at the scene.

Whitney identified Armstrong outside of the home as he approached the property at 8:35 a.m. The fugitive fled the scene in a 1995 Ford Escort, along with two other individuals, and a pursuit began eastbound on Route EE. Whitney followed the vehicle, which was reported stolen from Queen City earlier that morning, as it turned north on a county gravel road and eventually crossed the state line into Van Buren County Iowa.

The pursuit again turned eastbound as the car traveled down gravel roads as it traversed much of the southern part of Van Buren County before entering Mount Sterling.

At the intersection of Van Buren County gravel roads 295th and Lark Avenue, the stolen car reportedly came to a sudden stop just over the crest of a hill. The car reportedly was turned sideways in the roadway, and the driver exited the car. As the sheriff’s department truck crested the hill, the driver allegedly fired several rounds from a handgun at the oncoming vehicle. At least one of the bullets struck the sheriff’s department truck.

One shot impacted the driver’s side door of the sheriff’s department truck, passing through the door and the base of the driver’s seat before becoming lodged in the truck’s transmission.

The vehicle then fled east into Mount Sterling, IA, circling the town before back tracking down the same gravel road west bound. An officer from the Van Buren County Sheriff’s Department joined the chase at this point.

After leaving Mount Sterling, the chase turned back south on Maple Avenue, which eventually turns into County Road 721 in extreme northeast Scotland County.

The pursuit finally ended south of Route P at an intersection of two county roads when the officers lost sight of the vehicle.

Responding law officers began to establish a road perimeter around the area. A short time later, one of the law enforcement aircraft spotted the vehicle in a farm field not far from the intersection where officers lost contact with the suspects.

The fugitive’s vehicle had apparently became stuck in the mud in a farm field on property owned by Kurt Bensinger.

Officers converged on the scene after the initial chase, which had covered approximately 18.5 miles.

One of the passengers in the car, Kenneth A. Thompson, 35, of Kirksville was apprehended near the vehicle, shortly after the chase concluded. He was taken into custody by Sheriff Wayne Winn at 10:50 a.m.

Armstrong and a second passenger, Michelle L. Brand, 27, reportedly had fled the vehicle into the nearby timber.

Law enforcement agents from three counties in Iowa and four counties in northeast Missouri began converging on the scene. The Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Iowa State Patrol sent officers as well as aircraft to the scene. One of the Iowa State Patrol planes was equipped with infrared search equipment. K-9 search units were sent from the Iowa State Penitentiary in Fort Madison, IA, as well as from the Hannibal Police Department.

A perimeter was established around the wooded area, and air patrols began searching for the two suspects. The two K-9 units were also used to search the area. Law enforcement officers conducted searches of nearby outbuildings and performed security checks at residences in the vicinity. Neighboring property owners were warned of the situation and advised to lock their doors and report any contact to the sheriff’s department. A nearby Mennonite school was also advised to lock down.

The tense situation finally concluded at 5:48 p.m. when a neighboring property owner reported sighting two individuals on foot near Route P. Officers responded to the location and the duo was apprehended with out further incident.

On February 13th Scotland County Prosecuting Attorney Kimberly J. Nicoli filed felony charges against all three individuals as related to the vehicle theft.

Thompson, Brand and Armstrong all have been charged with the Class C felony of tampering in the first degree, for knowingly possessing an automobile without the consent of the owner.

The car was owned by Andrea Owen of Queen City. No charges have been filed in Schuyler County as of press time on February 17th.

Additional charges were filed against Armstrong stemming from the February 6th incident at his residence. Armstrong had been charged with the class D felony of possession of anhydrous ammonia in a non-approved container. He now faces the class B felony charge of attempt to manufacture a controlled substance, and the class c felony charge of receiving stolen property stemming from a stolen 2005 4-wheeler recovered at his residence.

The shooting occurred in Van Buren County, IA. As of February 17th no charges had been filed. Law enforcement officers were searching for the handgun used in the shooting, which was reportedly abandoned in a creek as the fugitives were attempting to flee. A special dive team was being used on February 17th to help recover the weapon.

Armstrong is being held in the Clark County Detention Center on a $500,000 cash only bond and also has a parole/probation violation warrant with no bond.

Thompson is currently being held in the Scotland County Jail without bond on a probation/parole violation warrant.

Brand is being held in the Clark County Detention Center on a $50,000 bond.

Recent Grad Killed in Head-on Crash Near Memphis

Chester Robinson (#22) passed away in a head-on collision Tuesday morning in Scotland County just days after graduating from Scotland County R-I High School.

Chester Robinson (#22) passed away in a head-on collision Tuesday morning in Scotland County just days after graduating from Scotland County R-I High School.

Less than two weeks after crossing the podium to accept his high school diploma, a Scotland County graduate was tragically taken from the community in a head-on collision north of Memphis on Tuesday morning.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol, Chester E. Robinson, 18, of Memphis was pronounced deceased at the scene of a two-vehicle crash on Highway 15, seven miles north of Memphis at 6:47 a.m.

Robinson was northbound in a 2002 Pontiac Grand Am when he failed to negotiate a curve. His vehicle crossed the center line and struck a southbound 2000 Dodge Dakota head on.

The driver of the second vehicle, Tyler A. Scott, 21, of Bloomfield, IA, was flown from the scene by Air Evac Helicopter and transported to Iowa City Hospital with serious injuries.

The Patrol was assisted at the scene by the Memphis Police Department, the Scotland County Sheriff’s Office, the Scotland County Fire and Rescue Squad, Scotland County First Responders and the Scotland County Ambulance Service.

Chester Robinson

Chester Robinson

Funeral services are pending for Robinson at Gerth Funeral Service in Memphis.

Both vehicles sustained total damage in the accident and were removed from the scene by Lakeside Towing of Memphis.

Local Grad Standing Guard at Arlington National Cemetery

Former SCR-I student Joshua Lee Tague is a member of the U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard which performs services at Arlington National Cemetery.

Former SCR-I student Joshua Lee Tague is a member of the U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard which performs services at Arlington National Cemetery.

Less than three years after completing high school, a local high school graduate has found his way to Washington D.C. and has been part of some of the nation’s biggest events.

Lee Tague, a 2013 graduate of Knox County High School, enlisted in the United States Navy shortly after high school. Just months later his service has transplanted the young man in our nation’s capital, with regular service at Arlington National Cemetery.

Lee is the son of Larry and Tamara Tague. He attended Scotland County schools before transferring in high school to Knox County.

The Gorin native never imagined his career choice would send him so far away from home, so quickly.

His journey started in Great Lakes, IL, for basic training. He spent the eight-week process at the center, some 30 minutes outside of Chicago.

It was during basic training that Tague took part in an interview process for the U.S. Navy Ceremonial Guard. As a Naval Religious Program Specialist, he was eligible for the program, and after being approved for consideration, then volunteered for the prestigious posting.

Following boot camp, Tague spent two months in additional training for the guard, with emphasis on the special uniform as well as the M1 Garand rifle, the weapon used by the U.S. armed forces dating back to World War II.

“We definitely spend a lot of time making sure our uniforms are presentable and that our appearance is the best it can be,” he said. “Our motto is perfection is expected, excellence is accepted, meaning that while we know no one is ever perfect, we will work to achieve perfection every day.”

The attention to detail begins with the white gloves.

“We always wear gloves when touching our rifles or when handling a flag, out of respect to those instruments, which may have seen battle.”

Respect is the basis for all of the guards’ actions.

“Most people do not understand why we take these ‘little things’ so seriously,” said Tague. “Like standing at attention, working to show no emotion, regardless of whether it is raining, snowing or frigid cold. It is out of respect. That is our mission.”

While the gloves are important, the brass belt of the uniform is the pride of the Navy.

“It is the center piece of the uniform,” said Tague. “Depending on what the weather was like when you wore it, you can spend anywhere from 30 minutes to three or four hours every day or every other day, polishing that brass. It is a point of proud among us when some of the belts details begin to fade because it has been polished so much.”

Established in 1931, the United States Navy Ceremonial Guard is the official ceremonial unit of the Navy. Located at Joint Base Anacostia-Bolling, Washington, DC, the Navy Ceremonial Guard’s primary mission is to represent the service in Presidential, Joint Armed Forces, Navy, and public ceremonies in and around the nation’s capital.

“We’re the face of the Navy at such things as parades, arrivals of foreign dignitaries and even at major sporting events,” said Tague. “For instance, we were there for the arrival in America of the Japanese Foreign Minister.”

Tague said this service was very prestigious, as it marked a key meeting with one of our nation’s greatest naval allies and was held on the south lawn of the Whitehouse.

He also served at the retirement ceremony for former Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel.

Most recently, Tague served as an escort during the ceremony for Navy Seal Edward Byers, the latest recipient of the Medal of Honor, and receiving the honor to escort him to the Hall of Heroes where the names of the medal winners are enshrined.

“Two years ago I never would have imaged being in the presence of such great people,” said Tague.

During the week however, the primary duty of the guard is to serve as the funeral escort and to conduct services for Navy personnel buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Tasking for ceremonies comes from the President of the United States, the Secretaries of Defense and the Navy, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Chief of Naval Operations, and the Commandant, Naval District Washington.  Navy Ceremonial Guard Sailors participate in numerous other military ceremonies at local commands.  Some elements of the command, such as the Drill Team and Color Guard, have represented the Navy in public events across the nation and around the world.

Tague gives much of the credit for his choice to pursue a military career to a former coach at Knox County High School, Keith Gudehus.

“He was a big inspiration for me,” said Tague. “Obviously his level of success is motivating, but for me his attention to detail and how much he cared about other people are truly what inspired me.”

Gudehus returned to coach the Knox County girls basketball program after retiring from the U.S. Army after 21 years of service.

“He set an excellent example for me, his selflessness and his ability to motivate others are part of why I enlisted,” said Tague.

Tague recently returned home for the funeral of his grandfather, Rodney Day. Day served in the U.S. Army, so Tague got to witness his military rites at the funeral.

“It definitely created a new perspective for me about what we do in the Ceremonial Guard,” he said. “I really appreciated the respect that was offered to my grandfather and our family. I’m honored to be able to do that for other military families.”

While still attached to the ceremonial guard unit, Tague’s career has taken a new path in public relations. Now an E-4 status, Tague currently is working with visitors at the Pentagon.

“I’m a liaison for visitors to the Department of Defense headquarters,” he said. “It is a public affairs posting, where we provide outreach services and work with the public. It’s quite a transition from standing silently at attention for hours at a time. Now much of what I do is talking and communicating.”

He believes his next posting may take him to North Carolina or California to work with the U.S. Marines. Ultimately the Scotland County native hopes one day to return to the diplomacy arena, possibly working at the State Department.

GERTRUDE BERTRAM DEEGAN (5/21/1914 – 5/21/2016)

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Gertrude Bertram Deegan, 102, of Las Vegas, NV, returned to her father in heaven at the Summerlin Hospital in Las Vegas.

She was born May 21, 1914; the daughter of Ernest and Ruth (Short) Bertram at Rutledge, MO. Gertrude married Walter (Bud) Deegan in 1959. They enjoyed a wonderful married life until his passing in 2003.

She grew up in Rural Scotland County areas of Rutledge and Gorin. She graduated from Gorin High School in 1932. She attended Northeast Missouri Teachers College, now known as Truman State University in Kirksville, MO. Gertrude spent the next eight years teaching in several rural schools around the area.

In 1941, Gertrude traveled to Longbeach, CA where she worked for an optical company and later was one of the first women to own her own company, Powers Optical Co. which she operated for the next 25 years. Gertrude was recognized in 1958 as The Women of the Year for the West Coast Eye Foundation.

After retirement, she moved to El Toro, CA. They lived there until her husband retired from employment in Orange County. They settled in Las Vegas, NV in 1991 where she kept busy with numerous activities.

She worked for Avis, Neptune Society, and was active in many social events in Sin City.

Gertrude was a member of the Colony Baptist Church while growing up in rural MO. She is a charter member of the Presbyterian Church in Las Vegas. She joined DAR at a young age and a member of the Eastern Star for 50 plus years. She was very active in church activities, clubs, and community work. Gertrude loved cooking (especially pies), entertaining, traveling, and being around friends and family. She had many wonderful times during her life, but coming back on the Amtrak train and attending her 80th class Alumni at Gorin in 2012 stood out as one of her favorites. She never forgot her rural roots and family back in Missouri.

She is survived by one sister-in-law, Rosie Fishback of Kirksville, several nephews and nieces; Chad York and wife Randi of Rutledge, MO; Ellen Sue Morris and husband Bill, Fenton, MO; Connie Scotti and Jim of Kimberling, MO; Pam Schmutzler and Monty of Jefferson City, MO; Kenny Mayfield and wife Nancy of Woodland, TX; Charlie Mayfield and Katherine of Colony, MO; Jan Hide and Dick of Kirksville, MO; and Terry Lynn Winters and Tom of Gilbert, AZ; and a host of friends and family. She had a special place in her heart for her friend Maria and friends at Las Ventanas in Las Vegas.

She was preceded in death by her husband Bud Deegan, her parents Ernie and Ruth Bertram, three brothers, Richard, Garland, and Gilvie Bertram, two sisters, Ann Lee York, Irene Mayfield, and one nephew Ronnie Mayfield.

 A life celebration service will be held at a later date in Las Vegas

Scotland County Senior Nutrition Center

MENU

Thursday, May 26 – Lasagna/Meat Sauce, Lettuce Salad, Hominy, Garlic Bread, Peaches

Friday, May 27 – Catfish Nuggets, Sweet Potato, Broccoli Salad, Peas, Cornbread, Ice Cream, Cake

Monday, May 30 – Center Closed, No Meals

Tuesday, May 31 – Meatloaf, Scalloped Potatoes, Marinated Tomatoes, Lima Beans, Slice Bread, Pudding

Wednesday, June 1 – Fried Chicken, Mashed Potatoes/Gravy, Buttered Carrots, Hot Roll, Mixed Fruit

Thursday, June 2 – Ham and Beans, Onions, Carrot-Pineapple Salad, Buttered Beets, Cornbread, Cake

ACTIVITIES

Thursday, May 26 –   Card Party at 5:00 p.m.

Monday, May 30 – Memorial Day, Center Closed

Thursday, June 2 –   Card Party at 5:00 p.m.

Judge Webber to Speak at 70th Annual Memorial Day Services

The 70th Annual Memorial Day Services will be held on the Scotland County Courthouse lawn on May 30th starting at 10 a.m.

The 70th Annual Memorial Day Services will be held on the Scotland County Courthouse lawn on May 30th starting at 10 a.m.

A familiar face will take the podium on Monday as the Wallace W. Gillespie Memorial Post #4958 of the Veterans of Foreign Wars hosts its 70th annual Memorial Day Services on the Scotland County Courthouse lawn.

Judge E. Richard Webber will be the featured speaker for the event. Webber, the Senior United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Missouri, traces his legal roots back to Scotland County. He served as the First Judicial Circuit Judge in Memphis from 1979 until 1995. On August 10, 1995 he was nominated by President Bill Clinton for the federal judge position. He assumed senior status with the district court in 2009.

Born in Kahoka, Webber, attended the University of Missouri and graduated from the Missouri School of Law in 1967, when he moved to Memphis and started work as the prosecuting attorney before ultimately becoming a judge.

VFW Post Commander Larry Curry and program chairman Donnie Middleton will open the 70th annual Memorial Day services at 10 a.m. Don Norton and Mike Stephenson will perform the placing of the wreath at the soldiers’ memorial. Bill Camp will lead the gathering in the pledge of allegiance and Les Richmond of Ignite Ministries will lead the invocation. The Scotland County school band will perform the National Anthem followed by a patriotic music selection by the Memphis Community Players.

Presiding First Circuit Judge Gary Dial will have the honor of introducing his friend and college, Dick Webber.

James Parker will perform Sleep Soldier Boy with the piano accompaniment of Connie Courtney prior to the benediction by Richmond.

The service will close with the traditional 21 gun salute by the VFW rifle squad with the playing of Taps by Melinda Briggs with echo provided by Chris Kempke.

In case of inclement weather, the services will be moved indoors

Chabert Returns Home to Open Electrical Evolution Contracting Service

chabert web

Customers of Scotland County’s newest electrical contractor may be shocked to learn they may have known the owner growing up. Electrical Evolution, LLC is open for business in Scotland County after owner Chris Chabert, returned home to northeast Missouri.

Chris and his wife Randi relocated to rural Memphis in April and the couple is excited about the opportunity to bring their electrical contracting services to the community.

Chris Chabert  grew up in Scotland County and attended SCR-I High School until his sophomore season when his family moved back to Louisiana.

After earning an electrical technician degree and spending the past 10 years working in the electrical field, Chabert decided it was time to return home to Scotland County and start his own business.

Electrical Evolution will offer residential, commercial and agricultural wiring services, electrical maintenance and troubleshooting. Chabert will provide installation and new construction for wiring systems in homes, businesses and on the farm.

“I have 10 years of experience, working on a variety of projects from malls and hospitals, to grain bins, boats and alarm systems,” he said. “Just about anything with wiring in it, I’ve worked on it.”

His work experience includes three phase, as well high and low voltage systems and even 12-volt operations.

The electrician said he is available to work on grain bins, rehabbing older homes’ electrical systems, upgrading lighting options, or designing and constructing power systems for new construction.

For more information on Electrical Evolution, contact the Chaberts at 660-945-3057 or 660-956-5863.

Toblers Receive Outstanding Advisors for 2016 at IHCC

Indian Hills Community College President Dr. Marlene Sprouse and Certified Executive Chef and IHCC Culinary Arts Program Director Gordon Rader present the award of 2016 IHCC Outstanding Adviisors to doctors Randy and Heliene Tobler.

Indian Hills Community College President Dr. Marlene Sprouse and Certified Executive Chef and IHCC Culinary Arts Program Director Gordon Rader present the award of 2016 IHCC Outstanding Adviisors to doctors Randy and Heliene Tobler.

Culinary arts will always have students as long as the Toblers are involved.”  Those were the words of Certified Executive Chef and Indian Hills Community College Culinary Arts Program Director, Gordon Rader, at the annual dinner honoring the College’s numerous Advisory Committees.  Indian Hills Community College in Ottumwa, IA, recently honored Drs. Randy and Heliene Tobler with the Outstanding Advisors for 2016.  During the presentation, IHCC President, Dr. Marlene Sprouse explained that professionals from the community serve on these advisory boards, which support Indian Hills Community College by helping to shape programs and ensure the relevance of course content and instruction.

In Chef Rader’s remarks, he mentioned the Toblers enthusiasm for his Culinary Arts program at Indian Hills and their financial contributions to the program and to individual students in the program needing help with tuition.  He announced the Toblers newly formed non-profit organization for culinary arts in Southeast Iowa and Northeast Missouri called The Midwest Ambassadors for the Culinary Arts, or MACA, which is composed of a group of very supportive health care professionals and educators who love to eat well and have a desire to support a very worthy profession.  The organization is geared to not only help the IHCC Culinary Arts Program grow but to recognize and support the growing interest in culinary arts in the region.

Chef Rader said, “Randy and Heliene have been instrumental in enriching my own life by sharing their deep regard for humanity with me through mirth and wisdom each time we connect.  They understand what we do here at Indian Hills and together with all of our advisors, faculty, staff and supporters, we CHANGE LIVES.”

Drs. Randy and Heliene Tobler live near Bible Grove, Missouri.  Dr. Randy Tobler is an OB/GYN and the CEO at Scotland County Hospital in Memphis.  Dr. Heliene Tobler is a Holistic Nutritionist.  They have three grown children.  Together, they host the Healthy U Radio Show every Tuesday morning at 10:05 a.m. on KMEM-FM, 100.5, and they author a blog at Dr.Tobler.com. Dr. Randy hosts a Saturday morning political radio talk show out of St. Louis on 97.1 FM.

106 People Donate Blood At Memorial Drive

A total of 96 units of blood were collected by the Red Cross during the May 10th blood drive in Memphis at the First Baptist Church.

A total of 96 units of blood were collected by the Red Cross during the May 10th blood drive in Memphis at the First Baptist Church.

The Spring Red Cross blood drive held in memory of Stryker Anderson, who was born with a rare genetic blood disorder, was met with the greatest turnout we have seen in recent years with one-hundred-six people coming out to give blood.

Ninety-six units were collected during the May 10th blood drive with six first-time donors leading the way: Bobby Anderson, Esther Mae Good, Karla Martin, Faith Miller, Shannon Niffen and Mary E. Olson. May this begin a lifelong habit of giving to this lifesaving cause.

The following donors are recognized for reaching their respective goals: a one-gallon pin was awarded to Keegan Beard, a two-gallon pin was awarded to Abraham M. Zimmerman, three-gallon pins were awarded to Mary W. Good and Glenn Zimmerman, a four-gallon pin was awarded to Daniel Hite, Debbie Woods earned her seven-gallon pin, eight-gallon pins were awarded to Brent Bonderant, Priscilla J. Martin and David Zeiset, Jr., Ronnie Boyer earned his nine-gallon pin, Benjie Briggs was awarded her eleven-gallon pin, Richard Middleton earned a twelve-gallon pin and Larry Riney topped the list by earning his nineteen-gallon pin, which is quite an accomplishment.

Congratulations to Larry and all the others who are recognized for reaching their respective milestones in giving.

The Red Cross and local volunteers would also like to thank the community for their patience. With such a large turnout, some were required to endure waiting times far longer than normal.

We will continue to do all we can to make the process more efficient and reduce waiting time. The following local businesses and churches are recognized for their generous donations to this event: The Daisy Patch for supplying long-stem roses to all the donors, J’s Foods for supplying orange juice, The First Presbyterian Church of Memphis for a generous supply of homemade cookies, The First Baptist Church for supplying sandwiches and Pizza Hut for supplying personal pan pizzas to student donors.

Thank, you and God bless all those who came out to donate and all those who gave of their time to make this event possible. May Stryker’ s family remain in our thoughts and prayers.

Ruby Red Hats Meet in Memphis

The Rutledge Ruby Red Hats met May 16th at Keith’s Café.

Joann Rood and Marilyn Dunn were hostesses. Joann read some interesting readings and then lunch was served. Door prizes were drawn and given. There were eleven members and two visitors. Attending were, Virginia Hustead, Joyce Bass, Celina Erickson, Marjorie Peterson, Reva Hustead, Jewel Brown, Neta Phillips, Marlene Henry, Ruth Ludwick, Marlyn Camery, Joann Rood, and Marilyn Dunn. Next month’s meeting will be decided later.

Scotland County Area Moving On Program Will Meet May 31st

The Scotland County Area Moving On Program will be held Tuesday, May 31, 2016 at the Methodist Church at 1:30 p.m.  Chris Tinkle will have a Special Program.  Everyone is asked to bring a photograph of yourself or family and refreshments will be served by Exchange Bank of Northeast Missouri.

If you have suffered a loss, this program helps provide support through caring confidential visiting and fellowship with others that have lost love ones.  The group shares support and friendship with each other.  This is a monthly meeting with the time and meeting place decided on by those attending.

For more information or to arrange for a ride, please call Nelda Billups (328-6367), Laura Schenk (465-7363) and Chris Tinkle, program coordinator (465-7322).  Local sponsors of the program include The Daisy Patch, US Bank, Rose Hardware, Payne Funeral Chapel, Memphis Funeral Home, Countryside Flowers, Community Bank of Memphis and Exchange Bank of Northeast Missouri.

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