The Reporter covers Miller, Morgan and Camden County in Central Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks and is published once per week on Wednesdays.

(Updated July 16, 2014)


‘The sirens went off twice...’

By Dale Johnson
    TEL AVIV, ISRAEL – “I would prefer that she not go but I can’t tell her what to do.”
    Those words came from Reporter writer Jeff Thompson as his daughter and son-law headed to Israel last week.
    The two residents of Texas, Rachel and Yair (pronounced Ya-Year), along with their children, had a scheduled vacation to the country and were determined to go despite the threats from the Palestinians.
    Last week the Muslim group Hamas claimed that anyone in Israel was a target. That would include Rachel and her family. So does she feel safe under that threat?
    “Yes I feel safe,” Rachel told The Reporter from Israel. “The Israeli army is very strong and the Iron Dome is 90 percent effective. As compared to my last visit in 2012, it’s hard to explain because there wasn’t a war at that time. So, yes I feel as safe, just more cautious.”
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Luber vs Franken: tempers boil over at meeting

By Jeff Thompson
    CAMDEN COUNTY - On the heels of a calamitous meeting with local business owner Theresa Townsend, two county commissioners ended up throwing angry accusations at each other and two others -a Lake Sun reporter and a County Clerk staff member - were drawn into the disturbing confrontation.
    After he had Townsend removed from the meeting room by a Camden County deputy, Presiding Commissioner Kris Franken asked if there was any further discussion on the last agenda item.
    “Yeah, I have some few things …” Second District Commissioner Cliff Luber replied.
    (First District Commissioner Beverly Thomas was recovering from a surgical procedure and was not present at the Thursday morning meeting.)
    Luber said he had recently made a request via email to Rowland Todd at the County Clerk’s Office for the commission meeting minutes for 2012. He commended the County Clerk for furnishing the records, but Luber was not altogether pleased with what he allegedly found.
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Maples to stay on as part-time Lake Ozark chief   

By Jeff Thompson
    LAKE OZARK - Police Chief Mark Maples will be staying with the city at least a while longer thanks to the Board of Aldermen unanimously taking him up on his part-time/consulting offer.
    Maples had announced his formal resignation as police chief at the June 24 board meeting, stating his final day would be July 18.
    “I have accepted a position is the private sector,” Maples stated in his resignation letter.
“I have enjoyed my nearly eight years as the chief of police for the city of Lake Ozark.”
    He added that “I would like to think that I leave the police department in better shape than when I found it in 2007.”
    At that time he offered to help the city find a new police chief and expressed a desire to remain a reserve officer.

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Hippie Spirit owners busted

    CAMDEN COUNTY - Federal charges connected to the importation, manufacture and nationwide sale of synthetic drugs such as “K2” and “bath salts” have been leveled against the former owners of a small business in Camdenton.
    According to the Lake Area Narcotics Enforcement Group (LANEG), Camden County had a significant increase in the distribution and abuse of synthetic marijuana and bath salts (synthetic cocaine) in 2012.
    “During this increasing trend, law enforcement identified several Camden County business establishments who were selling synthetic marijuana and bath salts,” a LANEG spokesman said. “One of these local business establishments was ‘Hippie Spirit‘, which was owned by Brett and Sherri Beeman from O’Fallon, Mo.”
    LANEG officers along with the Camden County Sheriff’s Office and the Camdenton Police Department executed a narcotic related search warrant at “Hippie Spirit” on July 13, 2012.
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Townsend kicked out of meeting

By Jeff Thompson
    CAMDEN COUNTY - The third time was NOT the charm for Theresa Townsend when she appeared before a truncated County Commission July 10 to once again seek what she considers to be “justice” for Planning & Zoning (P&Z) and Sunshine Law request fees.
    Townsend has wrestled with county officials as well as the P&Z Committee for months on a number of topics including Sunshine Law requests for emails from Presiding Commissioner Kris Franken and an apparent doubling of her rezoning fees.
    However, after presenting her case - all over again - and seeking discussion on the matter, her conduct eventually led Franken to remove her from the meeting escorted by a county deputy but not before she leveled a new charge against the county: racial discrimination.
    Townsend opened her remarks with a calm recitation of her allegations and claims but moved quickly to accusations against the commission as a whole and Franken in particular.
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Two children in serious condition after lake accident

   LAKE OF THE OZARKS - Two Versailles children suffered serious injuries when they fell or jumped off a dock in Morgan County Saturday evening.
    According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol - Water Division (MWP), Destiny J. Ponds and Izak E. Garmany (ages unknown) had walked away from a residence near Coffee Creek Cove, crossed a private road and walked onto the walkway of a privately owned dock.
    “Both children walked halfway down the walkway of the dock before they fell or jumped into the water,” the MWP said.
    Ponds suffered serious injuries and was taken by ambulance to University Hospital in Columbia.
    Garmany also suffered serious injuries but was taken to University Hospital by Staff For Life helicopter.
    The incident occurred at approximately 6:38 p.m. at the 9 Mile Marker of the Gravois Arm.
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