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


Published January 3, 2018

Bus accident, double murder round out 2017

Bus accident sends 14 children to hospital
CAMDEN COUNTY – Fourteen children were injured in a bus accident last week off of Route AA. The bus was traveling from Oklahoma to Windermere Baptist Conference Center.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) a 2017 IC bus, driven by Elizabeth Boevers, 56, of Tulsa Oklahoma, was northbound on Route AA 480 ft south of Osborne Pass last Monday (July 10) around 4:45 p.m. when the bus failed to negotiate a curve and overturned.

The injured children on the bus, ranging from ages 11-14, all received minor injuries and were transported to Lake Regional Hospital by ambulance except for one 14-year-old boy who was flown by Staff for Life to Mercy Hospital in Springfield.

All of the children were from Oklahoma except for one who was listed from Washington, Pennsylvania.

According to the MSHP, all the injured were wearing their safety devices.

Camdenton community center moves forward
CAMDENTON – An update on the future Community Center was presented to The Board of Aldermen last week with summaries of items discussed at the two meetings of the Focus Group.

The focus group summarized the priorities that they felt were at the top of the list for inclusion for the community center.

Some of those priorities are:

• A walking track for citizens to use indoors.
• Areas that could be configured for multiple uses including movable walls which would allow the area to be divided into small meeting areas or one large room.
• An attractive lobby area
• Kitchen space
• A large high ceiling multi-purpose room

A community center had been on the wish list for a number of years but progress on the idea was put on hold in 2009.

Since then, the city also has accumulated a sizeable amount of money set aside for the project thanks to a one-half-cent sales tax.

At the board meeting in December of 2015, The Mayor explained the financial situation when the board addressed purchasing the property.

“We’ve been setting aside money ever since the city pool was paid off, which was somewhere between seven to eight years ago,” said McNabb. “We have accumulated approximately 1.6 million dollars over the years. The purchase price of the property will be taken out of that and the remainder, about 1.3 million dollars, will be used to get us started.”

In December of 2015 the city purchased approximately 3.1 acres on North Business Route 5 and Ball Park Road for the center.

Once the Community Center Committee is formed and begins the details of the center, then more information and a possible timetable for constructing the center may be set.

Until then, money will keep accumulating and the project will move forward.

Man drowns after jumping off bridge
LAKE OF THE OZARKS – A Brumley man has died in an accident last week due to drowning that occurred on Sunday July 23 in Miller County.

According to the Missouri State Highway Patrol (MSHP) Kevin Rowland, 58, of Brumley, MO, jumped from a bridge at the 18.5 Mile Marker of the Grand Glaize Arm, around 9:30 p.m., surfaced briefly and then went under the water.

He was pronounced dead by Miller County Coroner Tim Bradley at 11:30 p.m.

The MSHP said this was the fifth drowning for Troop F in July and the ninth for the year.

City buys another property for airport expansion
CAMDENTON – Another property has been acquired by the city in the ongoing effort to expand the runway at the Camdenton Memorial Lake Regional Airport.

The current runway is listed at 4,000 feet in length and the goal is to extend it to 5,000. There are only three more properties to be purchased by the city, according to City Administrator Jeff Hancock.

The recent purchase from Anteater Industries cost $300,000. The money for the land acquisitions in Non-Primary Entitlement funds from the FAA.

The city has to pay the funds up front but will be reimbursed by the Missouri Department of Transportation and the FAA at 90 percent which means the city is only paying 10 percent of the purchase price.

When the project started the city had to purchase land from 11 land owners in order to complete the expansion which may not be completed for several years.

Hancock said they are probably looking at the runway expansion taking place in late 2018-2019 but that will depend on the availability of federal funds, which is always an unknown situation.

The Camdenton airport currently has the second longest runway in the lake area (4,000 feet). Lee C. Fine airport runway length is 6,497 feet while the Grand Glaize Airport runway is 3,206 feet long.

The city is banking on the longer runway allowing more corporate jets to fly into Camdenton bringing more business to the area.

(By the end of 2017 all the needed property for the airport expansion has been purchased).

Man arrested for drugs, pipe bomb
CAMDEN COUNTY – A Camdenton man has found himself behind bars after a traffic stop uncovered what police say are illegal drugs and a pipe bomb.

Last Thursday (August 10) at approximately 3:00 a.m., a Camden County Sheriff’s Department (CCSD) Deputy observed a tan 1998 Nissan Altima fail to stop at an intersection at State Road D and Tunnel Dam Road.

As the deputy attempted to stop the vehicle, the driver failed to stop and began traveling at a high rate of speed, striking a mailbox at a residence on D Road, a CCSD spokesman said.

The deputy executed the stop and the driver, Joshua D. Crooks, 31, of Camdenton, was arrested for driving on a suspended license.

While searching the vehicle, the deputy discovered a scale and a white crystalline substance. As the deputy continued his search of the vehicle, he discovered what appeared to the deputy to be an explosive device.

The CCSD stated that the device was a pipe bomb and was rendered safe by the bomb squad.

Crooks was charged with class A misdemeanor of operating a motor vehicle without a license, class D felony of possession of controlled substance $500,000 surety bond, class E felony of resisting arrest, class D felony of possession and transport of a weapon and a class D misdemeanor of unlawful possession of drug paraphernalia.

Naked and unafraid
CAMDEN COUNTY – A Lake Ozark man has found himself behind bars on various charges after a naked display and allegedly expressing his disrespect for police.

According to the Camden County Sheriff’s Department (CCSD) last Thursday around 7:26 p.m., deputies responded to a call at Lakewood Shores in Lake Ozark in regards to a naked male walking around in the pool area.

Police say it was later discovered that he had also been in the area of the playground.

When deputies arrived, the subject had returned to a unit.

“Deputies responded to the subject’s room and when met by deputies, the subject attempted to punch one of the deputies,” a CCSD spokesman said. “The subject then charged the other deputy at which time a taser was deployed. The deputies placed the subject in a chair at which time the subject spit and urinated on the deputies.”

Brandon C. Schroeder, 22, was transported to Lake Regional Hospital due to his impaired condition. After being found fit for confinement, the subject was transported to the Camden County Adult Detention Center.

He was charged with the following:
• Assault 4th Degree (a Class A misdemeanor) two counts
• Resisting Arrest (a Class A misdemeanor)
• Sexual Misconduct (a Class B misdemeanor)

Ballparks property sold on courthouse steps
CAMDEN COUNTY – The ambitious project to build Ballparks of the Ozarks has struck out when the two parcels of property were sold by the trustee on the courthouse steps last week.

The trustee, Wendi Alper-Pressman, of Lanthrop Gage, read the property description before asking for bids.

The property sits on 239-acres and is located off Highway 54 west of Camdenton near state Route J.

The reason for the sale is simply spelled out in the beginning of the legal notices.

“For default in payment of debt secured by the Deed of Trust ("Deed of Trust") executed by Ballparks at the Ozarks, LLC, a Missouri limited liability company ("Grantor"), dated February 4, 2015, and recorded February 5, 2015, at Book 307, Page 885, in the Office of the Recorder of Deeds of Camden County, Missouri, and said Deed of Trust last assigned to Juno Limited Partnership, the undersigned Successor Trustee, at the request of the holder of the debt, will on Thursday, September 14, 2017, commencing at 1:00 PM at the East Front Door of the Camden County Courthouse, 1 Court Circle, Camdenton, Missouri, sell at public vendue to the highest bidder for cash the real property described in said Deed of Trust, to-wit…”

The larger tract of land had one bidder (the holder of the note) and sold for $500,000. The smaller adjacent tract went for $80,000 to the same bidder. The project was promoted as a very large complex dedicated to baseball and other sporting activities.

They were planning to feature age appropriate fields including turf infields, pitching bullpens, batting cages, LED lighting and seating.

Though last week’s sale of the property appears to be the final nail in the coffin, the ballpark project could still be a reality if Ballparks at the Ozarks, LLC, can get the current owner of the property to sell it to them.

Until that happens, the ballparks facility has been permanently benched.

Police claim man shot at deputy
CAMDEN COUNTY – An Osage Beach man has been arrested after allegedly firing shots at a county deputy.

Last Wednesday (September 20) at approximately 7:35 p.m., a deputy from the Camden County Sheriff’s Department (CCSD) responded to a residence on Red Barn Road in Osage Beach in reference to a runaway 13-year-old female.

The girl had run into the woods prior to the arrival of the Deputy.

“While the deputy was walking the powerline, he repeatedly identified himself and called her name in hopes that she would exit and talk to him,” A CCSD spokesman said. “While looking for the girl, the deputy heard a gunshot coming from a residence below him. The Deputy continued to identify himself. As the deputy was returning to his vehicle to take cover and call for assistance, the suspect fired another shot in the deputy's direction.

According to the CCSD, the deputy noticed a male subject standing in the doorway of the residence (that the gunshots were coming from) holding a handgun.

The deputy continued to identify himself as a Camden County Deputy and told the man to drop the gun.

Additional Deputies arrived and the suspect was taken into custody without further incident. The deputy was uninjured.

Arrested was Bradford K. Prugh, 56, who was charged with:
Count 1 - Committing the Class U Felony of Armed Criminal Action
Count 2 - Committing the Class B Felony of Use Of Weapon - Subsection 9 - Shoot At/From Mv, At Person, Mv, Bldg
Count 3 - Committing the Class B Felony of Assault 2nd Degree

Beaten, stabbed and dragged behind vehicle
LAKE OZARK – A Mexico Missouri man has been arrested and charged after allegedly assaulting a man at the campground below Bagnell Dam.

At approximately 1:35 a.m. on September 22, the Lake Ozark Police Department (LOPD) received a call of an unconscious man at the campgrounds below the dam who had possibly been assaulted and dragged behind a car.

Officers arrived on scene and found the unconscious male near the bathhouse at the campground.

CPR was initiated and the subject was transported by Lake Ozark Fire Protection Distric’s ambulance to Lake Regional and then transferred to University of Missouri Hospital in Columbia with life threatening injuries.

Initial investigation indicated that the victim was physically beaten, stabbed several times in the head, arms and hands and was then dragged behind a vehicle through the campground for several hundred feet.

John J. Powell, 39, of Mexico, MO, was charged by the Miller County Prosecutor with three counts of Assault 1st Degree Or Attempt - Serious Physical Injury Or Special Victim (Class A felonies) and three counts of armed criminal action (felony) and is being held in Miller County on $300,000 bond.

The bond also states that he is to have no contact with the victim (or victims) and that he be placed on GPS monitoring.

Powell also had a warrant from probation and parole, police said.

Shots into house lead to arrest
MORGAN COUNTY – A Stover man has been arrested involving an incident of shots being fired through the walls of a house.

Last week deputies from the Morgan County Sheriff’s Department (MCSD) arrested Steven Plowman, 21, on charges stemming from the shooting on October 11 of this year.

According to the MCSD, reports came in of shots that were fired from outside through the walls of a residence on Ozark Heights Road

An adult male in the residence was struck in the leg by one of the bullets and was taken to an area hospital for treatment and released the following day.

Plowman was charged with First Degree Assault, Armed Criminal Action, Unlawful Use of a Weapon and Possession of a Controlled Substance.

Bond was set at $500,000 cash or surety.

Man charged with double murder at campground
LAKE OZARK – A Rolla man has been arrested and charged with a double murder that took place last week at a Lake Ozark campground.

According to a press release by Miller County Prosecuting Attorney Benjamin Winfrey, the suspect, Gary L. Sweet, 58, of Rolla, Missouri, is responsible for the killings.

“Sweet is charged with First Degree Murder for ‘knowingly causing the death’ of two Lake Ozark residents with ‘deliberation’ by shooting them with a gun,” Winfrey stated.

The Prosecutor also said that in addition to the murder charges, Sweet is also charged with First Degree Assault for “attempting to kill or cause serious physical injury” to two other Lake Ozark residents by shooting them or shooting at them with a gun.

“On November 8 at 12:36 in the morning we received a 911 call here at Lake Ozark, of a shooting,” Lake Ozark Police Chief Gary Launderville said. “Officers responded from Lake Ozark PD, Miller County Sheriff’s Office, Osage Beach and Missouri State Highway Patrol and Eldon PD.”

Initially they had two victims that were injured and both were transported to Lake Regional Hospital. One sustained some injuries from the gunshot wound but both were transported to make sure there were no injuries to the second person.

“A short while later while we were trying to determine if there were any other victims, and trying to locate a suspect or suspects, at that point, we found two other victims and they were deceased,” said Launderville.

Though he did not release the names of the deceased victims, The Chief did confirm they were husband and wife and were employees of the campground.

“Between our investigation and talking with him and other interviews that we have done, the prosecuting attorney felt comfortable with filing all the charges against Gary Sweet,” Launderville said.

Sweet has been charge with the following crimes:

• Two counts of First Degree Murder
• Four counts of Armed Criminal Action
• Two counts of Assault 1st Degree Or Attempt - Serious Physical Injury Or Special Victim

He was held on No Bond in the Miller County Jail.

Kansas man arrested after robbery, chase, shooting
LAKE OF THE OZARKS – A Kansas man has been arrested after an alleged bank robbery attempt and chase reaching speeds in excess of 100 mph.

Last Thursday (November 30) at approximately 10:20 a.m. Camden County advised Morgan County that they had a pursuit with a dark colored Dodge truck. The Sunrise Beach Police Department was advised to watch the area.

Camden County lost sight of the vehicle and the pursuit was terminated.

At approximately 11:13 a.m. that same day, a 911 call was received by Morgan County 911 advising of a possible bank robbery at the U.S. Bank located in central Versailles.

The reporting party from U.S. Bank stated that a male subject wearing a black hooded sweatshirt and a bandana over his face had entered the premises and demanded money.

The suspect then left the bank and entered a dark colored Dodge truck.

One of the patrons of the bank ran across the road to call 911 from O’Reilly Auto Parts and then followed the suspect vehicle until the Versailles Police Department came into contact with it at the four-way intersection in Versailles but the vehicle refused to stop.

A pursuit in the city limits of Versailles proceeded westbound on Missouri Highway 52 toward Stover with speeds exceeding 100 MPH, according to police.

The Stover Police Department had staged their vehicle as a roadblock when the suspect’s truck approached the east city limits. As the truck approached the roadblock the driver fired approximately four rounds from a handgun at the Stover officer and drove around the roadblock through Stover, the MCSD said.

The pursuit then continued until the truck eventually exited the roadway at the west city limits of Stover, struck a parked vehicle and then crashed into a tree behind a business.

The suspect, later identified as Jacob Allen Monteer, 25, from Overland Park, Kansas, was transported to the Morgan County Sheriff’s Department.  Police say they then discovered that the vehicle he was operating was stolen out of Kansas and that he allegedly had a stolen handgun in his possession.

The judge ordered no bond on Monteer.

The FBI is assisting in the ongoing investigation.

Board approves Airport Capital Improvement Program
CAMDENTON – The Board of Aldermen have approved the 2018 Airport Capital Improvement Program stating that this is a general plan and some items may be changed.

The plan was approved recently by the individual members of the Airport Advisory Board (since the meeting did not have a quorum).

The preliminary plans for the airport for the future are:

• Clearing & Grubbing; Extend Wildlife Fencing (estimated cost of $500,000 with $450,000 coming from the FAA)
• Construct 8-Unit T-Hangar (estimated cost of $550,000 from sources to be determined)
• Construct T-Hangar Taxilane (estimated cost of $300,000 with $30,000 from local funding)
• Grading for Runway Extension/Parallel Taxiway (estimated to cost $4,700,000 with $470,000 coming from local funds)

For 2019 the plans are:
• Extend Runway 15/33 & Parallel Taxiway 1,000 feet (estimated to cost $2,600,000 with $2,340,000 coming from the FAA and $260,000 from local funds).

Now that the document has been approved Hancock will mail and e-mail it to Brian Boehmer at the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT).

“As previously noted, we will then wait and see if FAA and MoDOT approves the funding in FY 18 for the Runway extension project.” Hancock said.

The runway extension will include grading for the extension, closure of Forbes Road and the extension of Opportunity Road to restore access cut off by closure of Forbes Road.

The runway project depends on the availability of funding from the FAA (which will come through MoDOT). All the property for the extension has already been acquired by the city.

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