They call them jailhouse lawyers and it appears that the Jasper County Jail has one.
For the second time in two months, a lawsuit has been filed against the jail in U. S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri with inmate Sean Harris acting in that capacity. He is listed as pro se attorney in a lawsuit filed today by inmate Donald Lesley Tunnel and Harris.
Each of the men is seeking $250,000 after claiming they were victims of a racially-motivated beating. "I went through the grievance procedure Jan. 20,2004, with no responses," one of them said. The lawsuit doesn't make it clear which one. "The facility doesn't give back responses when it's in the wrong."
It doesn't get any clearer in the part where the beating allegation is made. "Each defendant had the opportunity to prevent the racial attack on me," the petition said. "The detention officers monitored the pad, that's their job, they've neglected to do. After the attack on the defendants, (they) could have got me (apparently Harris) medical attention or treatment for me. The administration knew of the racially-motivated attack and did nothing. The sheriff supervisors and correctional staff. On Jan. 20, 2004, there were no guards in the tower. I didn't get to go to the hospital for three weeks. (I) broke my foot right and I had to have pins."
Harris and Tunnel are asking the court to investigate the sheriff's department and "serve justice for me being victimized by these men and reward me the relief I seek for the center's deliberate indifference and cruel and unusual punishment which violates my rights."
In another lawsuit, filed Feb. 17 in the same court, Harris and James Bailey asked for half a million dollars. The complaint read, "Feb. 12, 2005, I've been attacked by three racist white men, names unknown, knots on head, black eyes, cheek swollen, face bruised, body beat up. Every night I suffered racially motivated slurs, nigger, coon, darkie for example.
"Racism has not been forgotten and should be abolished."
While Missouri Department of Natural Resources officials are looking into an odor in Carthage that might have been created by a ConAgra company, another Con-Agra plant has run into problems in Twin Falls, Idaho, according to the Twin Falls Times-News.
A $13,841 fine has been levied against the company for accidentally releasing nearly 600 pounds of anhydrous ammonia into the atmosphere in Twin Falls, the article said. The company failed to report the release in a timely basis. It also has to buy $65,000 worth of equipment, the article said. The amounts were decided as the result of an agreement between the company and the Environmental Protection Agency.
Add 15 to the number of ConAgra employees who have lost their jobs this week due to company decisions to close plants. Earlier this week, we noted a report in the Montgomery, Ala., Advertiser that ConAgra was closing its food processing plant in that city, eliminating 365 jobs.
The Rapid City S. D. Journal reported today that ConAgra closed its flour mill there Monday, with almost no advance notice, costing 15 people their jobs.
"We would like to have provided more notice, but it was impossible," ConAgra spokesman Bob McKeon told the Journal. "We discovered the mill was at some competitive risk. We studied alternatives to the closure, but the need to optimize efficiencies in our operations and align production with customer needs led us to conclude that we should no longer operate from this facility."
The cuts may have something to do with ConAgra's filing last week with the Securities and Exchange Commission, first reported on this blog, that it was going to have to restate its financial results for last year and the first half of this year due to income tax errors, which may amount to between $150 million and $200 million.
A 9 a.m. Tuesday, April 19, arraignment has been scheduled for former Carthage R-9 Board of Education member and former Carthage police officer Michael Lloyd Wells, who is charged with violating a protection order. The hearing will be held in Jasper County Circuit Court in Carthage before Judge Joseph Schoeberl.
Court documents indicate Wells, 52, violated the protection order on Nov. 1, 2003.
Wells is already awaiting trial on two charges of incest, one charge of forcible rape, and one charge of sexual assault. The incidents are alleged to have occurred on Sept. 1, 1994, and April 1, 2001.
No hearing dates are scheduled in those cases, according to court records.
Liberty Group operating, Inc., a subsidiary of Liberty Group Publishing, owners of The Carthage Press, Neosho Daily News, Neosho Post and The Big Nickel, officially borrowed $180 million from a syndicate of financial institutions led by Wells Fargo March 29, according to documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission.
On March 30, the documents indicated, Liberty used the money, together with cash it already had. to redeem in full all of its outstanding senior subordinated notes which had been due 2008.
Liberty's total financial package, amounting to $330 million, according to earlier reports, enabled the debt-laden publishing company to be able to continue operations for another seven years.
Initially, Liberty officials had tried to sell the company, putting it up for auction, but the expected $500 million price reportedly did not materialize and company officials opted for refinancing.
Shares in J. C. Penney were higher Thursday following the emergence of rumors that Cerberus, a private equity firm, is interested in buying the department store chain, according to the Associated Press.
Saga Communications, owners of KOAM-TV will release first quarter 2005 results at noon Tuesday, May 3, according to PR Newswire.
The decline of the Precious Moments collectibles continues to affect the bottom line at Enesco.
Revenues were down only slightly, according to the annual report filed March 30 with the Securities and Exchange Commission, from $71.7 million for the fourth quarter of 2003 to $69.7 million in the fourth quarter of last year.
The company said the decline was due to lower sales for Precious Moments and Cherished Teddies. Sales of Heartwood Creek and the addition of the Walt Disney Classics Collection helped offset the losses.
The report showed that Enesco had a net loss of $40.7 million in the fourth quarter, primarily due to two non-cash charges of $36 million.
For 2004, Enesco reported $269 million compared to $256.4 million in 2003.
The Precious Moments collectibles have helped contribute considerably to the tourism business in Carthage with the Precious Moments complex, created by artist Sam Butcher, a former Carthage resident.
CBL & Associates, the Chattanooga-based owner of Northpark Mall in Joplin, is offering an audio simulcast of a presentation to the business community 9:45 a.m. local time Wednesday, April 6, according to Business Wire.
The live broadcast can be heard at the company website, http://cblproperties.com. A replay will be available 24 hours after the broadcast and will stay on the website for 30 days, according to the article.