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Murder suspects waive extradition

Callahan

Two southeast Missouri men charged with first-degree murder in connection with a triple shooting that took place Oct. 18 in Reynolds County waived extradition to Missouri when they appeared before a judge on Monday in Ohio.

Timothy Callahan, 44, of Potosi, and David Young, 67, of Ironton, are facing murder charges in the shooting deaths of James and Janet Nance, who were shot in the head at their rural home, along with an elderly woman who remains hospitalized from her wounds.

The pair also face charges in Ohio for being fugitives from justice after they were arrested Saturday at a motel in Deerfield Township, Ohio, where the two men were taken into custody without incident.

According to Reynolds County Sheriff Tom Stout, investigators from his office and the Missouri State Highway Patrol headed to Hamilton Township to interview Callahan and Young after they learned the men were in custody.

According to court documents, Reynolds County Prosecuting Attorney Michael Randazzo alleges that on Oct. 18, Young and Callahan went to the home of James and Janet Nance, located on Highway 106 about five miles outside of Ellington, to rob James Nance.

While the robbery was in progress, Nance’s wife and her friend arrived home, at which time the couple and the woman were all shot in the head at about 4 p.m.

Janet Nance, 72, died the day of the shooting after being airlifted to a St. Louis hospital. James Nance, 86, died a few days later from his injuries, on Oct. 21.

The second female shooting victim, age 73, was able to speak early investigators about what happened despite her serious injuries. Randazzo said the woman provided investigators with information that helped law enforcement track down the suspects, as well as what happened at the crime scene.

According to Sheriff Stout, the three victims were all shot “execution style” and the surviving female victim was shot twice in the head during the robbery attempt that the sheriff said only netted the killers a couple of thousand dollars.

On Monday, Randazzo promised more charges are on the way and that he intends to pursue the case against Callahan and Young as far as possible — up to and including the death penalty.

According to investigators, two witnesses saw a blue car matching the description of the escape vehicle leave the Nance home, after which it was seen turning onto Route F and traveling north. Later that evening, a blue 1998 Pontiac Sunfire was towed near the Dent County town of Boss. Court documents say the vehicle was owned and operated by David Young.

Witnesses reported that they saw Young traveling the next day with a man identified as Timothy Callahan. One witness stated that Young had said Callahan shot three people in the back of the head and had to shoot one person twice because they “wouldn’t die.”

Court documents indicated that Young was at the home when the shooting occurred.

Investigators found the Pontiac Sunfire on Oct. 21 at Young's last known address in the 1300 block of Trapp Rock Road in Ironton. Officers interviewed Young's girlfriend, Linda Brown, who also lives at the home. Brown told investigators that the last time she had seen Young was on Oct. 19 and that he was scheduled to appear Oct. 20 in Gasconade County Court on a felony charge of financial exploitation of an elderly or disabled person.

According to that probable cause statement, Young attempted to get a St. Francois County couple to pay him $4,800 to repair a barn that the insurance company said should have cost around $1,300. Because Young did not appear in court on the charges, he has an outstanding felony warrant for his arrest with nationwide extradition.

Investigators learned on Oct. 26 that Young and Callahan were staying at the Red Cedar Lodge in Bonne Terre. Officers spoke with the motel’s staff and also reviewed surveillance video which confirmed both suspects had stayed at the hotel and checked out in the early morning hours of Oct. 26. Surveillance video from the motel showed that Young and Callahan were traveling in a U-Haul rented by Callahan in Poplar Bluff due to be returned Oct. 25 in St. Louis.

Police say the U-Haul was returned Oct. 27 to a dealer near Cincinnati, Ohio. Young’s daughter, who lives in the Cincinnati area, confirmed that Young and Callahan were staying at a motel in Deerfield Township, Ohio.

On the morning of Oct. 28 — at the request of the Missouri State Highway Patrol — the Warren County Ohio Tactical Team executed a search warrant at the Best Western Mason Inn where both Callahan and Young were located. Young was arrested on the outstanding arrest warrant and Callahan was held as a person of interest in the Nance murders and the assault.

In an Oct. 27 interview with Missouri State Highway Patrol investigators and the Reynolds County Sheriff’s Office, its reported that Callahan admitted that he and Young had traveled to the Nance home on Oct. 18 for the purpose of committing a robbery.

According to court records, Callahan told investigators that he and Young — armed with a .22 caliber revolver and 9mm handgun — drove Young’s 1998 Pontiac Sunfire to the home where they subsequently stole cash from James Nance.

Callahan stated that he then shot James Nance, Janet Nance, and the third victim in the back of the head with the .22 caliber revolver, after which he and Young fled the scene.


Shawnna Robinson, Daily Journal 

St. Francois County Community Partnership Director Bill Bunch, at right, receives toys donated at the United Way of St. Francois County's Girls' Night Out on Oct. 26 from United Way board members (from left) Kerry Glore, Kathy Dziewa, Mark Toti, Harry Peterson (in back), Jackie Berry, and Dennis Smith.


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Not too early for 'Season of Hope'

Pumpkins are still sitting on the porch – yet the staff of the St. Francois County Community Partnership have their eyes on Christmas and the Season of Hope program.

Now in its 19th year, the program serves students in the county’s five school districts. Last year, the program served a total of 1,305 children from 536 families.

Executive Director Bill Bunch said the final numbers for the number of students served for this year are still being compiled, but he expects the total to be around the same as 2016.

Statistics show 18.2 percent of children in St. Francois County live in poverty – above the state average of 14 percent.

Children are referred to the program through staff at the five school districts, the Children’s Division of the Department of Family Services or the East Missouri Action Agency.

“We absolutely could not do (Season of Hope) without the community’s input,” Bunch said. “We don’t spend any of the partnership money on this other than our time and labor. And, we can’t spend a lot of that because we have other things to do.

“We depend heavily on volunteers and, of course, the community for their donations. Every year, it comes in like clockwork and we’re able to help the kids of St. Francois County.”

Bunch said the partnership coordinates with other programs - such as Shop with a Cop - to make sure there is not a duplication of services – ensuring as many children as possible can participate.

Work begins early because all the unwrapped gifts of clothing and toys must be delivered to each school district prior to the December break.

There are numerous ways the community can help.

One of the best ways to help, Bunch said, is for those who “sponsor” a child or family and purchase items based on a “wish list” put together for each child.

“We had about 500 kids sponsored last year, which means that was 500 kids we didn’t have to round up volunteers or send staff out to buy gifts for – which was a little over one-third,” he said. “That was a big boost for us. We hope to get as many as that sponsored again this year.”

The unwrapped gifts of clothing and toys are packed according to the children’s wish lists into plastic bags so the contents remain hidden. Parents take the items home and hide them, until they can be wrapped for Christmas day.

Many church groups and local businesses step up to adopt families each year.

“We’ve had one church sponsor 75 kids and another sponsor 50,” he said. “That’s a big boost right there already right off the bat and we know we’ll have others. Several businesses, like Centene (Corporation), sponsor a great number of kids.”

Also helpful to the program are the donations of new toys for distribution to families.

The United Way of St. Francois County hosted Girls’ Night Out on Oct. 26 – the first “official” toy drive of the season, Bunch said.

“That was a tremendous success,” Bunch said. “My car was jam-packed to the ceiling with toys.”

Another big drive is the Parkland Toy Run, scheduled for this Saturday. Participants are asked to meet at the Qdoba parking lot in Farmington. The event runs from 9 to 11 a.m.

Cash donations made in honor of or as a memorial for someone are also the perfect way to help the program. Money donated to the partnership in this way is used to shop for those children or families not individually sponsored.

A second part to the program is the need for volunteers once the donations are collected and it’s time to start preparing the items for school district personnel to distribute.

“When we start sorting the gifts out for the schools – the toys that are donated through various toy drives and what we purchase – it’s a big task to get that all sorted out and bagged up for each family so when the schools come in and pick it up, it’s ready to go,” he said.

The time crunch comes in the fact many schools dismiss for Christmas break more than one week before the holiday – with one local district dismissing on Dec. 13. The chance for inclement weather only adds to that time crunch, Bunch said.

Until that time, the director said, the focus is on making sure there are sponsored families and needed gift items.

This year’s deadline for cash and toy donations is Dec. 4. For information on how to sponsor a family, hold a toy or clothing drive or give a cash donation, call 573-431-3173 or visit sfccp.org.


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Fun at Fall Rocks

The Missouri Mines State Historic Site was filled Saturday night with the buzz of youngsters painting rocks, making toothpaste and learning that not everything comes from the grocery store.

Partnered with the Doe Run Company, the historic site held its annual “Fall Rocks” event on Saturday evening.

According to Site Administrator Art Hebrank, the Fall Rocks event focuses on two main points: mining history and mineral resource education. The point of the event is to teach kids that the things they use don’t just come from the supermarket, but they are very often made from materials mined from the earth.

But for most of the children, both young and old, the evening was more about family fun with a chance to learn as an added bonus.

“We are always looking for something to do with the kids, but it is usually really expensive,” said Melissa Huff who was enjoying the evening. “An event like this is great. The kids get to learn something and it’s free.”

For others, the event is a chance to see some spectacular geodes and other minerals while spending time with family.

“He is a rock hound,” said Grant Becker, who was at the rock swap with his 5-year-old son Emery. “We found out there was a rock swap, we had to come. We love to hike in this area and collect different rocks, but an event like this is great. We get to spend time together and he gets to see some great rocks.”

In addition to viewing different rock and mineral formations, the event hosted several other activities such as a station for children to make their own toothpaste, design their own hard hat and learn about the mining industry that has been an important part of the area’s history.

“This event was a nice surprise,” said Anisha Pinson, who was at the rock swap with her children. “All of the activities they have here this evening are for all age groups. My sons are 11 and 6 years old and they both are having a great time.”

“We usually have about 300 visitors come to every year,” said Rhonda Reed, an executive assistant with Doe Run’s recycling facility. “We are so happy to have the support of the community. This is our way of giving back to the community.”


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School board watches enrollment

During a brief meeting of the Bismarck R-5 Board of Education held Thursday night in the elementary school library, the board discussed the school district’s enrollment and the upgrading of security cameras on campus.

At the last meeting, Superintendent Jason King explained to board members that student enrollment was following a familiar trend again this year — dropping.

"Traditionally, in recent years we have," he said. "Once you get around Labor Day and past that, you start to level off. It just goes day-to-day with kids dropping out and new kids enrolling. Sometimes we get the same kids back a few days later and it just goes in flux. We're sitting at a total of 503 today — 208 of those in the elementary and the remainder in grades 6 through 12."

King noted that in September 2016, the district's student enrollment was at 522. Thursday night, he announced to the board that enrollment had dropped to a total of 498 students, not counting pre-kindergarten.

Concerns about dropping enrollment have been long-standing in the district and at this point aren’t a matter of serious concern, but King has indicated that the board and administration are keeping a close eye on the situation as it could some day affect the district’s budget, hiring and other issues.

If recent trends offer any insight, the district enrollment will continue to swing up and down throughout the rest of the school year.

King closed out his monthly report by providing board members with an update regarding the upgrading of both internal and external security cameras on campus for safety and security.

In other action, the board approved the district’s bus routes/eligible riders report, as well as updates to policies, regulations, and forms recommended by the school district’s attorney.

Students chosen as students of the month for October were Gage Grounds for the elementary school and Janson King for the junior high/high school. Also recognized were the staff members of the quarter, Robyn Tiefenauer and Lauren Callahan.


Craig Vaugnh, Daily Journal 

Rocks, minerals and activities bring a full house as the Missouri Mines Historic Site, with the help of the Doe Run Co. held its annual Fall Rocks event on Saturday. Giving visitors a chance to learn about the history of the mines and the use of metals and minerals in everyday life, the event featured interactive educational stations for children to learn hands-on about how people use the things found underground. Keeley Provience took time to do a little rock painting, just one of the activities. 

View additional photos online at dailyjournalonline.com


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Autopsy confirms cause of death

An autopsy was performed Monday as part of a murder investigation which began with a phone call and the discovery of a body over the weekend.

Samuel Schulz, 41, was found dead in his home in the 1000 block of Vandiver Court in Farmington around 10:45 a.m. Saturday in response to a check the well-being call to police.

According to Farmington Police Chief Rick Baker, the pathologist report from the autopsy indicated the manner of death was homicide caused by a single gunshot wound to the chest.

Baker said the department does have a suspect in the case, however, the individual is currently in the hospital receiving treatment at this time. He noted the suspect is not a threat to the community and additional information will be released as it can be made available.

As for the murder, Baker had earlier said, “At 10:45 a.m. (Saturday) morning the Farmington Police Department responded to the 1000 block of Vandiver Court in reference to a check the well-being,” said Baker. “A neighbor and reporting party saw several bullet holes in the victim’s front door.”

When officers arrived they went inside and found Schulze lying face down on the bedroom floor.

“Officers searched the residence to make sure no one else was present and then cordoned off the scene,” explained the chief. “They called the coroner and the (detectives) for the department. The next of kin was notified and Schulze was transported to the county morgue.”

As of Monday afternoon Baker did not disclose the motive for the shooting.