2008 season has Missouri wineries popping their corks

December 10, 2008 KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A year after a freak spring freeze nearly derailed the Missouri wine industry, the grape gods have been kind to vineyard owners like Sarah Schmidt - perhaps too kind. A cool, wet spring and summer produced enough grapes to fill the storage tanks at Schmidt's Baltimore Bend Vineyards with juice, fulfill all of her contracts to supply fruit to other wineries and still leave grapes hanging in her 7-acre vineyard.

Short breeding season gives best herd results

December 10, 2008 Producers frequently claim they can't establish a 60- to 90-day breeding season because it's too much trouble to keep the bulls away from the cows and too costly to build separate facilities for the bull.

Sex sting nets man 4 years

December 10, 2008 LITTLE ROCK (AP) - A former colonel in the Arizona National Guard has been sentenced to four years in federal prison as part of a guilty plea after he was caught in an Internet sex sting. Donald Lee Wodash Jr., 47, believed he was communicating with a 14-year-old girl when he had a sexually explicit chat, exposed himself by using a Web cam and tried to set up a meeting with the child at a convenience store, authorities said.

GPS, cameras watching over Baby Jesus

December 10, 2008 When Baby Jesus disappeared last year from a nativity scene on the lawn of the Wellington, Fla., community center, village officials didn't follow a star to locate him. A GPS device mounted inside the life-size ceramic figurine led sheriff's deputies to a nearby apartment, where it was found face down on the carpet. An 18-year-old woman was arrested in the theft.

Illinois governor returns to work day after arrest

December 10, 2008 CHICAGO (AP) - Illinois Gov. Rod Blagovich returned to work today, a day after he was arrested and accused of scheming to enrich himself by selling President-elect Barack Obama's vacant Senate seat.

Jefferson County voters reject half-cent sales tax

December 10, 2008 PINE BLUFF (AP) - A half-cent sales tax intended to boost economic development and workforce training efforts in Jefferson County was rejected by voters in a special election Tuesday. With all precincts reporting final but unofficial tallies, results showed 4,325 votes, or 56 percent, cast against the proposal, 3,348 votes, or 44 percent, in favor.

Escapee leaves in handcuffs

December 10, 2008 LINCOLN (AP) - Even when Richard Burley was hiding, he wasn't hard to find. Burley, 24, ducked out during an appearance in district court in Lincoln on Tuesday, even though he was wearing handcuffs and an orange jumpsuit and was to have been taken back to the Washington County Jail because he faced other charges.

Newspaper appeals court ruling

December 10, 2008 LITTLE ROCK (AP) - A seal on jail records involving the suspect in the death of a television anchorwoman should be lifted, a newspaper has told the state Supreme Court. The filing Tuesday by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette asks justices to overturn a ruling by Little Rock District Judge Lee Munson keeping jail roster information, visitor logs and other details about Curtis Lavelle Vance from public inspection. Munson issued a ruling Monday saying the release of those details could "irreparably compromise" Vance's chance at a fair trial.

Forgery, ID fraud charges filed

December 10, 2008 Bond has been set at $25,000 each for a man and woman charged with 16 counts each of check forgery and one count of financial identity fraud, according to an affidavit filed with the Independence County Circuit Clerk.

Assault reported; two arrested

December 10, 2008 One man was injured and two others were arrested Saturday night at Independence Inn on East Main Street, according to Independence County Deputy Bobby Moser. Moser said he was called to the assisted living center Monday night to take a report from William Henry Doyle, 51, a resident at the facility.