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Thursday, October 11, 2007

Fire at Oregon County Jail

The view that I am taking concerning the recent fire at the Oregon County Jail in Alton, Mo., is the same as that of Alton Councilman Bill Young. I am also calling for a thorough investigation while the tracks and the facts are still fresh. Not just a so-called investigation which is normal in Oregon County where the truth is swept under the rug.

However, it is also my opinion that the jailhouse fire should not be the beginning nor the end. There have been too many other mysterious deaths in Oregon County in which the sheriff seems to be the only one who knows anything about them.

For instance: there should have been an investigation into the death of the girl under the bridge on U Highway which put the sheriff on Channel 8 News. (A spot he never wanted to find himself in again.)

There should also be an investigation into the death of the girl found dead at the Grand Gulf.

Also the man who burned at the Grand Gulf.

The two girls found dead in Thayer at the Chestnut Inn.

This is just a few of the heinous crimes which have been covered up since Tim Ward has pretended to serve and protect as sheriff.

I urge everyone who reads this to contact the Missouri Attorney General or the Missouri Highway Patrol and demand an investigation into the jailhouse fire.

Bobby Couch

With reference to a recent letter regarding Mr. Young's position insofar as the fire and death at the Alton jail recently, may I offer a comment regarding this. The city of Alton is not the one responsible for the county jail. The situation was made aware to the sheriff's department and little action was taken.

After doing business with various agencies of the federal, state, county and municipal, I would say that it would be quite an uplift to individuals of Mr. Young's character, integrity and capability in public office. To the recent writer, if you think it is bad on the local level, look what we have for national leaders -- talk about some real slum bags!

I do not think that the people of Alton or the people of Oregon County have any idea of what could have happened if the prisoners had been picking up handguns or explosives instead of whatever they were picking up, with carefree abandon, from the courthouse lawn. Just think what their first stop would have been; the local service stations for money and transportation; the nearest liquor store for a few drinks; and then out on the highways leading out of Alton. Who was there to stop them? Who would have known about it for 30 minutes to an hour?

The string or tied together sheet strip used to pick up whatever they wanted was once destroyed, but replaced. A number of people were aware of what was happening, (but) nothing was done. Nothing is ever done until the fit hits the sham.

We still have a sicko running around in Oregon County, the one that tried to dig up a recent grave of an elderly lady at New Salem Cemetery at Couch. Nothing was solved on that or any arrest made. No concern, I guess, until it happens again to one of your loved ones.

When I moved back here an old cistern was filled up in the years that I was gone. It had been around for 60 or more years, and did not cave in all by itself. It was filled up with fill dirt. I had the sheriff's department here when I had it dug up as far as the backhoe would reach, but was told that if it was to go farther I would have to furnish the equipment myself. Someone went to a lot of effort to bury something or someone. No one loves me that much to come out in the middle of nowhere and fill up a 15-foot hole for me.

I would say from my limited knowledge of the law that the death is a case of criminal negligence, but this is Oregon County and the state of Missouri; nothing will be done. Just like the old statement I have heard from when I was a child, "If you want to kill someone, do it in southern Missouri."

You know, it is somewhat amusing; they took the meeting rooms from the Masons and Eastern Star for a recreational area for the prisoners, that the Masons had for the last 100 years, and now we can have happy and contented prisoners. What kind of public officials do we elect? Sometimes a good housecleaning is due, or maybe overdue. The sheriff's office will not investigate itself; forget the attormey general's office; maybe the department of public safety. However, a grand jury can be assemblied in Missouri and action taken.

Be interesting to see what action will be taken.

Lee Hall


Web site comments found at The writer's e-mail address are on file at our office.

I have spent time in the Oregon County Jail. There are no electric outlets in the jail. There was just one cord coming into the cell that was connected to the TV. I have spent time in other jails and they all have electric connections of some kind. It is my understanding that the inmates set the fire themselves. I have never been in a jail where you couldn't light a fire if you really wanted to. These guys were extremely stupid for setting this fire.


Some interesting stuff I heard is that one of the deputies, I think the one called Blue, caught someone pulling stuff into the jail and that Ward didn't do anything about making the place secure after that. I know that the short guy with the pony tail who worked in the jail in the past, let guys smoke in the jail from time-to-time and I know guys who said that he let them do it. I also heard that someone caught someone else pulling stuff from the upstairs window about a week before the fire. If this ... The remainder of this letter can be viewed on our Web site at


This is in reference to the comments made by Bill Young in yesterday's paper. It would do the news media good to investigate why Bill Young has problems with the Oregon Sheriff's Department before ...

This was a great letter, but the writer did not sign the letter or include an address and phone number for verification. There are cases where we will withhold the writer's name, but that name, phone and address must be on file at our office. - eh

Physician's license suspended

Bottom line - if I or someone I love has to be rushed to the Fulton County Hospital Emergency Room -- I want Dr. David Kauffman to be there.


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Dr. Kauffman has never harmed anyone but himself. If only he were as good to himself as he is to his patients. Anyone who thinks that Dr. Kauffman would put a patient in danger does not know him. He is very professional and stable in his practice and of good moral character. He is all about saving lives and making people well. He does not deserve to lose his license over problems in his personal life, but I also hope he will learn to deal with those problems for his own sake.


Web site comment

I am an RN and have worked in proximity with Dr. Kauffman for over a period of several years in general nursing and the ER of two different hospitals. I have never seen him in an impaired condition; his patients are always given the best and latest standard of care. I have seen him care for frightened patients and desperately ill patients; he has always been kind to family and patients alike. All I can surmise about the allegation of improper drug accounting, "is he the only one with access?"

Jean P.

Web site comment

On the article written about Dr. Kauffman, I would like to make a few comments on behalf of his loyal friends .......

This was a great letter, but the writer did not sign his name or include a phone number where we could reach him/her. There are circumstances when we will withhold a writer's name but you have to sign your letters and include a phone number.

In response to the article in last week's news about Dr. David Kauffman. Apparently Ms. Ninemire doesn't know Dr. Kauffman, she sounds like judge, jury and prosecuter.

Let me tell you about Dr. Kauffman. He has worked so many days in the office because he is so overloaded. Between patients he runs over to the ER to take care of the many emergencies that come in. He cares about his patients to a fault. I have seen him take money from his own pocket to help some patient because they could not pay for their medication or were about to have their utilities cut off.

If his eyes are red it is becuase he hasn't slept but for two hours all day and all night. If his clothes are wrinkled it's because what sleep he had was on a cot while on call. Walk a mile in his shoes and then see if you feel the same way.

To those of us who know him, he can't be beat. You people that are saying such terrible things about him do not know him well enough to talk about him. And by the way where is Joseph Pierce (Price)? He was the best staff writer you had.

Thank You,

Faye Lester