WHAT WOULD IT TAKE? Last November, one week after his 15th birthday, Vince Greer shot and killed his mother. Despite testimony by friends, teachers and an expert psychiatrist that Greer was mentally ill, the state charged him with murder in the first degree and certified him to stand trial as an adult ("Dangerous Minds," RFT, March 25). A psychiatrist with the correctional system noted marijuana use and repeatedly diagnosed a conduct disorder. Now, the report's finally in from the state-appointed forensic psychiatrist. Guess what? He says Greer was suffering from episodic schizophrenia at the time of the offense and did not know the wrongfulness of his act. That wasn't what the state wanted to hear, but, according to Vince's family, it hasn't changed anything: Greer will stand trial for first-degree murder and, until convicted, will remain incarcerated with criminal adults, instead of being moved to the high-security juvenile treatment center the family's been urging. (JB)
NUTS TO YOU: As most folks are undoubtedly aware, National Split Pea Soup Week has passed. Yes, Nov. 8-14 were indeed special days, the nation's attention turned to one of our favorite liquid foods, with the USA Dry Pea & Lentil Council helping promote it. Though the week is now but a fond memory, the UDP&LC has a Web site: www.pea-lentil.com. Consult it at your leisure -- perhaps over a bowl of soup and a handful of crunchy Show-Me State nuts. The Missouri Department of Agriculture is engaged in an active campaign to turn our state's attention inward. "Though nuts are sold year-round at grocery stores, roadside markets and mail-order companies, harvest season is the best time to purchase nuts," says Tammy Bruckerhoff of the Department of Agriculture. "Whether they are given as gifts or used in baking, nuts make a wonderful holiday treat." Missouri's nut growers have entered the cyber age, peddling their tasty wares on the Net at www.mda.state.mo.us. Just click on "domestic marketing program" for the full menu, including free recipes for microwaved pecan mounds and orange tea balls. And if you're one of those last-minute shoppers, keep in mind: "Nuts can be purchased whole, cracked, shelled, or packaged, ideal for holiday gifts. In addition, nut growers also offer nut butters, candy-covered nuts, corporate gift baskets, and nut mixes." (MG)
AND A LUMP OF COAL FOR LEONARD GRIGGS: The battle over Lambert expansion may seem to be over, but for the Bridgeton Air Defense it's just moved on to a new front. For the last couple of years, BAD members have sung Christmas-carol parodies at Lambert -- "Dollar Bills" to the tune of "Jingle Bells," "W-1W Ain't Coming to Town" instead of Santa, and "Lambert, O Lambert," taken from "O Tannenbaum." Today the carolers will sing at Room 200 of City Hall. That's Mayor Clarence Harmon's office, and they plan to sing "All I Want for Christmas Is a Real-Time Study" and attempt to present the city a check for $6,000. That's "seed money" to help fund a $60,000 computerized "real-time" study on the Lambert Airport expansion that they believe will show the current $2.6 billion plan actually won't increase capacity and may jeopardize safety. In a Aug. 27 letter from the president of the Air Line Pilots Association to the Federal Aviation Administration, J. Randolph Babbitt says that a "real- time simulation would decisively demonstrate that the W-1W plan has significant safety impacts and represents no capacity gains." Another tactic is the opening of a BAD Web site at www.stlairpork.com, as in "St. Louis Air Pork." As the altered song lyric by Sara Barwinski goes: "Dollar bills, dollar bills, money thrown away, W-1W's bad for TWA. Dollar bills, dollar bills, money thrown away, W-1W should be scrapped today." (DJW)
Contributors: Jeannette Batz, Morris Graham, D.J. Wilson
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