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Bongs for Burgers! (from the springfieldian #6)

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The Self-Abduction of Tim Carpenter

It was right before Christmas back in 1998. If I remember correctly, the word character was being tossed around a lot by folks here in God's country. President Clinton was being skewered by a GOP-led special prosecutor about cum stains on a woman's dress, and Osama Bin Laden was establishing a nice foothold in Afghanistan. Locally, the George Revelle murder trial was going on, and police were working to find out who shot a local man five times and dumped his body in the downtown quarry.

That was the backdrop for a strange case of abduction on Springfield's south side. Tim Carpenter, associate pastor at James River Assembly, loving husband and father of two teenage girls, had come up missing. The founder of Christian Publishers Outlet and owner of Heir Press had failed to return home after a late night visit his Heir Press offices on south Campbell.

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Aunt Norma's Dark Past

I was thumbing through some old Springfieldians and came across an interesting article that delves into state senator Norma Champion's early days at KYTV as host of the Children's Hour. Champion parlayed her television notoriety into a city council seat and eventually defeated Craig Hosmer in 2002.

Her record as a legislator has been, arguably, one of the least distinguished and vacuous in southwest Missouri political history. You can read more about Aunt Norma at All About Norma.

Anyway, back to the crack investigative reporting on Aunt Norma from Issue #1 (Summer 1992) of the Springfieldian.

"Champion hosted the popular Saturday morning children's show "The Children's Hour", sharing the stage with puppets, pets and shy, embarrassed children.

". . . While Champion's service on City Council raised no question of character, a closer look at Champion's television years may reveal another side of the candidate. . . .The controversy centers around a…

The Bizarre World of Rep. Ed Emery (R-Lamar)

In the strange, twisted world of state representative Edgar Emery (R-Lamar), there is no color gray, and he'd just as soon there were no brown either. Like many Republican legislators, he believes in the simple rule of law, right and wrong, cause and effect - there is a simple response to every action.

Emery, a staunch conservative who does little to hide his disdain for undocumented workers, currently serves, ironically enough, as chairman of the House Special Committee of Immigration Reform. At a recent hearing in Joplin, he spent the day listening to a host of Hispanic educator/advocates plead their case on behalf of immigrant workers.

During the afternoon session, several immigrant activists spoke quite eloquently about the plight of undocumented workers in the Ozarks - how Mexican agriculture collapsed after the implementation of NAFTA, how Mexican farmers were forced to look elsewhere for work in order to earn money to support their families - you know, family values.

Another i…