WHAT DO YOU think about the Canadian women’s hockey team celebrating after winning the gold medal Thursday?
I’ll have some thoughts in my Saturday column on Page 2A. Feel free to chime in here if you want.
TRAVIS BLACKWELL CALLS on a higher power to prove he had nothing to do with his girlfriend’s disappearance.
“As God is my witness, I had nothing to do with it. Nothing,” the rural Hannibal resident says.
Blackwell’s girlfriend, Christina Whittaker, disappeared a few months ago after being kicked out of a downtown Hannibal bar. Blackwell, Whittaker’s parents and others were on the syndicated Steve Wilkos TV talk show Monday, and it wasn’t pretty.
Blackwell was accused on the show of having something to do with Whittaker’s disappearance. He repeatedly denied it. Urged by a raucous studio audience, Wilkos got in his face and suggested Blackwell may have dumped Whittaker’s body in the Mississippi River.
The basis was Blackwell failing to pass two lie detector tests, administered by the show’s own “polygraph expert.” The show ended with Wilkos yelling at Blackwell to “get off my stage” and Christina’s parents, Cindy and Alex Young, crying while staring at Blackwell in disbelief.
During an interview Monday, Blackwell said he did the show to help in the search for Christina, not knowing he’d be ambushed. But he felt the show “was rigged” and Wilkos was planning to set him up all along.
“After the show, I was afraid of my life. It ain’t good, I can tell you that,” said Blackwell, who claims he was at Whittaker’s parent’s home the night she disappeared, taking care of Whittaker’s young daughter. “I was hoping some good would come out of it, but more evil came out than good.”
The show was taped about a month ago in Connecticut. Cindy Young says she has since made peace with Blackwell and says she does not suspect him of having anything to do with her daughter’s disappearance.
Blackwell went to the Hannibal Police Department and took another lie detector test a few days after the taping. He says he passed and is not a suspect in the disappearance.
HPD, in its usual cryptic mode, said only through a press release it was aware of the show and what transpired.
When Blackwell came home to Hannibal, he was afraid to go to his own house, so he stayed with a family member.
“Right before the show it felt bad. I wished I hadn’t done it,” he says now. “By the same token, it got her picture out there, so maybe it’s worth that little bit of stupidness …. The bottom line is to just get her back home.”
Like Whittaker’s parents, Blackwell says he believes Whittaker is still alive.
“I think she was at the wrong spot at the wrong time, and somebody grabbed her,” he says. “But I believe she is alive. I can’t think no other way on that.”
HANNIBAL POLICE ANNOUNCEDFriday they captured a Chicago man wanted for a 2-year-old murder, but little info was released at the time about the homicide itself.
According to www.chicagobreakingnews.com, Gregory Haynes was wanted in connection with a killing during a card game on Chicago’s South Side.
Gregory Haynes Jr., 27, is charged with first-degree murder in connection with the shooting death of 24-year-old Terrell Thomas, who was shot and killed during a card game on March 9, 2008 inside a home in the 7500 block of South Carpenter Street.
Chicago authorities warned Quincy and Hannibal law enforcement that Haynes might be in the area, and he was arrested while sitting in a car in Hannibal. More here.
NORMALLY THE HIGHLIGHT of the Quincy Exchange Club’s law enforcement and citizen of the year awards event is the people so honored.
The recipients are always deserving, and this year’s selections of Missouri State Highway Patrol Corp. Timmy Shoop and Quincy Police Department volunteer John Slater are no exception.
Friday’s event was the 44th annual by the Exchange Club. Usually the awards are followed by a speaker, and I’ll be polite by saying it isn’t always the most riveting of events.
Not this year, when Barney Fife impersonator David Browning of Virginia had the entire room roaring with laughter.
Browning worked with legendary actor Don Knotts for many years as his opening act. He goes around the country making presentations, and he is a dead ringer for Fife.
I feel sorry for the speaker next year ….
Kudos to Adams County Sheriff Brent Fischer and Quincy Police Chief Rob Copley for getting a speaker who made a lasting impression.
For more on Browning, click here.
MECKI KOSIN DID not like what she saw when she read John Wood Community College was offering trips through a non-local travel agency.
So she did something about it. Click here for more.
Kosin owns the Travel House in Quincy, one of four travel agencies in town. She appeared at Wednesday’s JWCC board of trustees meeting to express her displeasure with the college using non-local travel agencies. Kosin, Jennifer Lepper of Quincy Discount Travel and Lori Bergman of Destination Tour and Travel sent a letter to JWCC President Tom Klincar, as well.
Kosin told the trustees and JWCC administrators that she recently dealt with a client who used a non-local travel agency, and it wasn’t good. Kosin didn’t mince words during her short but effective talk, saying the college was “being ripped off” by one non-local company in particular.
Better service, more reasonable prices and staying local are powerful arguments, and the board members and administration paid rapt attention. Kosin says she’s looking out for herself, of course, but she urged the college to take bids from all the local agencies and work them, not just hers.
Kosin says the owners of the travel agencies in town began talking to each other a few years ago, leading to better communication. Obviously it paid off because her appearance Wednesday made an impact.
The college will discuss the issue again at the March meeting. Good for Kosin and the agencies for making their collective voice heard.
Burglars are scamming local residents yet again – click here for more.
If someone knocks on your door and and asks to see your furnace or other appliances, just say no. If they don’t have ID, are acting suspicious, etc., never let them into your house.
It would seem ludicrous to do so, but remember, there are many souls out there who wouldn’t hesitate to trust somebody.
This is the second time in about a month we’ve had a rash of these incidents in Quincy. One of these days they’ll slip up and get caught.
SO FAR, NBC has to love the Olympics.
The Nielsen Co. is reporting viewship of the Vancouver games is up 16 percent for the first three nights, compared with the 2006 games in Italy.
My brothers (pictured at right) and I are loving it and we both teared up Monday night when the Canadian National Anthem was played during a medal ceremony.
I will give you a donut and an Elsinor beer if you can tell me who they are.
DOUG FIEGER, LEADER of famed late 1970s band The Knack, died Sunday at age 57.
My Sharona by The Knack is one of pop’s enduring songs. For some reason, the band was never ever to duplicate its success.
I didn’t know his brother is Geoffrey Fieger, famed attorney of suicide advocate Jack Kevorkian.
My Sharona got played to death back in the day, but it’s still a piece of pure power pop. Even the video is so bad it’s good.
HANNIBAL CERTAINLY HAS the right idea when it comes to putting together major outdoor concerts.
The Hannibal Convention and Visitors Bureau is sponsoring several events at Clemens Field this spring and summer. On May 15, the HCVB, KICK FM and Y101 Radio will present country performer Candy Coburn and veteran group Marshall Tucker Band.
On July 3, the HCVB, KICK FM and Casa De Loco Entertainment have teamed to sponsor a one-day music festival called “God and Country.” Beau Hicks, executive director of the HCVB, says Neil McCoy and the Oak Ridge Boys will headline the show, along with a top yet-to-be-named gospel group. It will be part of the famous National Tom Sawyer Days event.
Tickets will be on sale at the Hannibal Cavemen box office by calling 221-1010 or online at www.startickets.com.
I could not disagree more with the No. 1 pick, “Let’s Get Physical” by Olivia Newton John. No. 1? Perhaps on the “Worst Songs Ever By Awful 1970s Singers.” Blechh.
And any list with two Rod Stewart songs in the top 10 has to be suspect.
I’m trying to think of my top love songs. “When Your Love Comes Back Around” by RTZ and Elton John’s “Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word” immediately come to mind.
Agree or disagree? Do you have your own list?