MDC urges drivers to slow down and give turtles a brake!

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – The Missouri Department of Conservation (MDC) encourages drivers to be cautious on the roads this spring and give turtles a brake! These reptiles are often hit by cars during the warmer months, but are at special risk this time of year because they are more active.

Common turtles spotted crossing Missouri roads include three-toed box turtles, ornate box turtles, and snapping turtles.

Turtles emerge from their burrows and begin the hunt for food and mates during warm and wet conditions, which can lead them to cross roadways, oftentimes resulting in their death. Thousands of box turtles are killed every year by vehicles.

Young males make up most of the travelers, sometimes wandering as many as six miles searching for territories and mates. Females are also crossing the roads in search of nesting areas.

Turtles are cold-blooded creatures and depend on external sources of heat to determine their body temperature. This explains why people see them on warm asphalt during cool, spring days.

Vehicles are one of the leading factors in box turtle declines, and MDC urges motorists to be cautious and slow down when they see a turtle in the road. If helping a turtle make it safely across, check for traffic and move the turtle across the road in the direction it is traveling.

Additionally, MDC encourages Missourians to leave turtles in the wild. Taking a wild animal, whether a turtle or other wildlife species, and keeping it as a pet normally ends in a slow death. Leave turtles in the wild, follow the speed limit, and keep your eyes on the road.

DID YOU KNOW: Most Missouri turtles can live up to 30 years, but the common box turtle can live up to 80, occasionally living more than a century.

For more information on Missouri’s turtles, visit the MDC online Field Guide at

Death of Alonzo Brooks ruled as homicide 17 years later

New autopsy confirms injuries not consistent with decomposition

By Barbara PROFFITTLinn County News

The death of Alonzo Brooks, Gardner, whose body was found in a creek in La Cygne in 2004, has been ruled a homicide following a new autopsy completed after the body was exhumed in conjunction with the Netflix series “Unsolved Mysteries” in 2020. During the course of the investigation after the case was reopened in 2019, Brooks’ body was transported to Dover Air Force Base in Delaware for examination by the Armed Forces medical examiner. The examiner’s report concludes that the cause of death was homicide. “We knew that Alonzo Brooks died under very suspicious circumstances,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Duston Slinkard. “This new examination by a team of the world’s best forensic pathologists and experts establishes it was no accident. Alonzo Brooks was killed.” Brooks attended a party at a farmhouse outside of La Cygne in April 2004 and was left there by those he attended with, supposedly at his request. According to the Netflix episode on the death of Brooks, there was an altercation early in the evening between Brooks and another person at the party; however, when it came time to go, the friends stated Brooks said he would get a ride back with another person so they left him there. That person told producers of the episode that when he was ready to go, he could not find Brooks and assumed he had left with someone else. Following his disappearance, Linn County law enforcement searched the area but found nothing. After Brooks had been missing for almost a month, a group of his family and friends organized a search. They began on the road near the farmhouse and walked the two branches of Middle Creek. In just under an hour, they found Brooks’ body, partially on top of a pile of brush and branches in the creek. “The FBI’s commitment to justice remains at the forefront of each and every investigation,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Timothy Langan in the press release following the determination of the autopsy. “Our reach is broad, and the strength of our investigative tools is exceptional. We remain dedicated to uncovering the truth surrounding the murder of Alonzo Brooks and ensuring those responsible are held accountable for their actions.” According to the press release, the new autopsy focused on injuries to parts of Brooks’ body that the examiner concluded are inconsistent with normal patterns of decomposition; however, details of the examination are being withheld for investigative purposes. In the initial investigation, a coroner in Linn County said he was unable to determine a cause of death, and witness interviews failed to produce any arrests. The new investigation is focused on determining whether Brooks, an African-American who was 23 years old when he died, was the victim of a racially motivated killing. Anyone with information is encouraged to call the FBI at 816-512-8200 or 816-474-TIPS or submit a tip online at As part of the new investigation, the FBI is offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone responsible for Brooks’s death. See this and other local news coverage at

New Guidelines for WIC

Bates County Health Center was recently notified by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services that the WIC income guidelines increased on April 1, 2021.

WIC is a Special Supplemental Nutrition Program that is provided through the United States Department of Agriculture. The purpose of WIC is to improve the health and well-being of its participants. It helps mothers and young children eat well and stay healthy.

WIC Provides:• Breastfeeding education and support• Nutrition and health education• Personalized nutrition counseling• Referrals to other health programs for you and your family• eWIC card to buy nutritious foods• On-Line Nutrition Education.

The WIC program is a supplemental food program for women who are pregnant, breastfeeding (up to 1 year), or postpartum (up to 6 months), infants, and children up to five years of age. The goal of the WIC program is to provide nutrition education, referrals, and supplemental foods to the participants of the program.

WIC foods include: milk, cheese, yogurt, eggs, juice, cereal, fruits, vegetables, tuna, salmon, sardines, bread, rice, tortillas, pasta, beans, peanut butter, and baby food. We do encourage and recommend breastfeeding, but mothers can receive infant formula if needed for their babies.

Traffic stop in Rich Hill

On 3/29/2021 a Bates County Sheriff’s deputy was patrolling in the City of Rich Hill. The deputy initiated a traffic stop at 6th and Park Street.

During the traffic stop the Bates County Sheriff’s deputy observed an odor of marijuana coming from the vehicle. The deputy obtained consent to search the vehicle and recovered several items of paraphernalia and a digital scale that had a white crystalline substance on it. The substance field tested positive for methamphetamine.

The items were seized, and the subject was released from the scene pending laboratory results on the residue on the scales.