Archive for Sunday, June 23, 2002

Regional briefs

June 23, 2002

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4-year-old drowns at Lake of the Ozarks

Lake of the Ozarks, Mo. A 4-year-old Kansas City boy drowned Saturday morning when he jumped or fell off a private dock, the Missouri State Water Patrol said.

Kevon Hennings, who didn't know how to swim, fell into about 6 feet of water, surfaced, then went back under, said Doug Kissinger, who patrols Lake of the Ozarks and Truman Lake for the Missouri State Water Patrol.

The boy was not wearing a flotation device, which Kissinger said would likely have saved his wife.

Missouri does not require children or adults to wear flotation devices on docks, but children 7 and younger must wear them on boats.

Lawmaker to resign

Parsons State Rep. Gene O'Brien, paralyzed from the waist down by a 12-foot fall Nov. 11, told his hometown newspaper that he would resign July 15.

"The only reason I'm quitting is because of my health," O'Brien, D-Parsons, told the Parsons Sun. "I couldn't have a vigorous campaign. I'm not going to be able to get out and around like I need to, to keep my finger on the pulse of the community."

O'Brien, who owns a ready-mix concrete company, was paralyzed when he fell from scaffolding and hit a concrete floor at a work site in Branson, Mo. He now lives in the Denver area, where he is undergoing rehabilitation therapy.

He said he wakes up relatively free of pain, but tires within a few hours.

"When I fell, that part of my life ended," said O'Brien, who was first elected to the House in 1998. "But now I have to move on."

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