Monday, October 24, 2011

Law and Order in the Ozarks (Part XCI): Deer school coach arrested on drug charges

The top story in the Oct. 12, 2011 issue of the Newton County Times is about the arrest of the Deer High School basketball coach, John Thompson, age 33, on drug charges. Deer is a tiny school in the southern part of Newton County. It has been the subject of a number of posts this year, mostly discussing the school's efforts to avoid consolidation. Read more here and here. This is Johnson's first year of teaching at Deer School.

The story indicates that the 5th Judicial Drug Task Force and the Clarksville police arrested Thompson on Oct. 5 in Clarksville. Clarksville is in neighboring Johnson County, which has a population of about 25,000. Thompson is charged with "intent to deliver a controlled substance, pills." Officials have not specified the "type of controlled prescription narcotics" at stake. A Clarksville police official states:
Thompson was not part of a long-term investigation, only about a week or so. "He just popped up all at once. We were watching him. He wanted to buy pills."
Thompson posted $2500 bail two days after his arrest. He will appear in court on November 14.

I will be interested to see how the Deer-Mt. Judea School Board handles this matter given that basketball season--very important in these parts--is in full swing. Will they replace Thompson mid-year and, if so, how? I will also be interested to see if further investigation reveals any efforts by Thompson to sell drugs to the Deer students.

In other news:
  • The county judge (chief administrative officer of the county) was injured in a logging accident in the community of Ben Hur. He is being treated at Cox hospital in Springfield, Missouri. The story is a reminder of the fact that many people in Newton County still make their living from timber.
  • The Jasper Volunteer Fire Department is loaning flue brushes to all interested residents as part of National Fire Prevention Week.
  • Community meetings with U.S. Postal Service officials regarding proposed closure of the post offices at Vendor and Ponca have been set.

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