Posted tagged ‘Webster-Kirkwood Times’

Reporter among the injured in deadly shooting spree

February 8, 2008

A gunman with a grudge against Kirkwood city officials killed two police officers and three public officials before other police officers shot him dead.

Also injured in the shooting spree Thursday evening, Feb. 7, was Kirkwood Mayor Mike Swoboda, who was in critical condition at St. John’s Mercy Medical Center, and reporter Todd Smith of the St. Louis Suburban Journals. He is listed in satisfactory condition, according to hospital officials.

The dead have been identified as Kirkwood public works director Kenneth Yost, police officers Tom Ballman and William Biggs and council members Michael Lynch and Connie Karr.

The shooter was identified as Charles Lee “Cookie” Thornton. His long-standing feud with the city was well known in the suburban community, and he had, just 10 days earlier, lost a federal free-speech lawsuit against the St. Louis suburb’s council.

Thornton was often a contentious presence at the council’s meetings. He had been convicted of disorderly conduct twice for disrupting meetings, and the council had considered banning him from meetings altogether.

Thornton owned a demolition and asphalt business called Cookco Construction. He had received numerous parking tickets around town for his commercial vehicles.

A friend of Thornton’s said the contractor felt he was being singled out.

The gunman killed one officer in a parking lot adjacent to City Hall, then walked into the council chambers where he shot and killed another police officer. Thornton then walked behind the council desks and continued pulling the trigger.

Smith, the Suburban Journals reporter, is a 36-year old graduate of Central Missouri State University. He received a Masters in Journalism from the University of Kansas in 2002.  He has worked for the Suburban Journals since September of 2006. He began covering the Kirkwood community last May.

Councilwoman Connie Karr was the former wife of St. Louis Post-Dispatch sportswriter and Baseball Hall of Fame inductee Rick Hummel. 

–Some information in this story provided by the Webster-Kirkwood Times


Obit – Louis R. Bonfanti

December 13, 2007

Rock Hill
Louis R. Bonfanti, 82, an advertising salesman for various newspapers in the St. Louis area, died Oct. 7, 2007. During his lifelong career in the newspaper business, Mr. Bonfanti worked for the St. Louis Globe-Democrat (from 1951 to 1979), St. Louis Star-Times, St. Louis Jewish Light, Gateway Golfer Magazine and Webster-Kirkwood Times, Inc. (1986 until retiring in 2006).
Survivors are his wife, B. Chantilla; two children and three grandchildren.

Webster-Kirkwood Times win IFPA Awards

September 20, 2007

• Webster Groves — The Webster-Kirkwood Times and South County Times won 11 awards in the Independent Free Papers of America contest. Times publisher Dwight Bitikofer was honored for his service to IFPA at its annual awards banquet, which was held Sept. 14 on board The Odyssey in Boston Harbor. He is serving his second term on the IFPA board.
Honors received were nine in advertising, including four first-place awards; and two in editorial, including a first place in Original Writing, News Story, by editor Don Corrigan.