Columbia Missourian's most viewed stories in 2010

Wednesday, December 29, 2010 | 6:40 p.m. CST; updated 1:42 p.m. CST, Thursday, December 30, 2010
An article about the arrest of two MU students after cotton balls were scattered in front of the Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center on Feb. 26 received more views than any other story on in 2010. At 47,020 views, the article received more than twice as many page views as the second-most viewed story of the year, an article about Derrick Washington's suspension from MU's football team.

COLUMBIA — With 2011 upon us, the Missourian staff went through website analytics to show you the Top 10 most viewed stories of 2010. Here they are:

1. 2 MU students arrested in cotton ball incident  


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  • March 3
  • Two MU undergraduates, Sean D. Fitzgerald and Zachary E. Tucker, were arrested on suspicion of second-degree tampering and temporarily suspended from the university. The two students scattered cotton balls in front of the Gaines/Oldham Black Culture Center on campus. (They later pleaded guilty to littering.)

2. Derrick Washington suspended indefinitely from MU football team

  • Aug. 26
  • Derrick Washington was accused of sexual assault and had an order of protection issued against him. He was suspended indefinitely from the MU football team. (Washington has a trial Jan. 20, 2011, and is seeking a change of venue.)

3. Kansas lab looked at synthetic marijuana's effect on brain

  • Feb. 17
  • A substance known as K2 mimics the effects of marijuana but also can cause users to experience increased heart rates, loss of consciousness, paranoia and, occasionally, psychotic episodes. Sen. Kurt Schaefer, R-Columbia, and other legislators hope to ban K2 in Missouri though there is not a large presence of it in mid-Missouri. (Later, it was banned in Missouri.)

4. TODAY’S QUESTION: What do you think about Proposition B?

  • Sept. 15
  • Proposition B aims to prohibit cruel treatment of dogs in large breeding operations and requires proper nourishment, shelter and veterinary care for them. Readers voted on the online survey whether they supported the proposition. (Want to know what happened? Check out top story No. 8.)

5. After an epic Missouri victory, pandemonium in the streets

  • Oct. 24
  • MU Homecoming: Missouri upset Oklahoma, 36-27, the first time in a decade. The crowd rushed the field and flooded the downtown streets of Columbia. Fans gathered outside of Harpo’s to cut the goal post in pieces. (M-I-Z!)

6. UPDATE: Columbia Police Department still dealing with backlash about SWAT raid

  • May 10
  • Columbia Police Chief Ken Burton outlined changes in the way the department uses a SWAT team. The department faced criticism after a video of a drug raid at Jonathan Whitworth’s home was posted on the Internet. The video showed Whitworth’s pit bull, Nola, being shot by a SWAT team of at least eight officers.

7. COMMENTARY: Ten Things you didn't know about Buffalo

  • March 19
  • Buffalo, N.Y., is home to many unique events and traditions, among them the buffalo wing, windshield wipers and the Miss Buffalo Wing pageant. (Some Buffalo residents were not too happy about this article and let us know that vehemently in the comments section. Ouch.)

8. Proposition B passes narrowly

  •  Nov. 3
  • Proposition B passed with 51 percent of Missouri voters approving and 48.5 percent against. In Boone County, however, the vote was 55.4 percent against and 44.6 percent in favor of Prop B. The proposition adds regulations to existing laws for dog breeders in Missouri. (We're still receiving letters and comments about this one.) 

9. Key witness recants in Ryan Ferguson case

  • Feb. 8
  • Chuck Erickson said he alone killed Columbia Daily Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt. Erickson said his previous confession of him beating Heitholt with a tire tool and Ferguson strangling Heitholt to death was a lie. Erickson now says Ferguson had no idea what he was going to do and tried to stop it at the end. (In early November, Ferguson's legal team planned to file a habeas corpus petition in Cole County before Jan. 1.)

10. Public airs frustrations with Columbia Police at Citizens Review Board Meeting

  • May 12
  • The Citizens Police Review Board heard citizens speak out about the Feb. 11 SWAT raid in which the police shot and killed Jonathan Whitworth’s dog. Citizens expressed their outrage at the incident; others thanked the review board for existing. Others asked the board to be more active in reaching out to citizens who might be intimidated by the police. (Want to serve on the review board? There's an opening. Applications are due by noon Jan. 7 and available on the City Council page of the city's website,


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Toni Messina December 30, 2010 | 8:50 a.m.

Items 6 and 10 - you might have mentioned that the Police entered the home believing that Mr. Whitworth was violating Missouri drug laws.

(Report Comment)
Ricky Gurley December 30, 2010 | 9:17 a.m.

I don't think anyone cares about what CPD SWAT "believed" as much as they care about what CPD SWAT DID!

Ricky Gurley.

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