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THE WEEK'S MOST-READ STORIES: Columbia girl wins NFL competition; dedicated musician remembered

Sunday, January 22, 2012 | 9:33 p.m. CST

Remembrances of Martin Luther King Jr. and a Columbia musician, a mother dealing with a mental illness and a new Hispanic Cub Scout pack were popular with readers last week. These are the 10 most-read stories posted last week on ColumbiaMissourian.com, according to Google Analytics data:

1. Missouri quarterback James Franklin helped 9-year-old Eryn Puett, a Columbia resident, win the NFL Punt, Pass and Kick competition. Puett was honored on national TV during the NFL divisional playoff game between the Houston Texans and Baltimore Ravens last Sunday. (2,456 page views)

2. A Columbia musician and music teacher died after a battle with Hodgkin's lymphoma. Ms. Yasuda, a talented violinist and pianist, performed often at the Cherry Street Artisan cafe, where she worked, and both First Baptist Church on East Broadway and Sacred Heart Catholic Church on Locust Street during Sunday services. "She couldn't live without the music," her mother said. "That was her passion." (1,468 page views)

3. Former Missouri basketball player and cancer survivor Tom Miltenberger was honored during Missouri's 70-51 victory against Texas A&M on Monday. Less than a decade after graduating with a degree in journalism in 1969, Miltenberger was diagnosed with cancer. He is now one treatment away from finishing his second round of chemotherapy. (1,259 page views)

4. Missouri's star guards, sophomore Phil Pressey and junior Michael Dixon, have proved they are an essential component of the Missouri men's basketball program, which has experienced surprising success this season. "It is a tremendous luxury when you have two guys that can both handle the ball," coach Frank Haith said. (1,117 page views)

5. The Missourian asked Columbia residents to share their remembrances of Martin Luther King Jr. on the eve of the federal holiday created in his honor. George Farris remembers when King dined at his family's farm in Eolia, Mo. "He talked to me like a brother," Farris said. "We'd sit down sometimes and talk maybe half an hour or an hour." (1,041 page views)

6. Cub Scout Pack 121, Columbia's first Hispanic pack, is distinctive because of its mission to encourage more Latino youth membership. But it also has welcomed one girl to its ranks, Alejandra Abad. Cubmaster John Stansfield is happy to include Abad and her brother in the pack because he thinks it honors family-centric Hispanic culture. (965 page views)

7.  Tara Bailey has bipolar disorder, but she'll always be a mother first. Following a period of severe depression, which included thoughts of suicide, Bailey, a secretary with the MU psychology department and mother of two 18-year-old sons, sought help from therapists at MU. Ultimately, she decided to continue living. "My son is going to win over every time," she said. (937 page views)

8. Before Missouri's victory over No. 3 Baylor on Saturday, Matt Beezley wrote a preview story detailing Baylor's strengths, including superior size on the inside. "These guys played against that length last year," coach Frank Haith said. "I do know we can't go in there soft." They didn't. (918 page views)

9. J. Karl Miller believes that potential cuts to the military's budget would be harmful to our security. Even now, in Afghanistan, Miller argues "our weapons of war are worn and in need of replacement ... pilots are flying machines that are often older than the pilot." (853 page views)

10. After Gov. Jay Nixon proposed cutting funding for the state's four-year colleges and universities by $89 million, Columbia politicians had a lot to say, with Democrats and Republicans uniting in their opposition to slashing education spending. (768 page views)


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