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THE WEEK'S MOST-READ STORIES: A tornado in Branson and new flights to Atlanta

Sunday, March 4, 2012 | 6:17 p.m. CST; updated 7:11 p.m. CST, Sunday, March 4, 2012

Stories about a tornado that tore through Branson on Wednesday, a new destination for Columbia Regional Airport and the world of competitive pizza eating 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. An MU Extension employee, David Burton, created a Branson tornado information page on Facebook. By 10 a.m. Wednesday, 6,303 people had "liked" the page. It gives information about "tornado recovery and response efforts in Branson." 7,401 page views

2. Friends identified an 18-year-old woman found dead at Capen Park Thursday as Priscilla Guzman. Natalia Gould, a friend of Guzman, said Guzman called her Wednesday night and threatened to kill herself. "She said she loved me and wanted to see me," Gould said. Friends and family gathered for a candlelight vigil Friday night.  3,536 page views

3. Columbia police no longer have to write tickets or file reports for non-injury automobile accidents. Some Columbia residents, such as John Donelon, 75, worry that without a police report, residents could have problems collecting money from insurance companies. 1,369 page views

4. Missourian sports reporter Ben Frederickson took on the daunting world of competitive eating by ingesting a 26-inch, nine-pound pizza with professional eater Randy Santel at Minsky's in Blue Springs Wednesday. By the end, "a stomach pumping sounded better than a nap," Frederickson said. 995 page views

5. Head chef Brad Faith, known by students at Mill Creek Elementary School as "Chef Brad," is trying to make lunch healthier for thousands of students in Columbia Public Schools in order to meet new federal guidelines. Meatball sandwiches are served with low-fat cheese, a 51 percent whole-grain bun and marinara sauce, and that's just the beginning, Faith said. 905 page views

6. Next stop: Atlanta. Columbia Regional Airport, in partnership Delta Airlines will offer a daily, nonstop midday flight to Atlanta beginning June 7. According to the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport's website, the airport is the busiest in the world, with more than 230 destinations in 53 countries. 860 page views

7. According to Missouri men's basketball coach Frank Haith, some other senior-heavy teams can't handle adversity like Missouri. After a devastating loss to Kansas on Feb. 25, Haith said, “We handle ourselves with tremendous class. These guys have done that all year.” 842 page views

8. J. Karl Miller believes the "code of silence" among witnesses to shootings in Columbia are perpetuating the "rash of senseless shootings perpetuated by young hoodlums and gang wannabes." Miller rejected the notion that racial indignities might lead to crime. "I have never walked in your shoes — but...we do know right from wrong." 830 page views

9. A twister came through Branson around 1 a.m. Wednesday. More than 30 people were hurt in the central-Missouri resort town. John Moore, a diner owner, said, "The theater next to me kind of exploded. It went everywhere. The hotels on the two sides of me lost their roofs." 818 page views

10. A car accident on Highway 52 near Tuscumbia killed Marty Wilcox, 36, Elisa Wilcox, 27, and their 3-year-old son. The only survivor was the couple's 2-day-old son. 810 page views


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