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THE WEEK'S MOST-READ STORIES: Aggressive dogs, a dancing fire chief and a woman's mysterious death

Sunday, April 1, 2012 | 5:23 p.m. CDT

Last week, readers took interest in stories about the designation of some dog breeds as "bullies," the Columbia fire chief's preparation for a dance contest and the mysterious death of a homeless woman in a St. Louis jail.  These are the 10 most-read stories posted last week on ColumbiaMissourian.com, according to data from Google Analytics:

1. For owners of certain "bully" breeds of dogs, finding a place of residence is a tough task. Companies that manage residential properties often ban breeds like pit bulls, which have a reputation for aggression and are considered prone to biting, while insurance companies often restrict coverage or charge more to insure homes with these breeds. The owners of these dogs, including several Columbia residents, feel that their dogs are victims of unjust stereotyping. 1,139 page views

2. Charles Witt, who became Columbia's fire chief in 2011, is taking on a new challenge: dancing. Witt will take part in the "Dancing with the Missouri Stars" competition, which is held annually to raise money for the Missouri Contemporary Ballet. Despite being an expert on fighting fires, Witt is admittedly out of his element on the dance floor. 904 page views

3. Anna Brown, a 29-year-old homeless woman, was turned away by three St. Louis hospitals when she sought treatment for leg pain. After refusing to leave the third hospital, she was arrested for trespassing and taken to prison by police. She died in jail later that day; now, her mother wants to know the cause of her death. 869 page views

4. Columbia police located Clayton McKenzie on Tuesday, after his mother reported him missing earlier in the day. The 17-year-old was with his mother, who left her car to attend an appointment. Upon her return to the car, McKenzie was gone, according to an earlier news release from Columbia police. 836 page views

5. Southeastern Conference commissioner Mike Slive addressed a crowd of more than 300 people in Kansas City on Tuesday. In addition to delivering a speech that honored Missouri's history, Slive answered questions about Missouri's move to the SEC and the direction of the conference. Slive also led an "M-I-Z, Z-O-U" chant.  759 page views

6. Two more wild deer have tested positive for chronic wasting disease, according to the Missouri Department of Conservation. The disease, which is fatal to elk, moose and deer, has now been found in a total of five wild deer in Missouri. The Heartland Wildlife Ranch in Macon County is being depopulated as a result of having infected captive deer.  751 page views

7. Marcus Denmon of the Missouri men's basketball team advanced to the semifinal of the college 3-point shooting contest at the Final Four before being eliminated. Northwestern's John Shurna went on to win the competition, defeating Temple's Juan Hernandez in the final, 21-20. In addition to participating in the 3-point contest, Denmon made cameo appearances in the dunk contest by serving up passes to contestants. 727 page views

8. Rush Limbaugh has caused a stir with his vulgar comments toward Georgetown law student Sandra Fluke about her views on contraception. Columnist J. Karl Miller would like to see Limbaugh and other lewd "shock jocks" of today learn civility and respect from generations past. Still, Miller rejected the idea that legislation to promote fairness through censorship is in order. 696 page views

9.  Missouri first baseman Gavin Stark was featured on ESPN SportsCenter's "Top 10 Plays" for making a catch that sent him tumbling into the dugout in a game against Oklahoma State. Despite the recognition from ESPN, Stark's teammates have been more critical, saying Stark didn't need to jump to make the catch. See the catch for yourself.  603 page views

10. Marcus Denmon wasn't the only member of the Missouri men's basketball team to participate in the Final Four festivities. Ricardo Ratliffe, who set Missouri records in field goal efficiency this season, took part in the Division I All-Star Game on Friday. Both Ratliffe and Denmon's appearances were previewed in this story.  568 page views


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