THE WEEK'S MOST READ STORIES: Ashland teen's suicide shocks community, Pinkel pro-pay for college athletes

Sunday, September 15, 2013 | 6:18 p.m. CDT; updated 6:40 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, September 17, 2013

COLUMBIA — The week's most read stories include the suicide of an Ashland teen linked to a text message threatening his high school, Ryan Ferguson's appeal for a retrial and Missouri coach Gary Pinkel's statement that men's basketball and football players should be paid.

Here are the 10 most popular stories posted last week on, according to Google Analytics. The links provided are to stories available for Missourian digital subscribers.

  1. An Ashland teen connected to a text message that threatened Southern Boone High School died Tuesday after shooting himself when police attempted to take him into custody. The student was identified as 17-year-old Jacob Meadows, a student at the school. District schools were closed Tuesday after police became aware of the threat. (4,225 page views)

  2. The father of Ryan Ferguson, who is serving a 40-year sentence for the 2001 murder of Columbia Daily Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt, is preparing a "Free Ryan Tour" to raise awareness of his son's case. Bill Ferguson plans to travel through 14 states in a customized vehicle featuring an image of his son. (2,546 page views)
  3. In the wake of Ashland student Jacob Meadows' suicide, members of the high school band struggled to come to terms with his death. Meadows' band teacher, Andrew Marjamaa, described Meadows as a "good kid" and said the community was in "total shock." Marjamaa also shared a piece of music featuring a solo performance by Meadows, a saxophone player. (2,281 page views)
  4. A memorial service was planned Saturday for Columbia icon David Tye, more commonly known by his nickname, "Diamond Dave." Tye, who regularly wore a Santa hat on holidays and sang along with the radio, was in his late 40s. (1,644 page views)
  5. Although Missouri football coach Gary Pinkel advised quarterback James Franklin to play cautiously to avoid getting injured, Franklin declined to follow this advice, and his aggressive performance on the field ultimately helped the Tigers score a 38-23 win over Toledo on Sept. 7. (1,465 page views)
  6. Missouri football coach Gary Pinkel said in a video Monday that Missouri men's football and basketball players should be financially compensated for their services. Pinkel implied that MU, along with the rest of the SEC, is considering a player payment system. NCAA rules currently prevent college athletes from being paid in ways other than scholarships and minimal benefits. (1,211 page views)
  7. Oral arguments Tuesday for Ryan Ferguson's appeal focused on whether the state withheld information on how eyewitness Jerry Trump, a Columbia Daily Tribune custodian, identified Ferguson as one of two men present the night of Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt's murder. Ferguson is currently serving a 40-year sentence for second-degree murder and first-degree robbery. (1,145 page views)
  8. Danyale Williams, a dance instructor at Battle High School, made an appearance with her husband, Lee, on an episode of the HGTV show "House Hunters" on Friday night. The episode was filmed in November 2012, and the couple was asked not to say which house they had chosen until after the show aired. (1,007 page views)
  9. The Missouri General Assembly overrode 10 of Gov. Jay Nixon's vetoes Wednesday night, a record number. Among bills that will now become law as a result of the Assembly's votes are a bill appropriating funds to rebuild a Pike County school, a cap on the punitive damages lead producer Doe Run has to pay and a "No Pay, No Play" law requiring uninsured motorists to forfeit recovering noneconomic damages under specific circumstances. (969 page views)
  10. A Columbia home is featured in "You're Next," a horror film released nationwide in August. The movie, which was filmed two and a half years ago, is the third horror movie by filmmakers with roots in Columbia. Filming in Columbia provided the filmmakers with the invaluable resource of a supportive community. (941 page views)

Supervising editor is Elizabeth Stephens.


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