THE WEEK'S MOST READ STORIES: Letter from father of Ashland teen about son's death; Columbia native competes for Miss America crown

Sunday, September 22, 2013 | 6:06 p.m. CDT; updated 8:02 a.m. CDT, Monday, September 23, 2013

COLUMBIA — The week's most read stories included a letter from the father of Ashland teen Jacob Meadows describing the events leading up to his son's death, Columbia native Shelby Ringdahl's appearance in the Miss America pageant in Atlantic City, N.J., and the closing of the downtown location of Panera Bread bakery and cafe.

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  1. John Meadows, father of Ashland teen Jacob Meadows, described the events leading up to his son's death in a letter in the Missourian's From Readers section. (Note: From Readers content is available to everyone.) Jacob Meadows took his own life on Sept. 10 after being linked to a text message that was considered a threat to Southern Boone High School. (47,901 page views)
  2. After Jacob Meadows' suicide, members of the Southern Boone marching band honored their fellow band member at Southern Boone's football game the following Friday. The band members attended Meadows' memorial service in full uniform before performing at the game, where they left a gap unfilled in the marching line in his honor. (9,512 page views)
  3. The Missourian compiled a list of five things to know about Miss Missouri Shelby Ringdahl, a Columbia native and 2010 Rock Bridge graduate. The 21-year-old made it to the Top 12 of the Miss America competition Sept. 15 and was eliminated before getting a chance to perform in the talent competition. Ringdahl, who studies musical theater at Texas Christian University, hopes to perform on Broadway in the future. (5,822 page views)
  4. Belinda Hulen of Columbia died on Sept. 14 after an accident during a family bike ride in Rocheport. The 53-year-old had been an accountant at Boone County National Bank for 23 years. Her husband Kenneth Hulen described her as "a very family-type lady" who spent her free time helping with charity events and volunteering at a local food bank. (Note: Obituaries are available to everyone.) (1,625 page views)
  5.  Miss Missouri Shelby Ringdahl had plenty of supporters on hand at the Miss America competition in Atlantic City, N.J. More than 50 of Ringdahl's friends and family members traveled to the East Coast to support her at the pageant, where she finished in the top 12 competitors. A group of MU students also gathered at the Christian Campus House to watch the competition. (1,583 page views)
  6. The downtown Panera Bread bakery and cafe, which is located in the historic Hall Theatre building, will close its doors at the end of 2013. No reason was given for the closing, although the company said stores typically end their leases because they can't upgrade the space. Plans for the building, which is owned by Columbia entrepreneur Stan Kroenke of The Kroenke Group, have not been announced. (1,363 page views)
  7. As the Missouri football team prepared to face the pass-heavy offense of Indiana on Saturday, cornerback Randy Ponder said he was embracing the challenge of defending the talented Hoosiers' receiving corps. Ponder, Missouri's No. 2 cornerback, was taunted by Indiana fans on Twitter prior to the matchup. Ponder and the other members of Missouri's secondary unit got the last laugh, intercepting three passes in the Tigers' 45-28 victory. (1,215 page views)
  8. Prior to the victory against Indiana, Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said his team would not fake injuries to slow down the fast-paced Hoosiers offense. Pinkel was vague about his plans to stop the offense, but said the controversial method of faking injuries would be unethical. Missouri's defensive players said they felt well-prepared for Indiana after working against Missouri's speedy offense in practices over the summer. (936 page views)
  9. With linebacker Andrew Wilson suspended for the first half of Saturday's game, Missouri made plans to run its nickel package, which requires one fewer linebacker than a normal formation, against Indiana. After being ejected in the second half of Missouri's Sept. 7 game against Toledo under college football's new targeting rule, Wilson was suspended for the first half of the next game. Wilson spent Missouri's bye week coaching up redshirt freshman Michael Scherer, who started the game in his place. (825 page views)
  10. Jed Smock, a former preacher known as Brother Jed on the MU campus, will film a pilot episode for a Country Music Television reality series. The proposed series will focus on Smock's preaching on college campuses throughout Indiana and on his family life with his wife and five daughters. Smock, known for his controversial sermons at Speakers Circle that criticized the contemporary lives of college students, moved to Terra Haute, Ind., in July.

Supervising editor is Elizabeth Stephens.

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