COLUMBIA — The most read stories this week include the Antlers' ejection from Mizzou Arena and Missouri quarterback James Franklin's long-awaited return to the football field.
Here are the 10 most read stories posted last week on ColumbiaMissourian.com, according to Google Analytics. Most of the links provided are to stories available only for Missourian digital subscribers.
- The family of Ryan Ferguson spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on publicity and legal fees, costs financed through savings, retirement funds, loans and a new mortgage. Supporters started an online fundraising campaign to help Ferguson afford basic expenses and adjust to his new life out of prison, which had raised more than $65,000 as of Sunday. (3,731 page views)
- A student heckling group called the Antlers was ejected from Mizzou Arena before Saturday's basketball game. Antlers head Emmett Delaney said the athletics department told the group it had a pattern of unruly behavior that crossed the line on Saturday. The Antlers will be allowed to return to Mizzou Arena on Monday. (2,259 page views)
- Missouri quarterback James Franklin returned to the field for Saturday's game against Ole Miss, and the pressure intensified for the Tigers. The win kept Missouri in the running for the SEC Championship game. But Missouri must beat Texas A&M on Saturday to make it to Atlanta on Dec. 7. If Missouri were to lose, it would put Missouri in a tie with South Carolina for the Southeastern Conference East Division, and the Gamecocks would own the tiebreaker because they defeated Missouri in October. (2,004 page views)
- A Columbia man died Nov. 17 after a single-car accident at the
intersection of Grindstone Parkway and Rock Quarry Road. Police said Gabriel J. Watkins, 27, veered into the median separating the intersection and the right-turn lane, causing the car to go airborne and collide with a traffic light post. Watkins was transported to University Hospital and died an hour after the crash.(1,802 page views)
- Curt Riley, the girls basketball coach at Fr. Tolton Catholic High School, is looking forward to helping coach Tolton through its second varsity year. Riley, now entering his 30th coaching season, follows in the footsteps of his late father, who was also a coach. (1,410 page views)
- In James Franklin's first media interview in five weeks, the senior quarterback said he was grateful that the injury that had kept him out of play hadn't been more severe. His legacy had already been determined, he said, and he wasn't concerned about Missouri's remaining games against Ole Miss and Texas A&M defining his football career. (1,041 page views)
- The Tigers defeated the Gardner-Webb Runnin' Bulldogs72-63 Saturday.
Jordan Clarkson, Earnest Ross and Jabari Brown contributed 44 points, but by halftime, the Tigers led by just two points, and Gardner-Webb came as close as three points away as the clock wound down. Missouri will host IUPIU on Monday. (1,001 page views)
- Student reporters at Hickman High School's newspaper, The Legacy, were unable to interview Ryan Ferguson and his mother, Leslie Ferguson, after Hickman principal Tracey Conrad denied Ryan Ferguson campus access during school hours. Conrad said Ferguson's presence would be disruptive to the school's learning environment, and upon learning that her son wouldn't be allowed to accompany her, Leslie Ferguson withdrew from the interview. The newspaper staff will interview the Fergusons off-site on Tuesday. (983 page views)
- Gabriel Watkins, the Columbia man who died after a car accident on Nov. 17, worked as a piano teacher at Piano Distributors. According to the company's site, Watkins taught under the name "Notes for Life" to help remove the barriers that prevent people from obtaining a musical education. Watkins' father, Wedge Watkins, said his son had a "gift for music and a passion for it." (918 page views)
- Families with children in Columbia Public Schools have readjusted their schedules this year to accommodate district-wide school start time changes.
Some families applaud the extra sleep the new school start and dismissal times provide high school students, while others with younger children are trying to find a balance between extracurricular activities and earlier wake-up times. (849 views)
Supervising editor is Elizabeth Stephens.