COLUMBIA — Ryan Ferguson filed a civil rights case in federal court that names 13 defendants, including the city of Columbia and Boone County. The story about his case received the second-most page views this week. Ferguson was sentenced to 40 years in prison for second-degree murder and first-degree robbery in 2004. He maintained his innocence and was released from prison last year in 2013.
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Here are the 10 most popular stories posted last week on ColumbiaMissourian.com, according to Google Analytics.
- A car crash on U.S. 63 killed two Columbia residentsearly Tuesday morning. A woman going the wrong way on the highway hit another driver head-on.
Chasity D. Vaughan, 35, and John M. Brenneman, 38, were pronounced dead at the scene by emergency personnel. (1,029 page views)
Ryan Ferguson filed a case accusing members of the Columbia Police Department, the Boone County Prosecutor's office — including former Chief Prosecutor Kevin Crane, now a circuit court judge — the city and Boone County of violating his civil rights. Ferguson's attorneys are seeking $75 million in compensatory and actual damages and $25 million in punitive damages. "We want to have the federal lawsuit where we can demand accountability for the injustices Ryan suffered," Bill Ferguson, Ryan's father, said. (981 page views)
- More than a dozen supporters of Aiden Taylor, an 8-year-old Columbia boy fighting brain cancer at the St. Jude Children's Research Hospital in Memphis, shaved their heads for him this week. More than 200 people attended the Shave for Aiden event at Mojo's. Aiden and his family made an appearance via Skype, and he thanked everyone for coming. (754 page views)
- Jordan C. Elam, 23, of Columbia, died in an Interstate 70 car crash in Saline County on March 9. Two other Columbia residents, Roderick Thomas, 21, and Dominique Thomas, 22, who were traveling with Elam, sustained injuries in the crash. (703 page views)
- The University Village apartments will close June 30, and residents will be allowed to break their leases before then with no penalty, according to an MU News Bureau release. Lt. Bruce Britt of the Columbia Fire Department died when he responded to a structural emergency at the apartments Feb. 22. (628 page views)
- In his letter to the editor, Rod Gelatt, a professor emeritus at the Missouri School of Journalism, said the Missourian's Show-Me the Errors contest should include the printed newspaper, not just the online content. "Awarding readers of the online Missourian with points, and possible prizes, for pointing out errors, but not dangling such prizes in front of us print version readers, makes as much sense as the Missouri General Assembly outlawing texting while driving ONLY among teenagers," Gelatt wrote. The letter was published in 2010. (627 page views)
- Adam and Justin McMillen started a "business art" company — McMillen Industries — a year ago in Columbia. The brothers make handmade signs, furniture and functional interior decor, and restore vintage items like chairs, lamps and tables. "In a world where everything is mass produced and manufactured, there is a culture out there of making stuff," Adam McMillen said. "There was a generation gap where nobody made things. Now there's a community of makers." (551 page views)
Rep. Chris Kelly, D-Columbia, proposed a House bill that would legalize, regulate and tax marijuana in Missouri. HB 1659 would allow those 21 and older to possess, smoke, sell and distribute marijuana. The state could impose a 25 percent excise tax. Kelly used to oppose legalization, but changed his mind after serving as a judge for seven years. "I saw too many young people whose lives were ruined for convictions of small amounts of marijuana," he said. (550 page views)
- The Missouri football team is more stable entering this spring than it was a year ago. Head coach Gary Pinkel secured a contract extension and the Tigers answered questions about their ability to compete in the Southeastern Conference. What Pinkel calls the "grind" is now beginning for his team. (548 page views)
Shannyn Yalaoui, mother of 4-year-old Taysir Yalaoui, found resources ranging from Missouri First Steps, an early intervention system for at-risk infants and toddlers with developmental disabilities to Cedar Creek Therapeutic Riding Center helpful to her son. Taysir Yalaoui rides the borderline of the disability spectrum, and his family has navigated the resources available for him in Columbia. (469 page views)