Trial in shooting to begin

When MU student Charles Blondis was shot and killed in the early hours of Nov. 16, police quickly came to the conclusion that the shooter was a 20-year-old man from Kansas City, Kan. Officers arrested Taron Crawford later that morning at an apartment on West Worley Street.

But when Crawford’s trial begins today, his attorney could present some surprising testimony. Court records suggest that defense attorney Roderick Smith will call two witnesses who allegedly heard another man claim to be the one who fired the fatal shot. That man is also one of the five potential defense witnesses in the case.

Poplar Bluff students, parents upset about required identification badges

POPLAR BLUFF — A new policy at Poplar Bluff High School requiring students to wear identification badges has prompted one parent to withdraw his children and some students to put stickers on their badges protesting the policy.

The badges are identical to the IDs students were previously required to carry and use to check out library books. Students and faculty must now wear the photo IDs on campus from 7:45 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. as a safety measure. School officials say the badges allow them to identify people quickly and make sure visitors have checked in.

Australian author to speak, sign books at MU

Prize-winning Australian author Peter Carey, known for “Oscar and Lucinda” and “True History of the Kelly Gang” as well as other books, will speak Thursday evening at MU.

A reception, book sale and book signing sponsored by the University Bookstore will follow Carey’s speech.

Growing kids, shrinking meals

Centralia R-I school district student Aaron Schwennesen started a petition because he says he isn’t getting enough food in his school lunch and often has to buy more food to get his fill.

Aaron, 14, and some of his friends in the eighth grade at Chester Boren Middle School started the petition — which reads “Please sign here if you would like bigger lunches” — a few weeks after school began. He says the portions are smaller this year.

‘Big sisters’ carry Tigers into conference tourney

The MU women’s soccer team considers itself a family, and like any family about to embark on a road trip, the team is looking to its “big sisters” to help out.

After four years on the team, Lacey Moore and Melissa Peabody are comfortable in their roles as team leaders. Moore has been a captain since her sophomore season and leads on the defensive end of the field. Peabody is one of three seniors playing a major role in the Tiger offense.

Bruins roll into playoffs

Rock Bridge desperately needed a goal. The Bruins had less than a minute to score or they would lose an important game to district foe Jefferson City.

Adam Reed’s third shot in 10 seconds was blocked by Jays’ goalkeeper Dustin Dolce. Defeat seemed imminent.

Missouri offense looks to rebound

Losing three straight games and not scoring a touchdown in six consecutive quarters is a blow to any team’s confidence.

The Missouri football team is no different.

Booth’s emergence boosts Tigers’ hopes

In a Sept. 29 match against Iowa State, the Missouri volleyball team was dealt what appeared to be a major blow: Freshman outside hitter Na Yang, who had started the first 11 matches of the year, had to be helped off the court with a hamstring injury.

Seldom-used sophomore defensive specialist Abbie Booth entered to replace Na. Even with Na’s return, Booth hasn’t left the starting lineup.

Kewpies jump out of district gate

Twice felt nice Tuesday night for Hickman’s soccer team.

The Kewpies (10-12-3) defeated Smith-Cotton 5-1 at Cosmopolitan Park in a rematch of a 1-0 Kewpie victory on Sept. 7.


This morning began the way many people feared and predicted: without an answer on who the next president of the United States will be. At 1 a.m., President Bush was close to the magic number of electoral votes, 270, required for a victory. Ohio and Iowa hung in the balance. Even if answers evolved overnight, questions will linger as to whether challenges could prolong our national angst.

Days until inauguration: 79

Cougars pick up second win of season

Behind a dominating performance from senior Charliss Ridley, the Cougars picked up their second win of the season, beating Olivet Nazarene University 98-91 in Bourbonnais, Ill.

Ridley, a forward, finished with 33 points and 12 rebounds and Lisa Kowalewski added 17 points for Columbia College (2-0).


JEFFERSON CITY — Republican Secretary of State Matt Blunt won Missouri’s hard-fought gubernatorial race early today, riding an overwhelming rural vote to a narrow victory over Democratic State Auditor Claire McCaskill.

Blunt, the son of third-ranking GOP Rep. Roy Blunt, will become Missouri’s second youngest governor when sworn into office in January. His victory also will give Republicans full control of the Capitol for the first time in 82 years.

Voters elevate Carnahan, Steelman; Nixon re-elected

JEFFERSON CITY — Twenty years after Margaret Kelly became the first woman to hold statewide office in Missouri, female candidates were elected to two of Missouri’s top offices Tuesday.

Voters filled three of the state’s executive positions with new officers and re-elected their head prosecutor to a fourth term.

Highway funding measure approved

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A state constitutional amendment to direct all vehicle sales taxes and some gas taxes to improving roads and bridges was overwhelmingly approved Tuesday by Missouri voters.

With 52 percent of the vote counted, the amendment won 79 percent to 21 percent, according to unofficial results.

Graham wins state Senate race

Democrat Chuck Graham was the winner Tuesday night in the fight for 19th District state Senator, but not before Republican Mike Ditmore made him sweat.

Both candidates were wary of declaring triumph early, but by midnight, with 70 percent of the Boone and Randolph county precincts reporting, Graham had more than 53 percent of the vote to Ditmore’s 46.8 percent.

Robb wrangles 24th House seat

Republican Ed Robb wrestled from Democrats the 24th District seat in the Missouri House of Representatives on Tuesday, winning the election over Democratic opponent Travis Ballenger.

“It starts early tomorrow morning,” Robb said as he gathered with other party faithful at the Holiday Inn Executive Center to monitor election returns. “We have to be in Jefferson City at 11.”

Incumbents beat opponents in Mo. House races

Incumbent state representatives in Boone County swept their bids for re-election Tuesday, while political newcomer Judy Baker, a Democrat, dominated her late-arriving Republican opponent, Bob Northup, to win the 25th District seat in the Missouri House.

Baker defeated Northup with 68 percent of the vote with 78 percent of the precincts reporting. She will replace state Rep. Vicky Riback Wilson, also a Democrat, who was prevented by term limits from seeking the office again.

Dwayne Carey elected as Boone County sheriff

Ted Boehm’s 20-year career as Boone County sheriff will come to an end in January with the swearing in of his preferred successor, Dwayne Carey.

With more than half of the votes counted by press time, Carey, the Democrat, had nearly 62 percent of the vote. Republican candidate Mick Covington had about 38 percent.

Democrats keep commission seats

Boone County Commissioners Skip Elkin and Karen Miller, both Democrats, will serve four more years after defeating their Republican opponents in Tuesday’s election.

Elkin, the Northern District commissioner, cruised to victory.

Boone treasurer, public administrator re-elected

Two seasoned politicians beat out two political newcomers to retain their positions as Boone County treasurer and public administrator.

Democratic incumbent Kay Murray beat Republican challenger Fred Evermon in the treasurer’s race by a margin of nearly 2 to 1.