A day of graphic detail

The murder trial of Steven Rios began Tuesday with prosecutors showing photos of the dead body of 23-year-old Jesse Valencia and concluded with lingering questions about the lack of a weapon and the possible misuse of a police restraint technique.

In his opening statement at the Boone County Courthouse, special prosecutor Morley Swingle of Cape Girardeau portrayed Valencia as a fun-loving college student with aspirations of attending law school. He described Valencia’s last hours, as he went from party to party, and Swingle then gave a graphic account of Valencia’s death.

Missouri consumer advocate is fired

JEFFERSON CITY — The state’s official consumer advocate has been fired by Republican Gov. Matt Blunt’s administration after a legislative session in which he criticized “the anti-consumer initiatives” backed by Blunt and Republican lawmakers.

Floyd, UM curators object to UMKC split

KANSAS CITY — The University of Missouri will not support any effort to separate its Kansas City campus from the university system, President Elson Floyd said last week.

Two high-profile consultants serving on a task force evaluating the relationship between the University of Missouri-Kansas City and the community suggested at recent forums that the Kansas City campus could increase local fundraising ability if it were on its own.

Bank on city’s north side robbed

Employees at a Paris Road bank were in the process of alerting other area banks to a suspicious person they had seen in their bank when First National Bank and Trust Co. was robbed by a person who fit the description, Columbia police said.

“At that bank, they were very aware that something was wrong, that he was not acting in a normal manner,” Capt. Zim Schwartze said. Schwartze would not name the bank.

Summer school’s troubles tackled

After ironing out some trouble spots with summer school, the Columbia Public Schools have worked hard to make changes that include a streamlined transportation system, incentives that can be donated to charity and a curriculum that will better parallel the regular academic year.

The district renewed its contract with private summer school provider Newton Learning, and the changes announced at a Board of Education meeting Monday will go into effect on June 13, the first day of summer school. Last year, a record 6,000 were enrolled in the tuition-free program.

Columbia kids reap rewards for reading

About 1,200 students from every elementary and middle school in Columbia gathered on at MU on Tuesday for the annual Columbia Reading Club Day as a reward for taking part in their school’s extracurricular reading programs.

Students who completed the program’s requirements spent the day listening to speeches by a group of authors and storytellers rather than sitting in their usual classrooms. To earn the reward, students typically read at least 10 books, said Gentry Middle School media specialist Susan Nichols.

Dig begins at farm ‘steeped in history’

It’s nothing much, yet — broken chunks of bricks, scraps of mortar, square iron nails, fingernail-size bits of pottery, a pea-sized piece of lead buckshot. But every fragment could help build the story of Lexington, a one-time overnight stop for settlers headed west that was established not long after the War of 1812 broke out.

What’s left of the settlement is being excavated by about a dozen volunteers on Bill and Judy Heffernan’s 500-acre farm about five miles northeast of Rocheport.

Cards fail to capitalize

PHILADELPHIA — Cory Lidle can thank Bobby Abreu and Philadelphia’s offense for this victory. He sure didn’t get any help from the left side of his infield.

Abreu hit his eighth home run in nine games, helping the Philadelphia Phillies overcome five errors in a 7-5 win against the St. Louis Cardinals on Tuesday night.

Royals waste hot start

KANSAS CITY — Rafael Palmeiro had four hits, including his 555th home run, and drove in five runs, helping the Baltimore Orioles rally from a six-run deficit to beat the Kansas City Royals 12-8 on Tuesday night.

Brian Roberts added his 11th home run and Sal Fasano had a pinch-hit shot for the Orioles (25-13), who moved 12 games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 1997 season.

Hickman finishes third at state golf

The Hickman boys’ golf team slipped a bit on the second day of the Class 5 championships, finishing third behind Rockhurst and Poplar Bluff.

The Kewpies, who led after a first-day score of 300, shot 319 Tuesday at Silo Ridge Golf Course in Bolivar, but that didn’t diminish coach Clark Swisher’s enthusiasm.

Kewpies cruise in opener

The Hickman baseball team took control of its Class 4 District 10 opener early and rolled past Rock Bridge 11-2 in Sedalia on Tuesday.

Justin Jackson’s first-inning double gave the No. 1 seed Kewpies a two-run lead, and Ryan Nesbitt’s two-out single in the third capped a four-run inning that put Hickman ahead 6-0.

Archuleta ahead of rehab schedule

ST. LOUIS — The best barometer that something was wrong with Adam Archuleta’s back last season came behind closed doors when somebody else had to tie his shoelaces.

“It was pretty much a nightmare,” the St. Louis Rams safety said Tuesday. “I really probably had no business being out there.

Sandwich Specialties

The panini is a sandwich of sophistication that can easily be made at home. Originating in Italy, the panini is a cafe sandwich served heated and grilled on a sandwich press.

Panera sells several paninis, including the Smokehouse Turkey Panini grilled on Artisan three-cheese bread and the Frontega Chicken Panini grilled on rosemary and onion focaccia.

Downtown shop tries to sell unique, big-city products

Sarah Horn, the owner of SHA, which is located at 917 E. Broadway, is

determined to incorporate a big city feel into Columbia shopping.