Defense claims police coercion in Hayes trial

The first day of the murder trial of Dwight T. Hayes, center, who is accused in the shooting death of Cynthia White at the Comfort Inn on Nov. 24, 2007.

The trial of Dwight Hayes, the man accused of shooting hotel manager Cynthia White in November, continued Wednesday. Hayes told police there was a second shooter, but the prosecution claims otherwise. The defense asserts Hayes was coerced into telling police what they wanted to hear.

Top offical for Gov. Blunt says Nixon broke law by mishandling settlement money

Administration Commissioner Larry Schepker said Nixon’s office illegally deposited a $630,00 settlement check from a prescription drug company, Caremark, into an office trust fund.

Watching the Watchdog series kicks off

More than 30 participants joined in a community dialogue Wednesday night to discuss the “five W’s” — the who, what, where, when and why — and how of the news media.

Street crime unit to combat violent crime

The Columbia Police Department will create a four-officer Street Crimes Unit to combat violent crime, it announced Wednesday in a news release.

Tax relief proposal for flood victims pending in U.S. Senate

A tax relief proposal would let Midwest flood victims use planned-retirement money and business tax breaks if passed by the Senate.

Columbia cook sheds light<br>on cooking with soy products

Leigh Lockhart, owner of Main Squeeze Cafe, filmed a video Wednesday on how to cook with tofu and soy products. The film is part of a series called “Columbia Cooks,” which is a result of the city receiving a grant from the Missouri Foundation for Health to film videos on healthy cooking to be broadcast on Columbia’s cable channel.

Upcoming garage sale to benefit American Ex-Prisoners of War

The Central Missouri Chapter of American Ex-Prisoners of War will host a garage sale to benefit the organization from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday and Saturday at the Columbia Jaycees Building at 2315 N. Stadium.

Environmentally friendly parking lot installed

A Columbia educational farm is installing an environmentally friendly parking lot.

Police looking to question father in death of 2-year-old boy

Police are investigating the death of a 2-year-old boy. Family members identified the boy’s father, Horace C. Johnson, as being responsible for some of the child’s injuries, which included various degrees of bruising.

McCaskill a valued part of Obama's campaign

Obama calls her one of his closest advisers. Her name has popped up as a potential running mate. Says one strategist: "They want to use her so much because she’s the epitome of the target voter they’re looking for."

UPDATE: Anheuser-Busch reportedly will reject InBev's offer

The Wall Street Journal said Anheuser-Busch is expected to argue that InBev's offer undervalues the St. Louis-based brewer. The rejection could set the state for a hostile takeover battle.

One-car accident on Stadium sends woman to hospital

The crash occurred late Wednesday morning in the 3500 block of North Stadium Boulevard. The driver, Ashley Melville, 22, was injured and will stay in the hospital overnight, but her injuries were not considered life-threatening.

Man beaten, robbed in central Columbia

Three suspects are being sought in an early morning robbery at the intersection of Hickman and Washington avenues. The attackers took cash and the victim’s cell phone.

Monsanto's profit jumped 42 percent in 3rd quarter

The St. Louis-based company raised its earning projections for the year, but its share price fell after its earnings were released because third-quarter revenue was below expectations.

Inmate pleads guilty to making threats to Wal-Mart

A Missouri inmate has pleaded guilty to making threats to lace food products with cyanide at a Kansas City Wal-Mart.

Former U.N. weapons inspector speaks to high school students

Former U.N. Weapons Inspector Scott Ritter made a surprise visit to a group of Missouri high school students to discuss the prospect of war with Iran and how to utilize citizenship into representative democracy.

11 cases of tumors in Cameron residents sparks investigation

Over the last six years, at least 11 residents of Cameron have been diagnosed with tumors, starting an official inquiry and testing into possible causes. Officials say it is unlikely that one thing is causing the tumors.

Miller County assessor named new agricultural director for Missouri

Gov. Matt Blunt’s office said that current agriculture director Katie Smith is stepping down “in anticipation of an expanding family.”

Missouri's prison population shows decline

A new Justice Department report shows Missouri was the only state to see consistently declining prison populations over an 18-month period. Since then, it has risen only slightly.

St. Louis mosquitoes test positive for West Nile Virus

The cases are the first reported this year in St. Louis County. No human infections have been reported this year.