At MU, Elizabeth Smart shares story of her kidnapping

Elizabeth Smart speaks to an audience in Jesse Hall on Friday about her 2002 kidnapping and the importance of perseverance in searching for missing children.

Smart spoke to a crowd of more than 1,200 at Jesse Auditorium on Friday night about her nine-month ordeal at the hands of her captors. Her visit came less than a month after a 10-year-old Springfield girl was kidnapped and killed.

As Columbia schools superintendent, Stiepleman to continue Belcher's goals

Peter Stiepleman, who will become superintendent of Columbia Public Schools in July, said one of his priorities will be focusing on enrichment, opportunity and achievement gaps within the district.

Missouri basketball's Clarkson 'defeated' after loss to Florida

Friday's 72-49 loss to Florida was the end for Missouri's NCAA Tournament hopes. The Tigers wait for Selection Sunday to see their fate, most likely that they will participate in the National Invitation Tournament.

Men's basketball loss probably sends Missouri to NIT

The Tigers' early exit from the SEC tournament probably means Missouri is an NIT team. It could be their first absence from the Big Dance since 2008.

Missouri baseball claims win in conference opener

Jake Ring's RBI single in the seventh inning gave the Tigers the boost they needed to overcome a 2-0 deficit and take the first game of their series with Tennessee.

Missouri thrower Kearsten Peoples finishes 7th at NCAA Indoor Championships

Missouri junior Kearsten Peoples began her weekend in Albuquerque, N.M., with an All-American performance in the weight-throw.

Columbia First Ward council candidates answer development, infrastructure questions

Candidates Ginny Chadwick and Bill Easleyanswered questions from an audience of more than 30 people at a candidate forum hosted by the Boone County Muleskinners on Friday.Tyree Byndom, the third candidate, did not attend.

Parents gather signatures to relocate University Village day care

Parents gathered in Speakers Circle to get more signatures on their petition to relocate the University Village day care. The day care is scheduled for demolition after the student housing development closes June 30. No plans for the future of the center have been announced.

DEAR READER: Kurt Schaefer's bill adds some heft to state's Sunshine Law

Exceptions to the Sunshine Law effectively restrict government transparency in some cases. (Did you know the U.S. didn't even make the top 50 in the World Press Freedom Index?) Legislation in the state Senate would tighten some language in those exceptions.

Boone County collector won't seek re-election after 19 years of service

Boone County Collector Pat Lensmeyer has withdrawn as a candidate for the November election. She has served as collector since 1995.

Two-year drought still causing problems for Missouri farmers

Farmers might be in for another season of soil problems after a record-tying cold winter.

GRAPHIC: Columbia’s renewable energy breakdown

In 2013, nearly 7 percent of Columbia’s total energy expenditure came from renewable energy resources. This is an increase from 5 percent in 2010, but a decrease from nearly 8 percent in 2012.

McMillen brothers combine artistic talents for Columbia business

Adam and Justin McMillen mix wood, concrete, metal and glass to create signs, furniture and more for local businesses looking for an edgy aesthetic. Their clients include The Blue Note, Mojo's and Broadway Brewery.

GENE ROBERTSON: Beware of quick sales pitches and empty promises

Sales pitches can come from the mayor, city manager or the school superintendent.

Missouri gymnastics loses to No. 3 Florida

Missouri gymnastics earned solid team scores on the vault, uneven bars and floor exercise on Friday, but three falls on the balance beam crippled the Tigers' team score in a loss No. 3 Florida, 198.200-194.300.

Missouri tennis drops conference match against LSU

With the loss, the Tigers fell to 5-11 and 0-5 in conference, one game further from the .500 record required for an appearance in the NCAA tournament.

Columbia College softball sweeps doubleheader against Williams Baptist

The Columbia Cougar softball team beat Williams Baptist College twice Friday to begin American Midwest Conference play.

Tolton baseball ready to build legacy in second season

Coach Mike Johnson and his players are proud of the foundation they set in the team's first year, and they hope this year will be a step toward building a tradition of excellence.

Columbia man reports theft of pet chickens

Will Paulus came home from a doctor's appointment early Tuesday afternoon to find that four of his chickens were gone from his yard.

Fans react to Missouri men's basketball loss to Florida

Fans of Missouri men's basketball posted their comments about the 72-49 loss to Florida on Friday afternoon. Some were optimistic when the score was tied at the half, but started to blame coach Frank Haith for Florida's growing lead. Others were excited for the National Invitational Tournament.