Major fishkill hits MU lake

When Frank Ramos went to try his luck at an MU lake near Midway last week, he was hoping to catch some fish. Instead, he found thousands of dead fish floating along the banks. Ramos, a local angler who frequents the lake, said dead fish were still evident on Sunday at Missouri Dairy Farm Lake No. 1 north of Midway near Highway 40.

Official: No chance other football players infected

Viral meningitis, the illness being attributed to the death of MU football player Aaron O’Neal, is generally not serious and isn’t contagious. “There’s no chance at this point that anyone else on the football team has it or anything like that, ... because it has a very short incubation period and we had no reports of that during that time,” said Heather Baer of the city/county health department. “We don’t want people to worry or panic, because it’s not something everyone contracts.”

Mail carrier unharmed when tree hits truck

As a Columbia postal letter carrier, Fred Sheridan was prepared for rain or shine but not the tree that fell on his mail truck on Tuesday. The tree hit the back side of the mail truck around 11 a.m. while the 18-year veteran of the U.S. Postal Service was delivering mail about a block away at University Avenue and High Street. Although he was unharmed, Sheridan said this was the closest he has come to danger since a dog bit him years ago.

Kan. parents challenge school reading list

A series of book challenges just across the border in Kansas demonstrates how volatile the issue of school reading materials can be. An ardent parents’ group in the Blue Valley school district in Overland Park, Kan., is seeking the removal of 14 books from the Blue Valley reading list. It also has a student group with counterarguments, lively school board meetings and extensive Web communication. The battle has played out in the pages of the Kansas City Star and Pitch Weekly as the rhetoric grows increasingly heated.

More students flocking to Stephens’ programs

Stephens College is continuing to write its turnaround story. This fall, 56 more first-year and transfer students are on campus than last year, up from 199.

Excerpts from the lawsuit filed by O’Neal’s family

On July 12, 2005, Aaron O’Neal attended a pre-season strength and conditioning workout at Faurot Field which was supervised and coordinated by the strength and conditioning coaches and team trainers. Near the end of the workout on July 12, 2005, Aaron O’Neal began to struggle; he was visibly distressed; and he had great difficulty physically completing the last few drills.

Stabbing is eighth homicide this year in Columbia

Columbia police arrested two men Monday afternoon in connection with the stabbing death of a 19-year-old man in west-central Columbia. Alejandro Flores-Ramirez was stabbed multiple times around 1:35 a.m. behind a home at 202 Wheaton Court, according to Columbia police, who found Flores-Ramirez collapsed at the corner of Clinton Drive and West Ash Street at 1:40 a.m. He was taken to University Hospital, where he was later pronounced dead.

Parents argue for removal of book

When Cerise Ivey of Lee’s Summit first heard from a friend about Lois Lowry’s “The Giver” in 2003, she went to Wal-Mart to buy a copy. Her son would be starting sixth-grade the next year in the Blue Springs School District and would be just a couple of years away from the eighth-grade curriculum in which “The Giver” was taught. She wanted to know what he might be reading.

More freshmen, minorities at MU

Kelly Goltschman sat on the wooden benches near the University Bookstore late Monday morning, studying the back of her Tiger Guide. Although she had finished her classes on the first day of school at MU, she was looking at a university map, finding buildings for her Tuesday classes and mapping out a route to them. “I would be lost without the map in the back, so it definitely helps,” said Goltschman, a freshman from St. Louis who scouted out some of her classes this past weekend.

Audit shows millions in child support held

JEFFERSON CITY — The state has not distributed millions of dollars in collected child support payments, often because it lacks a current address for the custodial parent, according to a state audit released Monday. The audit found that as of February, the Department of Social Services’ Family Support Division held $4.1 million in child support collections that hadn’t been paid to custodial parents, noncustodial parents and the state. Some of that money was collected as long ago as 1997.

Car topples mailboxes

Cars drove slowly past the Columbia Post Office on Walnut Street on Monday as two maintainence men drilled holes into the ground. Sweat dripped down one man’s face, and he wiped it off with his red handkerchief in between drills. Another anchored five collection boxes into the ground beside the mailbox dropoff lane. Around 1 a.m. Monday, an unidentified vehicle plowed into seven collection boxes and a sign standing nearby. The boxes were completely ripped off their bases and their legs were destroyed. They were left scattered along the road.

Decision on Missouri bases nears

WASHINGTON — Three months after the Pentagon proposed cuts that would slash more than 3,600 military and civilian jobs in Missouri, state officials are bracing for a final vote this week by the commission charged with streamlining America’s military complex. Starting Wednesday, the nine-member Base Closure and Realignment Commission will publicly debate the fates of military installations nationwide. At the hearings, scheduled to last through Saturday, the commissioners are to vote on each installation.

Free gun locks are ­popular in Boone County

Demand for free gun locks has been so great that the Boone County Sheriff’s Department, which received hundreds of the locks at the first of the year through the Project Childsafe program, has already run out. The program is part of President Bush’s Project Safe Neighborhoods Initiative, which aims to reduce gun-related crimes in the United States.

Mo. film office moving to MU

The state Department of Economic Development announced Monday that the Missouri Film Office will transfer to MU. Under the agreement, the state will pay MU $150,000 a year to manage the office, which works to promote the film industry in Missouri. The move, from Jefferson City to McReynolds Hall on campus, will save the state $50,000 this year, according to the department.

Missouri State University to be official Saturday

SPRINGFIELD — Some things never change on the first day of college. Freshmen wander aimlessly, campus maps in hand. Fraternity and sorority members wear their Greek letters with pride. Professors pass out syllabuses and crack cringe-inducing jokes.

Grant to add nurse at jail

Boone Hospital Center Trustees decided Monday to renew grant money to pay for an additional nurse at the Boone County Jail. The grant of $150,000, spread evenly over two years, will pay for a third registered nurse to treat inmates at the jail rather than at area hospitals. Because Missouri counties are not required to pay medical expenses for inmates, hospitals often end up paying inmates’ treatment costs.

Missouri football player died of meningitis

Valerie Rao, the Boone County medical examiner, announced Tuesday that Aaron O’Neal’s July 12 death was caused by lymphocytic meningitis. O’Neal, a redshirt-freshman linebacker from Creve Coeur, died following a pre-season conditioning workout at the University. Also Tuesday Lonnie O’Neal, the father of Aaron O’Neal, filed a wrongful death suit.

The comforts of home

Gloria Simmons immediately felt at home when she first visited the Ernest & Eugenia Wyatt Guest House, and that’s the whole idea. Simmons, who lives at the Lake of the Ozarks, receives radiation treatment for cancer of the lymph nodes every day at the Ellis Fischel Cancer Center. Her home is 87 miles from Columbia and she is constantly tired because of her treatments.

Foreign students get MU welcome

Being an international student can be a challenging experience, especially at the beginning. About 1,400 students from around the world were enrolled at MU during the 2004-05 school year, and that number is expected to increase this fall.

Heat could affect school schedules

In case of extreme heat and humidity, Columbia Public Schools will announce decisions about early dismissal on the previous evening. Notification will be made through local media. School begins Wednesday. Fans will operate in the most-needed areas, with water breaks throughout the day. The early dismissal schedule follows: Schools dismissing at noon are Benon, Blue Ridge, Cedar Ridge, Fairview, Field, Grant, Lee, Midway Heights, New Haven, Parkade, Ridgeway, Rock Bridge Elementary, Russell, Two-Mile Prairie and Stephens College Early Childhood Preschool.