Dorothy Jones, whose son drowned this summer, met with Columbia police Thursday to find answers surrounding her son’s death. Omarr J. Burress, 18, died June 24 after scaling a fence at the Douglass Family Aquatic Center, 400 N. Providence Road, and drowning in the center’s pool. Witnesses said they heard Burress yell for help about 10 minutes after he climbed the fence. One of the witnesses performed CPR on Burress, police said. Burress was later taken to University Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Henry White, professor of physics at MU, may soon have a new lab to create artificial light identical to sunlight, but more efficient than regular light bulbs. White is one MU faculty member whose research will benefit from the construction of the MU Business Incubator, which is one step closer to being built with the announcement of a $2.5 million grant.
Although Lunch in the Park’s attendance has declined by nearly 3,000 since its peak in 2003, program officials say the free-meal program will continue next year. The program, ending its fifth year today, serves nutritious meals to children and teens at Douglass Park.
James Clifton Olson, president of the University of Missouri System from 1977-84, will be remembered as a historian and a leader at both the community and university levels. Olson, 88, died on Wednesday, Aug. 17, 2005, at his home in Kansas City. He suffered from kidney and back problems. “We will miss him terribly, not only as chancellor of UMKC and president of the UM System but also as a very dynamic historian,” UM System President Elson Floyd said. “He was someone who really understood how universities work together, and the icing on the cake was his being a historian.”
Flags at state facilities have been lowered to half-staff in memory of a Missouri trooper killed in the line of duty late Wednesday. Flags will remain lowered until dusk Saturday.
MU police arrested a 45-year-old Columbia man in Peace Park on Thursday morning after passersby reported that he had been exposing himself. The man, who was accompanied by a small white dog, was arrested on suspicion of second-degree sexual misconduct, police Capt. Brian Weimer said. The dog was turned over to animal control authorities.
SPRINGFIELD — Vice President Dick Cheney told a veterans group Thursday that the United States must stay the course in fighting terrorists in Iraq and elsewhere. Cheney also thanked the veterans at the Military Order of the Purple Heart convention for their service and defense of freedom. The Purple Heart is awarded to U.S. veterans wounded in combat.
SEDALIA — Democratic Attorney General Jay Nixon said Thursday that he is “very interested” in challenging Republican Gov. Matt Blunt in the 2008 election. Nixon, in his fourth term as attorney general, previously has hinted about seeking higher office and his comments Thursday were his strongest yet about his political ambitions.
The MU student who was hit by a car then dragged by a truck while riding her bike Thursday afternoon was identified today as Krysten Chambrot of Miramar, Fla. Police had withheld her name until her family could be notified. Chambrot, 19, a journalism major, was riding east on Rollins Street across College Avenue near MU’s Life Sciences Center at about 3:30 when she was struck by a Mazda Miata heading north on College. She apparently then veered into the path of a Columbia Water and Light truck also heading north in the next lane. Chambrot was knocked down and dragged several feet until the truck stopped, pinning her underneath. Columbia Fire Department rescue workers pulled her from beneath the truck.
Ameren UE, Columbia’s biggest supplier of natural gas, wants to raise its prices starting next month. The price increase, now awaiting approval by the Missouri Public Service Commission, comes in response to the rising cost of natural gas from suppliers.
Held in the Boone County Jail for one week charged with murder in his mother’s death, Braxton Gentry called his arrest “ridiculous” Wednesday and expressed anger that he wasn’t allowed to attend his mother’s funeral. Gentry, 47, unshaven and dressed in a striped prison jumpsuit, said that his life centered on the woman he is accused of killing and that he took care of her for seven years — leaving only her more complicated medical care to visiting nurses.
Students at Rock Bridge and Hickman high schools scored better than the state average on this year’s ACT college entrance exam, an administrator with Columbia Public School District said Wednesday. Rock Bridge students achieved an overall score of 23.7 out of a possible 36, and Hickman achieved a score of 23.5, said Sally Beth Lyon, director of research, assessment and accountability.
JEFFERSON CITY — Gov. Matt Blunt on Wednesday called lawmakers into a Sept. 6 special session to impose new restrictions on abortions, but he set forth a narrow agenda that likely would prevent passage of a proposed ban on certain stem cell research. Blunt had pledged to call a special session after lawmakers adjourned in May without passing any anti-abortion legislation, despite large self-described “pro-life’’ majorities in the House and Senate.
Faced with surging gasoline prices, local businesses are hoping for relief before they must pass costs on to their customers. Prices in Boone County have increased from $2.18 last month to the current average of $2.40, according to Mike Right of AAA. A year ago the price was $1.79.
A 27-year-old Columbia man drove a borrowed car into Jefferson Junior High School about 2 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, police said. Daniel Schulten was driving south on Seventh Street when he ran a stop sign at Hickman Avenue and hit the northwest corner of the building, according to police and witnesses.
A new policy from the American Beverage Association to cut down on soft drinks offered in public school vending machines trails Columbia Public School District’s year-old policy. In 2004-05, the district decided that vending machines should not be available in elementary schools and, in middle schools, they should not be turned on for students during school hours.
In late July, well-meaning people brought abandoned baby bunnies and baby birds to the Missouri Department of Conservation, according to department officials. But the baby birds died before department officials were able to do anything, and they had to turn the bunnies loose in the 113-acre woods behind their building. According to officials, this is a daily occurrence during the summer. People bring in injured wild animals or animals they think are abandoned — but they are often not.
Since fleeing from Nazi Germany in 1936, Ruth Duckworth has progressed from being a member of the émigré movement of art to one of the most prominent living ceramic sculptors in the modern era. Duckworth has worked with various media and techniques, including stone carving, metal fabrication and bronze casting, during her 50 years as an artist. However, she is best known for her work in clay sculpture.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — By the end of the month, the state House of Representatives plans to remove many home addresses and telephone numbers of legislators from its Web site to comply with a new state law. The law states that no court, state or local agency shall post on the Internet the home address, Social Security number or telephone number of any elected or appointed official without first obtaining the official’s written permission. The ban takes effect Aug. 28.
Two angus steers staged a jailbreak at the intersection of Conley Road and U.S. 63 Tuesday morning. Jay Lewis of Ashland was driving 17 of his steers to a sale barn at Boonville when the escape occurred.