Ashland unites to reopen library

The Ashland community has united to help reopen its library after freezing temperatures caused a pipe to break in the ceiling, caus-ing water damage to the building.

“Anytime you have that kind of situation, the silver lining is the community support,” said Melissa Carr, director of the Daniel Boone Regional Library.

Officers in recovery

Columbia police Officer Molly Bowden opened her eyes Wednesday evening after being shot three times in the neck and shoulder Monday night.

Columbia Police Capt. Sam Hargadine said Bowden’s condition was improving, but she was still in intensive care at University Hospital. She was in critical condition as of 10 p.m. Wednesday.

Brown had just started new beat

Curtis Brown, the Columbia police officer who was shot in the right bicep on Worley Avenue Tuesday morning, was released from University Hospital on Wednesday afternoon.

He picked up his house key at the department and left, Columbia police Capt. Sam Hargadine said.

Aging in place

Bettye Jackson said she feels blessed for the things in her life. She feels blessed for her five successful children, her bountiful garden and the chance to age in a safe, comfortable neighborhood.

“This place makes you feel good about being old,” Jackson said. “I think every older person should have a place like this.”

Jackson is a resident of Hanover Estates, one of Columbia’s low-income, senior-accessible housing units. Living in the same apartment for seven years has given Jackson a sense of pride.

MU takes up garage security

MU officials have begun discussing whether the Maryland Avenue parking garage — where a homicide, two suicides and a suicide attempt have occurred in the past year — needs more attention from law enforcement.

Several hospital employees who use the garage said they feel safe there. Others aren’t as comfortable.

Coach arrested in child-predation sting

Boone County Detective Andy Anderson arrested Jeffrey Vernace of Valley Park at noon Saturday on suspicion of enticing a child to meet him to engage in sexual misconduct.

Anderson is leading an undercover investigation that began Oct. 1 into enticement of Boone County children over the Internet. As part of the investigation, Anderson enters Internet chat rooms and poses as female children between the ages of 12 and 14.

Artist reveals designs for Stephens Lake art

Carol Fleming has a vision for Stephens Lake Park. She would like you to be a part of it.

“The beauty of Stephens Lake Park lies in how the land flows,” Fleming said. “The rolling hills rising above the lake soothes the soul.”

Police shooting Suspect dies

A 23-year-old Columbia man died Tuesday of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after separate shootings sent two Columbia police officers to the hospital.

The man, Richard Thiel Evans, shot himself in the head after police tried to apprehend him near his parents’ Park De Ville home Tuesday morning. Evans, son of former Columbia city attorney David Evans, died about 4:45 p.m. at University Hospital.

Support pours out for Bowden

Fellow police officers. Firefighters. Friends and family. Members of her church.

They came to University Hospital to help in any way they could.

Shootings lock down 2 schools

The shootings in Columbia’s Park DeVille neighborhood occurred as students were arriving at nearby Smithton Middle School, where the school day begins at 7:50 a.m.

Teachers and staff at Smithton worked to quickly get children off buses and to a secure location inside the school, said Jacque Cowherd, deputy superintendent of Columbia Public Schools.

First shooting captured on videotape

When Columbia police officer Molly Bowden made what appeared to be a routine traffic stop at 9:50 p.m. Monday, it was recorded by a video camera mounted on her dashboard.

Although the video has not been released, Police Chief Randy Boehm said it includes important evidence of the shooting of Bowden.

Evans’ records show a violent history

Richard T. Evans had a history of violence and drug use, according to court records.

Evans was charged with second-degree property damage of his parents’ home in March 1999, according to court records, and was sentenced to shock detention and counseling. He was also ordered not to have unlawful contact with his parents, David and Kathryn Evans.

Victim gives stabbing details

With the help of one of the victims, police are beginning to piece together a blow-by-blow account of the stabbing at a Columbia convenience store that left one man dead and another man critically injured.

According to the probable cause statement filed by Columbia police Detective Tim Giger, Deandre Terry, 20, of Columbia was stabbed in the heart while trying to help his friend Ricky Murray, 32, also of Columbia, as he was being stabbed.

Leads still sought in MU researcher’s death

Capt. Brian Weimer of the MU Police Department said investingators do not have any new leads in the investigation of the death of MU researcher Jeong Im.

Im, 72, was found stabbed to death in the trunk of his burning car Friday afternoon. The car was found in the Maryland Street parking garage at MU.

Drama fosters diversity

Anguished immigrants huddle together in the pit of a slave ship making its way to the United States. It’s a small but disturbing example of how diversity was created in this country.

Six performers involved in the InterACT Teen-to-Teen Theatre group will act out this scene and many others Thursday in an effort to portray the lives of immigrants in the United States. The group will perform the original production, “The Promised Land … Harmony in Diversity,” at the Columbia Values Diversity Celebration.

Blunt reverses state union rule

JEFFERSON CITY — At his first press conference as Missouri’s governor, Matt Blunt shot down measures supporting collective bargaining by state workers and signed several cost-cutting measures.

And the Republican chief executive hinted the first cuts won’t be the last, or the deepest.

Blunt looks to the future

As Gov. Matt Blunt stood on the Capitol steps taking the oath of office to become Missouri’s 54th governor Monday, Columbia resident Pat Tull couldn’t help but notice Blunt’s youth.

“He talked a lot of about the future,” said Tull, 76, “Well, he is pretty young and I am pretty old, so we will have to see if all that vim and vigor he has will make him successful.”

Student’s killer gets 25 years

Taron Crawford, 20, of Kansas City, Kan., was sentenced to 25 years in prison for the shooting death of MU sophomore Charles Blondis.

Taron Crawford has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for the shooting death of an MU student.

Tsunami aid is early tax break

The federal government has decided to be charitable with those who have been charitable.

President Bush signed a bill into law Friday that allows taxpayers the option of deducting tsunami-related donations made before this Jan. 31 on their 2004 or 2005 tax return.

Slain scientist recalled as thoughtful, kind

Many of Jeong Im’s friends and co-workers still talk about him in the present tense, as if he might show up any minute at the laboratory where he worked or at a neighbor’s doorstep, vegetables from his garden in hand.

They remember him as a kind and thoughtful man with a sense of humor that reflected his intellect, a hard worker with a passion for science and a respected elder in Columbia’s tightknit circle of Korean immigrants.