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Candidates debate at club

Continuing with its weekly invitation to Democratic state representative candidates to join in debate, the Muleskinners Democratic club hosted candidates for the 24th District seat Friday.

Travis Ballenger and Greg Casey were given time to introduce themselves to the audience as well as respond to questions posed by the moderator and people in attendance.

Columbia police officer escapes protective custody

Columbia police officer Steven Rios was talked down from a parking garage ledge on the MU campus Friday night after escaping from protective custody across the street at a mental health center.

Columbia police Capt. Zim Schwartze said officers believed Rios intended to harm himself by jumping from the roof of the five-story garage. Rios, 27, escaped from the Mid-Missouri Mental Health Center; Schwartze said police were notified at 7:17 p.m. He ran west from the facility and ran to the top of the nearby Maryland Avenue garage, Schwartze said.

Prepare with care

Although CARE is receiving more money to expand the program this summer and serve a record number of youth, some returning employers are hiring fewer trainees.

“We had four CARE kids, but this year we just have one because there was too much supervisory work,” said Dee Anne Sneed, office support staff at MU Child Development Lab and CARE trainee supervisor. “Twenty hours is a lot,” she said, referring to the number hours per week trainees work with employers.

Summer classes a logistical problem

Starting Monday, more than 7,000 Columbia students will return to the classroom, the largest summer enrollment ever for the district. They will attend the Summer Adventure program, a 24-day school session coordinated by Newton Learning.

This is the first year the district has hired an independent company to organize summer school, offered for kindergarten through 12th-grade students. With increased publicity, monetary attendance incentives — for example, a $100 shopping card for perfect attendance — and conveniences such as bus transportation and school lunches, the Newton Learning program has attracted more than twice the projected enrollment.

Wheelchair users make case for better access

Bryant Savidan travels to the Boone County Courthouse about twice a month. Savidan, who uses a wheelchair, often struggles to get the heavy wooden doors open on his own.

“There are no automatic doors for disability access into the courthouse, and the doors are extremely heavy,” he told the Boone County Commission at its regular meeting Thursday.

Faculty join effort to reform athletics

Expect more faculty oversight of intercollegiate athletics at MU.

The MU Faculty Council on Thursday voted in favor of joining the Coalition On Intercollegiate Athletics, an alliance of 36 faculty senates from colleges and universities working toward athletics reform. The vote was unanimous with two abstentions.

Lewis and Clark re-enactors add Boonville to tour

The Corps of Discovery II wasn’t originally scheduled to stop in Boonville until Mayor Danielle Blanck got involved.

Blanck petitioned the National Park Service, which is sponsoring the traveling exhibit about the Lewis and Clark bicentennial, and persuaded neighboring towns to join the cause.

Memory boxes

The box holds two dozen love letters, a marriage certificate and pictures of two lovebirds in a typical ’70s style: Roger is proudly showing off a long moustache, sideburns and a tight-fitting white suit as Barbara glances at him as if under a spell.

Gloria Jett gets paid to go through safe-deposit boxes. The state’s Unclaimed Property division staff supervisor’s job is to find the Roger and Barbara and hundreds of other owners of safe-deposit box contents.

2 arrested in connection with rape

Two men were arrested in Springfield at 5:40 this morning in connection with the reported rape of an 18-year-old Columbia woman.

Investigators learned through a temporary labor agency that Joel S. Gittings, 36, and Roy “Kevin” Evans, 44, were in Springfield. The Boone County Sheriff’s Department notified Springfield police, who made the arrests when the two returned to the labor agency’s office.

Mid-Missouri honors Reagan

Memories of events and quotes from Ronald Reagan's presidency filled the air on Friday during a memorial observance in his honor at the Courthouse Square in Columbia.

More than 100 people attended the 45-minute ceremony, some of them not old enough to remember the former president's time in office.

MU students play role in new senior housing

Upon first glance, TigerPlace, the MU Sinclair School of Nursing’s residential apartment facility for seniors, looks more like an upscale hotel than an apartment building. Walking trails, gardens, even on-site veterinary care, are a few of the amenities available to future residents.

TigerPlace — which had its grand opening Thursday — is operated by MU in partnership with Americare, a Sikeston-based company. Eleven of the 33 units have been reserved, and residents are waiting for city approval to move in to the apartments.

Evidence could spend weeks in lab

Forensic evidence collected by detectives investigating the murder of MU student Jesse Valencia could take weeks to process.

Capt. Steve Hinesly, director of the Missouri Highway Patrol crime laboratory, which will process the evidence for the Columbia Police Department, said depending on the type of samples submitted, it could be four to six weeks before they are returned to local investigators.

School board reviews budget

A proposal to cut funding for two Columbia Public Schools security officers drew the most discussion Thursday night when the Board of Education reviewed a proposed $174.2 million budget.

Under the spending plan, the district’s two full-time juvenile officers would each work a half day instead of a full day. Jacque Cowherd, deputy superintendent for administration, told the board the change would save about $55,000.

Kappa Alpha put on social probation

The MU chapter of the Kappa Alpha Order has been placed on probation after a cannon exploded on the front lawn of the fraternity house in late April.

Christian Basi, assistant director of the MU News Bureau, confirmed Thursday that Kappa Alpha has been placed on social probation. The punishment means the fraternity is not allowed to hold events involving alcohol, Basi said.

Several roads see speed limit changes

The paving of gravel roads and the results of traffic studies prompted the Boone County Commission on Thursday to change speed limits on several roads. The roads and changes included:

Columbia police officer taken into protective custody

A Columbia police officer was taken into protective custody Thursday night

after threatening to harm himself, police chief Randy Boehm said in a release Friday morning.

Health care in a Winnebago

A big sign on the side of this Winnebago tells you its not Grandma and Grandpa on their way to Arizona. “Missouri Mobile Health,” the bold letters declare.

Inside, faculty and students from MU’s School of Health Professions are on their way to rural Missouri to provide free, preventive health care to the underinsured.

Officer on leave tied to victim

An officer with the Columbia Police Department is on paid leave because of his personal relationship with homicide victim Jesse Valencia, Police Chief Randy Boehm said Wednesday.

Boehm declined to name the officer, who he said came forward after investigators had received numerous tips about a relationship between Valencia and a member of the force.

MU may join athletics reform group

Today, the MU Faculty Council may take another step toward athletics reform on campus and nationwide.

At its afternoon meeting, the council is expected to discuss joining the Coalition On Intercollegiate Athletics, an alliance of faculty senates at Division 1-A schools working to develop athletics reform guidelines on a national level and on a local level for every registered institution.

Fayette extras get chance to see film

The extras who have waited more than a year to see the movie filmed in Fayette last summer will now have a chance to look for themselves on the big screen.

The movie “Killer Diller” — originally named “Bottleneck” — is expected to be shown in Columbia on either July 12 or 14, depending on theater availability. It will also be in St. Louis on July 11 as part of the 4th Annual St. Louis Filmmakers Showcase at Landmark’s Tivoli Theatre.

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