Galloping toward success, teen ropes in rodeo

Christy Smith’s family teases her about her rodeo skills when they tell about her mom falling off a horse when she was just a few weeks pregnant with Christy. Since then Christy has taken her fair share of tumbles, but has improved from each one.

The 18-year-old Christy Smith from Clark is one of 90 high school-age competitors taking part in this weekend’s Missouri High School Rodeo State Finals, also known as MHSR, at the Boone County Fairgrounds.

New degree to focus on benefiting Mo. farmers

This fall, MU will become the first educational institution in the Midwest to offer an undergraduate degree with an emphasis in sustainable agriculture.

The sustainable agriculture degree program “is structured more toward a holistic approach to agriculture that includes the farm, environment and community and incorporates the social, environmental and economic components of food production and consumption,” said Tom Payne, MU vice chancellor for agriculture and dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.

Watercooler: Disturbing death

Jesse Valencia spent the night of Friday, June 4 at SoCo, a Columbia nightclub. The next day, Valencia was in a Wilson Avenue yard, sprawled between two apartment buildings and clad only in a pair of athletic shorts — dead of a neck laceration.

How safe is your favorite restaurant?

When we sit down to a restaurant meal, we aren’t usually thinking about the temperature of our meat or the presence of rodents or bacteria.

But a Missourian analysis of inspections shows that several Boone County restaurants have a history of critical violations, even after repeated warnings.

Police seize items from Rios’ home

An investigative report released Wednesday said police searched the home of Columbia Police Officer Steven Rios on Friday for a folding knife, clothing and “trace evidence to include blood, hairs, fibers, or any other evidence related to the murder of Jesse Valencia.”

Police found clothes and trace materials, according to an inventory of the search, but no folding knife. Valencia, a 23-year-old MU student, was found dead on June 5 with his throat cut.

Ex-owner labels wall as unsafe

Early in a contentious second day of testimony in the Marcus Floyd involuntary manslaughter trial, prosecutors projected a photograph onto a large, white screen.

Members of Christine Ewing’s family drew an audible breath and turned their eyes away.

City trains employees to save lives

The city of Columbia this year has completed training 250 employees in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the use of defibrillators.

The most recent training session, for eight employees, was held last week at the Parkade Center. The training began in January.

Chest compressions alone slightly increase heart-attack survival

The American Heart Association says 911 callers unfamiliar with CPR should be instructed to use only chest compressions when dealing with heart-attack victims. The AHA came to that determination after two major studies indicated that doing only chest compressions slightly increases survival rate among heart-attack victims.

The University of Washington’s study conducted from 1992 to 1999 surveyed the difference between cardiac-arrest patients who were treated with chest compressions only and those who had received chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth. The UW researchers discovered that 14.6 percent of those who received only compressions survived, while 10.4 percent of those who received both survived. The second study, from the University of Arizona, Tucson, showed that pigs had higher survival rates when receiving chest compressions only.

Organizers on soap box over delay of mid-Missouri derby

After building and practicing for months, Columbia’s racers might not be able to compete for the annual Mid-Missouri Soap Box Derby Race in downtown on Sunday.

The derby for 8 to 17 year olds was scheduled for Sunday, but was postponed. The Mid-Missouri Soap Box Derby Association had not sought or received approval from the city to close Broadway, the site of the race for the past 11 years, and had to be delayed, said Danny Lindsey, president of the Mid-Missouri Soap Box Derby Association.

Center comes to life

If there’s no place like home, then the new Life Science Center comes pretty close.

At least that’s the idea that officials with the new building kept getting across during a tour Wednesday of the center. The center is intended to bring several research disciplines under one roof to encourage collaboration in a comfortable environment.

Screening scheduled for ‘Killer Diller’ film

It will be more than just a regular movie screening when “Killer Diller” arrives in Columbia next month.

The movie, which was filmed in Fayette, will be shown at a special screening at 7 p.m. July 12 at the Missouri Theatre.

Concern over speed limits voiced

Proposed speed limit increases along three county roads northwest of Columbia have some residents upset.

The section of Roemer Road where Cheryl Rosenfeld lives will not see a speed limit change, but other areas near her, such as Obermiller Road, will. She often walks her dog or sees neighborhood kids riding their bikes along Obermiller Road, which has no sidewalk.

Incubator to grow baby bio businesses

Fund raising will begin soon for the Life Sciences Business Incubation Center, a joint effort between MU and the business community to foster biotechnology companies.

Banks, corporations and city governments will all be asked formally in the next 30 to 60 days to help fund the incubator. If a $2.5 million grant from the Economic Development Administration comes through, stakeholders in the project will have a limited amount of time to match the funds. The EDA, which is part of the federal Department of Commerce, is reviewing the project.

Shooting remains a mystery

Police are continuing to investigate the accidental shooting of a 17-year-old girl Sunday afternoon in order to determine if there was a legal violation, said Sgt. Tom Reddin of the Boone County Sheriff’s Department.

The girl was in fair condition at University Hospital, Reddin said Wednesday.


An article on page 8A Friday about the Boone County Commission’s consideration of approving changes to speed limits incorrectly stated the level of action.

The proposed changes were read only for first approval.

Electric contract to raise city rates

For the next three months, Columbia residents will see a temporary 9.5 percent increase in their electricity bill.

The increase is the result of a new power contract with AmerenUE, rising natural gas prices and rising electricity transmission costs, said Jim Windsor, manager of rates and fiscal planning for Columbia. For an average household, which uses 1,200 kilowatt hours a month, the increase will be $7.46. The rate increase will be in effect for the months of July, August and September. In October, the City Council will be asked to raise electricity prices permanently with the passing of the city budget.

Climbing wall trial starts

A snapped cable dominated testimony Tuesday during the first day of the trial of the climbing-wall owner charged with involuntarily causing the death of a Jefferson City woman in July outside a Mid-Missouri Mavericks’ game.

Marcus Floyd is on trial for second-degree involuntary manslaughter in the death of Christine Ewing, 22, who fell more than 20 feet to her death when a cable broke on the portable climbing wall that Floyd owned. Floyd has pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Second day of school smoother

On Tuesday morning, Skip Deming, assistant superintendent of instruction, said that administrators tried to identify which students were affected by the mix-up and continued to notify the parents of those children. Parents were given two options: Students could remain at the wrong school to which they were bused on the first day but find their own transportation, or be bused by the district to the correct school. Deming said most parents had the district transport their children.

Republican AG hopeful gets help from Keyes

Before a crowd of about 200 supporters, radio talk-show host and two-time presidential candidate Alan Keyes claimed that an erosion of America’s moral foundation was leading the nation toward a crisis, one that could soon determine the fate of both the U.S. Constitution and Americans’ basic freedoms. To avoid such a future, Keyes said Dewey Crepeau, a Columbia native, should be the one to replace Jay Nixon as the state’s attorney general.

Crepeau worked on Keyes’ 1996 bid for the presidency. Now Keyes is supporting Crepeau. Their similar views were one reason Crepeau gave for his choice of Keyes for his keynote speech; both referred to each other as men of honesty and integrity.

Rios inquiry under way

The Columbia Police Department has launched an internal-affairs investigation of Steven Rios, the officer who has been linked to homicide victim Jesse Valencia.

The investigation, which began Monday, is focusing on “issues related to policy and procedure violations,” Police Chief Randy Boehm said. The investigation is being led by Capt. Sam Hargadine, the department’s internal-affairs commander.