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Michael Dwyer 

Boston Bruins' Noel Acciari (55) checks St. Louis Blues' Vince Dunn (29) to the ice during the first period in Game 5 of the NHL Stanley Cup Final Thursday in Boston.

Long-awaited move-in day arrives for State Historical Society
 Julia Garlich  / 

It was the first of many, many moving days for the State Historical Society of Missouri, as movers on Tuesday hauled the first truckload of century-old newspapers and microfilm to the new Center for Missouri Studies.

Over the next seven to eight weeks, a steady stream of trucks will follow, will travel less than half-mile from the basement of Ellis Library to the limestone walls of the society’s new facility.

“We’re moving the length of 74 football fields of library and manuscript collections — and that doesn’t include our miles of microfilm records and newspaper titles and 30,000-piece art collection,” Beth Pike, the society’s senior strategic communications associate, said in an email.

The main challenges of the move are the volume and delicacy of the material, Executive Director Gary Kremer said.

“Think about when your parents move out of a house after 10 years, how much stuff they’ve got,” he said. “We’ve got materials that we have accumulated over the course of 104 years.”

Some of those materials are more than 200 years old, he said.

The society is working together with ARTworks of Kansas City and Corrigan Moving Systems — whose main headquarters is in Farmington Hills, Michigan — to ensure the protection of the collection during transport. Corrigan also hired Carney-McNicholas from Youngstown, Ohio, to help with the move.

Curator Joan Stack said the most daunting pieces to move will be the artworks of George Caleb Bingham and Thomas Hart Benton.

“We always say they are priceless, but their value is very, very high,” she said. “They are artworks that any museum in the nation might want to have.”

Stack said the most dangerous time for artwork is when it is on the road.

“Luckily (our artwork) won’t be on any high-speed highways,” she said. “The chances of an accident are pretty low, so that’s reassuring.”

The new 76,000-square-foot facility is more than double the size of the original building and will house several classrooms, an auditorium, a research center and more.

With towering ceilings, movable gallery walls and natural lighting, “it will look like a museum space,” Stack said. “We’ll be able to do justice to having these works that are worthy of the best museums in the country.”

TheCenter for Missouri Studies center will hold its grand opening Aug. 10.

Supervising editor is Olivia Garrett.

CrimeStoppers offers $10,000 reward for tips on cold case murders
 Galen Bacharier  / 

Since 1978, there have been 15 unsolved murders in Boone County. CrimeStoppers of Columbia wants to draw on the public’s help to solve them and announced Monday it would offer a $10,000 reward for any tips that lead to arrests of suspects in these cold cases.

Tip providers will be guaranteed anonymity and will not be forced to testify in court, according to CrimeStoppers’ news release.

“Some of these murders have gone unsolved for more than 40 years and that’s frustrating,” CrimeStoppers board president Terry Robb said in the release. “We have no doubt there is someone out there with information about any number of these cold cases. By guaranteeing anonymity and paying $10,000 in cash for a single useful tip, we truly believe we’ll crack these cases.”

Eleven community businesses have pledged financial support for the initiative, according to Crimestoppers’ website. Robb emphasized that “additional financial support from our friends in the business community” allowed for substantially larger rewards for tips.

Anyone with information or tips should call CrimeStoppers at (573) 875-8477. 

Here is a list of the victims of the unsolved murders, as well as information on their cases. Photos available of the victims can be found on the CrimeStoppers website. Unless otherwise noted, there is no information publicly available about suspects.

Louis Green Jr. (Oct. 3, 2018)

Green, 24, was shot outside his apartment complex at 722 Demaret Drive in Columbia. He was hospitalized and later died of his injuries. The only information known about the suspect is the car, a gray unknown make or model.

Augustus Roberts (Dec. 11, 2017)

Roberts, 28, was killed in a drug-related homicide at his home in Columbia’s Old Hawthorne neighborhood.

His murder has prompted a federal investigation, which has so far resulted in nine indictments, including prominent Missouri marijuana lobbyist Eapen Thampy, who was indicted this month.

Jamar Hicks (July 16, 2017)

Hicks, 26, was one of three victims of a triple shooting in the 2900 block of East Broadway, near a Break Time convenience store. Hicks was hospitalized and later died of his injuries.

Jeffrey Jones (March 26, 2017)

Jones, 26, from Milwaukee, Wisconsin, was a victim of a triple shooting in northwest Columbia, near I-70 Drive Northwest. Jones died on the scene of the shooting.

Michael Walker Jr. (March 26, 2017)

Walker, 32, from Columbia, was killed in the same triple shooting as Jones. He died after being hospitalized for his injuries.

Edmond ‘Ricky’ Randolph (June 24, 2016)

Randolph, 25, was shot and killed in his apartment in the 2900 block of Leeway Drive in Columbia.

In 2017, CrimeStoppers raised $6,500 for a tip leading to the arrest of the killer.

Gabrielle Rhodes (April 25, 2016)

Rhodes, 24, was shot and killed in the 1500 block of Sylvan Lane.

Rickie Dunn Jr. (Nov. 14, 2014)

Dunn, 40, was shot in the 1400 block of Illinois Avenue and later died in the hospital.

Timothy Jones (Dec. 20, 2011)

Jones, 43, was found dead by the MKT Trail (no specific location was noted). Evidence at the scene indicated he was murdered.

He had occupied several homes in Columbia, but when he was booked into Boone County Jail in 2007, he said he was homeless.

Charles Bell (Sept. 15, 2011)

Bell, 34, went missing in September 2011. He was last seen in northern Boone County on his red 2009 Ducati motorcycle, with a license number of BP4GU. Bell was declared dead by a Boone County court in December 2016.

Donnell Coleman (April 17, 2011)

{span}Coleman, 27, was shot and killed during a forced entry into his apartment, 7711 N.orth La Porte Ave. north of Columbia, between 11:35 and 11:40 p.m. The suspects were described as men who fled the scene, possibly in a sedan-style vehicle.{/span}

Mark Dailey (Jan. 7, 2009)

{span}Dailey’s remains were found in the woods near the Walmart on Conley Road in Columbia. An autopsy and study of the remains put his time of death in July or August of 2008. Dailey, 49, was homeless and known to have camped in the area.{/span}

Cinde Kemple-Buchner (Oct. 13, 1987)

Kemple-Buchner, 28, was founded dead in her home on I-70 Drive Northeast. Evidence suggested there was a violent struggle at the home.

Peggy Donath (July 21, 1982)

Donath, 22, was determined to be a homicide victim after her body was discovered on Williams Road near Riggs Quarry in northern Boone County.

Leigh Ann Wilson (Nov. 2, 1978)

Wilson, 36, was found dead north of a roadside park near Ashland, Missouri, after she left her home in Jefferson City to go to a gas station and didn’t return.

A witness reported a 1970s vehicle, possibly a Pontiac, parked with its flashers on U.S.Highway 63 around 11:30 p.m. that night. Wilson’s vehicle — a different car — was later found in a grocery store parking lot in Jefferson City.

Supervising editor is Elizabeth Brixey.

Missouri election head rejects petition for vote on abortion

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri’s top election official on Tuesday rejected a third petition for a public vote on a new law banning abortions at eight weeks of pregnancy.

Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft’s action came as opponents of the law are fighting in court to force the Republican to approve two similar petitions for a referendum that he rejected last week.

The ACLU of Missouri and wealthy Republican businessman David Humphreys filed the petitions to put the law on the 2020 ballot in hopes that voters will overturn it. The abortion ban includes an exception for medical emergencies, but not for rape or incest.

Ashcroft cited a provision in the Missouri Constitution that prohibits referendums on “laws necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health or safety” in his decision to reject the petitions.

A majority of the law, including the eight-week abortion ban, takes effect Aug. 28. But a provision that changed the rules on minors receiving abortions was enacted as soon as Republican Gov. Mike Parson signed the bill in May.

The new law requires a parent or guardian giving written consent for a minor to get an abortion to first notify the other custodial parent, unless the other parent has been convicted of a violent or sexual crime, is subject to a protection order or is “habitually in an intoxicated or drugged condition.”

The law’s “emergency clause” states that enacting the parental-consent portion is vital “because of the need to protect the health and safety of women and their children, both unborn and born.”

In court filings, attorneys for the groups trying to repeal the law argued that enacting that provision is not an actual emergency.

Attorneys for both plaintiffs cited a statement by the bill’s state Senate handler, GOP Sen. Andrew Koenig, who told St. Louis Public Radio that lawmakers tried to “pre-empt that type of situation by putting an emergency clause in there.”

“So there can’t be a referendum,” he said.

ACLU attorneys wrote in court filings that the Legislature “cannot tack an emergency law onto a non-emergency law in order to evade citizens’ fundamental right of review on laws that fall unambiguously within the people’s constitutional referendum power.”

A court hearing on the lawsuits is scheduled for next week.

The legal dispute over the abortion law comes as the state’s only abortion clinic fights its own court battle to continue providing the service, despite the state health department’s refusal to renew the clinic’s license.

A St. Louis judge issued an order Monday to keep the St. Louis Planned Parenthood clinic operating while the fight over the facility’s license plays out in court. Circuit Judge Michael Stelzer also ordered the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services to decide on Planned Parenthood’s application to renew its license by June 21.

“We will not stop speaking out about the injustice that Gov. Parson and director Randall Williams from the department of health have intentionally created for the people of Missouri in a sick obsession to ban abortion and to not let women be equal citizens in this country,” Planned Parenthood Medical Director Dr. David Eisenberg said at a Tuesday news conference in reference to Republican Gov. Mike Parson.

Messages seeking comment from spokeswomen for the Republican governor and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services were not immediately returned.

UM System Finance Committee approves $3.5 billion budget
 Molly Hart  / 

The UM System Board of Curators Finance Committee approved a $3.5 billion 2020 operating budget Tuesday as well as a five-year strategic plan and a preliminary 2021 state appropriations request.

The committee met ahead of the Board of Curators meeting June 20-21 in Columbia, where each of these items will be on the agenda.

According to the five-year plan, all four UM System campuses are expected to have an annual revenue growth rate between 2% and 5%. This revenue growth would contribute to a greater margin between operation expenses and income.

MU spokesperson Christian Basi said the improved margin will contribute to healthy economic growth.

UM System Chief Financial Officer Ryan Rapp said these growth rates will be reached by creating “a culture of accountability” at each campus, including a system of incentives and consequences.

The committee began its preliminary discussions for the fiscal year 2021 budget. The current proposal, which lays the groundwork for future budget planning, requests $491.64 million from the state for core operations, including $10 million for the Translational Precision Medical Complex and $65.12 million for new requests such as equity funding and a MoExcels proposal for workforce-driven education and training programs.

For fiscal year 2020, set to start July 1, MU will have a “small buffer” of about $10 million because of an increase in both state funding and enrollment numbers.

Nearly a year after MU eliminated 185 positions, which included 30 layoffs, to close a $49 million gap between revenue and income, the Finance Committee projected that salaries and wages for the university would cost an additional1.8% increase in the coming year.

“We are heading into this coming year, in a very, very strong financial position,” Basi said. “We’re very happy that we’re going to be able to continue meeting and maintaining our missions and improving upon them.”

Supervising editor is Elizabeth Brixey.