Man confesses to stalking woman, spreading nude images ‘out of revenge’

A man was arrested on charges of stalking a local woman, going so far as to create a fake Instagram account to contact her friends and disseminate nude photos “out of revenge,” according to court documents.

Maximilian Olthuis, 25, a dual citizen of Germany and the Netherlands, allegedly made frequent unwanted contact with a woman, including meeting her at her workplace to present a gift. When she declined the gift, Olthuis slashed a tire on her car “because he was upset,” according to the probable cause statement for his warrant.

Olthuis confessed to creating the fake accounts, sending the nude photographs and trying to meet with the woman, as well as slashing the tire on her car, according to the probable cause statement.

Olthuis is being detained in the Boone County Jail. He was arraigned at 1:30 p.m. Monday, when he was charged with stalking in the second degree, property damage and nonconsensual dissemination of private sexual images.

Olthuis was also ordered to have no contact with the victim. His bond is set at $10,000.

— Spencer Norris

Howard County receives $11.4 million to expand broadband in rural areas

Howard County will have additional broadband coverage thanks to $11.4 million in federal funding announced Monday.

About 2,500 homes and businesses will have broadband service, meaning most of the county will be covered, said John McNail, director of operations at AirLink Rural Broadband.

“The project mainly focuses on the rural areas rather than downtown,” McNail said.

AirLink Rural Broadband, based in Salisbury, will provide a minimum speed of 100/10Mbps (100Mbps for download, and 10Mbps for upload), while the usage is unlimited.

McNail said engineering planning has already begun and that construction work would begin next month.

The FCC authorized nearly $17.5 million to expand broadband coverage in Missouri as part of the fourth round of the Connect America Fund auction. Another county in Missouri, Barry County, will receive $6.1 million to expand broadband for 2,308 locations.

— Kelsey Tang

Flash flood warning gives way to heat advisory

After heavy rain prompted flash flood warnings in several northern Boone County towns Monday morning, the area was hit with an afternoon and evening of oppressive heat.

More than 10 towns in central Missouri experienced the flooding, according to a warning issued by the National Weather Service. Those included Centralia, Hallsville, Sturgeon and Harrisburg.

The flood warning came shortly after 4 a.m. and after 3 inches of rain had fallen across much of the area. The weather service warned at the time that another 1 to 2 inches of rain were possible.

In the end, Centralia experienced 5 inches of rainfall since midnight Sunday.

Centralia Police Chief Robert Bias said the heavy rain didn’t cause any major problems.

“Had a few minor power outages, but that was just individual residences and one business,” Bias said. “Overall, I mean, it went really well.”

The weather service also issued a heat advisory that was in effect until 9 p.m. Monday. The temperature reached 95 degrees in Columbia, and the heat index climbed to between 105 and 110 degrees in the area.

Columbia has a number of cooling centers available for those who lack air conditioning and need a place to find relief.

— Tangerine Liu

MU recognized for cyber defense research

MU has been designated as a National Center of Academic Excellence in Cyber Defense Research.

The National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security sponsor the program and gave the distinction, which will last until 2024.

Rohit Chadha, an associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science in MU’s College of Engineering, is recognized as one of the leaders of cybersecurity at MU. He said this distinction is strong evidence of the school’s research capacity in cybersecurity.

“This distinction is a recognition of sustained excellence in cutting-edge research, education and outreach demonstrated by our faculty and students in the vital field of cybersecurity,” Chadha said in a news release.

Chadha told the Missourian that he and his colleagues developed two software programs that check for holes in security protocols.

“My research group has built software tools that check the correctness of security protocols. Security protocols are designed to enable the exchange of sensitive data over the internet. Our tools check if their designs are correct, and a malicious actor cannot gain access to sensitive data,” Chadha wrote in an email.

The National Center of Academic Excellence is dedicated to reducing vulnerability in national information infrastructure by promoting higher education and expertise in cyber defense. More than 270 universities and colleges are designated as CAEs in cyber defense.

MU is the second university in the state to be designated as CAE in Cyber Defense Research. There are four other universities in Missouri recognized as CAEs in Cyber Defense Education.

— Zeph Li

Garage at Sixth and Cherry to close Friday for five days

The parking garage on Sixth and Cherry streets will close for maintenance Friday and remain closed to all drivers for at least five days.

The top level of the garage will be closed from 2 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday. Any cars remaining on the top level after 2 a.m. will be ticketed and towed at the owner’s expense. Permit holders can park in designated hourly spaces while the top level is under construction.

After 6 p.m., the garage will be closed to all permit holders and hourly parking. Any vehicles left in the garage after 6 p.m. will also receive tickets and be towed.

Sixth and Cherry permit holders can park at designated hourly spaces in the Fifth and Walnut Parking Garage, by the bagged meters near the Sixth and Cherry Parking Garage or by bagged meters near Flat Branch Park on Fourth Street, if they present their permit.

Crews will work to completely wash down the garage and apply a sealant to create a water resistant barrier. This will protect the garage from water damage, according to a news release by the Columbia Public Works Department.

The project is expected to take five days to complete, weather permitting. The Public Works Department plans to finish the construction and reopen the garage by next Tuesday, according to the news release.

— Freda Qi

Boating accidents at Lake of the Ozarks leave one dead, one seriously injured

One person died and another was seriously injured in two separate boating incidents at Lake of the Ozarks Saturday.

Thomas Moore, 59, of St. Louis died after falling off his Sea Doo personal watercraft around 6 p.m. He was driving behind a family member’s boat when the family member noticed Moore’s watercraft adrift without him as they were traveling downstream, according to an incident report from the Missouri State Highway Patrol.

He was found “face down in the water” and pronounced dead on the scene by the Camden County Medical Examiner at 6:45 p.m. Troopers said he was wearing a life jacket and it is not clear how he fell off the watercraft.

Earlier in the day, Ashley Watschinger, 20, of Illinois was seriously injured after being struck by a pontoon boat.

Watschinger and another passenger were thrown into the water when their Sea-Doo turned in front of an Avalon pontoon boat driven by Michelle Ray, 45, of Bonne Terre. Ray attempted to avoid the two of them but struck Ashley, according to the incident report.

Watschinger was transported to Lake Regional Hospital by ambulance and later flown to University Hospital in Columbia with serious injuries.

— Chris Martucci

Work on Mexico Gravel Road and Ballenger Lane roundabout to begin Tuesday

Paving, mill and overlay work will cause delays on Ballenger Lane beginning 7 a.m. Tuesday.

Crews will work on paving the roundabout at Ballenger Lane and Mexico Gravel Road. Mill and overlay work will continue from the roundabout to “just north of Ria Street,” according to a news release by Columbia Public Works.

Ballenger Lane will be closed down to one lane, and drivers should keep an eye out for flaggers directing traffic. The work is set to be complete by 5 p.m. Friday, weather permitting.

Drivers, cyclists and pedestrians are encouraged to be cautious when in the work zone and use alternate routes if possible.

The construction is part of a $2.2 million project between the City of Columbia and Capital Paving to improve Ballenger Lane. The project includes a 6-foot shoulder on both sides of the road, a new asphalt layover and storm weather improvements.

The project began May 2 and is expected to be completed by the end of the summer.

— Chris Martucci

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