KOMU.com http://www.komu.com/ KOMU.com Continuous News Continuous News en-us Copyright 2016, KOMU.com. All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Tue, 6 Dec 2016 12:12:33 GMT Synapse CMS 10 KOMU.com http://www.komu.com/ 144 25 MU fraternity kicked out of its house for four years http://www.komu.com/news/mu-fraternity-kicked-out-of-its-house-for-four-years/ http://www.komu.com/news/mu-fraternity-kicked-out-of-its-house-for-four-years/ Continuous News Mon, 5 Dec 2016 11:33:31 PM Danielle Katz, KOMU 8 Digital Producer MU fraternity kicked out of its house for four years

COLUMBIA - Two members of the Delta Upsilon fraternity, who wished to remain anonymous, told KOMU 8 News Monday night the fraternity has been kicked out of its house on the University of Missouri campus for four years.

KOMU 8 News is working to determine who made this decision and the reasoning behind it. 

The university placed the fraternity on temporary suspension in September 2016 and has received citations for other violations since the beginning of the semester.

We will update this story as we get more information.

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Governor-elect Eric Greitens said wife was robbed at gunpoint http://www.komu.com/news/governor-elect-eric-greitens-said-wife-was-robbed-at-gunpoint/ http://www.komu.com/news/governor-elect-eric-greitens-said-wife-was-robbed-at-gunpoint/ Continuous News Mon, 5 Dec 2016 9:49:25 PM Danielle Katz, KOMU 8 Digital Producer Governor-elect Eric Greitens said wife was robbed at gunpoint

ST. LOUIS - Governor-elect Eric Greitens' wife Sheena was robbed at gunpoint Monday night. According to KSDK, St. Louis Police said three suspects were in custody. 

Sheena Greitens was sitting in her car after leaving a restaurant around 6:18 p.m. when a man opened her car door. Police said the man pointed a gun at Greitens and demanded her property, and she gave the suspect her laptop and cell phone.

Further investigation found that someone broke into another car in the parking lot, according to police, and a man said someone stole his cell phone. Officers said they found the three suspects by tracking the victim's cell phone and going to its location.

Greitens sent out the following information and posted it on Facebook. He said he will hold a press conference in St. Louis Tuesday morning to talk about this incident.

Here is Greitens' statement:

Tonight, my wife Sheena, the mother of my two boys, and the future First Lady of Missouri was robbed at gunpoint not far from our home. 

She is safe—but shaken. We are grateful for the men and women of law enforcement. Their response was swift and skilled, and we thank God for their presence tonight.

I have spoken in the past about the importance of public safety. About the need to take care of the men and women of law enforcement who have our backs. About the danger too many Missourians feel walking in their neighborhoods at night, or taking their kids to school, or going to the grocery store.

If tonight's incident has done anything, it has only served to strengthen my—and our family's—resolve. We are, now more than ever, committed to the law enforcement officials who were by Sheena's side within minutes. We are, now more than ever, disturbed by the violence and chaos in our communities. And we are, now more than ever, focused on the mission of creating safer neighborhoods for all of our families and all of our children. 

We are also thankful tonight: for God's grace, for our brave men and women in law enforcement, for the safety of our family, and for the prayers of so many of you. God bless all Missourians, and those who keep us safe.

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Eyes of nation on Ferguson, lead monitor tells residents http://www.komu.com/news/eyes-of-nation-on-ferguson-lead-monitor-tells-residents/ http://www.komu.com/news/eyes-of-nation-on-ferguson-lead-monitor-tells-residents/ Continuous News Mon, 5 Dec 2016 8:18:01 PM The Associated Press Eyes of nation on Ferguson, lead monitor tells residents

FERGUSON (AP) — The lead monitor overseeing efforts to eradicate racial bias in Ferguson's police and court system says the "eyes of the whole nation" are on the St. Louis suburb.

Clark Ervin spoke Monday night at a town hall meeting in Ferguson. Ervin says the evaluation is in the early stages of a process expected to last five years. His group plans to survey residents in January, and to closely monitor progress in Ferguson's municipal court, including interviews with people who go before the court.

Ferguson came under scrutiny after the fatal 2014 police shooting of Michael Brown. The U.S. Department of Justice found patterns of racial bias in Ferguson's policing and court system. A settlement approved in April requires the city to adopt reforms under the supervision of monitors.

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Missouri traffic fatalities on the rise http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-traffic-fatalities-on-the-rise-83610/ http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-traffic-fatalities-on-the-rise-83610/ Continuous News Mon, 5 Dec 2016 7:19:07 PM Amanda Henderson, KOMU 8 Reporter Missouri traffic fatalities on the rise

JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri is seeing an increase in the number of state highway fatalities, and MoDOT is worried it's going to get even higher with winter officially here.

As the first frosts ice over Missouri roads, MoDOT is warning drivers to take extra precautions.

"Always stay aware about what's going on with the weather conditions. When that temperature starts to hit the freezing point, 32 degrees and below, there's a good chance something's going on with the roadway that you're driving on as well," Randy Aulbur, MoDOT central district maintenance engineer said.

Missouri Highway Patrol said the number of traffic deaths is on pace to top 900 this year, a number that has not been seen since 2008. Missouri did see six straight years of highway fatality declines between 2005 to 2011. 

"As of yesterday [we are] at 864 people killed on our roads. That's 864 people killed on our highways, it's unacceptable," Scott Jones, a highway safety program administrator for MoDOT, said.

The number of fatalities in the past two years is set to be the largest jump upward in more than 20 years. However, the numbers do remain below 2005's record of 1,257.

Jones said other states are seeing similar problems as well.

"[An] explanation we seem to be running across, not just in Missouri but in other states has been that lower gas prices and a little bit better of an economy has really resulted in a lot more people on the highway," Jones said.

Jones also said distracted driving is a big problem.

"To the average person, it is a problem with driving. What we have is an underreporting of that issue so we know it's reported about five to 10 percent of crashes," Jones said.

As the holidays approach, Aulbur said construction stopping should help to alleviate some dangers.

"For the most part, construction is winding down on our system, you know, for the winter season," Aulbur said.

He said drivers should also be aware of the new surfaces that are on the highway.

"Road surfaces are changed, you know, they changed in the last season, new pavement can act differently that what you are used to driving on," Aulbur said.


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City council considering new policy for pedestrian and driver safety http://www.komu.com/news/city-council-considering-new-policy-for-pedestrian-and-driver-safety/ http://www.komu.com/news/city-council-considering-new-policy-for-pedestrian-and-driver-safety/ Continuous News Mon, 5 Dec 2016 6:36:32 PM Joe Gjata, KOMU 8 Reporter City council considering new policy for pedestrian and driver safety

COLUMBIA – Columbia is looking to cut down on traffic deaths and serious injuries, and is looking to join a national safety program to do so.

The Columbia City Council is considering joining Vision Zero, a preventative policy in hopes of eliminating traffic deaths and serious injuries by the year 2030.

“It sounds like an ambitious goal, but a lot of cities over the last couple of years have adopted Vision Zero policies and set a deadline to eliminate deaths and serious injuries,” Ward 4 councilman Ian Thomas said. “And they’ve been very successful in the first few years in cutting those numbers dramatically.”

Ward 2 councilman Michael Trapp said there has been an increase in pedestrian fatalities recently.

“We’ve had eight pedestrians who have been killed in accidents, so a Vision Zero policy statement says that crashes are preventable and no loss of human life is acceptable in a crash,” he said.

“Certainly, eight deaths is way too high. That’s more than we’ve lost in homicides in the history of Columbia,” Trapp said. “If there were eight homicide deaths people would be up in arms and yet we lose eight people to traffic fatalities every year.”

The policy started in New York City and Thomas said cities like Seattle and San Francisco followed suit. He said cities have seen a drop in both motorist and pedestrian accidents. Now, smaller cities like Columbia, Ann Arbor, Mich. and Eugene, Ore. have looked to adopt similar measures in the last year.

“Columbia’s Vision Zero's policy will assert three things," Thomas said. “Firstly, safety is the most important factor in designing and operating transportation systems. Secondly, that traffic deaths and serious injuries are preventable and therefore they are ethically unacceptable, and thirdly, we should design and operate our roadway systems so that people can make mistakes and not die or kill somebody else for it.”

The council added Vision Zero makes changes as far as education, enforcement and engineering to ensure that no one is killed in a traffic fatality.

The cost of this program has not yet been determined, but a piece of the funding for this plan includes creating a new budget that would go specifically to safety programs.

“One percent of those projects would be set aside to improve pedestrian, motorist and bicycle safety so we can make engineering changes that are going to reduce the chances at loss of life,” Trapp said.


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Residents can offer input for Columbia road and sidewalk improvements http://www.komu.com/news/residents-can-offer-input-for-columbia-road-and-sidewalk-improvements/ http://www.komu.com/news/residents-can-offer-input-for-columbia-road-and-sidewalk-improvements/ Continuous News Mon, 5 Dec 2016 6:13:20 PM Anthony Romano, KOMU 8 Reporter Residents can offer input for Columbia road and sidewalk improvements

COLUMBIA - Residents in the Columbia area will be able to speak their minds Tuesday at a public hearing about pavement and pedestrian improvements in Boone County.

The Missouri Department of Transportation is planning pavement and sidewalk improvement projects along Route B in Columbia in 2017 and then on College Avenue in 2018.

"It's part of a federal requirement that came out of the Americans with Disabilities Act," said transportation project manager Michael Dusenberg. "It basically requires us to upgrade all of our sidewalks and our ADA improvements on our system that currently don't meet the minimum requirements, so this is just part of that ongoing process."

One of the purposes of the meeting is to talk with property owners in the impacted areas about acquiring easements for the project for construction. An easement is a legal term for the right to enter upon or pass over another's land.

Dusenberg said he expects work to begin on the Route B improvements in the summer of 2017.

"One of our best assets in Missouri is our transportation system, and so what we are continuing to do with the funding that we are receiving from the public is we want to continue to take care of what we have, take care of our investment in transportation and take care of our pavements," Dusenberg said.

College Avenue has received a number of recent pedestrian improvements, including the high-intensity activated walk beacons installed in 2015. The new improvement plan will include features that comply with ADA access guidelines.

"The city of Columbia is one of the leaders, as far as communities go, in being accessible to not just vehicle traffic but your multi-modal folks, whether it's transit and buses or bicycles and pedestrians and trail systems," Dusenberg said.

The public hearing starts at 4:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Roger B. Wilson Boone County Government Center Conference Room at 801 E. Walnut St. in Columbia.

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City council working to limit stolen property from pawnbrokers http://www.komu.com/news/city-council-working-to-limit-stolen-property-from-pawnbrokers/ http://www.komu.com/news/city-council-working-to-limit-stolen-property-from-pawnbrokers/ Continuous News Mon, 5 Dec 2016 6:10:55 PM Joe Gjata, KOMU 8 Reporter City council working to limit stolen property from pawnbrokers

COLUMBIA – The Columbia City Council voted 5-2 in opposition to an ordinance that would have revised some licensing regulations related to pawnbrokers Monday night. 

The measure was to amend Chapter 13 of the Code of Ordinances to aid the investigation and recovery of stolen property and act as a deterrent to crime.

City councilmember Michael Trapp said increasing the waiting period for sale is key to regulating potential stolen items.

“This ordinance adds a seven-day waiting period for jewelry, a 48-hour waiting period for other things because if your iPhone or drum set gets stolen, you can get that back in a week, but if your jewelry is melted down, it's gone forever,” Trapp said. “That’s the difference in the hold periods.”

Some secondhand sellers and some pawn shops have expressed some concern, believing they already have enough regulations. Trapp held meetings with business owners and citizens in regards to theft prevention, and said the legislation is more business-friendly.

Additionally, the ordinance includes Leads Online, which acts as an electronic reporting device for business on items sold.

“It will allow the use of technology to list items that have been stolen second hand,” Trapp said. “The police can look online on this Leads Online website and without leaving the office can identify if the stolen goods they are looking for have been sold in Columbia.

“It’s going to help the police both prevent burglary because it’ll be harder to fence items,” he added. “Burglars are rational creatures and they steal things that can be fenced and turned into cash, which is frequently turned into drugs.”

The council said people would be able to buy things from a pawn shop or a secondhand store with greater assurance that an item is not stolen.

Trapp and Ward 4 councilman Ian Thomas voted in favor of the measure.

[Editor's Note: KOMU.com has updated this story to include the most recent voting information.]

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Crews begin surveying Nifong Boulevard for improvement project http://www.komu.com/news/crews-begin-surveying-nifong-boulevard-for-improvement-project/ http://www.komu.com/news/crews-begin-surveying-nifong-boulevard-for-improvement-project/ Continuous News Mon, 5 Dec 2016 5:49:04 PM Marissa Rubino, KOMU 8 Reporter Crews begin surveying Nifong Boulevard for improvement project

COLUMBIA - Engineering crews kicked off three months of work on Nifong Blvd. on Monday as part of the road's upcoming improvement project.

The Columbia Public Works Engineering Division is working with local firm Engineering Surveys and Services. on the survey, which will be between Providence Road and Willowcreek Lane, just past Forum Blvd, stretching about 1.3 miles.

Allison Anderson, Engineering Supervisor, said "It will include surveying, taking traffic counts, and then looking at if we need to widen the road, add bike lanes, sidewalks, and stuff like that."

She said the survey will also look at potential improved access to businesses. 

Crews will be working on the edge of the road and in the road, so Anderson advised drivers be careful and slow down when workers are present.  

Anderson said this is the first step of the improvement project, and a preliminary design plan is next. Interested Party meetings, where the public can comment on the proposed plans, will begin in the spring. 



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Columbia police raise money for children's home http://www.komu.com/news/columbia-police-raise-money-for-children-s-home/ http://www.komu.com/news/columbia-police-raise-money-for-children-s-home/ Continuous News Mon, 5 Dec 2016 1:59:24 PM Zachary Reger, KOMU 8 Digital Producer Columbia police raise money for children's home

COLUMBIA — Columbia police grew furry faces during a No Shave November fundraiser to benefit a local children's home.

In total, the Columbia Police Department say they raised $1,265 for the Coyote Hill Christian Children's Home, which operates as a long-term and emergency home for abused and neglected kids.

Staff could give $20 each, granting the right to grow out their facial hair for a month. Some just donated without taking advantage of the extra incentive.

This marks the third year the Columbia Police Department has held a No Shave November fundraiser.



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Deadly roll-over crash near Midway exit http://www.komu.com/news/deadly-roll-over-crash-near-midway-exit/ http://www.komu.com/news/deadly-roll-over-crash-near-midway-exit/ Continuous News Mon, 5 Dec 2016 1:53:50 PM Tyler Emery, KOMU 8 Reporter Deadly roll-over crash near Midway exit

COLUMBIA — A single-car crash left a Fulton woman dead on Interstate 70 near Highway 40 and the Midway Travel Center exit. 

The crash happened at 10:36 a.m. Monday morning on the eastbound side of I-70. The Missouri State Highway Patrol has identified the woman as 50-year-old Mary Payne. She was the only person in the vehicle at the time of the crash.

According to a witness, Payne lost control of her vehicle and then over-corrected, causing her car to roll over and hit the highway median. She was ejected from the car, and medics pronounced her dead at the scene.

Gale Blomenkamp with the Boone County Fire Protection District was at the scene and confirmed Payne's death. Several other first responders were on the scene, including state highway troopers and medical responders.

The accident affected both lanes of the highway and one lane heading east and westbound were closed for about an hour and a half. 

East and westbound lanes were both reopened after the emergency responders left the scene. 

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Interstate 55 lanes closed after fatal shooting in St. Louis http://www.komu.com/news/interstate-55-lanes-closed-after-fatal-shooting-in-st-louis/ http://www.komu.com/news/interstate-55-lanes-closed-after-fatal-shooting-in-st-louis/ Continuous News Mon, 5 Dec 2016 1:35:24 PM The Associated Press Interstate 55 lanes closed after fatal shooting in St. Louis

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A fatal shooting on Interstate 55 in south St. Louis has forced closure of all southbound lanes.

The lanes of the busy roadway were closed Monday afternoon. Police say a man in his 20s was shot while in his vehicle, but no other details have been released.

The victim was pronounced dead at the scene. Police have released any details about the shooter.

Motorists traveling south were encouraged to use an alternate route.

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St. Louis-area businessman faces federal kidnapping charge http://www.komu.com/news/st-louis-area-businessman-faces-federal-kidnapping-charge/ http://www.komu.com/news/st-louis-area-businessman-faces-federal-kidnapping-charge/ Continuous News Mon, 5 Dec 2016 1:24:17 PM The Associated Press St. Louis-area businessman faces federal kidnapping charge

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis-area businessman and three other men will have a hearing Tuesday in federal court after being accused of kidnapping and beating a man over three days.

Court records say BAM Brands president and CEO Todd Beckman and three others — Blake Laubinger, Caleb Laubinger and Kerry Roades — held the man from Nov. 21 to 23. Court documents indicate the man's parents paid a ransom of about $27,000 before he was released.

The four are charged with kidnapping and their detention hearing will be Tuesday in St. Louis.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports lawyers for Beckman and Blake Laubinger say their clients will plead not guilty. An attorney for Caleb Laubinger didn't return a message seeking comment. Online court records don't list a lawyer for Roades.

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Missouri man accused of threatening to bomb workplace http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-man-accused-of-threatening-to-bomb-workplace/ http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-man-accused-of-threatening-to-bomb-workplace/ Continuous News Mon, 5 Dec 2016 12:58:25 PM The Associated Press Missouri man accused of threatening to bomb workplace

CLAYTON (AP) — A Missouri man is jailed on $500,000 cash bond after being accused of telling co-workers he was affiliated with ISIS and could have their auto-detailing job site blown up by making a phone call.

St. Louis County prosecutors charged 26-year-old Mustafa Barimac on Sunday with making a terrorist threat. That's a felony punishable by up to seven years in prison.

Police in the St. Louis suburb of Creve Coeur say Barimac made the threat Nov. 25 to fellow employees of Teph Seal, showing them a tattoo he claimed was related to ISIS.

A police investigator wrote in a probable-cause statement accompanying the criminal complaint that Barimac admitted making the threat.

Police say a search of the business uncovered no explosives.

Online court records don't show whether Barimac has an attorney.

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Woman arrested in deadly St. Louis County crash http://www.komu.com/news/woman-arrested-in-deadly-st-louis-county-crash/ http://www.komu.com/news/woman-arrested-in-deadly-st-louis-county-crash/ Continuous News Mon, 5 Dec 2016 12:32:07 PM The Associated Press Woman arrested in deadly St. Louis County crash

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A Missouri woman has been arrested on suspicion of drunken driving and involuntary manslaughter in a crash that killed a 24-year-old man.

St. Louis County police say Michael Jeademann was killed Sunday when the car the 24-year-old woman was driving crashed into a tree. Jeademann was a front seat passenger.

No charges were immediately filed against the woman.

The crash is under investigation.

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Weekly Wellness: How to cut back on soda http://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-how-to-cut-back-on-soda/ http://www.komu.com/news/weekly-wellness-how-to-cut-back-on-soda/ Continuous News Mon, 5 Dec 2016 12:04:04 PM Amanda Barnes, KOMU 8 Wellness Coach Weekly Wellness: How to cut back on soda

COLUMBIA — We are fast-approaching the end of the holiday season and that time of year when some of us start thinking about making some lifestyle changes.

If you’re someone who has recognized that you are addicted to that bubbly brown (or clear or yellow) liquid that is sold in giant drums at most convenience stores, fast food restaurants and is easily purchased in a can or bottle at your office vending machine, then this is the segment for you.

There are SO many reasons to stop drinking soda (i.e. the empty calories, the added sugars, the artificial sweeteners, the money spent, the bad teeth, the connection to more serious health issues… should I keep going?).

As a certified health coach, I will give you MANY reasons to stop drinking soda. Ask my clients. I call it “the devil.” All of it – regular and diet. Bad. So, let’s pretend that you are my client and you have told me that you want to stop drinking soda… I’m going to hug you and tell you how proud I am that you have come to such an important decision for your health. And I’m going to lead you to these tips…

1. Scale back slowly. If you drink multiple sodas a day, switching to tap water cold turkey would be rough. Start with replacing 3 – 4 sodas per week with water… then after a few weeks, reduce again… then again. Eventually, you’ll get down to a reasonable number (or none) before you know it.

2. Get on a soda schedule. If you normally drink 3 sodas per day, cut down to 2 per day for an entire month, and then 1 per day the month after. From there, you can gradually cut down even further.

3. Explore alternatives. Once you start cutting out soda, you’re going to want to replace it with other fluids so you don’t get dehydrated. Flavored sparkling water, water with a splash of fruit juice, pre-packaged water flavor enhancers, etc.

4. Have alternatives handy. Once you find a few suitable soda alternatives, make sure they’re available when you need them. Stock up at home and at work, so that (in a moment of weakness) you don’t grab the wrong thing.

5. Adopt a “no soda” policy. Scale back with WHERE you tend to drink soda. Start with a “no soda at home” policy. Then expand to “no soda at work”… and so on. Here are some other “No Soda” policy ideas:

No Soda:

  • At work
  • On campus
  • On road trips
  • Before 5 p.m.
  • At restaurants
  • At the movies
  • As mixers in alcoholic drinks


6. Start a new routine. Think about when you habitually grab a soda and then figure out how you can change the scenario and make a healthier beverage choice. After just a few weeks your old, bad habit will likely be replaced with your healthier routine.

7. Make yourself accountable. If you’re the type of person who is motivated by accountability, tell your family, co-workers and friends that you’re giving up soda (and then let them call you out on it if necessary). Having the support (and watch-dogging) of your loved ones can help (a lot).

8. Redefine the word “stop”. Just because you want to “stop drinking soda” doesn’t mean you can never enjoy one again. Maybe for you “stop” means getting down to 1 per week, say when you’re out to a nice dinner or as a lunchtime treat on Fridays. The best way to approach a long-lasting behavior change is by making it sustainable and avoiding those feelings of deprivation.

(Source: https://blog.myfitnesspal.com/so-you-want-to-stop-drinking-soda/)

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Police: Man attacks girlfriend wielding taser, machete http://www.komu.com/news/police-man-attacks-girlfriend-wielding-taser-machete/ http://www.komu.com/news/police-man-attacks-girlfriend-wielding-taser-machete/ Continuous News Mon, 5 Dec 2016 12:02:37 PM Zachary Reger, KOMU 8 Digital Producer Police: Man attacks girlfriend wielding taser, machete

COLUMBIA — Columbia police officers arrested Edward Rosson Sunday night after he allegedly assaulted his girlfriend while holding a machete in one hand and a taser in the other.

Officers arrived at a home in the 1000 block of Eighth Street just before 10 p.m., arresting Rosson over an hour later.

The victim, who police say was in an intimate relationship with Rosson, said she was asleep in her bedroom when Rosson came in with the taser and machete. 

The victim said she got out of bed and was chased by Rosson around the house as he sparked the taser and tried to shock her. She said Rosson punched her on the side of the face and threatened to kill her before she was able to climb out a window and escape.

The victim said that two other people were in the house during the attack.

When police arrived, they say they found two pipes and several plastic baggies in plain view.

Rosson was arrested on suspicion of armed criminal action, domestic assault in the second degree, two instances of second degree assault and use/possession of drug paraphernalia.

Bail was set at $89,500.

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Pulaski County sheriff closes human remains investigation http://www.komu.com/news/pulaski-county-sheriff-closes-human-remains-investigation/ http://www.komu.com/news/pulaski-county-sheriff-closes-human-remains-investigation/ Continuous News Mon, 5 Dec 2016 11:14:27 AM Zachary Reger, KOMU 8 Digital Producer Pulaski County sheriff closes human remains investigation

WAYNESVILLE — Pulaski County Sheriff Ronald Long will advise detectives investigating a discovery of an adolescent's remains to close the case.

In a weekly newsletter, the sheriff says the case, opened after the remains were found south of Dixon in October 2013, will be closed due to a lack of additional leads, absence of evidence for homicide and a dead-end result from attempts at forensic analysis.

The Pulaski County Sheriff's Department sent the remains to the Department of Physics at the University of Arizona-Tucson for analysis. Forensic scientists at the university used radiocarbon-based technology to determine the remains were that of a child between 10 and 12 years old, but that the child had died more than 45 years ago.



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Republican success opens door to amending US Constitution http://www.komu.com/news/republican-success-opens-door-to-amending-us-constitution/ http://www.komu.com/news/republican-success-opens-door-to-amending-us-constitution/ Continuous News Mon, 5 Dec 2016 11:10:26 AM The Associated Press Republican success opens door to amending US Constitution

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — The November election put Republicans in full control of a record number of state legislatures around the country. That level of power gives the party an unprecedented opportunity to change the U.S. Constitution.

Republicans already control Congress, the White House and more governors' offices than they have in nearly a century. But it's the state legislatures that hold perhaps the greatest promise for lasting change.

The GOP now holds numerical majorities in 33 legislatures, one shy of the two-thirds required to initiate a convention on constitutional amendments.

There is no credible talk of using that power for amendments on hot-button social issues, such as banning abortion or gay marriage. But conservatives have a list of bread-and-butter governing issues they would like to see enshrined in the Constitution.

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Students compete at annual Missouri Bar competitions http://www.komu.com/news/students-compete-at-annual-missouri-bar-competitions/ http://www.komu.com/news/students-compete-at-annual-missouri-bar-competitions/ Continuous News Mon, 5 Dec 2016 10:48:01 AM Alyssa Salcido, KOMU 8 Reporter Students compete at annual Missouri Bar competitions

COLUMBIA - Over 70 high school students competed Monday at The Missouri Bar's annual "We the People" and "Show Me the Constitution." The students represented over 10 Missouri schools statewide at the competition at the Courtyard Marriott in Columbia. 

All of the questions have to do with the Constitution and government. 

"The kinds of questions asked are based off of the philosophical foundations of our government, the Constitution, both historical and the current applications of it, and this year we heard a lot of questions about the fourth amendment issues with iPhones," Director of Citizen Education for the Missouri Bar Millie Aulbur said.

She said the two competitions are pretty similar in the content that the students study.

"The Show Me competition is very similar to "We the People", but the students don't answer as many questions and they are not eligible to go to Washington D.C. next year, but they are eligible to win cash prizes," Aulbur said. 

Another difference between the two competitions is that "We the People" requires a regularly rostered class, where as the Show Me competition can have its own class or simply an after school Constitution club.

Aulbur commended all of the teachers there with the students. She said it is a very difficult and challenging curriculum to teach to the kids.

One social studies teacher from Ste. Genevieve High School, John Boyd, said he and another colleague, Dustin Kueker, worked closely with their students to help them prepare for the questions and follow up questions as well as responses. 

"They had to do a lot of additional research and work on figuring out Supreme Court cases, quotes and different constitutional ideas and supports that help them answer the given question," Boyd said. 

Boyd said they brought six students with them for the competition. Both he and Kueker were allowed to sit in and watch their students be judged.

"Mr. Kueker was sitting there taking notes saying 'They need to answer this!' and we were in a situation where we couldn't really say anything," Boyd said. "You want the kids to do the best they can but you can't get out there and do it for them and sometimes that part is kind of tough." 

Many of the judges were local lawyers who volunteered .

"The judges are largely from our 'Young Lawyers' section of The Missouri Bar. Some are even alumni. They want to be here," Aulbur said. "We also have some retired educators as judges too."

Aulbur said the judging is done through a scoring system. 

"It's a complicated scoring based on knowledge, participation, application of constitutional knowledge and then we add up those scores." Aulbur said. 

The winner of the "We the People" competition was Westminster Christian Academy in Ladue. They will be representing Missouri at the competition next spring in Washington D.C. There will be representatives there from every state.

The winners of the "Show Me Constitution" were in first place, Nixa High School, in second place, Springfield Central High School, and in third place, Jefferson R-VII High School in Festus. They all won cash prizes for civic materials for their high schools.  

Aulbur said this is the best day out of the whole year for her. She said she enjoys seeing all the students who want to be there, competing over the Constitution.

"It's just critical that our students understand how their government operates, why it operates the way that it does, it's the only way we will survive as a nation and that's why it's so encouraging today to hear these students intelligently talk about the Constitution," Aulbur said.

 The Missouri Bar has hosted the We the People competition since 1999. The Show Me Competition was launched just last year.




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Monitor of Ferguson's police, court reforms to give update http://www.komu.com/news/monitor-of-ferguson-s-police-court-reforms-to-give-update/ http://www.komu.com/news/monitor-of-ferguson-s-police-court-reforms-to-give-update/ Continuous News Mon, 5 Dec 2016 10:44:38 AM The Associated Press Monitor of Ferguson's police, court reforms to give update

FERGUSON (AP) — Residents of Ferguson are getting an update on reforms to the suburban St. Louis city's policing and court system.

Reform monitoring team leader Clark Ervin will be speaking Monday during a town hall meeting. A consent decree between the city and the U.S. Department of Justice calls for diversity training for police, outfitting officers and jail workers with body cameras, and other reforms.

Ferguson's justice system came under scrutiny after the fatal 2014 police shooting of Michael Brown, a black, unarmed 18-year-old.

A county grand jury and the Department of Justice cleared Darren Wilson, the white Ferguson officer who killed Brown. But the Justice Department found patterns of racial bias in Ferguson's policing and a municipal court system that generated revenue largely on the backs of poor and minority residents.


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