KOMU.com http://www.komu.com/ KOMU.com News News en-us Copyright 2017, KOMU.com. All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Sun, 30 Apr 2017 05:04:20 GMT Synapse CMS 10 KOMU.com http://www.komu.com/ 144 25 Woman rescued after kayak accident http://www.komu.com/news/woman-rescued-after-kayak-accident/ http://www.komu.com/news/woman-rescued-after-kayak-accident/ News Sat, 29 Apr 2017 11:11:48 PM Savannah Rudicel, KOMU 8 Reporter Woman rescued after kayak accident

ASHLAND — Search and rescue crews found a woman in Cedar Creek this afternoon after a kayaking accident. She was taken to University Hospital after showing signs of hypothermia.

The woman was found about a mile away from the kayak, but officials aren't sure how the two became separated.

Colin Wright, assistant chief of the Southern Boone County Fire Protection District, said kayaking in heavy rains is dangerous for multiple reasons.

"It seems like fun — on a nice calm day, go have fun — but when the water’s moving as fast as it is, it’s easy to get overwhelmed, and then we have to put people’s lives at risk to go in and try to rescue people," Wright said.

The search lasted around two hours, concluding at 5 p.m.

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Paralyzed Missouri woman uses technology to write reviews http://www.komu.com/news/paralyzed-missouri-woman-uses-technology-to-write-reviews/ http://www.komu.com/news/paralyzed-missouri-woman-uses-technology-to-write-reviews/ News Sat, 29 Apr 2017 8:45:20 PM The Associated Press Paralyzed Missouri woman uses technology to write reviews

KANSAS CITY (AP) — A Missouri woman paralyzed by Lou Gehrig's disease isn't letting any limitations from the incurable disease keep her from doing book reviews, thanks to her eyes.

Michelle Melland, a 50-year-old Kansas City, Missouri, mother of twins, can't breathe without a ventilator, and she can't walk or talk.

The Kansas City Star reports the former Army captain, whose high school high jump record still stands in Leavenworth, Kansas, is using computerized eye-gaze technology to type on a tablet-like keyboard by just staring at letters.

And that ability to still write using only her eyes translates into 44 reviews she has crafted since last spring, posting each to her blog, bookthoughtsfrombed.com.

Melland was diagnosed six years ago with progressively paralyzing amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.

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Analysis: Greitens' aggressive style means in-party clashes http://www.komu.com/news/analysis-greitens-aggressive-style-means-in-party-clashes/ http://www.komu.com/news/analysis-greitens-aggressive-style-means-in-party-clashes/ News Sat, 29 Apr 2017 8:41:12 PM The Associated Press Analysis: Greitens' aggressive style means in-party clashes

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — New Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens' involved and sometimes aggressive leadership style is getting mixed reviews from fellow Republican lawmakers.

Top GOP leaders say Greitens is present at the Capitol and they appreciate the chance to work with a Republican governor after facing setbacks under former Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon.

Also, within weeks of taking office, the new governor signed a right-to-work bill, a major victory for Republicans.

But Greitens has also angered some GOP lawmakers, particularly in the Senate.

Tensions boiled over on Tuesday after a nonprofit that pushes Greitens' agenda started running attack ads against GOP Sen. Rob Schaaf.

Greitens also has used social media to criticize senators who don't side with him and clashed with lawmakers over an executive order on paid family leave.

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Stephens College fashion designers construct more than clothes http://www.komu.com/news/stephens-college-fashion-designers-construct-more-than-clothes/ http://www.komu.com/news/stephens-college-fashion-designers-construct-more-than-clothes/ News Sat, 29 Apr 2017 7:52:16 PM Monica Harkins, KOMU 8 Reporter Stephens College fashion designers construct more than clothes

COLUMBIA — Stephens College fashion design, marketing, management and communication students hosted the 73rd annual student design fashion show, called “The Collections."

The showcase, held Saturday, highlighted junior and senior Stephens College fashion design majors, but also allowed students in other parts of the fashion industry to put their skills to work behind the scenes.

This year’s theme, "Organized Chaos," allowed for a range of styles.

One designer, Hilary Henry, said she created a collection that combined all of her favorite things and made her happy.

"All things girly," Henry said.

Her hyper-feminine aesthetic began when she learned to sew at 8 years old and made clothes for her dolls.

"It sprouted from Barbie who’s super girly, to me who’s super girly," Henry said.

Despite favoring pink and sparkles, Henry said everyone’s style is important to self expression.

"I think it’s good to shine your personality in ways that other people can experience it," Henry said.

Another designer, Rebecca Johnson agreed adding that it’s the first thing someone judges about you.

"First impressions matter," Johnson said. "And your clothing essentially is that."

Johnson said there’s an emotional connection to what you choose to wear.

"Putting on a good outfit is almost like putting on your confidence," Johnson said.

Finding inspiration in the many different types of women there are in the world, Johnson said women can benefit from figuring out their personal style.

"You discover a lot about yourself," Johnson said. "You discover a lot about the things around you, and how you want to live and how you want to present yourself to the world."

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3 families rescued from floods in Callaway County http://www.komu.com/news/3-families-rescued-from-floods-in-callaway-county/ http://www.komu.com/news/3-families-rescued-from-floods-in-callaway-county/ News Sat, 29 Apr 2017 7:37:04 PM Jared Koller, KOMU 8 Reporter and Zachary Reger, KOMU 8 Digital Producer 3 families rescued from floods in Callaway County

CALLAWAY COUNTY — First responders rescued three families from their homes in Callaway County Saturday during floods that swept through the mid-Missouri area.

The rising water forced first responders from Callaway County and the Jefferson City Fire Department to conduct a water and rescue mission around 5 p.m.

Crews were notified that eight people were stranded in their homes along County Road 411, according to a Facebook post from the Callaway County Sheriff's Office. The homes are located just off the Middle River, which trapped the surrounding area in high water.

Crews arrived at 3 p.m., and multiple boats were needed before the families could be safely rescued.

Firefighters carried at least three children and two adults to safety. Officials said crews were successful in saving everyone involved.

Rising water levels led to multiple water rescue calls throughout the day. 

[Editor's note: This story has been updated to include more information.]

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Man dies in single-car crash in Fulton http://www.komu.com/news/man-dies-in-single-car-crash-in-fulton/ http://www.komu.com/news/man-dies-in-single-car-crash-in-fulton/ News Sat, 29 Apr 2017 5:23:14 PM Lauren Petterson, KOMU 8 Digital Producer Man dies in single-car crash in Fulton

FULTON — Emergency officials responded to a fatal crash near the intersection of State Route O and State Route UU just after midnight on Saturday.

According to a press release from the Fulton Police Department, the crash happened when a 37-year-old white man crossed over the center line of State Route O, overcorrected and hit several trees on the right side of the road before overturning. The driver, who was not wearing a seatbelt, was thrown from his car.

No other vehicles or people were involved in the crash.

The driver's name has not yet been released.

[Editor's note: Multiple misspellings in the original text of this story have been corrected.]


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Climate change marchers move indoors, part of national movement http://www.komu.com/news/climate-change-marchers-move-indoors-part-of-national-movement/ http://www.komu.com/news/climate-change-marchers-move-indoors-part-of-national-movement/ News Sat, 29 Apr 2017 4:46:25 PM Rose Schmidt, KOMU 8 Reporter Climate change marchers move indoors, part of national movement

COLUMBIA — Despite non-ideal weather conditions, people gathered at MU Saturday afternoon as a part of a nationwide climate change rally.

Several local groups organized the "Sound the Alarm: Blow the Whistle on Climate Change! Rally for Climate Action," which was originally scheduled for outside the Boone County Courthouse but was moved inside MU's Middlebush Auditorium because of rain.

"All across the nation and around the world, people are gathering to say, 'It's time to blow the whistle on climate change' and call out the polluters who are stealing our grandchildren's futures, stealing our futures," said Mark Haim, one of the organizers and the director of Mid-Missouri Peaceworks. "If we fail to address this crisis though, we condemn our children and grandchildren to tragic circumstance, and it's just not right."

The march in Columbia was one of hundreds of marches backing climate change around the nation.

"There are over 375 communities around the country where people have gathered to rally and to march to say, 'It's time for action on the climate crisis,' and that's what we're doing here today," Haim said.

In Washington D.C., People's Climate Movement protesters marched near the U.S. Capitol toward the White House, ending up at the Washington Monument as part of the People's Climate Movement. The protesters in D.C. braved the unusual hot day, with nearly 90 degree temperatures. 

On Friday, the Environmental Protection Agency removed climate change information from its website. A statement from the EPA said the website is undergoing changes that "reflect the agency’s new direction under President Donald Trump and Administrator Scott Pruitt."

In the EPA's statement, J.P. Freire, associate administrator for public affairs, said, “We want to eliminate confusion by removing outdated language first and making room to discuss how we’re protecting the environment and human health by partnering with states and working within the law.”

Haim said, "Anyone who denies the reality of climate change is basically flying in the face of a scientific consensus that's so strong that it's really beyond any kind of credibility at this point."

The rally in Columbia included speakers from many different fields:

  • Carolyn Amparan addressed communicating with others about climate change.
  • MU sociology professor Tola Pearce discussed the impact of climate change on women.
  • MU student Mallory Brown addressing the intersection of climate change and other critical issues.
  • Jay Hasheider, a former Columbia Water and Light employee, addressed pursuing policy changes at the local level.
  • Renew Missouri Clean Energy Associate Philip Fracica discussed current Missouri legislative priorities.
  • Mizzou Energy Action Coalition President Frankie Hawkins spoke about divestment from fossil fuels.

"I was just really pleased to hear the diversity of viewpoints and perspectives that all contribute to the need to create a sustainable, livable future with a high quality of life for everyone," Haim said. "We can do that with renewable energy and energy efficiency, and addressing the climate crisis."

Several other speakers shared poems about how they feel climate change affects them. The rally even included a phone call from a mid-Missouri woman who boarded a bus Friday afternoon bound for the People's Climate Movement march in D.C.

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Despite rain, 'Drug Take Back Day' brings in hundreds of prescription drugs http://www.komu.com/news/despite-rain-drug-take-back-day-brings-in-hundreds-of-prescription-drugs/ http://www.komu.com/news/despite-rain-drug-take-back-day-brings-in-hundreds-of-prescription-drugs/ News Sat, 29 Apr 2017 3:37:02 PM Hanna Knutson, KOMU 8 Reporter Despite rain, 'Drug Take Back Day' brings in hundreds of prescription drugs

JEFFERSON CITY — Ever wonder what to do with your unused prescription drugs? The annual 'Drug Take Back Day' helps dispose of unused prescription medication properly.

The annual Drug Take Back Day, sponsored by the DEA, took place April 28 and 29 this year. There were 420 different agencies in Missouri and the surrounding area collecting unused prescription drugs.

Denise Colvin said she keeps an eye out for the 'take back' days and says she has been bringing in her unused drugs in for years.

"I save up all my prescriptions and then some to drop off on these days, it's a great program," she said.

Sgt. Lenart with the Jefferson City Police Department said by disposing of the medication properly it can not only prevent potential drug abuse, but also help the environment. 

"It's not safe for the environment to just dump them into the trash. It gets into the ground water and there's a lot of environmental factors to take into account," Lenart said.

When dropping off your unused drugs everything is anonymous and no questions are asked.

"It's an anonymous program so if you're name's on the pill bottle we don't look at it we set them in the bin then send it to the DEA. We don't look at it, it doesn't get reported — there's no database. It's 100 percent anonymous," Lenart said.

Lenart said they do not take liquid medication or needles. He recommends checking with the DEA on your best options to dispose of those.

Lenart also suggested checking in with your local law enforcement agency to find out when its take back days are. Lenart said most agencies have take back days twice a year — once in the fall and once in the spring. 







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Police investigate armed robbery at Check Into Cash http://www.komu.com/news/police-investigate-armed-robbery-at-check-into-cash/ http://www.komu.com/news/police-investigate-armed-robbery-at-check-into-cash/ News Sat, 29 Apr 2017 3:27:05 PM Lauren Petterson, KOMU 8 Digital Producer Police investigate armed robbery at Check Into Cash

COLUMBIA — Police officers responded to an armed robbery at Check Into Cash Saturday afternoon.

According to a release from the Columbia Police Department, around 12:30 p.m. officers went to the scene at the 200 block of N. Providence Road. 

A man went into the business with a handgun and demanded money from an employee. The suspect then ran away from the business, taking an undisclosed amount of money.

No one was hurt in the robbery, and the suspect has not been arrested.

A release described the suspect as a black middle-aged male, about 5'11" with a medium build.

If you have information about the robbery you can call the Columbia Police Department at 573-874-7652 or CrimeStoppers at 573-875-TIPS.

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Viewers share photos of mid-Missouri flooding http://www.komu.com/news/viewers-share-photos-of-mid-missouri-flooding/ http://www.komu.com/news/viewers-share-photos-of-mid-missouri-flooding/ News Sat, 29 Apr 2017 2:31:14 PM Lauren Petterson, KOMU 8 Digital Producer Viewers share photos of mid-Missouri flooding

MID-MISSOURI — Flooding caused road closures on Saturday. KOMU 8 News viewers shared photos and videos of what they saw.

Rob-Portia Shadbolt shared an image of flooding at Stinson Creek in Fulton:

Connie Judd sent in a photo of Vivion Field flooding in Jefferson City:

Darren Totten sent a photo of Sinking Creek Road near Rocheport in Boone County:

 Pam Gilmore Bowman sent in these photos of flooding at the Club at Old Hawthorne:


J Patrick Madigan shared an image of Mill Creek flooding:

Lance Dollens shared a photo of flooding at Audrain Road 353 in Mexico: 

Laura Boswell Adamik posted a photo of flooding at CR4021 between AA and 94 in Holts Summit:

 Randy Funk shared a photo of Town Branch in Mexico: 

Funk also shared a photo of the dam in Mexico:

Julie Ann Bower took this photo near taken near Westlake Ace Hardware in Fulton:

 Joshua Preston shared these two photos from Truman Park:
"Should I send for the Ark, or not?" Preston said. 
Tammy Crow posted this photo of Hinkson Creek near Wyatt Lane: 
Pam Hollingsworth shared several photos of flooding in Fulton:

Shawna Hillen shared a photo of a car partially under water in Holts Summit:

"This is normally a field," Jennifer Miller said. This is outside Latham:


[Editor's note: This story has been updated to include more viewer photos.]

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Flooding causes road closures in Boone County http://www.komu.com/news/flooding-causes-road-closures-in-boone-county/ http://www.komu.com/news/flooding-causes-road-closures-in-boone-county/ News Sat, 29 Apr 2017 1:32:30 PM Katie Pylipow, Lauren Petterson, Jared Koller KOMU 8 Digital Producers Flooding causes road closures in Boone County

COLUMBIA — The Boone County Office of Emergency Management has reported numerous road closures due to flooding Saturday. 

  • Brown School Road at Providence Road
  • Route Z at Route FF
  • 6300 block of Hwy 40 W
  • Oneal Road at Wilcox Road
  • Route Y near Bob Veach Road
  • Creasy Springs Road at Bear Creek
  • Hwy 124 N between Lake San Lynn and Little Creek Road
  • Strawn Road at Worley Street
  • Gillespie Bridge Road at Mesa Drive
  • 4800 block of Old Mill Creek Road S 
  • Old 63 N near Business Loop 70 E
  • Sinclair Road at Mill Creek
  • 3500 Block of New Haven Road
  • US 63 Southbound at Prathersville
  • US 63 S Northbound at Angel Lane
  • Northland at Blue Ridge
  • Hill Creek Road at Buffalo Ridge
  • Crump Lane at Martin Lane
  • Robbie Forbis Road at Hunters Bend Road
  • 12000 Block I-70 Drive Northeast E
  • Highway WW at Cedar Creek
  • Route E at Twin Bridges
  • Creasy Springs Road near Bear Creek Trail
  • Andrew Sapp Road S near Nashville Church Road E
  • Barnes School Road N near Winn Road
  • Low Crossing Road between Route B and Hecht Road
  • Old Number 7 between Dripping Springs and Highway 124
  • Highway AB E near Rangeline Road S


Traffic on main Missouri roads has still be very busy throughout the day, despite the conditions.

Many back roads have ditches on both sides to prevent flooding, but after 12-hours of non-stop rain, many of the ditches are overflown. 

Do not pass cars going full speed on side roads, as the splash from the water can harm driver vision.

Hydroplaning is a serious issue when making turns and stops off main roads and has resulted in numerous crashes throughout the area.

Proceed with caution when passing any vehichles, both on and off the road, as a lack of driver vision in rainy weather is often a main cause of crashes on main roads.

If a flash flood warning is issued, the Boone County Office of Emergency Management recommends going to high ground immediately and leaving your vehicle if stuck in rising water.

Stay tuned to KOMU.com and KOMU 8 News at 6, 9 and 10 for the latest weather reports, viewer pictures and road closures.

[Editor's note: This story has been updated to include the most recent closures.]

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Greitens to pay fee for using nonprofit donor list http://www.komu.com/news/greitens-to-pay-fee-for-using-nonprofit-donor-list/ http://www.komu.com/news/greitens-to-pay-fee-for-using-nonprofit-donor-list/ News Sat, 29 Apr 2017 10:50:22 AM The Associated Press Greitens to pay fee for using nonprofit donor list

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Gov. Eric Greitens has agreed to pay a penalty to the state Ethics Commission for failing to report that his gubernatorial campaign got a donor list from a charity he founded.

Greitens' campaign adviser Austin Chambers said Saturday that the violation was a "simple campaign finance matter — not a major ethics matter."

The Ethics Commission imposed a $1,000 fee, most of which would be waived if Greitens pays $100 and commits no other violations in the next two years.

The Associated Press first reported in October that Greitens' campaign accessed a donor list from the nonprofit Mission Continues and had raised about $2 million from people and entities on that list.

Greitens has filed an amended campaign finance report valuing the donor list as $600 in-kind contribution.

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Greitens buys lakeside home http://www.komu.com/news/greitens-buys-lakeside-home/ http://www.komu.com/news/greitens-buys-lakeside-home/ News Sat, 29 Apr 2017 9:14:38 AM The Associated Press Greitens buys lakeside home

JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Gov. Eric Greitens has bought a lakeside house in a resort community west of St. Louis.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Friday reported Greitens and his wife, Sheena, took out a $675,000 loan to buy a six-bedroom home in Innsbrook. The village of roughly 790 people is about 60 miles west of St. Louis.

Greitens and his family moved in January to the governor's mansion in Jefferson City. He told the Post-Dispatch that he and his family live full-time in the capital city but sometimes need to get away from the mansion.

It's unclear whether Greitens is selling his five-bedroom house in St. Louis' Central West End neighborhood. The Innsbrook home would be a shorter drive from Jefferson City.

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Videos reportedly show gruesome abuse of young Kansas boy http://www.komu.com/news/videos-reportedly-show-gruesome-abuse-of-young-kansas-boy/ http://www.komu.com/news/videos-reportedly-show-gruesome-abuse-of-young-kansas-boy/ News Sat, 29 Apr 2017 9:09:22 AM The Associated Press Videos reportedly show gruesome abuse of young Kansas boy

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) — The maternal grandmother of a 7-year-old Kansas boy whose remains were found in a pigsty said she has seen videos that detail gruesome abuse the boy suffered at the hands of his father and stepmother.

Judy Conway, of Emporia, said the videos came from more than 30 security cameras placed throughout the home in Kansas City, Kansas, where her grandson, Adrian Jones, lived with Michael and Heather Jones and six girls before he died in 2015. The Kansas City Star reported some photos also came from social media sites.

Michael Jones has been scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday after he pleaded guilty in March to first-degree murder in Adrian's death. Heather Jones was sentenced in November to life in prison with no chance of parole for 25 years.

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Equestrian legend coaches riders at local university http://www.komu.com/news/equestrian-legend-coaches-riders-at-local-university/ http://www.komu.com/news/equestrian-legend-coaches-riders-at-local-university/ News Sat, 29 Apr 2017 5:53:55 AM Max Cotton, KOMU 8 Reporter Equestrian legend coaches riders at local university

FULTON — Equestrian students at William Woods University have the unique opportunity to learn from a living legend April 28-30.

1960 Olympic silver medalist George H. Morris, who is considered one of the "founding fathers" of hunt seat riding,is hosting a three day clinic at the university. The 22 participants include equestrian students and riders from across mid-Missouri.

"He has a very distinct method of coaching. He has, he wants the best out of them. He expects them to try the hardest they can try to do what he is asking them to do," William Woods equestrian studies professor Michele Smith said.

Morris, 79, also participated in a Q&A style lecture with students and other members of the community on Friday. At the lecture he said he would not be this successful without hard work and dedication, stressing to the young riders the importance of being dedicated to their craft.

"He's the best in the business. Everyone basically knows him," William Woods University equestrian student Vonla Glassman said.

William Woods University was the first in the nation to offer a four year equestrian major. The school currently offers its 200 equestrian students several different degrees within the program. 

Morris also visited the university in the 1980s and 1990s. 

William Woods' equestrian program currently has more than 150 horses, all of which were donated.

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Columbia Police arrest suspect wanted for St. Louis homicide http://www.komu.com/news/columbia-police-arrest-suspect-wanted-for-st-louis-homicide/ http://www.komu.com/news/columbia-police-arrest-suspect-wanted-for-st-louis-homicide/ News Sat, 29 Apr 2017 4:12:00 AM Daniel Perreault, KOMU 8 Digital Producer Columbia Police arrest suspect wanted for St. Louis homicide

COLUMBIA — According to a Columbia Police Department press release, officers arrested a suspect wanted by the St. Louis Police Department.

Acting on a tip from Police in St. Louis, officers arrested 27-year-old Emily Paul Friday night.

Police said Paul had a felony warrant for first degree murder out of St. Louis. 

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Paul encouraged and aided in the death of the son of her boyfriend, Jibri Baker. 

Paul was taken to the Boone County Jail where she will await extradition to St. Louis.


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Activists travel to Washington, D.C. for Peoples Climate Movement http://www.komu.com/news/activists-travel-to-washington-d-c-for-peoples-climate-movement/ http://www.komu.com/news/activists-travel-to-washington-d-c-for-peoples-climate-movement/ News Fri, 28 Apr 2017 7:35:23 PM Lauren Magarino, KOMU8 News Reporter Activists travel to Washington, D.C. for Peoples Climate Movement

COLUMBIA — Close to 25 environmental activists from mid-Missouri boarded a bus bound for Washington, D.C. Friday afternoon headed to the Peoples Climate Movement march. 

The movement organized a march in 2014, before the UN Climate Summit began. Four hundred thousand people marched through New York City's streets, demanding action of the global climate crisis. The Peoples Climate Movement continued to march since then. 

The next march takes place on April 29. It begins in front of the Capitol, then surrounds the White House and ends at the Washington Monument. 

The 25 who traveled from Columbia embarked on a 20 hour drive to join in on the march. 

"I’m doing this for my grandchildren. We have to do something right now," Sharon Bagatell, a group leader of the Northeast Missouri Citizens' Climate Lobby chapter said. 

That 'something' was what Mike Diel, a member of the Sierra Club, called bringing in public education.

"A lot of people don’t know the dangers we're facing," Diel said. "We need to burn less carbon and find renewable energy. We also need to stop cutting forests down. We need to stop making plastic. There’s a whole plethora of things that we need to do. Scientists tell us that’s going to change the climate, and once the climate becomes unstable it’ll be a long time before it becomes stable again." 

In recent news, there has been national debate on whether or not science validates climate change. 

"Well the way science works it’s possible for scientists to misjudge data. But the idea that they’re actually lying about it or trying to get government money or something is silly. It’s all peer-reviewed. Either its right or wrong, but its not a lie," Diel said. 

Despite any opposition, spirits on the bus were high. 

"I’m really excited. I’m already meeting other people and sharing ideas. I feel the movement, the inspiration," Bagatell said. 

A sister march will be held at the Courthouse Square in Columbia on April 29 at 1 p.m.

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Department of Public Safety preparing for potential weekend flooding http://www.komu.com/news/department-of-public-safety-preparing-for-potential-weekend-flooding/ http://www.komu.com/news/department-of-public-safety-preparing-for-potential-weekend-flooding/ News Fri, 28 Apr 2017 7:20:01 PM Melissa Zygowicz, KOMU 8 Reporter Department of Public Safety preparing for potential weekend flooding

COLUMBIA — The Missouri Department of Public Safety is preparing to respond to potential dangerous flooding in the forecast beginning Friday evening through Sunday evening. 

The department said it deployed personnel and equipment to respond to the flooding, including the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Missouri National Guard, the Division of Fire Safety and the State Emergency Management Facility.

The Director of State Emergency Management Facility, Ernie Rhodes, said Gov. Greitens directed the department to start acquiring resources for the weekend.

"Flash floods occur quick. Many people who die in weather related events are from flash floods and flooding," Rhodes said. "So, we had to start acquiring resources such as rescue teams, flood fighting equipment such as sand bags and automatic sandbag machines."

Rhodes also said the State Emergency Operations Center is fully staffed and will work with local first responders and emergency managers to help coordinate response throughout the weekend.

"The way we have got our system designed is that we are here to support the local communities. So, if somebody is in danger and they need help, they call their local emergency center, 9-1-1 or the number that their county issues for calling in state of emergency," he said.

Rhodes also said to pay close attention to the forecast.

"When your area is affected by a flash flood warning, pay attention. Where are you? Are you in a low lying area? Is the home you live in subject to frequent flooding? If so, than you need to go to higher ground," he said.

The Missouri Department of Public Safety released the following facts about flash flooding:

  • More than half of those filled by flooding are in vehicles and drive into floodwaters.
  • Less than a foot of moving water is enough to push a vehicle.
  • Low water crossing are among the most dangerous spots. Never attempt to cross one that is flooded.

The department also recommends Missourians take these precaution in areas affected by flash flooding:

  • When a flash flood warning is issued in your area, go to higher ground immediately.
  • Do not attempt to cross flowing streams on foot. Six inches of water is enough to knock you off your feet.
  • If your vehicle becomes stuck in rising water, get out quickly and move to higher ground because rapidly rising water may engulf the vehicle and sweep it away.




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Youth Alcohol Campaign encourages safe driving during prom season http://www.komu.com/news/youth-alcohol-campaign-encourages-safe-driving-during-prom-season/ http://www.komu.com/news/youth-alcohol-campaign-encourages-safe-driving-during-prom-season/ News Fri, 28 Apr 2017 7:01:13 PM Casey Edwards, KOMU 8 Reporter Youth Alcohol Campaign encourages safe driving during prom season

JEFFERSON CITY - As prom season begins, the Jefferson City Police Department will start sending out more officers to monitor potential drinking and driving.

The Youth Alcohol Awareness Campaign program runs May 4-15, and local law enforcement across the state will put more resources into monitoring underage drinking and driving.

The Missouri Safety Center gave the Jefferson City Police Department a grant to cover the costs of using additional officers to work various prom nights.

Traffic Unit Officer Shawn Dumsday said additional officers will only have one responsibility these nights: patrolling the streets to make sure teens aren’t breaking any alcohol laws.

“They’re not answering any other calls, all that they’re doing is specifically traffic-oriented,” said Dumsday.

Missouri has a “Zero Tolerance” law, meaning anyone under 21 years of age caught driving under the influence will have their license suspended and must attend a class on substance abuse.

City officers won’t be responsible for any on-site monitoring. Dumsday said school resource officers who typically are at school events will do the same for prom nights.

In addition to extra police officer presence, Helias High School in Jefferson City also requires students to use a Breathalyzer before entering prom to check their blood-alcohol level.

According to Helias Communications Director Sandy Hentges, students are chosen at random to use the Breathalyzer, but the school enforces policies regarding drinking and driving year-round. 

According to the Missouri Department of Transportation, between 2011 and 2014, there were 69 fatal crashes in Missouri involving an underage and under-the-influence driver.

MODOT encourages everyone, not just prom-goers to find alternatives to drinking and driving, such as calling a sober ride or staying at a friend’s house.

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Drugged driving fatalities on the rise in Missouri and nationwide http://www.komu.com/news/drugged-driving-fatalities-on-the-rise-in-missouri-and-nationwide/ http://www.komu.com/news/drugged-driving-fatalities-on-the-rise-in-missouri-and-nationwide/ News Fri, 28 Apr 2017 5:36:40 PM Matt Vereen, KOMU 8 Reporter Drugged driving fatalities on the rise in Missouri and nationwide

JEFFERSON CITY — Fatal accidents involving drugged driving have surpassed those involving drunk driving, according to a new study from the Governors Highway Safety Association.

The report found 43 percent of motorists who died in 2015 were under the influence of drugs, while only 37 percent tested positive for alcohol.

GHSA did point out many officers are not trained to identify the signs and symptoms of drivers impaired by drugs other than alcohol.

In Missouri, drugged driving fatalities are on the rise but have yet to surpass drunken driving fatalities.

In 2007, there were 24-drugged driving fatalities compared to 231 drunk driving fatalities. 2016 saw that change to 70 and 166 respectively.

The Missouri State Highway Patrol says while the state has not seen more drugged driving fatalities than drunk driving fatalities, drug use behind the wheel has become a growing problem.

“Over the years, we have seen an increase in drug use. Whether that’s illicit drug use, marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine. But it’s also over the counter prescription medication, whether or not someone would have a prescription,” said MSHP Sergeant Scott White.

So far in 2017, Missouri has seen 16 drugged driving fatalities and 24 drunk driving fatalities, though troopers note the two are not mutually exclusive.

White said it is important to realize driving while under the influence of drugs is just as dangerous as driving while drunk.

“Driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol is a choice and it’s 100 percent preventable. Even though the substances may be different, the results are the same. It ends up tragically in injuries and death every year here in Missouri,” White said.

He said drivers need to understand the responsibility they have to others when they are behind the wheel.

“Driving is the first privilege we earn in our lives that allows us to kill another person or ourselves without any intent whatsoever. It’s very dangerous. You have to remember that driving is a divided attention task. You have to do something mental and physical. Whether or not you’re under the influence of drugs or alcohol, both of those are affected,” White said.

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