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, 25 Jun 2017 13:06:34 GMT Synapse CMS 10 KOMU.com http://www.komu.com/ 144 25 Strength coaches raise money for kids http://www.komu.com/news/strength-coaches-raise-money-for-kids/ http://www.komu.com/news/strength-coaches-raise-money-for-kids/ News Sun, 25 Jun 2017 6:11:03 AM Kyrah Davis, KOMU 8 Reporter Strength coaches raise money for kids

COLUMBIA – The Strengthening and Conditioning Factory is hosting a fundraiser for the Children’s Miracle Network on Sunday.

The Play 60 Fundraiser is open to the public and is a time to meet the trainers, watch athletic demonstrations, and enjoy food.

All donations will go to the Children’s Miracle Network and to kids looking to sign up for Play 60, an NFL campaign that motivates kids to be active.

Strength Coach JD Franklin said, “Some families can’t really afford to participate.”

He said the goal is to sponsor 50 kids for Play 60 this year. Franklin said he has a target audience.

“We want to help the local youth here in Columbia,” he said. “A lot of kids that we train or work with are outside Columbia so we’re trying to target the inner city youth here.”

Inspiring kids has been heavy on his heart lately. Franklin said he was motivated by a visit to the children’s hospital to host this fundraiser.

“At that moment, any problem I ever had went right out the door,” he said. “So I just decided you know what, we gone do this annually.”

Franklin said kids from the Children’s Miracle Network will attend the event, but they won’t be working out. He said it’s more of a showcase.

“There are entities out here that want to work with youth and we don’t see enough of them out in the community,” he said.

The event will be held at the Strengthening and Conditioning Factory at 5 p.m.

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Students evacuate safely as fire burns East Campus house http://www.komu.com/news/students-evacuate-safely-as-fire-burns-east-campus-house/ http://www.komu.com/news/students-evacuate-safely-as-fire-burns-east-campus-house/ News Sat, 24 Jun 2017 7:41:21 PM James Packard, KOMU 8 Reporter Students evacuate safely as fire burns East Campus house

COLUMBIA - Four people made it out safely of a house on Rosemary Lane in Columbia Saturday morning after a fire engulfed the front of the house.

Ross Kurczynski was inside the house at the time of the fire. 

"At 3:00 in the morning, we were woken up to a fire alarm," he said.

Kurczynski was in a room on the second floor of the house. He said he woke up shrouded in smoke.

"It was a surreal situation," he said. "I've never woken up in smoke before and so I was kinda like, 'What's going on?'"

Kurczynski said he grabbed his phone and left the house.

"I tried to go out the front door, it was too hot," he said. "The fire had already engulfed the front door."

Kurczynski said he was the last one out of the house. Everyone made it out without getting injured.

At one point, eleven units from the Columbia Fire Department were at the house. Firefighters tweeted from the scene.

"Don't really have any words for it," he said. "This never happens. You don't ever plan for this."

Damage to the house will cost about $20,000, according to Kurczynski.

"Luckily everyone had moved out for the summer," he said. "The four major rooms that got burned had actually already been moved out of."

Kurczynski said the fire started on a couch on the first floor. The Columbia Fire Department had not released a cause of fire as of Saturday evening. 

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Columbia Police respond to shots heard in central Columbia http://www.komu.com/news/columbia-police-respond-to-shots-heard-in-central-columbia/ http://www.komu.com/news/columbia-police-respond-to-shots-heard-in-central-columbia/ News Sat, 24 Jun 2017 5:53:25 PM Edward Redler, KOMU 8 Digital Producer Columbia Police respond to shots heard in central Columbia

COLUMBIA - Columbia Police responded to shots heard at the 800 block of Spencer Avenue on Saturday just before 5:00 p.m.

According to a release, CPD located several shell casings from different calibers of firearms along Bernadette Drive near Worley Street.

Witnesses told CPD officers they saw a black vehicle driving on Bernadette Drive with at least one person shooting from the vehicle.

The investigation is ongoing. 

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Thousands of people participate in National Amateur Radio Field Day http://www.komu.com/news/thousands-of-people-participate-in-national-amateur-radio-field-day/ http://www.komu.com/news/thousands-of-people-participate-in-national-amateur-radio-field-day/ News Sat, 24 Jun 2017 3:48:15 PM Shade Bullock, KOMU 8 Reporter Thousands of people participate in National Amateur Radio Field Day

COLUMBIA - Members of the Central Missouri Radio Association are inviting mid-Missourians to participate in the National Amateur Radio Field Day exercise at Rock Bridge State Park.

The event started operating at 1:00 p.m. Saturday and will continue until Sunday at 1 p.m.

The event is free to the public.

National Field Day allows ham radio operators to experiment with electronics and communication at temporary radio station setups in public places. Operators are able to contact people from all over the world through radio frequency.

Amateur radio also known as ham radio, is a popular hobby and service that causes people, electronics, and communication to come together. People utilize ham radio to communicate within a range of distances from across the neighborhood to into space. Amateur radio does this without the use of Internet or cell phones, making it an essential communication network during national disasters.

Bill McFarland, Boone County Amateur Radio Emergency Services Emergency Coordinator, said that Field Day showcases differences in contemporary communication.

"Field Day is a day where we try to communicate with 35,000 to 40,000 other hams who are doing the same thing all over the United States at the same time without using commercial power and without using the Internet to see how we can communicate," McFarland said.

Over 35,000 people from thousands of locations participated in National Field Day in 2016. Ham radio enthusiasts are hoping to see that number grow this year with youth involvement.

Tim Spurgeon, President of Boone County Emergency Service, encourages for younger citizens to participate.

"We do want to encourage young people to be involved, so for that reason today we have invited boy scouts, girl scouts, grade schools and high schools in the area to try to get them interested in doing this," Spurgeon said.

Brian Fowler President of the Central Missouri Radio Association, noted that ham radio has helped Missourians in the past.

"During the Joplin tornado there were a lot of hams in the community that showed up and helped send help and welfare to families."

Radio operators believe it is important to always be prepared if modern technology would fail us today, thus why they exercise their equipment and skills once a year on National Amateur Radio Field Day.

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Fulton man charged following vehicle chase and crash http://www.komu.com/news/fulton-man-charged-following-vehicle-chase-and-crash/ http://www.komu.com/news/fulton-man-charged-following-vehicle-chase-and-crash/ News Sat, 24 Jun 2017 3:51:51 PM Edward Redler, KOMU 8 Digital Producer Fulton man charged following vehicle chase and crash

FULTON - A man was taken into custody and charged Friday night after leading authorities on a chase through the city. 

A Fulton Police officer noticed a dark colored Buick with license plates that did not belong to that vehicle and the driver of the vehicle to be Kavin B. Vance.

According to a press release, Vance was known to have a felony revoked driver’s license status and multiple warrants out for his arrest.

The officer tried to pull Vance over, but he sped away leading authorities on a chase before eventually crashing into a utility pole, stop sign and a chain link fence.

Vance fled the crash scene on foot into Carver Park until officers caught up and took Vance into custody.

While searching Vance and his vehicle 2 bags of marijuana were located.

Vance was released into the custody of the Callaway County Jail where he was charged.

Fulton Police say that charges may change and/or be added at a later time. Vance is currently being held without bond

There were no injuries reported and no police vehicles were involved in any accidents.

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Cheerleaders give back to "People who risk their lives everyday" http://www.komu.com/news/cheerleaders-give-back-to-people-who-risk-their-lives-everyday-/ http://www.komu.com/news/cheerleaders-give-back-to-people-who-risk-their-lives-everyday-/ News Sat, 24 Jun 2017 3:51:10 PM Jasmyn Willis, KOMU 8 Reporter Cheerleaders give back to

JEFFERSON CITY - Cheerleaders rolled up their sleeves and got dirty while washing cars Saturday as athletes at Capitol City Cheer held their Second Annual First Responders Day.

First responders from seven counties were served lunch while their car was washed. First responders were invited to bring their personal or work vehicles.

Cole County Hazmat Communications Technician, Kyle Renick, said it’s great to see the kids give back.

“It’s really amazing that these girls have the time and the courage to put on all of this for us because you don’t see that a lot from people,” Renick said. “This is the second year they’ve done it for us.”

Capitol City Cheer Owner, Ron Swanson said he instills character development and positivity in his athletes.

“It was important to teach our athletes that character development and being someone that’s a strong presence in their community was important,” Swanson said.

Capital City Cheer wanted to recognize first responders for the sacrifice they make every day.

“I’ve always been a person that felt that giving back to our community, especially the hardworking men, women and our first responders, was an important part of being a part of community," Swanson said.

The athletes delivered mint-themed care packages to first responders to show appreciation for their “Commit-MINT”.

Capitol City Cheerleader Claire Thurnau said she’s been cheering competitively for five years and Capitol City is a great environment.

“You’re not only building yourself as an athlete but you’re building yourself as a character,” Thurnau said.

Thurnau, 13, helped coordinate the event and said it’s a way to appreciate first responders.

“The least we can do is cook them a hamburger and wash their vehicles for people who risk their lives every day,” Thurnau said.

Swanson said he has coached cheerleaders for over 20 years. He said he does it for the athletes.

“Anybody that does what I do, we do what we do, mainly for the kids," Swanson said. "Seeing them not just want to give back, but have fun doing it and creating fun environments for them to do it in. That’s why we appreciate so much the fire department and everybody coming out and giving these kids and opportunity, a fun opportunity to give back to them.”

Jefferson City fire fighter Brian Leivian said it’s great to have the athletes give back.

“It’s nice to have the recognition even though we don’t look for it,” Levian said.  “It feels good to have somebody do something for us once and a while.”

Jefferson City fire fighter Billy Bolden said days like Saturday are one of the best parts of his job.

“To watch the kids is probably one of the best parts of the job," Bolden said. "Just being able to watch the kids have fun and be around the fire trucks. When we are driving down the road to see little kids wave from the back seat and see them smile, it’s always a good thing.”

Capitol City Cheer said there were over 25 first responders who attended the event last year.

“It’s just nice,” Renick said. “We get to sit down eat barbecue, while they wash our trucks. They really give us a break from our day to day life and careers.”

Renick said Capital City Cheer set an example for others to give back to the community.

“In today’s age people are started realizing maybe we should recognize some of our public servants,” Renick said. "I think it’s great that some of these girls are doing this for us and it’s really taking a step to get other people to do it as well.”

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Local dentist provides free service for veterans http://www.komu.com/news/local-dentist-provides-free-service-for-veterans/ http://www.komu.com/news/local-dentist-provides-free-service-for-veterans/ News Sat, 24 Jun 2017 2:29:20 PM Ian Nickens, KOMU 8 Reporter Local dentist provides free service for veterans

COLUMBIA – Aspen Dental provided veterans with free services in mid-Missouri and across the U.S. Saturday for the Aspen Day of Service.

This is only the fourth annual Day of Service, but according to a press release from Aspen, it has performed nearly $8 million in free dental work for 12,000 patients in that time.

Aspen Dental in Columbia is normally closed on Saturday, but it made an exception for the sole purpose of letting veterans come in for free service.

Between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., Aspen served 15 veterans.

Office Manager Trista Johnson said that’s the average number of veterans Aspen will serve in each in of its roughly 450 locations. Everything Aspen offered today was free, but the services had a time limit.

“For each veteran, we are giving them what we can in 30 minutes,” Johnson said. “Most of the time, it’s an extraction or a filling… there are some things we can’t do the same day, so we will have them come back at later days, if we couldn’t do something for them today.”

Dental coverage can be a problem for veterans. The U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs provides dental coverage, but only for veterans who are completely disabled, were prisoners of war or have a service-related dental injury. Other than that, veterans can receive dental care until a specific condition is cured or they can receive one treatment if they sign up within 180 days of ending service. That leaves millions of veterans without dental care.

“I missed my dental appointments because I was too short of time in the service, so I had to do my own dentistry,” Veteran Ramon Pagni said. “[The VA] replaced my hips, they take my blood pressure, they do everything, almost, for you. I have no complaints about the veterans’ hospital here.”

The VA just doesn’t provide dental for Pagni. He has to pay for that on his own and it’s expensive. He said that eventually he wasn’t able to afford some of the work he needed for his mouth.

“I had gone to a dentist and he looked at my mouth and he wanted, for one thing they did today, he wanted almost a thousand dollars,” Pagni said. “Where the [expletive] am I going to get a thousand dollars for a tooth to fill? [Aspen] did all this for nothing.”

Pagni is one of the veterans who was only able to get part of a procedure done with the time he had. However, one lucky veteran at each Aspen location will be selected to receive the rest of their procedure for free. The staff will decide who wins after the day is over.

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Missouri attorney general could gain power over abortion law http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-attorney-general-could-gain-power-over-abortion-law/ http://www.komu.com/news/missouri-attorney-general-could-gain-power-over-abortion-law/ News Sat, 24 Jun 2017 1:21:48 PM The Associated Press Missouri attorney general could gain power over abortion law

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Some GOP state lawmakers want to give the Missouri attorney general authority to prosecute violations of state abortion laws.

The Republican-led Legislature is considering the proposal during a special session on abortion regulations called by Republican Gov. Eric Greitens.

Currently, it's up to local prosecutors to file charges in most cases of potential criminal violations.

But Sen. Andrew Koenig says he wants to give the attorney general that power in case local prosecutors don't act.

The only licensed abortion facility in the state is a Planned Parenthood clinic in St. Louis, where the city prosecutor is a former Democratic lawmaker.

Current Republican Attorney General Josh Hawley opposes abortion.

The House has passed Koenig's measure. It's unclear when the Senate will consider it.

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New trial for Reginald Clemons pushed back into next year http://www.komu.com/news/new-trial-for-reginald-clemons-pushed-back-into-next-year/ http://www.komu.com/news/new-trial-for-reginald-clemons-pushed-back-into-next-year/ News Sat, 24 Jun 2017 12:59:55 PM The Associated Press New trial for Reginald Clemons pushed back into next year

ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis judge has pushed back until Jan. 8 the retrial of a man accused in the deaths of two sisters forced off an abandoned Mississippi River bridge.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that Reginald Clemons' new trial was delayed after Clemons' public defenders argued state prosecutors obtained and listened to Clemons' jailhouse calls since March of last year.

Assistant Attorney General Christine Krug counters the state didn't listen to any calls to public defenders, and that Clemons waived attorney-client privilege when he called his lawyers knowing the jail records calls.

Reginald Clemons spent 22 years on death row before a judge last year granted a retrial.

Clemons was one of four men convicted in the 1991 deaths of 20-year-old Julie Kerry and her 19-year-old sister, Robin.

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St. Louis County police probe car wreck, toddler's death http://www.komu.com/news/st-louis-county-police-probe-car-wreck-toddler-s-death/ http://www.komu.com/news/st-louis-county-police-probe-car-wreck-toddler-s-death/ News Sat, 24 Jun 2017 12:47:11 PM The Associated Press St. Louis County police probe car wreck, toddler's death

ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis County police are investigating the case of a toddler who died after the vehicle in which he was riding overturned after hitting several parked vehicles.

Police say 14-month-old Keshawn Hampton Jr. of Florissant died at a hospital shortly after the wreck Friday night.

A 20-year-old woman who also was a passenger was treated at a hospital. A male passenger fled the scene before police arrived, and the 18-year-old driver was taken into custody.

The status of any charges was not immediately clear Saturday.

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St. Louis man accused of triple homicide still at large http://www.komu.com/news/st-louis-man-accused-of-triple-homicide-still-at-large/ http://www.komu.com/news/st-louis-man-accused-of-triple-homicide-still-at-large/ News Sat, 24 Jun 2017 12:42:29 PM The Associated Press St. Louis man accused of triple homicide still at large

ST. LOUIS (AP) — St. Louis police are searching for a man now accused of killing a couple and another man in a shooting that critically injured a 7-year-old girl.

St. Louis prosecutors on Friday charged 28-year-old Jerome Leon Buress Jr. with three counts of first-degree murder in connection with the June 2 shooting. Buress also is charged with six counts of armed criminal action, two counts of assault, and one count each of shooting a firearm at a motor vehicle and tampering with a witness.

Authorities allege that Buress killed 27-year-old Derrick Irving and 24-year-old Jessica Garth, the parents of wounded 7-year-old Deniya Irving. Thirty-seven-year-old Julian Hayes also was killed.

Police say the shooting took place while the victims were in a car.

Buress remained at large Saturday.

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Airplane crash in Callaway County injures two http://www.komu.com/news/airplane-crash-in-callaway-county-injures-two/ http://www.komu.com/news/airplane-crash-in-callaway-county-injures-two/ News Sat, 24 Jun 2017 11:43:14 AM Edward Redler, KOMU 8 Digital Producer and Jacob Cavaiani, KOMU 8 Reporter Airplane crash in Callaway County injures two

CALLAWAY COUNTY - Callaway County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to an initial 911 call Saturday morning reporting an airplane flying low and then crashing into the woods

Deputies arrived at the crash near the 6000 block of State Road O east of Fulton just before 10:00 a.m. 

Five passengers were onboard the airplane at the time of the crash.  Two of the five passengers had received minor injuries.  The others were not injured.

Deputies say the airplane was enroute to the Elton Hensley Memorial Airport in Fulton when the plane experienced a mechanical failure. The airplane crashed into the woods. 

Callaway County Sheriff’s Office deputies and investigators remain on-scene and the investigation is ongoing at this time. The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board have been contacted for standard procedure, though it was unclear Saturday afternoon when the agencies' investigation would be conducted.

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5th Annual Sweatin' to Make a Difference aims to feed the youth http://www.komu.com/news/5th-annual-sweatin-to-make-a-difference-aims-to-feed-the-youth/ http://www.komu.com/news/5th-annual-sweatin-to-make-a-difference-aims-to-feed-the-youth/ News Sat, 24 Jun 2017 11:40:30 AM Kyreon Lee, KOMU 8 Reporter 5th Annual Sweatin' to Make a Difference aims to feed the youth

JEFFERSON CITY— The Sam B. Cook Healthplex hosted the 5th Annual Sweatin' to Make a Difference on Saturday.

The purpose of the event was to help raise donations to support the Central and Northeast Food Bank's Buddy Pack Program. 

Participants joined in a series of exercises led by instructors and also brought jars of peanut butter and other donations.

The Buddy Pack Program was created to serve children who rely on subsidized meals during the school week. Buddy Packs are filled with nutritional food and given to low-income children on Fridays to get them through the weekend.

The Central and Northeast Missouri Food Bank serves 27 of 32 counties with the Buddy Pack Program. The program provides 7,500 Buddy Packs every week during the school year for children. 

Central and Northeast Missouri Food Bank Regional Coordinator Jessica Long said that the Buddy Pack Program is one of the Food Bank's most successful programs.

"Children who receive Buddy Packs actually have better educational outcomes," Long said. "They have fewer sick days and they have fewer behavioral issues because kids are not constantly wondering, 'Well, where is my next meal going to come from?'" 

Long said that the Buddy Pack Program wouldn't be possible without the support of the community.

Group Fitness Supervisor Sarah Harbour said that the goal is to continue the growth of the program each year.

"Part of our mission at Capital Region is to reach out to the community and to help those," Harbour said. "The buddy pack program has been a great opportunity for us. People are very willing to give."

Peanut butter donations were number one on the list because once a month each child is given a jar of peanut butter. This year, the number of jars of peanut butter donated exceeded the goal of 250 jars.

Sweatin' to Make a difference will continue Sunday, June 25 at the Sam B. Healthplex.

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Columbia man shot and injured early Friday morning http://www.komu.com/news/columbia-man-shot-and-injured-early-friday-morning/ http://www.komu.com/news/columbia-man-shot-and-injured-early-friday-morning/ News Sat, 24 Jun 2017 10:26:13 AM Edward Redler, KOMU 8 Digital Producer Columbia man shot and injured early Friday morning

COLUMBIA - An early Friday morning shooting has left one man with non-life-threatening injuries.

Columbia Police officers responded to a call of shots fired at the 1600 block of Sylvan Lane at 1:37 a.m.

Officers located a vehicle with bullet holes, blood, and shell casings.

Officers said a male had been shot and transported by personal vehicle to a local hospital.

There were no further reported injuries or property damage.

The investigation is ongoing.

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Supreme Court decision on Trinity Lutheran Church expected this week http://www.komu.com/news/supreme-court-decision-on-trinity-lutheran-church-expected-this-week/ http://www.komu.com/news/supreme-court-decision-on-trinity-lutheran-church-expected-this-week/ News Sat, 24 Jun 2017 8:18:41 AM The Associated Press Supreme Court decision on Trinity Lutheran Church expected this week

WASHINGTON (AP) - When the justices take the bench Monday for their final week before a summer hiatus, they are expected to decide the case of Trinity Lutheran Church of Columbia. The church was excluded from a state grant program to pay for soft surfaces on playgrounds run by not-for-profit groups.

The case is being closely watched by advocates of school vouchers, who hope the court will make it easier to use state money to pay for private, religious schooling in states that now prohibit it.

Missouri has since changed its policy under Republican Gov. Eric Greitens so that churches may now apply for the money.

Justice Neil Gorsuch, Trump's first Supreme Court nominee, could play a pivotal role in the case.


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Volunteers keep a Boonville tradition going http://www.komu.com/news/volunteers-keep-a-boonville-tradition-going/ http://www.komu.com/news/volunteers-keep-a-boonville-tradition-going/ News Sat, 24 Jun 2017 4:38:36 AM Kyrah Davis, KOMU 8 Reporter Volunteers keep a Boonville tradition going

BOONVILLE – Residents gathered on Saturday for the 28th Annual Boonville Heritage Days. 

About 100 members of the community volunteered throughout the past year to help organize the event. Thousands of people attend Heritage Days events, which include wine tasting, car shows, carnivals, and a parade.

The Boonville Area Chamber of Commerce sponsors the festival and Executive Director Laura Wax said they need all hands on deck. “The main core is about 13 people. But over the course of the entire weekend there will be about 100 volunteers that come in and assist.”

Wax said all of these volunteers make up Boonville’s community.

“We do have some chamber members, but we have people who’ve been on the Heritage Days committee since its inception in 1989,” she said.

Heritage Days runs through Sunday.

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Columbia Police warn of potential IRS scam http://www.komu.com/news/columbia-police-warn-of-potential-irs-scam/ http://www.komu.com/news/columbia-police-warn-of-potential-irs-scam/ News Sat, 24 Jun 2017 3:52:55 AM Daniel Perreault, KOMU 8 Digital Producer Columbia Police warn of potential IRS scam

COLUMBIA - Police are warning residents about a phone scam.

The Columbia Police Department said it has received multiple reports of someone pretending to be an IRS employee telling people they are in danger of a lawsuit. According to police, the caller tries to get the victim to reveal personal and financial information in order to avoid the lawsuit.

The department said it wants to remind the public that government agencies do not call citizens to ask them for any form of debit or credit card payment. Police advise against giving out personal information such as credit card information or social security numbers to strangers over the phone. The department said, "If something doesn’t seem right, it’s not right."

If you've fallen victim to a scam, you can submit a report to the Treasury Inspector General online at https://www.treasury.gov/tigta/contact_report_scam.shtml.

You are also advised to report any type of fraudulent activity to your local law enforcement agency.

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MUPD: All clear, no device found after MizzouRec bomb threat http://www.komu.com/news/mupd-all-clear-no-device-found-after-mizzourec-bomb-threat/ http://www.komu.com/news/mupd-all-clear-no-device-found-after-mizzourec-bomb-threat/ News Sat, 24 Jun 2017 3:01:05 AM Daniel Perreault, KOMU 8 Reporter MUPD: All clear, no device found after MizzouRec bomb threat

COLUMBIA - MUPD officers gave the "all clear" late Friday night after authorities said they did not find an explosive device inside the MU Student Recreation Complex.

According to MU Alert, the university's emergency information system, officers responded just before 10:00 p.m. after someone anonymously called in a bomb threat to MUPD. 

MizzouRec was immediately evacuated and multiple MUPD patrol cars were positioned to block each entrance to the building.

Police officers and an explosives K9 team searched the complex, but were unable to find any indication of an explosive device.

Authorities said the investigation to determine who made the call was ongoing.

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Online complaints about Moniteau County Jail prompt sheriff response http://www.komu.com/news/online-complaints-about-moniteau-county-jail-prompt-sheriff-response/ http://www.komu.com/news/online-complaints-about-moniteau-county-jail-prompt-sheriff-response/ News Fri, 23 Jun 2017 7:48:36 PM Meg Hilling, KOMU 8 Reporter Online complaints about Moniteau County Jail prompt sheriff response

MONITEAU COUNTY - The Moniteau County sheriff denied accusations of the jail being in poor condition following posts on social media.

On Tuesday, Catherine Anderson Stout posted on Facebook that an inmate she knew in the jail was being denied prescribed medicine and that his bed was infested with bugs. She also claimed inmates were being denied food and one correctional officer was told to keep her mouth shut when she told her superiors that she had seen bugs.

Moniteau County Sheriff, Tony Wheatley argued against the allegations in a press release Friday afternoon. According to Wheatley, the county health inspector gave the facility a good report earlier that day.

"I instructed the jail staff after the complaints, I instructed them 'don't touch anything, don't clean anything, leave it the way it is and we'll let the health inspector come in just as is,'" Wheatley said. "And he did today, and the county health inspector saw no signs of anything in the facility and said it was actually a nice clean facility. And he said he would write a report stating that fact."

According to Wheatley, this is not the first time complaints have been made about the jail. The most common of these complaints he noted, is the food.

"They complain about the food. They aren't getting enough food. Or they don't like the food," he said. "Of course it is not the Hilton, it's not a bed and breakfast. So I mean they are in custody, they are in jail and they get, some of the inmates get bored or agitated over certain things because they don't have as much rights as they do on the outside, and we don't give them certain things and they get mad and start making phone calls to their family and things like that." 

Wheatley advises inmates and their family members to use the grievance forms and to contact him directly if they have concerns about the jail's condition.

"The best thing to do is, like I have stated before, I have an open door policy, I'm here everyday. It's best if they have an issue, they can come to me directly and we can try to handle it right then instead of going through the back door and then posting stuff on social media."

KOMU 8 reached out to Anderson Stout for comment but received no response.


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Veterans benefit from bull riding fundraiser http://www.komu.com/news/veterans-benefit-from-bull-riding-fundraiser/ http://www.komu.com/news/veterans-benefit-from-bull-riding-fundraiser/ News Fri, 23 Jun 2017 7:34:35 PM Matt Weller, KOMU 8 Reporter Veterans benefit from bull riding fundraiser

JEFFERSON CITY - A Missouri non-profit organization is raising money for veterans in its own unique way, bull riding.

Larry Oster, a veteran of the National Guard, founded Riding for Veterans in 2014 to help pay for his brother's medical expenses. When his brother, also a retired veteran, passed away later that year, Oster decided to honor his brother in the best way he could think of.

"Everything we do here, it's for him," Oster said. "He meant a tremendous amount to me, to our family, and this is a tremendous way to honor him and all veterans, too."

Riding for Veterans hosted its second bull ride of 2017 Friday, featuring over 30 professional bulls and riders. All proceeds from the event will benefit local veterans organizations. The first ride generated over $5,000 to be donated. Each participating rider sponsors a veteran, who is recognized in front of the crowd before the ride.

"This event just means everything to us," said retired veteran Gregory Scott. "In public, we all don't know each other, but when you get here and everyone learns about one another and connects personally, its different. It's a great feeling to have this kind of support."

The funds go to various local veterans organizations, including the Naught-Naught agency, which assists in education and benefits programs. 

"Jefferson City is so great, and the surrounding communities across Missouri are so great about saying 'welcome home, we are proud of you, we are proud of your service, and we want to do everything we can to make your life better,'" Pat Rowe Kerr, the volunteer Executive Director of the non-profit organization When the Yellow Ribbon Fades, said.

"The most rewarding thing for veterans is to help other veterans," Oster said. "That's what drives us. It's what drives me and my wife to be able to help those who need help so much."

As for Oster himself, he said events like this one help him feel his brother's presence.

"I hope he would be very proud," Oster said. "He's here. He's always with us. He's always looking around. That's what keeps us going.""




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