KOMU.com https://www.komu.com/ KOMU.com Top Stories Top Stories en-us Copyright 2019, KOMU.com. All Rights Reserved. Feed content is not avaialble for commercial use. () () Sun, 20 Oct 2019 HH:10:ss GMT Synapse CMS 10 KOMU.com https://www.komu.com/ 144 25 Heavy police presence after crash on U.S. 63 Connector https://www.komu.com/news/heavy-police-presence-after-crash-on-u-s-63-connector/ https://www.komu.com/news/heavy-police-presence-after-crash-on-u-s-63-connector/ Top Stories Sat, 19 Oct 2019 6:03:47 PM Spencer Humphrey, KOMU 8 Reporter Heavy police presence after crash on U.S. 63 Connector

COLUMBIA - Police were seen searching the area near the scene of a crash Saturday afternoon.

Police responded to a crash on the U.S. 63/I-70 Connector around 3:30 p.m. KOMU 8 News crews on scene saw police inspecting a motorcycle.

A short time later, some officers left the scene. KOMU 8's crew saw police searching the area near Hinkson Creek and Business Loop 70.

Columbia police did not immediately respond to a request for information. 

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Trump drops plan to host G-7 at Doral https://www.komu.com/news/trump-drops-plan-to-host-g-7-at-doral/ https://www.komu.com/news/trump-drops-plan-to-host-g-7-at-doral/ Top Stories Sat, 19 Oct 2019 9:19:49 PM The Associated Press Trump drops plan to host G-7 at Doral

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump says he is reversing his plan to hold the next Group of Seven world leaders' meeting at his Doral, Florida, golf resort.

Accused of using the presidency to enrich himself, Trump announced a rare backtrack on Twitter on Saturday night.

He writes that, "based on both Media & Democrat Crazed and Irrational Hostility, we will no longer consider Trump National Doral, Miami, as the Host Site for the G-7 in 2020." He says his administration "will begin the search for another site, including the possibility of Camp David, immediately."

The president's acting chief of staff, Mick Mulavey, held a press conference Thursday announcing the choice of Doral for the summit. He insisted his staff had concluded it was "far and away the best physical facility."

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FBI data: 584 child homicide victims in St. Louis since 1990 https://www.komu.com/news/fbi-data-584-child-homicide-victims-in-st-louis-since-1990/ https://www.komu.com/news/fbi-data-584-child-homicide-victims-in-st-louis-since-1990/ Top Stories Sat, 19 Oct 2019 9:34:54 PM The Associated Press FBI data: 584 child homicide victims in St. Louis since 1990

ST. LOUIS (AP) — Children in St. Louis have been the victim of homicides at 10 times the national rate for decades, according to a newspaper's analysis of FBI data.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Friday that the city's child homicide rate is far greater than that of other cities of a similar size; it is quadruple that of Indianapolis and Kansas City, Missouri, triple Milwaukee's, and double that of Baltimore.

Twelve children ages 17 and younger have been homicide victims in St. Louis this year, an alarming figure that has prompted Gov. Mike Parson to assign Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers to help out in the city. The analysis found that 584 children have been killed in the city since 1990, and that 418 of those were in the predominantly black north St. Louis.

"Even if not another bullet went into someone's body in St. Louis, nobody else gets hurt, our children have collectively experienced enough violence for a lifetime," said Washington University trauma surgeon Laurie Punch, an expert on gun violence.

Emma Harrington knows the pain all too well. Two of those child victims called her "granny."

Harrington's house was full of kids in 1991, when two of her daughters and six of their children lived with her. One of the grandchildren was 7-year-old Aaron, a high-achieving second-grader.

In October 1991, Aaron was playing with four other children in the front room when a shot was fired into the home. Aaron was struck in the heart.

"I got shot! I got shot!" the little boy yelled out. He quickly collapsed. He was dead by the time the adults got him to the hospital.

Three people were soon arrested. A 17-year-old pleaded guilty to second-degree murder and was sentenced to 20 years in prison. A 15-year-old who police believe fired the fatal shot was acquitted at trial. Prosecutors dropped the case against the third suspect, a 16-year-old.

Witnesses told detectives that the shooting stemmed from an ongoing gang feud.

Harrington thought about moving after Aaron was killed, but never saw much of a choice.

"Where am I going?" she said. "When you're poor, you're not going anywhere."

Within a couple years of Aaron's death, Harrington was raising 10 children — nine grandchildren along with Derrion Williams, the child of her daughter's friend who was born while his mother was in prison. Harrington didn't want the child to end up in foster care, so she picked him up from prison five hours after his birth and raised him. He called her granny.

In September 2008, when Derrion was 16, he was riding in a car with two other teens when another car pulled up next to them in a gas station and shot him. He was one of 16 children and teens killed in St. Louis that year.

The deaths of the children "wrecked us," Harrington said. "It really did. Something like that destroys a family on down the line."

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Saline County children abducted in 2017 found in Texas https://www.komu.com/news/saline-county-children-abducted-in-2017-found-in-texas/ https://www.komu.com/news/saline-county-children-abducted-in-2017-found-in-texas/ Top Stories Sat, 19 Oct 2019 1:57:05 PM David Medina, KOMU 8 Digital Producer Saline County children abducted in 2017 found in Texas

SALINE COUNTY — Three Saline County children abducted in 2017 were found in Arlington, Texas on Thursday, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.

In August 2017, Shawn Rodriguez took her three children and was believed to have headed to California, a news release said.

This year, the father of the children was given full custody of the children and the children were officially listed as missing by local authorities. 

In August, a warrant for parental kidnapping was issued for the arrest of Shawn Rodriguez in Saline County. 

Saline County authorities reached out to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children for assistance in August, according to the U.S. Marshals Service.

The case was later referred to the United States Marshals Service in the Western District of Missouri. 

Deputy marshals worked with Saline County authorities, the Missouri State Highway Patrol and the Missouri Information Analysis Center. 

The departments began to follow leads and this month narrowed the search area to the Dallas-Forth Worth area. 

On Thursday, deputy marshals and local task force officers from the Northern District of Texas located Rodriguez and the three missing children, officials said.

Rodriguez is in custody on the arrest warrant and is waiting to be extradited back to Missouri, the release said.

The children were taken to the care of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services while they wait to be reunited with their custodial parent, the release said.

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Jefferson City police request other drivers come forward with information after fatal crash https://www.komu.com/news/jefferson-city-police-request-other-drivers-come-forward-with-information-after-fatal-crash/ https://www.komu.com/news/jefferson-city-police-request-other-drivers-come-forward-with-information-after-fatal-crash/ Top Stories Sat, 19 Oct 2019 1:07:35 PM David Medina, KOMU 8 Digital Producer Jefferson City police request other drivers come forward with information after fatal crash

JEFFERSON CITY - One Lincoln man is dead following a crash between a motorcycle and a tractor-trailer Friday night on Highway 179 at Highway 50. 

According to a news release from the Jefferson City Police Department, Bryan Bock, the motorcycle driver, was heading northbound on Highway 179, approaching the ramps to and from eastbound Highway 50. Bock died from his injuries.  

Nirvair S. Padda, the tractor-trailer driver from Ontario, Canada, was initially heading southbound on Highway 179 and was making a left turn onto the eastbound Highway 50 on-ramp.

Police said they began receiving calls about the crash around 10:23 p.m. 

Callers reported the motorcycle was on fire.

Jefferson City police said in a Facebook post that drivers who were in the area between 10:15 p.m. and 10:25 p.m. should contact the department. People with information can call (573) 634-6400 and ask for the traffic unit supervisor.

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Columbia police hold annual Xbox with a Cop event https://www.komu.com/news/columbia-police-hold-annual-xbox-with-a-cop-event/ https://www.komu.com/news/columbia-police-hold-annual-xbox-with-a-cop-event/ Top Stories Sat, 19 Oct 2019 3:20:07 PM Daniel Perreault, KOMU 8 Reporter Columbia police hold annual Xbox with a Cop event

COLUMBIA - Community members got the chance to challenge Columbia police officers in their favorite video games during the department's annual Xbox with a Cop event on Saturday.

"It's a chance for kids in the community to come out and have a good time with officers in a very comfortable environment where we are not responding to an incident or arresting people," Officer Maria Phelps said. "It is to build a trust and rapport with people that we serve because they ultimately are part of the community we serve."

The department transformed its incident command vehicle into a gaming center for the event. Children also had a chance to dunk officers like Assistant Chief Brian Richenberger and test their skill at putting out fires with the Columbia Fire Department.

"We want to put the message out that we are human too and that we want to help the community too. We are here for them," Phelps said.

Phelps, who coordinated the event, is a member of the department's community outreach and crisis negotiation units. She said she got the idea for the event while talking with a community member in the library.

"Somebody came up to me and said what you need to do is go to the high schools and play video games with these kids," she said.

The event, which took place at the intersection of White Gate and Towne Drive, was in her assigned area. Phelps said the children in her area have become more familiar and comfortable with her.

"The kids are coming in. They know us. They come up to us to report a crime they were a victim of," she said. "They have told us if they didn't know us, they would not have reported the crime."

It is developing that trust that allows officers to serve the community most effectively, Phelps said.

"If people don't trust us, they are not going to tell us the information that we need to know to make arrests and reduce crime," she said. "If that's the case, we are giving all the power to the criminals and they feel like they can keep doing what they are doing and the crimes escalate."

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Demonstrators rally for first ever National Period Day https://www.komu.com/news/demonstrators-rally-for-first-ever-national-period-day/ https://www.komu.com/news/demonstrators-rally-for-first-ever-national-period-day/ Top Stories Sat, 19 Oct 2019 2:39:33 PM Destinee Patterson, KOMU 8 Reporter Demonstrators rally for first ever National Period Day

COLUMBIA - Demonstrators rallied at Speakers Circle on Saturday for the first ever National Period Day. 

Organizers said they want to bring awareness to menstruation. 

"It's not really something people want to talk about," rally participant Kit Frazen said.

Columbia was one of 55 locations across the country where rallies took place.

"There's so many things that people don't realize when the word menstruate comes up," said Erica Overfelt, president of the student organization Period @ Mizzou. "People that menstruate have to pay more just for buying menstrual products." 

Thirty-four states across the U.S. have a tax on feminine products, also known as the tampon tax. Missouri is among the states on that list.

According to the Tax Foundation, states have been hesitant to eliminate the tampon tax because it would lead to an increase in taxes for other items with a sales tax.

Overfelt said she wants to stop the tax disparity between menstrual products and other non-essential products. 

"Another luxury product that isn't taxed is Viagra, and that's just something we want to stop," Overfelt said. 

According to a recent St. Louis University study of about 200 women in poverty, two-thirds of women in the St. Louis area could not afford menstrual products.

"I have the ability and privilege to provide myself these products, but I know there are so many women who have to go hours on end without being able to provide themselves with proper healthcare," Frazen said. 

Overfelt said she wants to take these issues to legislators in Jefferson City.

"It's easily forgotten, and it shouldn't be easily forgotten," Overfelt said. 

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UPDATE: Columbia Water and Light says power should be restored https://www.komu.com/news/update-columbia-water-and-light-says-power-should-be-restored/ https://www.komu.com/news/update-columbia-water-and-light-says-power-should-be-restored/ Top Stories Sat, 19 Oct 2019 10:05:28 AM David Medina, KOMU 8 Digital Producer UPDATE: Columbia Water and Light says power should be restored

COLUMBIA - The Columbia Water and Light department said it believes all power has been restored in Columbia.

About 3,300 residents lost power Saturday morning. The department said the outage started around 8 a.m.

In a Facebook comment, the department said it does not know the exact cause of the outage yet, and it will likely be Monday before it hears from the engineering team.  According to an earlier post from the department, two circuits may have tripped, causing the power outage. 

The city says if you still need to report a power outage you can call the city at (573) 875-2555. 

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Friday Night Fever Week 8: High school football scores from around mid-Missouri https://www.komu.com/news/friday-night-fever-week-8-high-school-football-scores-from-around-mid-missouri/ https://www.komu.com/news/friday-night-fever-week-8-high-school-football-scores-from-around-mid-missouri/ Top Stories Fri, 18 Oct 2019 6:06:17 PM Melody Cox, KOMU 8 Digital Producer Friday Night Fever Week 8: High school football scores from around mid-Missouri

COLUMBIA - Below are scores from football games around mid-Missouri. Final scores are in bold.

Rock Bridge 20

Helias 27

Battle 54

Jeff City 35

Fulton 6

Mexico 42

SoBoCo 21

California 14

Blair Oaks 57

Osage 7

Hallsville 27

Boonville 14

Eldon 26

Versailles 49

Van-Far  26

Mont. Co 42

St. Paul Lutheran 29

MMA 22

Fayette 54

Salisbury 16

Marceline 36

Westran 0

Scotland Co. 44

Harrisburg 34

Hickman 48

Truman 10

Hermann 34

Pacific 14

Sullivan 52

Owensville 0

Waynesville 28

Glendale 24

Marshall 15

Hannibal 63

Moberly 14

Kirksville 12

Clinton 22

Smith-Cotton 45

Rolla 14

Camdenton 49

Centralia 62

West Hancock 20

N Callaway 46

Mark Twain 8

Wright City 34

S. Callaway 29

Palmyra 22

Macon 8

South Shelby 28

Brookfield 20

Butler 22

Cole Camp 35

Slater 13

Windsor 28

Tipton 20

Santa Fe 8

Schuyler County 0

Paris 47

Tolton 20

Warsaw 44

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Suspect in deadly Marshall shooting captured in Mississippi https://www.komu.com/news/suspect-in-deadly-marshall-shooting-captured-in-mississippi/ https://www.komu.com/news/suspect-in-deadly-marshall-shooting-captured-in-mississippi/ Top Stories Fri, 18 Oct 2019 9:10:06 PM Cory Johnson, KOMU 8 Digital Producer Suspect in deadly Marshall shooting captured in Mississippi

MARSHALL - The suspect in a pair of shootings in early October has been caught out of state, police announced Friday.

Terrelle Palmer, 41, was arrested in Mississippi, Marshall police said in a Facebook post.

Palmer is the suspect in a pair of shootings that killed 52-year-old Calvin Bosley and injured three others on October 3.

Police found three people with gunshot wounds in a South Olson Avenue home just before 11 a.m. Two were taken by helicopter to Columbia, and one was treated at Marshall's Fitzgibbon Hospital.

About an hour later, police learned about a second shooting on West Vest Street. One victim of that incident walked to Fitzgibbon Hospital for treatment.

Police say the two shootings are related.

Palmer has been a member of Missouri State Highway Patrol Sex Offender registry since 1995 for Statutory Rape in the 1st degree. The victim was 12 years old.

Marshall police say Palmer will be extradited back to Saline County. He has not yet been charged in connection to the shootings.

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Friday Night Fever Week 8: High school football photos and videos https://www.komu.com/news/friday-night-fever-week-8-high-school-football-photos-and-videos/ https://www.komu.com/news/friday-night-fever-week-8-high-school-football-photos-and-videos/ Top Stories Fri, 18 Oct 2019 5:44:44 PM Melody Cox and Greta Serrin, KOMU 8 Digital Producers and Joe Miller, KOMU 8 Sports Reporter Friday Night Fever Week 8: High school football photos and videos

COLUMBIA - Friday Night Fever’s Week 8 Game of the Week features a dominant Helias (6-1) visited by a surging Rock Bridge team (3-4).

Helias has had a dominant offense all season and has consistently limited their opponents with a good defensive presence. 

Rock Bridge has really come alive in the last three weeks winning every contest. Their offense has taken off, scoring 39, 41, and 48 in three consecutive games. 

This looks to be an exciting match-up between two formidable opponents. 

Be sure to tweet your game photos and updates to @komusports. This live blog will feature photos and videos from high school football games around mid-Missouri. Items are in reverse chronological order, with the newest on top. 

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True/False, Ragtag dissolve relationship with The Crossing https://www.komu.com/news/true-false-ragtag-dissolve-relationship-with-the-crossing/ https://www.komu.com/news/true-false-ragtag-dissolve-relationship-with-the-crossing/ Top Stories Fri, 18 Oct 2019 5:33:30 PM Emily Wolf, KOMU 8 Digital Producer True/False, Ragtag dissolve relationship with The Crossing

COLUMBIA — The True False Film Festival and Ragtag Cinema are dissolving their relationship with Columbia church The Crossing. Cinema Director Barbie Banks confirmed the news to KOMU Friday afternoon.

"We have always known that there are many places where the values of The Crossing and our organization diverge, but a recent sermon has crystallized an unbridgeable difference between us," Ragtag said in a statement.

The dissolution comes after The Crossing co-pastor Keith Simon gave a controversial sermon last week. Many considered the sermon transphobic, and a group called Concerned Citizens started a petition on Change.org Thursday to have the True/False Film Festival and Ragtag Cinema cut ties with The Crossing. Over a 1,000 people have signed the petition.

Thursday, Sager Braudis Gallery in Columbia announced it would cut ties with the church. The post said, "While we of course do and always will encourage freedom of speech, expression and religion... we firmly believe the content expounded in a recent sermon made at the church is antithetical to our identity as a business."

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UPDATE: MU says theatre department wrong in cutting ties with True/False https://www.komu.com/news/update-mu-says-theatre-department-wrong-in-cutting-ties-with-true-false/ https://www.komu.com/news/update-mu-says-theatre-department-wrong-in-cutting-ties-with-true-false/ Top Stories Fri, 18 Oct 2019 4:39:01 PM Emily Wolf, Cory Johnson, and Alexis Godsey, KOMU 8 Digital Producers UPDATE: MU says theatre department wrong in cutting ties with True/False

COLUMBIA —The University of Missouri issued a statement Friday that the MU Department of Theatre was "in error" when it said it would not allow True/False Film Festival to use its facilities until it dissolved its relationship with The Crossing.

In an email, the university said the theatre department's statement was inconsistent with MU's value of free speech. MU will continue to work with True/False, according to the email, and the festival will still have access to university facilities.

Earlier, MU Theatre announced it would not continue its relationship with True/False because of their partnership with The Crossing organization.

"The Crossing, an organization that has publicly denounced and denigrated members of the LGBTQ+ community and non-binary people," according to the statement.

True/False used MU Theatre's Rhynsburger Theatre and the Studio 4 black box theatre.

"The Department of Theatre is dedicated to ensuring a thriving cultural community of artists and scholars," according to the statement. "Groups that support discrimination or derogatory hatred are not accepted in our spaces."

MU Theatre's tweet has since been deleted.

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UPDATE: Charges filed in deadly Highway 63 crash https://www.komu.com/news/update-charges-filed-in-deadly-highway-63-crash/ https://www.komu.com/news/update-charges-filed-in-deadly-highway-63-crash/ Top Stories Fri, 18 Oct 2019 11:57:47 AM Chase Matteson, Digital Producer and James Stanley, KOMU 8 Reporter UPDATE: Charges filed in deadly Highway 63 crash

COLUMBIA - A woman is dead after a car crash on Highway 63 in Columbia on Thursday afternoon.

Columbia police said 25-year-old Sarah Jane Bounds died of her injuries sustained in the accident.

Talon Kobush, 20, was driving southbound onto Highway 63 from East Broadway when he crashed his Ford Focus into the back of a trailer towed by a pick-up truck.

Bounds was a passenger in Kobush's car.

Police said the driver of the truck involved in the crash was not hurt.

Bounds and Kobush were later transported by paramedics to University Hospital where Bounds later died.

Prosecutors charged Kobush on Friday with involuntary manslaughter and driving while suspended.

Court documents said Kobush tried to refuse medical attention, saying he didn't have insurance and had to get to a parole meeting. Kobush has previous convictions for burglary, receiving stolen property, drug-related charges and driving while suspended.

The probable cause statement said Kobush left the hospital against medical advice, and had told medical personnel his car had brake issues he planned to get fixed.

When talking to police, Kobush reportedly said he "knew he was going to jail for months because he killed someone."

He is also separately charged with two counts of possession of a controlled substance. Police said they found heroin and Xanax in Kobush's possession.

Police say an investigation into the accident is ongoing and Bounds' next of kin has been notified.

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County-wide plan for workforce development in discussion https://www.komu.com/news/county-wide-plan-for-workforce-development-in-discussion/ https://www.komu.com/news/county-wide-plan-for-workforce-development-in-discussion/ Top Stories Fri, 18 Oct 2019 11:10:13 AM Morgan Riddell, KOMU 8 Reporter County-wide plan for workforce development in discussion

COLUMBIA - Leaders from several organizations from around Boone County gathered Friday to talk about various county-wide goals.

The joint meeting gathered representatives from the City of Columbia, County of Boone, Chamber of Commerce, Columbia Public Schools and University of Missouri. 

One main discussion involving all the groups focused on a new workforce development plan.

Interm city manager, John Glascock began the meeting asking each department what their goals were. 

"My dream is that we work together and this is a perfect example of that," CPS superintendent, Peter Stiepleman, said.

The workforce development plan involves forming an action committee. The committee will then lay out a process and proposal to evaluate what is needed to support school, city and county needs.

The workforce development plan is also a way the groups believe will help attack the crime issue seen in Columbia lately.

Matt McCormick, Chamber of Commerce President, said jobs are a way to keep people productive. 

"How do we continue to move forward so people can come into an entry level job and now how do I continue moving up the food chain?" he said. 

The idea is to give options for kids and is already in the works at CPS. The district talked about wanting to work with construction companies to implement a course, and to use master trainers in the trade to work with seniors. This will target kids who are unsure about their graduation plan or don't have one.

Programs like these would also work with community colleges for early nursing and medical assistant training for kids to enter the workforce immediately. 

"We would like to locate and cite a trailer on our school grounds, that includes a curriculum, staff and trainers, and 10 hours of OSHA training," said Stiepleman. "When kids cross the stage at the end of graduation they have an opportunity to go  work if that is what they want to do."

Another goal discussed involved a "high school and beyond" program with the police department. The idea is to begin with an internship program with local law enforcement, then move and complete a forensics class at Battle High School. After that, participants can study criminal justice at Columbia College and go into academy; from there, they can pursue a career in that law enforcement. 

"It's not just the schools stepping out and saying this is our plan, but rather saying let's do this work together," said Stiepleman. 

The Chamber of Commerce will continue working on a plan addressing the county's needs and will update at their meeting next month.

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Jefferson City project aims to remove barriers for homeless https://www.komu.com/news/jefferson-city-project-aims-to-remove-barriers-for-homeless/ https://www.komu.com/news/jefferson-city-project-aims-to-remove-barriers-for-homeless/ Top Stories Thu, 17 Oct 2019 4:59:48 PM Micki Neiman, KOMU 8 Reporter Jefferson City project aims to remove barriers for homeless

JEFFERSON CITY - The fifth annual Project Homeless Connect begins Friday.

The event provides support for those experiencing homelessness, or who are near homeless, to become self-sufficient. The project is based out of three main churches in downtown Jefferson City and each church provides a variety of different resources. 

Guests can expect a to receive a hot meal, sweaters and heavy coats, a new ID card and backpacks stuffed full of everyday necessities: soap, washcloths, socks, cleaning supplies and more. 

Project chair, Edwin Cooper, said those attending are referred to as "guests" and will have tour guides to help them connect with service providers, community organizations, social services and many others. 

"I think this is a great resource for the homeless people in Jefferson City to get linkage to some of the things they need," Cooper said. "It's just a one-day event, but the issues for the people that come here goes beyond the one day."

One of the churches, First Baptist, acts as a free health fair. Here guests can expect same-day health check-ups such as blood pressure checks, eye exams, dental screenings and flu shots. 

Another leader within the organization, Sheila Murphy, said she believes providing guests with these resources allows them an opportunity they otherwise wouldn't be able to afford. 

“If [homeless people] have to make decisions between going to a dentist or eating and paying their heat bill, they’ll choose the heat bill and eating," Murphy said. "I don’t worry about going to the dentist. I pay for it. I don’t worry about a winter coat, I don’t worry about having shampoo in my house. I’ve never worried about that, but these people live a different life than I do.”

While the three churches, First United Methodist Church, Baptist Church and First Christian Church, all house a variety of resources throughout the day, the goal is all the same. 

“It’s important for our community to come together and support those people," Amy Rogers, co-chair of the media committee, said. "And so, maybe, if we provide those services and show them where they can get the help, maybe we can help those on the streets, get off the streets."

As the community inches toward the nearly five-month anniversary of the tornado and flooding that swept through Jefferson City, Coopers said the project talked about having a disaster response area in addition to the already provided medical and employment services.

"We thought we needed more services in relation to disaster, but the community has met the short-term needs in a lot of different ways," Cooper said. "But that was my first gut reaction: we're going to need more."

Cooper said they aren't expecting a giant increase in the number of guests as compared to previous years, but if guests who have been displaced by the disaster show up, they will still serve them. 

The event will be from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. in downtown Jefferson City. After the event, the committees and volunteers will take about a month off before diving right into planning for the next year. 

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LGBTQ community fights back against Columbia church's sermon https://www.komu.com/news/lgbtq-community-fights-back-against-columbia-church-s-sermon/ https://www.komu.com/news/lgbtq-community-fights-back-against-columbia-church-s-sermon/ Top Stories Thu, 17 Oct 2019 7:41:05 PM Claire Bradshaw, KOMU 8 Reporter LGBTQ community fights back against Columbia church's sermon

COLUMBIA — After a controversial sermon at The Crossing on Sunday, the LGBTQ community is calling for those involved to cut ties with it. 

The Crossing's co-pastor Keith Simon gave a sermon on Sunday about gender dysphoria, which the American Psychiatric Association defines as a conflict between a person's assigned gender and the gender they identify as.

Columbia's LGBTQ community responded quickly, and many said Simon's words were transphobic and hurtful towards transgender people.

A group called Concerned Citizens then started a petition on Change.org Thursday to have the True/False Film Festival and Ragtag Cinema cut ties with The Crossing which currently sponsors both organizations. The petition also requested that True/False and Ragtag release a public statement, "condemning The Crossing's intolerance of LGBTQ+ and Non-Binary people, and reaffirming their own support and dedication for inclusion and protections of all people."

The petition circulated on social media, and more than 500 people had signed it as of Thursday night. 

Ragtag responded to the petition and said it is "gathering feedback to share with [its] leadership and board as [it] evaluates [its] sponsorship with the Crossing."

Later Thursday, Sager Braudis Gallery in Columbia announced on Facebook it would cut ties with the church. The post said, "While we of course do and always will encourage freedom of speech, expression and religion... we firmly believe the content expounded in a recent sermon made at the church is antithetical to our identity as a business."

Howard Hutton is a board member for The Center Project which is a non-profit LGBTQ advocacy organization. He signed the petition and posted about how he disagreed with Simon's sermon on his Facebook.

"I'm for this boycott for the health of this community and for the health of our individuals and for the health of the information we digest," Hutton said.

Keith Simon said he thinks his sermon is being taken out of context.

"My understanding of transgender condition is that a person feels like there is a mismatch between their gender identity and their biological sex. That's all I mean when I say that all of us are broken in some ways, different ways," Simon said.

Simon said he hopes to continue the dialogue with the LGBTQ community.

He said he has reached out to those sharing his sermon on Facebook to learn from them.

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Threat no longer active at Thomas Jefferson Middle School https://www.komu.com/news/threat-no-longer-active-at-thomas-jefferson-middle-school/ https://www.komu.com/news/threat-no-longer-active-at-thomas-jefferson-middle-school/ Top Stories Fri, 18 Oct 2019 1:27:35 PM Sydney Moran, KOMU 8 Reporter Threat no longer active at Thomas Jefferson Middle School

JEFFERSON CITY - Jefferson City Police investigated a threat at Thomas Jefferson Middle School on Friday.

TJMS sent out an email to parents about a potential active shooter threat around 10 Friday morning. The email said the threat was originally posted on a Snapchat story.

After completing their search, JCPD determined there was no threat to TJMS or any other schools in the district.

Several parents decided to pick up students from school after seeing the email posted all over social media. 

"It freaked the kids out," Shay Barreda, aunt of Bekka Widener said.

When Barreda got the call from Widener's mom, she knew she had to act quickly.

"I don't care if it was just a threat," Barreda said. "Threats should be taken seriously ."

Barreda said she was mostly getting updated about the incident through social media. This left Barreda unclear about what was going on, and students as well.

"I could tell she was just feeling anxious and wanted to leave."

TJMS said JCPD was able to clear up the situation quickly. It found the threat was from a school in a different state.

JCPD said no other information regarding the incident will be released.

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Some Landmark Bank positions to be eliminated after merger https://www.komu.com/news/some-landmark-bank-positions-to-be-eliminated-after-merger/ https://www.komu.com/news/some-landmark-bank-positions-to-be-eliminated-after-merger/ Top Stories Thu, 17 Oct 2019 5:01:10 PM Ian Russell, KOMU 8 News Some Landmark Bank positions to be eliminated after merger

COLUMBIA - Simmons Bank, the Arkansas-based bank which bought Landmark Bank over the summer, confirmed some positions will be eliminated.

In an e-mail to KOMU 8 News on Thursday, a spokeswoman for Simmons said the following:

"As with any merger, we evaluated the most effective way to run the combined bank. After thoughtful consideration about how to best continue to serve Landmark customers, we made the difficult decision to reduce overlapping or replicated positions. These are primarily duplicated back-end, non-customer-facing positions, so customers will continue to work one-on-one with bankers they’ve come to know and trust."

No numbers or timeline for the reductions and changes have been confirmed.

Simmons bank will acquire The Landrum Company, which owns Landmark Bank, at the end of 2019. The official merger of Landmark Bank will take place the first half of 2020. After the Landrum Company closes, Landmark Bank will continue some operations as a separate bank for a short interim period until it has officially merged with Simmons Bank. 

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Former sheriff's deputy pleads guilty to child pornography https://www.komu.com/news/former-sheriff-s-deputy-pleads-guilty-to-child-pornography/ https://www.komu.com/news/former-sheriff-s-deputy-pleads-guilty-to-child-pornography/ Top Stories Thu, 17 Oct 2019 4:15:01 PM Spencer Quist, KOMU 8 News Digital Producer Former sheriff's deputy pleads guilty to child pornography

JEFFERSON CITY - Former Camden County sheriff's deputy Leonard Jerome Wilson pleaded guilty earlier today to receiving child pornography as part of a plea agreement accepted by U.S. District Judge Stephen R. Bough.

The agreement also included Wilson surrendering his peace officer license and entering guilty pleas in two related state cases.

Wilson, 40, was employed as a Camden County sheriff's deputy when he was accused of sexual misconduct and behavior while on and off duty.

During an internal investigation into the allegations, deputies obtained a tablet and two cell phones which included 18 images of child pornography and 49 images of child erotica.

All of the images were of infant, toddler, and prepubescent children.

Under federal law, there is a mandatory minimum of five years in federal prison without parole up to a sentence of 20 years in prison without parole.

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