Family, friends of Rock Bridge student set up memorial at crash site

Family and friends of a Rock Bridge High School student killed in a crash Monday gathered Tuesday night to remember their loved one.

Cash Martin, a sophomore baseball player, was killed in a two-vehicle crash in south Columbia around 12:30 p.m. Monday.

Family members and friends set up a memorial in the area of the crash by putting up a cross with Martin's initials, "C,M."

Martin was a baseball player at Rock Bridge and many members of the team gathered around the cross, embracing one another in the rain. 

Martin's visitation will begin at 2 p.m. Friday at The Crossing Church. The funeral will follow.

Recreational marijuana sales in Missouri exceeds $70 million in first month

Marijuana has been legal for one month now and officials said recreational cannabis sales generated $71.7 million in revenue. 

According to data from the Department of Health and Senior Services, Medical marijuana sales generated an additional $31.2 million, resulting in a combined total of $102.9 million in sales since Feb. 3. 

Megan Mobley, brand ambassador for Shangri-La Dispensary, said she thinks the decrease in stigma is responsible for the booming purchases of recreational marijuana, especially by cancer and epilepsy patients. 

"There was a huge stigma with cannabis here [Missouri] and breaking that stigma, even though it was legal on a medicinal level, people were fearful of getting a medicinal card," Mobley said.

Advocacy groups join forces with 'Hold Como Accountable' initiative; city responds

Multiple Columbia citizens are banding together in a group called "Hold Como Accountable" after recent discussion on topics about police accountability, federal pandemic funds and water testing. 

Representatives from this organization spoke at Monday's city council meeting demanding new changes including:

  1. Immediately treat all American Rescue Plan Act proposals as public record like other cities,
  2. Create an independent, investigative Community Police Review Board,
  3. No new tools for police until their funding and activities receive proper oversight.

One former Citizens Police Review Board said she hopes the city will do more. 

"We're done with excuses. I think it's time for the city to actually get organized and to start asking for accountability," Perez said. 

CPS scores in bottom half of state schools in DESE's annual performance report

Columbia Public Schools placed in the bottom half of the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education's annual performance report after scoring a 70% for the 2021-2022 school year.

CPS spokesperson Michelle Baumstark said math and attendance are some concerns for the district. 

"The district has begun implementation of several strategies to help improve achievement, including more data awareness to better address necessary areas of improvement and intervention, multi-tiered systems of support, and expanded tutoring opportunities," Baumstark said. 

One current CPS school board member, Katherine Sasser, said the district has also already started making attendance a priority. 

"We're really putting a targeted effort on helping students and families understand how we want you here, how important it is for you to be here, and there's nothing like being in a classroom to get what you need," Sasser said. 

Gun safety advocates rally at the Capitol for first time in three years

With new gun legislation moving through the state House and Senate, gun safety advocates rallied at the Capitol for the annual Moms Demand Action advocacy day.

Members created this day to help prevent gun-related deaths by speaking with state legislators. 

House bill 1380 would prevent certain individuals from possessing a firearm due to domestic violence.

Leslie Washington, a member of the advocacy group, said she hopes legislators will work to keep people safe.

"Hopefully legislators can realize that this is something that's very serious," Washington said. "And we have to work, we have to do what we have to do to get things right and hold people accountable for their actions." 

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