Janet Saidi | KBIA

Janet Saidi

Assistant News Director

Ways to Connect

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A three-county pilot program that seeks to improve community services for former prisoners is rolling out in Missouri. Offering an array of so-called “wraparound” community services, the initial $5 million dollar pilot program focuses on services for former offenders with behavioral challenges like addiction or mental health issues.

Kristofor Husted / KBIA

As students across Mid-Missouri return to school this week, local advocates are encouraging the community to keep in mind the issue of hunger and adequate nutrition for students.

About half of the students in the Columbia Public Schools district qualify for free or reduced lunches. Many of those students receive food assistance in Buddy Packs – or backpacks that provide meals for kids throughout the weekend. The Buddy Packs are distributed by the Food Bank for Central & Northeast Missouri.

A wrapup of this evening's regional stories from the KBIA newsroom, including:

St. Louis Democrat Cori Bush hopes to drive an Ocasio-Cortez style upset in Missouri's Aug. 7 primary

Columbia Water & Light outage map

Columbia line workers are continuing to make progress with power restoration and repairs in neighborhoods damaged by Monday night's storms. The city's most recent outage map indicates that the number of customers currently without power is down from 16,000 Monday night, to a little more than a thousand customers affected this morning.

The Columbia Missourian reports this morning that city council members voted 5-1 last night on a new plan with The Opus Group.

In a Sunday 'New York Times' feature, MU football's former defensive lineman Michael Sam, says he is gay, and that he's already come out to his fellow team mates, who voted him most valuable player. The 'New York Times' reports this is the first time Sam's spoken publicly about being gay.

Ryan Famuliner / KBIA file photo

State and county officials are urging travelers to use caution this morning, after a round of sleet and freezing temperatures descended on much of the state last night, leaving much of central and north Missouri covered.

Courtesy of Mike Menu

In a press statement released Sunday, the University of Missouri says MU Police has turned over information about the alleged assault of former MU athlete Sasha Menu Courey to the Columbia Police Department. And in another statement released Sunday, UM system President Timothy Wolfe has asked for an independent review of the university’s handling of Menu Courey’s situation.

Kristofor Husted / KBIA

Updated: Jan. 6, 2014, 7:31AM

As much of Missouri begins to dig out of snow coverage that descended over the state over the weekend, Ameren Missouri says about 1400 people are without power as the utility works to restore power.

The utility says the hardest hit areas are in Franklin County, and Jefferson County, with the others spread throughout eastern and southeast Missouri.

The outages come as the state is under a wind chill warning through noon today, with nearly the entire state reporting temperatures below zero early this morning.

http://www.columbia.k12.mo.us/dhs/dhs/ / kbia

Federal education funds are going toward an enhanced immersion program and community partnerships to help some of Columbia’s most educationally at-risk students.

Frederick Douglass High School is among 14 schools across the state receiving funding from the federal School Improvement Grants program. The award includes $1.5 million to Douglass High School for use over three years.

KBIA

In this recent series of commentaries for KBIA.org, Missouri student journalists recount a few of life’s confusing lessons. Led by Missouri School of Journalism Professor and storytelling master Berkley Hudson, these 11 student commentators took not only pen to paper but also got in front of the microphone, to talk out these essays that touch on life, relationships, growing up and striking out, among other issues. Enjoy!

Roxana Pop / KBIA

This week on KBIA’s arts/culture segment Off the Clock, KBIA producer Meredith Turk hangs out in rodeo culture with this year’s Miss Teen Rodeo queen, and finds out why she’s one of the only rodeo competitors you’ll ever see wearing a helmet … and she wears it well.

www.therivetermagazine.com

This week on Off The Clock, Joanna Demkiewicz and Kaylen Ralph, recent graduates of MU, started their own magazine to empower female journalists. And Josie Herrera is embarking on a gender-queer journey, as a king candidate on this year’s University of Missouri homecoming court.

News coverage from the KBIA newsroom, including:

Regional news coverage from the KBIA newsroom, including:

Regional news coverage from the KBIA newsroom.

Regional news coverage from the KBIA newsroom.

Regional news coverage from the KBIA newsroom.

Regional news coverage from the KBIA newsroom.

StoryCorps

Have you ever had a “driveway moment” listening to one of the many stories from the oral history project StoryCorps? The project has recorded about 45,000 interviews with everyday people across America. StoryCorps’ “Military Voices Initiatives” gathers stories from veterans, their families and others impacted by war, since 9/11.

Regional news coverage from the KBIA newsroom.

Regional news coverage from the KBIA newsroom.

Ryan Famuliner / KBIA

UPDATE 2:27pm

KBIA reporter Kyle Jacoby was at the press conference Tuesday afternoon at the Boone County Sheriff's headquarters in Columbia, where Boone County Chief Deputy Tom Reddin, Ashland Police Chief Lyn Woolford, and Southern Boone Country School District Superintendent Chris Felmlee talked to reporters about the incident.

Woolford said it was a text message that prompted the police investigation.

“This was a text between classmates. The threat was non descriptive, but yet threatening. It was specific enough to indicate something was going to happen at the school and would involve injury,” Woolford said.

The Ashland Police Department was just one of many entities involved in the investigation.

“Multiple agencies were contacted to include University of Missouri Police, Capitol Police, Ashland Police Department, ATF, and school staff because the threat was against the high school,” Woolford said.

Reddin described what happened at the home of the teen that was suspected of sending the text message, where officers arrived at around 2:00am Tuesday.

“Our deputy along with Ashland police responded back to the residence on Bob Beach Road, it was at that time to take the 17 year old student into custody for investigation due to the threat made against the school. Family was present. Law enforcement was present," Redding said. “The student, while obtaining some articles of clothing, also retrieved a small caliber handgun that was kept in the residence, turned that handgun on himself, and discharged the firearm into his chest.”

Felmlee says the decision to cancel school happened overnight.

“Based on the totality of the situation, and the need to ensure that the other campuses were safe, that is when I decided that I needed more time to investigate this thoroughly. It was after midnight (when I decided to cancel school),” Felmlee said. “Many resources were brought into the high school building, as well as our middle school, elementary and primary, our buildings are safe, and they have been thoroughly checked.”

Felmlee knows the teen’s death will affect the entire community.

“It’s not just the school, it’s the whole community that is going to go through this and need time to heal. It is a tragic, tragic loss what occurred, and it’s going to take time. We’ll work closely with our community churches, counseling resources, definitely," Felmlee said.

Classes will resume Wednesday. Felmlee plans to have someone speak to each class in the school district telling students what happened, and notifying them of counseling resources.

UPDATE 12:34pm

Governor Jay Nixon was scheduled to visit Fairview Elementary School in Columbia Tuesday afternoon, but in press release his office says the visit was canceled out of respect for the situation at this neighboring district. In the press release, Nixon is quoted as saying:

“Our educators and law enforcement officials are dedicated to keeping the children of Missouri safe. This event reminds us of the vital nature of that responsibility. Tragic events of this nature demonstrate the serious manner in which these responsibilities should be carried out. The state of Missouri has made, and will continue to make, law enforcement and other resources available as necessary.”

UPDATE 11:48am 

The Boone County Sheriff's Department and Ashland Police department issued this press release Tuesday morning detailing the incident. Police say they went to the home of the 17-year-old suspected of  making a threat against the high school that led to classes being canceled Tuesday. The release says while the Ashland High School student was being taken into custody he "obtained a gun" and shot himself in the chest. The departments and the school superintendent will hold a press conference to talk about the incident at 12:30 today, and a KBIA reporter will be there. Check back for more later.

On September 9, 2013 at approximately 10:30 p.m., Ashland Police received a report of a threat against Southern Boone County High School in Ashland.  The threat originated in the form of a text message.  Subsequent investigation by Ashland Police and Boone County Deputies deemed the threat to be credible.  Southern Boone County School District authorities were also advised of this threat.

Multiple resources to include Ashland Police, Boone County Sheriff’s Department, MU Police Department, Capital Police, Mid-Missouri Bomb Squad, and the ATF were mobilized and a search of school facilities commenced.  Southern Boone County School District officials canceled classes for today as a precaution while searches were being conducted and the investigation continued.  This was an extensive search to include the use of explosives detecting K9s.  No devices of a threatening nature were discovered and the school facilities have been released.

Law enforcement officers of the Ashland Police and Boone County Sheriff’s Department responded to the residence of a 17 year old Ashland High School student believed to be the originator of the threatening text.  While taking the subject into custody, he obtained a handgun and turned it on himself, discharging the firearm into his chest.  Fire and EMS were immediately summoned and officers began efforts to treat the downed subject.  He was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injury and died.  Authorities are not releasing the name of the decedent as the investigation is ongoing.

Classes will resume tomorrow at Southern Boone County Schools, September 11, 2013 and grief counselors will be available to students and staff.

Original story:

 The Boone County Journal reports this morning that officials closed schools after receiving what they called a "credible threat." Superintendent Chris Felmlee told the Journal he wanted to be sure the schools were safe before bringing students into the buildings, which were being checked this morning.

Regional news coverage from the KBIA newsroom.

Shane Epping

What happens when you put together a blue-eyed blonde Texas woman with a handsome Saudi man living in a traditional Saudi culture, and throw in a young secular Arab blogger and a young Muslim man rediscovering his fundamentalist roots? And, specifically, what happens when they’re all in the same family? If that sounds familiar, it's because that family is the Baylani family, whose relationships with each other, their country and their cultures are explored in the novel, The Ruins of Us.

Regional news coverage from the KBIA newsroom.

Regional news coverage from the KBIA newsroom.

MU Cooperative Media Group

A little more than a week after celebrating with his family and community the opening of Columbia's Battle High, long-time Columbia educator Eliot Battle, has died. Columbia Public Schools spokesperson Michelle Baumstark says Battle died last night, Tuesday, June 11th, from injuries sustained after a car crash Friday. Battle had been hospitalized following the accident.

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