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Newspaper editor's murder under review

Monday, 09 December 2013 06:08 Published in Local News

  COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - A Columbia police detective is taking a fresh look at a journalist's 2001 slaying after one of two men originally convicted of murder was freed after his case was overturned.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports police are reviewing the sizable case file in the death of former Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt, who was strangled and beaten to death in the newspaper's parking lot.

Ryan Ferguson spent nearly a decade in prison, but was released in November after an appeals court panel ruled that prosecutors wrongly withheld evidence from the defenses. Missouri's attorney general opted to not retry Ferguson.

Chuck Erickson continues to serve a 25-year prison sentence after pleading guilty to killing Heitholt. Ferguson says his former high school classmate is innocent.

Mizzou to Play In The Cotton Bowl

Sunday, 08 December 2013 21:14 Published in Sports


COLUMBIA, Mo. - The University of Missouri football team (11-2 overall and Southeastern Conference East Division champions) has accepted an invitation to play in the 2014 AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic, set for January 3rd in Arlington, Texas at the world-renowned AT&T Stadium.  Kickoff for the game, which will pit the Tigers against former conference foe Oklahoma State (10-2, 2nd place in Big 12), is set for 7pm.

The Cotton Bowl appearance will mark Mizzou's 11th New Year's Day (or later) bowl game in program history, and its first since playing in the 2008 Cotton Bowl against Arkansas.  The invitation is a reward for an outstanding season which saw the Tigers post one of the top turnaround years in the nation, going from 5-7 in 2012 to 11-2 - a 6 1/2 game improvement.  This is MU's 30th alltime bowl appearance.

"We are honored and excited to accept a bid to play in the Cotton Bowl," said Head Coach Gary Pinkel, who will be making his ninth bowl game appearance in 13 seasons at Mizzou.  "We know first-hand just how great of a trip this is, and how first-class of an operation the Cotton Bowl runs.  We have a chance to play an outstanding team in Oklahoma State, and this is an opportunity to finish up a special season in front of a great Mizzou crowd," Pinkel said.

This will mark the 78th Cotton Bowl Classic, and the Tigers will be making their third appearance in the tradition-rich game.  Mizzou rolled to a 38-7 win over Arkansas in the 2008 game, as TB Tony Temple rushed for a Cotton Bowl-record 281 yards and four touchdowns against the 25th-ranked Razorbacks.  That win closed a stellar season for Mizzou, who finished with a 12-2 record and a school-best final ranking of 4th in the final polls.  Mizzou's other appearance in the Cotton Bowl was back in 1946, when Texas claimed a 40-27 victory.

"Mizzou is very pleased to be part of the 78th annual Cotton Bowl Classic," said Director of Athletics Mike Alden.  "The Cotton Bowl is one of the iconic bowl games in all of college football, and it will be a great reward to our team to have the opportunity to play in AT&T Stadium.  We have an outstanding alumni base in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, and I know our fans will be excited to see the Tigers come their way once again," he said.

The chairman of the Cotton Bowl is Tommy Bain. Bain said, "We just landed two of the preeminent teams in the country, and we couldn’t be more thrilled. Missouri and Oklahoma State are capable of lighting up the scoreboard in a hurry, and defensively, each team is strong. Something is going to have to give come January 3rd. OSU beat three ranked teams in November and one of the nation’s longest winning streaks going into the Oklahoma game. Missouri was absolutely sensational in just its second season in the SEC. The Tigers won the SEC’s Eastern Division and gave Auburn all it wanted in the conference championship game. We can’t wait to get these two teams to Arlington, pamper them with some Texas hospitality, and then prepare for another exciting Classic.”

Cardinals beat Rams 30-10 to end NFC West skid

Sunday, 08 December 2013 21:06 Published in Sports

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Carson Palmer didn't throw a pass in practice all last week, then completed practically every one he tried Sunday.

So much for that sore right elbow.

Palmer completed 27 of 32, 12 of them to Larry Fitzgerald, and the Cardinals ended an eight-game losing streak against NFC West foes by beating the St. Louis Rams 30-10.

It was the second-highest completion percentage (84.4) in franchise history. Only Kurt Warner's NFL record of 92.3 percent (24 of 26) against Jacksonville in 2009 was better.

Palmer said he had no idea what his statistics were, just that things were working at a nice clip.

"When the plays were coming in I knew exactly where to go with the ball," he said.

Palmer hurt his throwing elbow in last week's loss at Philadelphia. From Monday on, trainer Tom Reed decided there would be no passing in practice.

"I didn't throw one ball, and I was definitely worried about that," Palmer said, "but that was the plan."

It worked to near perfection.

Palmer threw for 269 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions as the Cardinals (8-5) won for the fifth time in six games. He was sacked once.

"I can't say enough about where he is right now," Arizona coach Bruce Arians said. "The level he's playing is extremely high."

Arizona's Karlos Dansby returned an interception 23 yards for a touchdown and John Abraham tackled Kellen Clemens for a safety.

Tavon Austin's 56-yard run set up the only touchdown for the Rams (5-8), a 1-yard run by Zac Stacy. Austin injured his left ankle on the play and didn't return. The loss mathematically eliminated the Rams from postseason contention.

The Cardinals lost rookie safety Tyrann Mathieu in the third quarter. Arians said it "appears to be an ACL" injury to his left knee.

Arizona had not beaten an NFC West opponent since downing Seattle in the 2012 opener. The Cardinals lost three in a row this season, including 27-24 at St. Louis in the opener. Arians hammered that home last week.

"I can't use the words he used," Dansby said. "My mom would get at me if I do that, but he let it be known that we were at the bottom of the totem pole and we've got to climb our way out."

Fitzgerald's 12 catches went for 96 yards, including a 7-yarder for a touchdown. It was his most receptions since he matched his career high with 13 against Seattle on Oct. 18, 2009.

Dansby had his second touchdown return of an interception in three games. He returned one 22 yards in Arizona's 40-11 rout of Indianapolis.

Mathieu, the "Honey Badger" having a terrific rookie season, was hurt after returning the free kick that followed the safety in the third quarter. He jogged toward the Arizona bench but his knee buckled and he collapsed, then he was carted off the field.

The Arizona safety came after a Cardinals punt was downed at the Rams 1. On third down from the 5, Clemens retreated to the end zone and was hit by Abraham, who had three sacks to give him 11 this season.

Other than Austin's big run, St. Louis managed just 44 yards on the ground in 18 attempts. Rams coach Jeff Fisher said he was well aware how strong Arizona's defensive front was.

"I thought we would do a better job than we did, but we couldn't run the football today," he said.

In the first half, Palmer completed 16 of 17 for 169 yards and a touchdown. He would have had another TD had Jim Dray not fumbled at the half-yard line. Palmer completed his first 10 passes.

Arizona took the opening kickoff and went 80 yards in eight plays, Rashard Mendenhall scoring on a 3-yard run. The Rams responded with Greg Zuerlein's 44-yard field goal.

On St. Louis' second play from scrimmage in the third period, Calais Campbell pressured Clemens. Dansby stepped in front of intended receiver Jared Cook, picked off the pass and ran untouched 23 yards to make it 21-3.

Notes: Abraham moved past Lawrence Taylor and Leslie O'Neal into ninth on the NFL career sacks list with 133. ... Dansby has four interception returns for scores for the Cardinals in two stints with the team. Only Aeneas Williams (six) and Larry Wilson (five) have more in franchise history. ... Arizona has outscored its last two opponents at home 70-21 and is 6-1 at home. ... The Rams were penalized 11 times for 90 yards. ... With his 10th TD catch of the season, Fitzgerald became the ninth player with double-digit touchdown receptions in five seasons.

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