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COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - A federal judge has dismissed the city of Columbia from a lawsuit filed by a man who spent more than 10 years in prison for murder before his convictions were vacated.
 
U.S. District Judge Nanette Laughrey issued an order last week dismissing the city from a lawsuit filed by Ryan Ferguson. The city was dismissed without prejudice, meaning it could be added to the lawsuit again in the future.
 
The city was one of 13 defendants in the lawsuit filed by Ferguson, who was convicted in the 2001 killing Columbia Daily Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt. He was released in November after his convictions were vacated.
 
The Tribune reports the dismissal is contingent upon it having no effect on Ferguson's remaining claims against the other defendants.
Friday, 04 April 2014 10:52
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COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - Missouri basketball player Zach Price is suspended from the team after being arrested twice for allegedly assaulting his roommate and a woman.
 
Columbia Police Sgt. Joe Bernhard says the victims reported that Price rammed their car Wednesday afternoon.
That investigation was ongoing when Price was arrested on another alleged encounter with the same victims Thursday morning. Police say he hit his male roommate in the face then pushed the woman to the ground.
 
Missouri Coach Frank Haith said after the first arrest that he was "very disappointed" with Price and will discipline him accordingly. Price sat out last season after transferring from Louisville.
 
Friday, 04 April 2014 10:29
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) - A southwest Missouri sheriff says he will reopen an investigation into a 1997 Springfield girl's death that is linked to a man who was executed Thursday in Texas.
   
Greene County Sheriff Jim Arnott announced Thursday he will reopen the case of Stephanie Mahaney, a 13-year-old who disappeared from her Springfield apartment in 1997.  Her body was found in a Greene County pond a month later.
   
Arnott, who investigated Mahaney's death at the time, says he interviewed Tommy Lynn Sells this week on death row in Texas. Sells was indicted in Mahaney's death, one of three cases prosecutors linked to the killer.
 
The Springfield News-Leader reports that Arnott isn't less confident that Sells killed Mahaney but the interview prompted him to review some facts in the case.
Friday, 04 April 2014 10:25
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ST. LOUIS, MO  --  A crane accident in St. Charles has forced the closure of all lanes of Eastbound I-64 at Route K.  The Missouri Department of Transportation has also closed the entrance ramps from Route 94, Route K and Research Park to eastbound I-64. 
 
Crews must remove a crane that broke free on the Missouri River.  The crane is currently resting on the eastbound truss of the Daniel Boone  Bridge. The bridge and the interstate will remain closed until crews can remove the crane and inspect the bridge for damage. 
 
Motorists should use Interstate 70, Route 364/Page and Route 94 as alternate routes. 
Friday, 04 April 2014 09:23
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ST. LOUIS (AP) - St. Louis police have identified two people killed in a shooting on the city's north side.
 
The shooting happened Wednesday afternoon, near Langston Middle School. The victims are identified as 35-year-old Michael Hennings and 27-year-old Ashley Townsend. Both were shot while inside a parked car and were pronounced dead at the scene.
 
Witnesses told police that the shooter gout out of a car and opened fire. Police are looking for the gunman.
Friday, 04 April 2014 08:03
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EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) - A southwestern Illinois doctor has been sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison for defrauding the state's Medicaid program and illegally dispensing prescription medications.
 
Sixty-nine-year-old Viwathna Bhuthimethee of Alton also was fined $5,000 on Thursday in East St. Louis and ordered to spend two years on post-prison supervised release.
Bhuthimethee pleaded guilty in February to one count of health care fraud and 14 counts of illegal distribution of a controlled substance.
 
Authorities say Bhuthimethee ran an Alton walk-in clinic with his wife. He was indicted in 2012.
 
Investigators accused him of operating a "pill mill" in which he prescribed more than 2,000 painkiller or anti-anxiety pills to four women from 2008 through 2010 outside the course of his professional practice.
   
 
Friday, 04 April 2014 07:59
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COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - The widow of a firefighter who was killed in February after a walkway collapsed at a University of Missouri apartment complex has filed a wrongful death suit against the school's board of curators.
 
The Columbia Daily Tribune reports Leigh Britt and her daughter are plaintiffs in the lawsuit filed Monday. Britt says the curators are responsible for her husband's death because they failed to properly maintain or construct the University Village Apartments.
 
Bruce Britt was killed Feb. 22 after responding to reports of a possible building collapse at the apartment complex. He was crushed when part of a concrete walkway collapsed while he was trying to get residents out of the building.
A spokesman for the University of Missouri system says the university doesn't comment on active litigation.
 
Friday, 04 April 2014 07:36
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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Missouri lawmakers have passed a resolution encouraging President Barack Obama's administration to approve a proposed oil pipeline route through the middle of the United States.
 
The Senate approved the measure endorsing the Keystone XL pipeline with a 24-5 vote on Thursday. The same resolution passed the House earlier this year.
 
Obama told a group of governors at a White House meeting in February that he expects to make a decision on the project's future in a couple of months.
 
The Missouri resolution also encourages the U.S. to drill for oil off the northern coast of Alaska.
Missouri's two U.S. senators and Gov. Jay Nixon have also come out in favor of the Keystone pipeline project.
 
Friday, 04 April 2014 07:31
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