In 2011, Missouri law enforcement busted about five meth labs each day on average – almost double the number of any other state. The state spends more than $2 million dollars a year on cleanup of these labs, and millions more on incarceration, child care, and drug treatment.
A program that provides free daily meals to children from low-income families is under way this week in Columbia. The Lunch in the Park program fills a need that arises when the school year ends. Many children who receive free and reduced-price meals during the school year may not have access to nutritious meals during the summer.
The program, a partnership between the Health Department and the Volunteer Action Center, can serve more than 100 kids each day. Lunch in the Park also provides entertainment and educational activities.
Some Columbia City Council members and department staff say they created a solid foundation during their annual retreat. The first day they focused on coming up with a clear vision statement with the help of hired consultants. By the end of the retreat, the council members and staff set aside specific priorities for the future. City Council member Helen Anthony said planning won’t stop since the retreat is over.
Three suspects are facing felony charges for a series of fires in northeast Missouri, including one that destroyed a small-town playground.
The Kirksville Daily Express reports that 17-year-old Jaston Boone of Edina, 20-year-old Shelby Snelling of Baring and 19-year-old Athena Wolter of Knox City each face three counts. They are being held at the Adair County jail on $10,000 bond.
The former editor of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch is the new executive director of the American Society of News Editors.
The ASNE announced the hiring Monday of Arnie Robbins, who stepped down last month after 15 years at the newspaper, including more than six years as editor. He begins work with ASNE on July 9 as the organization moves to the University of Missouri campus in Columbia, from Washington.
A University of Missouri men's basketball fan who regularly traveled with the team to NCAA Tournament games is among 10 Columbia residents facing federal drug conspiracy charges.
The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that Levi Coolley was on the team plane on four Tiger tournament trips from 2009 to 2011. Coolley also joined a team flight from Austin, Texas, in January and got complimentary tickets from Missouri players at nine games over two seasons.