The sound of honking horns became a symbol Thursday night along West Florissant Avenue in Ferguson.

It was the first night since Saturday -- the day Michael Brown was shot to death by a Ferguson police officer -- that traffic had been allowed to move freely along one of the main commercial strips in Ferguson. There was no line of police in riot gear and armored vehicles facing off against a crowd. The few officers spotted were in regular uniforms. The atmosphere felt more like a party than a protest.

For 120 years, Ferguson, Mo. -- currently home to 21,203 people -- has been a little city that has grown in good times and evolved in hard times, with little attention from folks outside the St. Louis region.

That changed in a flash of gunfire last Saturday when a Ferguson police officer shot and killed Michael Brown, an African-American 18-year-old who was unarmed.

Update: After least four says of of denial of service attacks, the main St. Louis County government website was restored on Monday, August 18. Work was still continuing on restoring auxiliary sites.

Updated at 12:30 on Friday August 15 with the latest on the St. Louis County website.

(Updated at 4:20 p.m., Thurs., Aug. 14)

As of Thursday, the Missouri Highway Patrol is now in charge in Ferguson. And Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, who announced the change, said at a news conference that the public should see a difference at once.

The St. Louis County police have been widely criticized for their aggressive, even militaristic stance -- using armored vehicles and tear gas -- to quell protests stemming from last Saturday's police shooting. 

When Antonio French noticed social media activity bubbling up about Michael Brown’s shooting death last weekend, the St. Louis alderman got in his car and drove to Ferguson. 

What he said he saw was striking: Police from neighboring municipalities had formed a “human shield” around the scene. Lesley McSpadden, Brown’s mother, was screaming and crying over not knowing what happened to her 18-year-old son. And Brown’s body was still in the street after being shot and killed by a Ferguson police officer.

Updated at 4:40 p.m. ET.

The chief of the St. Louis County Police says a black teenager fatally shot by officers Saturday was killed during an altercation with authorities.

But as Chief Jon Belmar was speaking at a news conference Sunday morning, a few hundred angry protesters carrying signs converged on the police station taunting police with chants of "Don't shoot me," according to The Associated Press.

Columbia Police
KOMUnews / Flickr

Two bills to further protect on duty officers are currently awaiting Gov. Jay Nixon's signature.  The Columbia Police Officers' Association has supported legislation that would make it a felony to disarm a law enforcement agent of any weapon, not simply their handgun. 

Scott Davidson / Flickr

The Columbia Police Department is still investigating how the bicyclist on I-70 was struck and killed.  Officials told KBIA they are currently waiting for DNA testing from the vehicle they said was involved in the accident.  In a press release the department also believes they have located the driver involved in the accident.

Officers found the human remains near the mile marker 130 on I-70 -- after several drivers reported seeing the remains.

Tony Webster / Flickr

Police chiefs, mayors and prosecutors from Kansas City and St. Louis will join with law enforcement experts this month for a four-day Urban Crime Summit.

Jason Rojas / Flickr

Some union members are pushing St. Louis police leadership to buy more powerful guns to replace the 9 mm semi-automatic weapons officers have been carrying for more than a decade.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports the police department has set aside $1.4 million to buy new pistols for the department's roughly 1,300 officers. Beretta has stopped making the 9 mm handguns, and the Police Officers' Association wants them to be replaced with .40-caliber pistols.

Tony Webster / Flickr

Missouri prosecutors advising police on undercover investigations now have greater legal protection that their conduct won't violate ethical rules.


A St. Louis senator is making a fourth attempt at raising fines for seat belt violations.

Democratic Sen. Joe Keaveny wants to increase the fine from $10 to $50 for people caught not wearing seat belts in vehicles. His bill was to be heard Wednesday by a Senate committee, marking the fourth consecutive year that he has presented it.

The percentage of people using seat belts in Missouri lags behind the national average. Keaveny hopes a higher fine would encourage more people to buckle up.

Columbia Public Schools making schools safer

Dec 11, 2012
students in classroom
Brad Flickinger / Flickr

Improvements in safety are on the horizon for many of Columbia’s public schools.

Columbia Police Chief speaks about crime

Dec 7, 2012
Columbia Police Department logo
File Photo / KBIA

Columbia Police Chief Ken Burton discussed the local crime rate and answered questions at the Boone County Democratic Muleskinners club meeting Friday.

Scott Davidson / Flickr

An annual report released Friday by the attorney general found black drivers were 72 percent more likely than white motorists to be pulled over in 2011. Black drivers were stopped 2.5 times more often than Hispanic drivers.

The report compares racial characteristics of Missouri's driving-age population to the racial composition of drivers in the roughly 1.7 million traffic stops, 129,000 searches and 81,000 arrests.

Lake of the Ozarks police looking to add staff

Apr 6, 2012
bsabarnowl / flickr

The Lake of the Ozarks Board of Alderman is in no rush to give the green light to add a new police officer in the city.

Columbia Police to beef up security during spring break

Mar 21, 2012
File / KBIA

The Columbia Police Department is stepping up security during spring break and asking residents to do the same with their homes.

Columbia man arrested for Sunday shooting

Mar 6, 2012

Larrell Banks, 18, of Columbia was arrested early Monday morning for shooting and killing a man on North Eighth Street Sunday afternoon.

Newscast for March 6, 2012

Mar 6, 2012
File / KBIA

Regional news coverage from the KBIA News room, including:

  • A man is arrested for Sunday's Columbia shooting.
  • Missouri Republicans stand up for under-fire conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh.
  • Washington University researchers make new discovery regarding Alzheimer's disease.
7mary3 / FLICKR

The city of Columbia is spending $45,000 to conduct an outside review of its police department. This comes after a year in which the department has seen a host of issues, including the firing of officer Rob Sanders, as well as dueling local groups focusing on Chief Ken Burton.