- Associated Press - Friday, November 13, 2015

COLUMBIA, Mo. (AP) - The latest on the protests and turmoil over racially charged incidents at the University of Missouri (all times local):

9:30 p.m.

A graduate student organization at the University of Missouri says new leadership hasn’t yet meant student demands have been fulfilled.

But the Steering Committee of the Forum on Graduate Rights in a statement Friday said it looks forward to working with Interim University of Missouri System President Mike Middleton and Interim Chancellor Hank Foley to enact change.

Former University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe and Columbia campus Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin resigned this past week. Their departures followed one student’s hunger strike and protests by others who criticized the administration’s handling of racial issues.

Graduate students also marched and spoke against administrators. Some hope to unionize.

The statement says student demands won’t go away “simply because new men hold the key positions of trust” at the university.

___

5:40 p.m.

The University of Missouri will pay the lobbying firm of Sen. Roy Blunt’s son $10,000 a month to represent it in Jefferson City.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch (http://bit.ly/1RUD8LD ) reports that the contract with Andy Blunt’s firm was signed Monday amid the racial unrest on the Columbia campus. Andy Blunt also is the campaign manager for his father, who is a Republican.

Democrats have questioned whether it’s proper for a campaign manager to receive money from a state institution.

University spokesman John Fougere says negotiations had been underway before this week. Fougere added that Andy Blunt, a University of Missouri graduate, was brought in because of his deep connections in Jefferson City.

___

3:45 p.m.

Missouri coach Gary Pinkel will step down at the end of the season because of health reasons.

Pinkel and the Tigers announced the decision Friday afternoon and noted Pinkel had been diagnosed with lymphoma in May. The stunning move comes days after his team threatened to boycott Saturday’s game against BYU over concerns about racial strife on campus. Pinkel supported his players.

Pinkel said he had decided to resign before this week.

The 63-year-old Pinkel is the winningest coach in school history with a 117-71 record over 15 seasons. His team has won the last two SEC East titles, but is out of contention for a conference title this year.

___

3:40 p.m.

A former Missouri University of Science and Technology student who’s charged with threatening a school shooting has turned himself in to authorities.

Attorney Scott Rosenblum said Friday that 19-year-old Tyler Bradenberg of St. Louis is jailed in Phelps County. Rosenblum says Bradenberg will plead not guilty to one felony count of making a terroristic threat. The probable cause statement says Bradenberg admitted under questioning to using his personal cellphone Wednesday to post on the app Yik Yak that “I’m gonna shoot up this school.”

Missouri S&T; spokeswoman Mary Helen Stoltz says GPS spoofing technology was used to make it appear the post was made from Rolla, although it actually was made from St. Louis.

Two other students also have been charged this week in Missouri with school shooting threats.

____

3 p.m.

At least 100 people have marched from the University of Missouri’s black culture center through areas of Greek housing and to the heart of the Columbia campus in response to threats of violence against black students.

Shelbey Parnell, one of the original 11 organizers of Concerned Student 1950, says the aim was “reclaiming” campus and showing that racism has no place at the university.

The student who launched a hunger strike to oust former University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe helped lead students in chants and a dance in Jesse Hall, a main campus building.

New Interim Chancellor Hank Foley joined students in the chanting while arm-in-arm with Missouri Students Association President Payton Head. Students from the University of Missouri-Kansas City participated in the demonstration.

____

2:05 p.m.

University of Kansas Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little says the school in Lawrence, Kansas, plans to begin sharing information next week on how it will move forward to address racism and discrimination.

She said in a message posted Friday on the university’s website: “I see you. I hear you. You matter.”

The message comes in the wake of the unrest at the University of Missouri this week and after a forum that Gray-Little moderated on Wednesday, where a group calling itself Rock Chalk Invisible Hawk presented its demands.

Their demands included hiring a director for the Office of Multicultural Affairs, mandatory inclusion training for students and faculty, increased diversity in hiring, counselors to address mental issues and creation of an independent “Multicultural Student Government.”

The group also seeks a ban on concealed weapons on campus.

___

12:05 p.m.

Gov. Jay Nixon has named a community development official with the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis to the University of Missouri Board of Curators.

Nixon said in a news release Friday that Yvonne Sparks will fill a vacant seat on the board, which oversees the university’s four campuses. Her appointment must be confirmed by the Missouri Senate.

The system’s flagship Columbia campus has been facing racial strife for the past few weeks, which led the resignations of President Tim Wolfe and Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin.

If her appointment is approved by state lawmakers, Sparks would be the second black member of the 9-person governing board. St. Louis businessman David Steward is currently the only black curator.

Sparks is the reserve bank’s assistant vice president and community development officer and serves on numerous boards in the St. Louis area.

She would represent the First Congressional District with a term that would end Jan. 1, 2021.

LOAD COMMENTS ()

 

Click to Read More

Click to Hide