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Susan Smith-Harmon

Susan Smith-Harmon

   An independent report says the University of Missouri failed to follow parts of the federal law that governs sexual harassment when handling the case of a former swimmer's suicide.

   The report released Friday says the Columbia campus should have investigated 20 year old Sasha Menu Courey's 2011 death after her parents raised questions about the events leading to her suicide.   Menu Courey alleged she had been sexually assaulted by as many as three football players 16 months before she died.

   School officials have previously said they didn't act sooner because neither Menu Courey nor her parents sought a police investigation and didn't respond to a later request for information.

   The case has been referred to Columbia police.

BREAKING: Green-Beckham kicked off MU football team

Friday, 11 April 2014 14:25 Published in Local News
   Suspended Mizzou wide receiver Dorial Green Beckham has been dismissed from the Missouri Tigers' football team.  The university released a statement Friday afternoon saying the decision was made by Head Coach Gary Pinkel in conjunction with Athletics Director Mike Alden.
   In a statement, Coach Pinkel said, "This decision was made with the best interests of all involved in mind."  He went on to say, "Dorial's priority going forward needs to be focusing on getting the help he needs."  He added, "As we have all along, we will continue to do everything we can to assist Dorial and his family.  We care deeply about Dorial and his well-being, but hopefully he can benefit from a fresh start."
   Director Alden also commented, saying in a statement, "We have a high standard of conduct for our student-athletes."  He added that the athletics department is "responsible to the community at large and to the ideals and values of the University of Missouri."  He called Green Beckham's dismissal, "a necessary step" for the team, the department, the school and the community."
   Earlier in the day Green Beckham had released a statement.  His father, John Beckham shared the statement by phone with the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Friday.  Beckham told the paper his son wrote the statement himself.
   It reads:
"First and more importantly, I take responsibility for my conduct and my mistakes.  Don't blame my girlfriend or her friends for anything.  I am not looking for sympathy.  I thank those who have given me concern.  I have been young and dumb.  I want to be better.  During my suspension I'm entering counseling.  With help, I know I can be stronger emotionally and spiritually.  My relationship with God, my family, friends, teammates and coaches are most important in my life, not football.  It may not be possible to fix everything, but it won't be for not trying. - Dorial Green Beckham"
 
   Green Beckham had been the subject of a burglary investigation after allegedly forcing his way into an apartment Sunday morning in a dispute with his girlfriend.  The investigation was closed after the victims declined to press charges saying they feared community backlash.  On Monday, Coach Gary Pinkel had announced Green Beckham's indefinite suspension for an unspecified violation of team rules.
 

Driver in deadly FL daycare crash in custody

Thursday, 10 April 2014 16:50 Published in National News
   WINTER PARK, Fla. (AP) — The SUV driver accused of causing a car to crash into a Florida day care, killing a 4 year old girl and injuring 14 others, most of them children, surrendered to authorities Thursday.
   The Orange County Sheriff's Office tweeted that Robert Alex Corchado was in custody at the jail. Corchado's attorney, Jack Kaleita, confirmed it, but refused to comment further.
   The surrender came a day after police say Corchado, 28, crashed his Dodge Durango into a convertible, which in turn smashed into the KinderCare building. Authorities — and the mother of the little girl who was killed — pleaded for the suspect to give up, even as they blanketed the state searching for him.
   Authorities did not immediately announce charges against Corchado, but he already has a long criminal history. Nicole Quintus, whose daughter Lily Quintus was killed, said he was responsible for heartbreak.
   "Families are emotionally destroyed because of what he did," she said in an interview with The Associated Press.
   The mother softly sobbed as she spoke of her daughter. She said Lily loved princesses, "Star Wars," the TV series "Doctor Who" and ranch dressing on seemingly everything she ate — even pizza and hot dogs. Lily was sitting at a table waiting for her afternoon snack when the car crashed into the building, and Nicole Quintus said a teacher called her soon after, screaming but unable to say what happened.
   "One minute everything was normal and the next there was an explosion and smoke and screams," she said.
   The girl's 7 year old brother is an aspiring engineer who wants to design a time machine to bring Lily back, the mother added.
   "She was beautiful and passionate and innocent," the mother said, "and she deserved so much more."
   Lily was on the minds of those who turned up at the day care, where the gaping hole was boarded up with plywood and a cluster of stuffed animals, flowers and candles were left in memoriam.
   Ralph Velez, 48, left a stuffed bear from his 5 year old son Xavier, who goes to the day care but was unhurt. The bear was a gift from a few Christmases ago, and Xavier — who can't stop talking about the crash — wanted to give it to honor his friends, Velez said.
   "He'll say, 'stupid car,' or 'stupid driver,'" Velez said. "He told us last night that he remembers the driver, who wasn't hurt, getting out and saying, 'What did I do? What did I do?'"
   Local television footage showed small children and infants in cribs being taken outside to the day care's playground Wednesday. Several of those injured were carried out on stretchers. Parents were later seen waiting to pick up their children, then clutching them in their arms as authorities escorted them to their vehicles.
   Corchado has been arrested eight times since 2000.
   Department of Corrections records show he served prison time for trafficking cocaine and extortion. He most recently was arrested in December on a misdemeanor charge of leaving the scene of a crash involving damage, a felony charge of selling narcotics, and felony marijuana possession. He was released on more than $10,000 bond and pleaded not guilty to the charges. He was due back in court in May.
   A man who answered the phone at a number listed for Corchado hung up. Florida Highway Patrol Maj. Cindy Williams said Corchado was linked with the Latin Kings gang and could have been aided by other members.
   Ten people remain hospitalized from the crash, including one child who remains in critical condition and two others who are listed in serious condition, according to the patrol.
   The day care's website says the center provides childcare for children up to 12 years old and has been in the community for more than 25 years.

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