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Columbia Missourian

DEAR READER: Cool off from the heat with some fun from a would-be kid

By Tom Warhover
July 16, 2010 | 12:22 p.m. CDT

Dear Reader,

It’s hot.


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Hot and humid.

But you know that. I bet you’ve made it the first or second topic of conversation with friends since the heat index began its three-digit hello.

Anytime most Columbians are talking about the same thing, it stands to reason that the newspaper should respond.

The Missourian’s James Patrick Schmidt dove right into the story.

He also scampered, swam and flopped for this assignment.

With Erin O’Neill behind the lens, Schmidt took on the tough duty of joining a 6-year-old at the Stephens Lake Park splash pools.

He ran through the fountains and followed expert advice on splash-pool push-ups. His final act was to dive into the lake.

The resulting video was hardly hard-nosed reporting. More like squeaky-shoed.

It’s not my favorite recent video of the first-person weather genre. That honor goes to a science-reporting intern last summer at the Portland Oregonian, who proved he could bake cookies on the dashboard of his Subaru.

The Stephens Park piece is right up there.

After all, bringing a smile to a reader’s face isn’t a bad thing, is it?

The heat can be dangerous. So there was a service piece done on potential health problems. Another report online linked to various weather stories and websites for more information.

Next July, it will be hot again. Happens almost every year. We’ll all be talking about it then, too.

Elections aren’t always the stuff of summer, but this year we have a primary.

It’s a little more than two weeks away.

Do you know who your candidates are?

With 17 people running for Senate, you’ll need a scorecard. will have a voters guide by Monday. It will have small bios of every candidate in a contested race.

More stories and information will be added to the guide as they’re developed.

A guide in the Missourian’s print edition will run the Sunday before the Aug. 3 election.

Unlike the weather, I doubt many readers are dying for news of a primary election in the dog days of summer.

That’s OK. A newspaper has an obligation to cover the democratic process.

I hope the electorally devoted will find both versions useful.