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STAFF PICKS: Candidate forums and passion for falconry

Friday, March 16, 2012 | 9:01 p.m. CDT

There's a lot of content on ColumbiaMissourian.com, and we can't expect the average reader to consume every last morsel of it, especially if you've been caught up in March Madness. So we've compiled a list of recent stories we think you could benefit from reading including City Council and school board candidate forums and a man who has turned his passion for falconry into a lifestyle.

Candidate forums

During a public forum with City Council candidates held by the Boone County League of Women Voters on Tuesday, Second Ward candidates Mike Atkinson, Bill Pauls and Michael Trapp, and Sixth Ward candidates Barbara Hoppe and Bill Tillotson answered questions from Columbia residents. The forum, held just three weeks before the April 3 election, allowed the candidates to discuss the idea of a shared commission between the school board and city staff and whether it's a good time to increase taxes.

A public forum for Columbia School Board candidates was hosted Tuesday night by the Boone County League of Women Voters. Columbia residents asked the candidates about the possibility of elementary schools centered within neighborhoods, student transportation options and the relationship between education and city matters. The Columbia School Board election also will be held April 3.

All four candidates for the Columbia School Board attended a public forum Thursday night hosted by the Columbia affiliate of the Missouri National Education Association. Residents asked the candidates about their views concerning teachers' salaries, restoring the lost steps to the salary schedule, tenure, the salaries of custodial staff and opening the dialogue between educational support personnel and supervisors.

Transportation

Forty additional single-space parking meters were installed on Ninth Street between Locust Street and University Avenue. The meters installed by IPS Group Inc. are the second parking meter option of the pilot program by the Downtown Parking Task Force. The new meters provide people with the option to pay by credit card or cellphone.

MU students gathered Tuesday to discuss improvements and provide feedback about the Columbia public transit system. The students discussed pick-up locations, running times, the frequency of the buses run and the price they would be willing to pay for services.

Politics

Gov. Jay Nixon is calling for the complete restoration of aid for blind Missouri residents to the proposed budget. The program provides aid to more than 2,000 people who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid. Nixon said he is hopeful the state Senate will make the restoration a priority. The cut in the aid for the blind program would add $40 million back to the budget for higher education.

Principal environmental policy adviser to President Barack Obama and chair of the Council on Environmental Quality, Nancy Sutley, visited with city officials and toured the Biogas Energy Plant on Wednesday. Sutler said Columbia was on the list to visit because the city is "doing a lot in clean energy and in the environment" and referred to the city's efforts as "impressive."

In recent years, the number of pro se cases, in which a person acts on his or her own behalf in civil disputes, has increased on the national level. The growing trend has brought new challenges for pro se litigants and the courts. Because of the increase in these types of cases, there has also been an increase in the training and coaching for pro se litigants. To test your knowledge about pro se litigation, take our quiz at the bottom of the story's page.

Health care

Although the city has six drug treatment facilities, none of the facilities are equipped to care for women with withdrawal symptoms that require medical attention. Currently the only option for treating drug withdrawal symptoms in women is the emergency room of a hospital. McCambridge Center, which helps women overcome addictions, has tried to add a detoxification center for women in past years but lacks the funding.

Boone Life

Larry Temares, the director of Missouri Falconers Association, has been interested in falcons since childhood. He nurtured his passion throughout his adolescent and early adult years, and in 2009 he was licensed to fly his own falcons. Since then, he has used three different hawks.


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