Floating history

It’s a 28-foot-long, 3,000-pound, solid-wood piece of history floating down the Missouri River.

  This year, the Missouri Department of Conservation is hosting the Lewis and Clark Dugout Canoe Crew at the Missouri State Fair. As part of the living history program, the crew built a replica of the canoes used by the Corps of Discovery to take participants on a ride back through history to 1804 — a time when canoes made out of cottonwood trees were Cadillacs and the Missouri River was the highway.

Planners hold first joint session

The Columbia and Boone County planning and zoning commissions held their first joint meeting Saturday after the Columbia City Council passed a resolution July 21 giving their approval. The county commission had given its nod early in 2002.

Patricia Smith, chairwoman of the county commission, began the day’s proceedings by emphasizing the need to jump-start the process begun almost two years ago. With the city expanding, Smith said, there is a need for open dialogue between the two commissions on issues affecting both the city and county.

For bat researcher, every scream counts

Within the warren of offices that make up this laboratory is a room whose walls are covered in thick, dimpled padding. The impression is of a tiny recording studio, but no rock star with a wailing guitar has played here.

Rather, the soundproofing was chosen because its contours are just right to absorb screams.

Williams case leaves no clear explanations

The decade-old investigation of mysterious patient deaths at Truman Veterans Hospital appears to have satisfied almost nobody.

Not Boone County Prosecuting Attorney Kevin Crane, who had to backtrack Wednesday with dismissal of all 10 counts of first-degree murder against former VA nurse Richard Williams. Newer science knocked down the lab results that led Crane to charge Williams with 10 counts of first-degree murder, punishable by the death penalty.

Commission OKs plan for interchange

Columbia’s Planning and Zoning Commission took the first steps toward building an Interstate 70 interchange west of Stadium Boulevard. Commission members voted six to one Thursday to recommend approval of the Columbia Area Transportation Study Organization’s plan; if approved by the City Council, the proposal will move to the Missouri Department of Transportation for final approval. But councilman Jim Loveless said that any construction of a Wal-Mart Supercenter behind the Columbia Mall would take many more steps before it could even begin.

“I am not committed to one technique or another, but we really need some relief on that traffic problem. I’m willing to look at anything that has that effect,” he said.

Mo. gets quarter for 182nd birthday

Imagine a cake with 182 birthday candles. That’s how many it would take to celebrate Missouri’s history as a state. Missouri became the 24th state of the Union on Aug. 10, 1821, and today marks its 182nd birthday.

The state’s birthday will be celebrated at 1 p.m. today at the Missouri State Fair with the official unveiling of the new Missouri quarter. The Show-Me State is home to famous firsts, famous people and famous places — some right from Columbians’ own back yards.

Curfew, program funding discussed

Doors were closed at Thursday night’s NAACP-sponsored meeting to discuss curfew alternatives, but First Ward Councilwoman Almeta Crayton chose not to accept the invitation to come inside.

“I have other things to do,” Crayton said late Thursday.

Major joins Boone County Sheriff race

Maj. O.J. Stone of the Boone County Sheriff’s Department announced his candidacy for sheriff on Friday afternoon at a Muleskinners Club luncheon.

Stone said the decision to run has been made “for some time.”

2 safeties not bashful

No, Jose Canseco and Mark McGwire aren’t roaming the secondary for the Missouri football team.

This pair, though, is going by the same nickname.

Edwards drives to 3rd win

Friday night, Columbia native Carl Edwards was in a place that has become familiar to him — victory lane.

Edwards, 23, won the NASCAR Craftsman Truck Series Federated Auto Parts 200 at Nashville Superspeedway, his second straight win and third in five races.

Bunge, NCAA might meet this week

Jessica Bunge is not through talking about Ricky Clemons.

Bunge, a former Missouri student, agreed to meet with NCAA officials to discuss her statement that Clemons, her former boyfriend, received money while a member of the MU basketball team.

Another chance

After two rounds in the 29th annual Kiwanis Columbia Championship Golf Tournament, Dave McDonald is looking to do something he has never done.

McDonald, 36, could win the 54-hole tournament for the first time.

Soccer alums gather

It’s never too late to start playing a new sport.

Paul Rubenstein, 54, played soccer for the first time in the second annual Rock Bridge High Boys’ Soccer Alumni Game on Saturday at Rock Bridge.

Wild Things shut out Mavs

Two Washington Wild Things players took care of the Mid-Missouri Mavericks on Saturday.

The Mavericks lost 4-0 to the Wild Things at Falconi Field in Washington, Pa. Shortstop Jon Cahill and first baseman Josh Loggins accounted for three of Washington’s four hits and each scored two runs.

Puberty tougher the third time

My oldest two grandchildren are beginning to step into the awkward stage of puberty. I have gone through this with my children AND lived to tell about it (so did they — but just barely), and it’s not something I thought I would have to endure again.

I saw the signs shortly after Christmas — my two oldest grandkids became moody and withdrawn. When I ask a question my grandson mumbles a reply, but my granddaughter just sighs and rolls her eyes.