Pavement prizes

In the first two weeks of August, when many leases begin and end, it’s a trash-picker’s paradise as many people throw away worthwhile items they no longer want. Working TVs, stereos, building materials, records, furniture and personal possessions are among the items local Dumpster divers have found.

Corps lowering Mo. River after court’s decision

The Army Corps of Engineers expected to lower the Missouri River’s water level to 21,000 cubic feet per second by Tuesday evening to comply with a court order issued last week.

Last month, U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler ordered the corps to begin lowering the river between July 15 and Aug. 15, and U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson ruled last week that the river level must be lowered by Tuesday. The gradual process of lowering the water level began Sunday evening, said Mike Wells, chief of water resources with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, who keeps track of the Missouri River’s water level.

City parking turns to plastic payment

Quarters, dimes, nickels and plastic. New card readers installed on Columbia’s parking meters will give drivers a fourth option when they pay for parking.

The card readers are part of the 2004 city budget proposal released by the city manager in July. If approved by City Council next month, the proposal would fund the installation of 320 card readers, 600 prepaid cards and a card charger. Each card reader would cost about $23 and would fit into the existing meters.

Mountain lion struck by car near Fulton

State conservation agent Brian Ham received a 2 a.m. phone call to pick something up from the Callaway County Sheriff’s Department on Tuesday — a mountain lion in a body bag.

The mountain lion was killed Monday night by a woman driving in the southbound lane of U.S. 54 in Callaway County, a mile south of Fulton. She called the Callaway County Sheriff’s Department about 11:20 p.m. to say she thought she had hit a dog.

City put in charge of buses at MU

After five years of using bus services provided by First Student and the city of Columbia, MU has entered into an exclusive contract with the city to provide bus services on campus.

Jim Joy, MU director of parking and transportation, estimates that the service will cost MU about $500,000 this year. In past years, the cost has been between $300,000 and $400,000 depending on services, the number of buses and hours of availability. Last year, the use of city buses cost the university $36 per hour per 40-foot bus, resulting in a cost of about $1,600 per day for the use of four city buses. Costs for this year are hard to determine because the city didn’t bid for the contract by the hour as in previous years, and a combination of bus types will be used.

Hindman eager to resume duties after surgery

Weighing about 20 pounds less than when he went to Pittsburgh for surgery last month, Mayor Darwin Hindman is back and already receiving calls involving city business.

But Hindman is not rushing back into public activities and is not sure when he will fully return to his duties as mayor.

New pastor, renovation for Calvary Baptist faithful

A teenage boy and girl greet churchgoers by name at Calvary Baptist Church. An usher hands out bulletins and quips, “You can’t get in without one of these!”

Then Penny Garrison, in a Southern drawl, brightly welcomes visitors as they take their seats.

Phillips 66 robbed by man; cash taken

The Phillips 66 gas station at 1202 Business Loop 70 E. was robbed early Tuesday morning, according to Columbia police.

At 7:50 a.m., police responded to a holdup alarm at the gas station. Upon arrival, officers were told that a man entered the store and went behind the counter, said Sgt. Gerry Greene of the Columbia Police Department.

After two years, Nash hits contact drills

The Big 12 Conference championship wasn’t on the line, but the stakes were a little higher than an average two-a-day.

Traditional Family

Mention the tattoo on Joe Gianino’s left bicep and then hand his dad a handkerchief.

“Every time I talk about it I cry,” Ralph Gianino III said.

Forward/guard commits to MU

The Missouri basketball team has added another player for the 2004 season.

Glen Dandridge, a 6-foot-6 small forward/shooting guard, confirmed Tuesday he has given an oral commitment to play for MU.

Pavlovich named Stephens coach

The search for a Stephens College basketball coach is over.

Preserving the flavor of herbs

Herbs give both flavor and color to any meal. Chopped, sautéed or crushed, they are easily added to a favorite recipe. Fresh or dry, they are available year round, but “fresh is always better,” said Phyllis Spence of Terra Bella Farm.

“Herbs are more potent fresh. It takes twice as much dry herb to get the same flavor,” said Kimberly Griffin, co-owner of The Root Cellar, 21 N. Providence Road.

A new find in fine wine

With about 700 different wines to choose from, Columbia’s newest wine shop is a connoisseur’s dream.

Director of campus dining honored for services

The National Association of College and University Food Services recently honored Julaine Kiehn, director of campus dining services at MU, with the Theodore W. Minah Distinguished Service Award.

“Education and professional development are synonymous with the name Julaine Kiehn,” said Diane Hardy, past president of the association.

Les Bourgeois receives temporary suspension

Because of liquor violations, Les Bourgeois Vineyards in Rocheport will be unable to sell wine at its A-Frame facility from Aug. 27 through Sept. 11.

The suspension was handed down after Les Bourgeois was found to have sold alcohol to minors and to have allowed them to consume alcohol on the property, according to the Missouri Division of Liquor Control. The 15-day suspension is the establishment’s second of the year; the first was from June 16 to June 30.

Sister city brings new residents

Gestures, nods, a few words in halting English. That was the scene when Kana Kasada arrived from Matto City of Japan to spend 10 days with the Digernes family of Columbia.

As she unpacked gifts her mother sent for her hosts, the shy and demure Kana took out a palm-sized "Obunsha's Handy English to Japanese and Japanese to English Dictionary." Until her departure, the dictionary would be her constant companion, a savior of sorts. Whenever conversing, it was passed from one person to another until it assumed a "life of its own."

Missourians face higher utility bills this year

Natural gas and propane prices are 50 to 75 percent higher this summer than one year ago. This is a foreboding figure heading into the winter season because it means higher utility bills for consumers.

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources, government agencies and utility service providers met in Jefferson City this week to discuss increasing heating costs and its impact on low-income families. Experts fear a repeat of the 2000 heating season, when frigid temperatures resulted in Missouri's coldest November and December in recorded U.S. history and 40 to 50 percent higher residential heating bills.