Saving lives, one pet at a time

These unsung heroes lead a dog’s life. Meet Giddo, Wessor, Morton, Gnat, Goliath and Cletus, blood donor greyhounds at MU’s College of Veterinary Medicine. They give blood to help save the lives of fellow canines.

Heat forces early school dismissals

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the classroom, it turns out it’s too hot.

Because the temperature today is expected to reach 100 degrees and because some schools are not fully air-conditioned, students will be dismissed starting at noon in the Columbia Public Schools.

Utility increases on city’s agenda

For the first time in 20 years, Columbia residents might see higher electric bills.

If the Columbia City Council approves a new three-year contract with Ameren Energy Marketing, higher rates might appear on utility bills as soon as October 2004.

Visits to homeland help balance life

Two or three times each summer, I visit the place where I was born. All that’s left there for me to feel a connection to is the land. The old house has been replaced with a new house. My father and grandfather built our house, a simple two-story frame dwelling that faced the street. That house burned many years ago. Our old house was surrounded with fruit trees — two apricot, a pear and a cherry. The new house is built of logs and sits in the corner of the lot. What trees there are are mere saplings.

I’m not really sure why I keep visiting this place because it’s always a traumatic experience and a high emotional price to pay to keep in touch with my memories. I tell myself that I do this because it helps me maintain my equilibrium at this time when things seem especially crazy. I find myself thinking too often that, figuratively speaking, California is where the whole country is heading and fantasy land will be our final destination. I tend to think of California not as a place but as a state of mind. I figure that one bad idea will lead to another and that any moment, anybody will be in charge of everything and nothing will work and that the most widespread blackout in the nation’s history was only the beginning.

Internet opens new chapter for bookstores

The Dairy Queen cup has been the cash register at Adams Walls of Books for 10 years. This month, a laptop joined the used-book business that has been around since the ’40s.

“Ah, for Pete’s sake,” Nancy Duncan, owner of the store, said while trying to get the laptop going.

Fresh(men) faces

Add the Missouri football team’s Big 12 Conference championships (zero) to its wins against Nebraska in the past 25 years (zero) and that’s how many games outside safety Dedrick Harrington has started.

Harrington, a probable starter at rover when the Tigers play Illinois on Saturday, is one of several redshirt freshmen who might get significant playing time this season.

Clemons’ jail time ends

Former Missouri guard Ricky Clemons was released from Boone County Jail on Sunday after completing a 60-day sentence.

Clemons had been jailed for misdemeanor third-degree assault and false imprisonment of Jessica Bunge, his former girlfriend. Bunge said he choked her and prevented her from leaving his apartment in January. Clemons pleaded guilty in April. He will have two years of supervised probation.

Seeing red? Mars is getting closer

Halley’s comet, which passes the Earth about every 76 years, was a celebrated astronomical event in 1986. But this month, the people of Earth have the opportunity to view an event that hasn’t happened for the past 60,000 years and won’t happen again for another 284 years.

On Wednesday, Mars will be at its closest opposition, when Mars, the Earth and the sun form a straight line.

Restoring Faith

Two years ago, the Rev. Edwin Donaldson Jr. worried about how he was going to come up with enough money to save the crumbling St. Matthew AME Church, 309 Spruce St., Boonville.

Hit-and-run injures man fixing his car

A 73-year-old Columbia man was taken to University Hospital early Saturday morning after his parked car was rear-ended in a reported hit-and-run accident on Hanover Boulevard north of Clark Lane, the Columbia Police Department said in a release.

The man had been outside his stalled car trying to fix it when it was hit from behind at 1:33 a.m. by a dark-colored SUV, possibly a Jeep, police said. The driver of the SUV left the scene of the accident, police said.

Signed sealed & delivered

When people want the best chocolate or watches they might go to Switzerland. But, when the Swiss want the best road signs, they come to Missouri.

“We have the best sign shop nationwide,” said Patty Bates, sign production supervisor at the Missouri Department of Transportation.

Unity Day lets residents address issues

Kids came running to see VeggieTales’ Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber and to jump in the bouncy house at the Unity Day on Unity Drive picnic Saturday. Adults came, too, to meet other public housing residents, eat hamburgers and hotdogs and talk to police and health department workers about whatever was on their minds.

Carrie Brown, residence services coordinator, organized Unity Day, sponsored by the Columbia Housing Authority, to encourage residents to meet, talk and initiate change in their communities.

Speaker, walk lend focus to La Leche

When Julie Jacobs’ 13-day-old son had problems breast-feeding, her doctor referred her to La Leche League.

La Leche League International is a nonprofit organization dedicated to providing resources and support to breast-feeding mothers. On Wednesday the league will sponsor the World Walk for Breastfeeding in Columbia.

Mastering metaphysics

Peace of mind, self-control, mental discipline, self-empowerment and self-awareness are all being taught at the School of Metaphysics in Columbia.

Giving it a SWIM

The pool room is steamy and the water is 80 degrees, but warm water isn’t much of a comfort to Jerry Miller. At age 50 he has summoned up the courage and perseverance to learn to swim.

  “I was afraid of the water and still am a little,” Miller says. “Right now I’m trying to learn to breathe with my face in the water because it’s not a natural act. I may not be able to learn to swim, but I’m going to give it a shot.”

Shopping for school a farce

I’ve seen the classroom setting from three points of view as a student, a mother of a student and as a teacher, so I think I’m qualified to give some tips for those who are sending students to school or going to start classes tomorrow.

The first day of school is VERY important to kids. As they get older they will deny this fact, but don’t believe them. Clothing will take center stage. I remember taking the brood to the mall in mid-August to purchase clothes for the upcoming year. Underwear and socks I bought another time (too boring). This trip was a quest for the “perfect” first-day outfit. Realize that by late July, most of the lightweight summer clothing has been reduced to near garage sale prices, and by August the stores are stuffed with turtlenecks, wool sweaters and a complete selection of heavy winter coats. (It makes me start to itch just thinking about pulling a wool sweater over my head at this time of year.)

Clemons’ jail stay complete today

Amid recent developments, including the start of an FBI investigation and the expansion of the NCAA’s inquiry, former Missouri guard Ricky Clemons will be released from Boone County Jail this afternoon.

Outlaw studies up to excel as receiver

Darius Outlaw has made some mistakes and gone through some hard times, but he doesn’t have any regrets. Just ask him, and he will gladly tell you all about it.

Improved passing key to Kewpies’ success

Balance has always been a major focus for Hickman football teams. With a young team this season, though, coach Gregg Nesbitt and the Kewpies will be challenged to achieve it.

5 to be inducted in Cougars’ Hall

Rick Bueltmann, Sue Gerard, Wendy Mertz Slifka, Marvin Malone and Amy Lodes Witte have something new in common.

They make up the inaugural class to be inducted into the Columbia College Athletic Hall of Fame on Oct. 3 at the Country Club of Missouri.