House repeals vetoes

JEFFERSON CITY — Two of the most divisive bills in Missouri in the last decade lie in the hands of the Missouri Senate today. Much of the action depends on the presence or absence of Sen. Jon Dolan, who also is an officer in the Missouri Army National Guard stationed in Cuba.

Dolan, R-Lake St. Louis, has quickly become the key player in Senate Republicans’ effort to override Gov. Bob Holden’s vetoes of a 24-hour waiting period for abortions and the right of Missourians to carry concealed weapons.

In search of answers

NEW YORK — A peddler named Max was working the Liberty Street side of the World Trade Center site on a recent afternoon, hawking glossy commemorative books for $10 as he has since just after Sept. 11, 2001.

“Everybody is like it happened yesterday,” said Max, a Russian emigre who gave only his first name. “People can’t believe it. They are still trying to get answers.”

J-school gets grant to plan new institute

A “sizeable” financial contribution that would help fund an expansion of MU’s School of Journalism is being considered by the Reynolds Foundation, the foundation’s president said. That expansion could include rehabilitating one of the oldest buildings on campus.

“The gift is in response to a preliminary proposal submitted by (School of Journalism Dean) Dean Mills and his staff and would be used to establish a journalism institute,” said Steven Anderson, president of the Reynolds Foundation based in Nevada. “I think it would be a sizeable contribution.”

Cougars overcome sloppy play

Not much went right for the Cougars on Wednesday night at Southwell Arena.

In the end, though, the No. 4 Cougars overcame several miscommunications, errant passes and botched hits to hold off the upstart Missouri Valley Vikings 30-15, 25-30, 30-24, 30-25.

Receiving in good hands

Brad Smith had security.

Whenever Smith was in trouble last season, Justin Gage was usually there to bail him out. This season Smith has yet to find a go-to receiver.

Syracuse and Iowa highlight schedule

For the third straight year, the Missouri-Kansas matchup will end the regular season of both basketball teams, but it may not be the best matchup on Missouri’s 2003-04 schedule.

Finding Fisher

Screenwriter and best-selling author Antwone Fisher hasn’t even had a chance to sit down and read his own autobiography.

Touring, promotion and family duties have kept him from truly reading his book beyond when he wrote it, Fisher said. Judging by the line wrapped around MU’s bookstore Wednesday, he might have been the only one.

Worley key in Kewps’ win

Hickman’s Stefani Worley called her pitching performance against Smith-Cotton on Wednesday her worst of the season. Fortunately for the Kewpies, her worst was still good enough to win.

“(My) pitching was weaker than usual,” she said. “We’re going to have those. My offense really came through for me today.”

History educators fast forward

U.S. history students often begin the year studying the American colonies. But in Jami Thornsberry’s Hickman High School classroom, Columbia public school students are learning about Osama bin Laden and the creation of al-Qaida.

After the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, partly because there were no formal curriculum changes requiring them to discuss the war on terror, some Columbia public school teachers only temporarily shifted their lesson plans to include terrorism. Educators like Thornsberry, however, have made teaching terrorism a priority.

Capitol security less extreme

JEFFERSON CITY — Two years since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, security at the Capitol building seems like it has returned to pre-attack levels.

A Capitol police officer waves a car on and returns to his crossword puzzle.

Local sports updates

The Missouri women’s soccer team entered the national ratings this week at No. 25 in the NSCAA/Adidas poll. Missouri (4-0) came close to making the top-25 listing, ranked No. 26 with 31 votes. Missouri is the No. 5 ranked team in the NSCAA/Adidas Central Region rankings.

Kristen Heil is the Big 12 Conference Offensive Player of the Week. Heil, a junior forward, received the accolade after winning MVP of the Tiger Invitational last weekend. Heil has three goals and six points on the year.

Suspect in failed kidnapping arrested

A Columbia man was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of felonious restraint in connection with an attempted kidnapping of an 18-year-old Columbia woman in the 900 block of Moss Street.

The woman told Columbia Police that Mark A. Thompson, 46, knocked on her front door around 6 p.m. Monday, impersonating a police officer. He then tried to kidnap her from her apartment, according to a police news release.

None hurt in fifth shooting in 2 weeks

Gunshots were exchanged between two people in Columbia on Wednesday, marking the fifth shooting in two weeks.

A man told police he was driving on Hanover Boulevard when another man got out of his car and fired several shots at him, Columbia Police Capt. Zim Schwartze said.

Fires kindle new safety feature

The Sept. 2 fire in the 2600 block of Quail Drive was one of about 800 water heater fires that occur in the United States every year.

The fire began after flammable vapors from the home’s sewer line entered the basement and were ignited by the water heater’s pilot light. No one was injured, but the blaze caused $75,000 in damages, according to Columbia Fire Department investigators.

Volunteers welcome tourists, visitors

The city’s Office of Volunteer Services has a new program that is well-suited for an army of community do-gooders. It’s been less than a month since the Columbia Hospitality Corps took ambassadorial reign over the Columbia Convention and Visitors Bureau, and already dozens of volunteers have pledged to help tourists in any way they can.

9/11 donations still unverified

Three weeks after terrorists attacked America on Sept. 11, 2001, Ray Sneed walked into the International Association of Fire Fighters in Washington, D.C., carrying a canvas bag concealing what looked like a large brick.

“It was a brick — a brick of checks,” said George Burke, spokesman for the group, which operated the New York Firefighters 9/11 Disaster Relief Fund. “It was over a foot long and tied with rubber bands, and it was about half a million dollars.”

House vote fails to trump Holden’s veto

JEFFERSON CITY — Legislators fell short Wednesday in an effort to override Gov. Bob Holden’s veto of a bill that would have made sweeping changes to the state’s child abuse and neglect system.

Attacks fuel public affairs enrollment

The events of Sept. 11, 2001, have been linked to increased enrollment in public affairs and public administration schools nationwide, including MU’s Truman School of Public Affairs.

Before Sept. 11, 2001, 24 students were enrolled in the MU program for that fall. By the next year, a 75 percent increase brought enrollment up to 42.

Refugee intake still curtailed two years after terror attacks

The Rev. John Yonker has been waiting nine months for a phone call. It has been that long since the First Christian Church of Columbia applied to resettle a refugee family from war-torn Sudan, but there’s still no word on their arrival.

“We are kind of anxious,” Yonker said. “People keep wondering when they will come.”

Security funds roll in ... but so do headaches

Two years after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, states and cities are settling into a new annual tradition: going cap-in-hand to federal agencies for homeland security dollars.

But all beggars aren’t equal, and debate is still raging in Washington when it comes to distributing the millions. Big-city representatives demand a “threat-based” calculation that would send more money to cities such as New York and St. Louis, citing high-profile targets such as the Empire State Building and the Arch. Those from rural areas argue that other factors, such as agricultural safety and power plants, should also figure prominently in the distribution formula.