State to alter I-70 guardrails

Even though it will be years before the Improve I-70 project comes to fruition, the Missouri Department of Transportation plans to make costly safety changes to sections of the corridor in mid-Missouri during the next year.

The transportation agency has two projects in the works in the central Missouri district. The first one, already under way, will replace 41,000 feet of damaged and outdated guardrails along a 70-mile stretch across Callaway, Boone and Cooper counties. A separate project, tentatively set for next summer, aims to prevent vehicles from crossing the center median by installing 37 miles of guard cables from eastern Columbia to Montgomery County.

New group to raise cash for police

The Columbia Police Officers Association, local businesses and Columbia Police Chief Randy Boehm have established a nonprofit organization that seeks to raise money to support additional programs and purchase equipment for the Columbia Police Department.

The nine-member Board of Trustees, which works with the police to identify areas of need, includes Boehm, former Boone County presiding judge Frank Conley, local attorney Dan Atwill, and Randy Wright, vice president and general manager of KMIZ/Channel 17. The co-chairs of the board are Jim and Billie Silvey, longtime supporters of the police department, who Officer Steve Rios, the foundation’s administrator, said were a unanimous choice.

Alliance calls price of cable access too steep

A Mediacom proposal for public-access television that calls for users to pay hourly fees for studio and airtime is “ridiculous,” a leader of the Columbia Media Resource Alliance said.

The cable television company on Sept. 15 submitted a proposal to the Columbia City Council that provides a public-access channel and studio through an agreement with KMIZ/KQFX. It requires users, however, to pay $80 per hour for studio production time, $35 an hour for program editing and $30 an hour for broadcast time.

Maximizing their potential

It’s 9 a.m. and time for school.

But for 7-year-old Ian McEuen, there is no bus ride involved. McEuen, who has cerebral palsy, is being educated in his family’s living room. His curriculum consists of coordination exercises, as well as speech and physical therapy.

MU tight end looks to catch on

Victor Sesay isn’t a typical tight end. Everything about him screams wide receiver. He runs quickly, jumps high and catches almost everything within reach.

Bruins’ struggles continue

It was another frustrating night for the Rock Bridge volleyball team.

The Bruins again struggled with fundamental play Tuesday night at home in a 25-16, 25-13 loss to California.

Wallace: Med school stays

The School of Medicine is not leaving MU, Chancellor Richard Wallace said Tuesday.

Addressing preliminary discussions about proposals to close MU’s School of Medicine and shift its operations to Kansas City, Wallace said the school is critically important to MU’s plans and to retaining membership in the American Association of Universities.

3M layoffs blamed on soft market

From the outside, the 3M plant appeared to be doing business as usual on Monday. But inside, as workers learned whether they were one of the 124 let go by the company, things were anything but normal. Some emerged from the meeting with tears, others with sighs of relief.

They all wondered why.

City gets backup water main in deal

Owners of a private wetland in the Missouri River bottoms near McBaine have struck a deal with the city that exchanges access to electricity for access to groundwater.

Mike Brooks and Dan Brothers of B&B Agriculture own 240 acres between two pieces of the state-owned Eagle Bluffs Conservation Area, and asked the city for electric service to pump water into their private wetlands instead of relying on diesel engines.

New MU soccer players adjusting on, off field

It’s 8:30 on a Tuesday morning. Do you know where you are?

For Missouri freshman soccer players Mallory Ames, Lauren Grice, Melissa Griggs and sophomore Kira Reyes, the answer is different from most.

Graham enters state Senate race

State Rep. Chuck Graham’s decision to join the race for 19th District state senator creates the possibility that three Democratic allies from Columbia will fight each other for a job.

Graham, of the 24th District, announced his long-anticipated entry at the MU Child Development Laboratory on Tuesday to emphasize his focus on education. He’ll compete with former 23rd District Rep. Tim Harlan, who entered the campaign in May, and perhaps with 25th District Rep. Vicky Riback Wilson, who is considering the race.

Wilson silences Hickman

Jefferson City used a No. 1-quality start by its No. 2 pitcher to baffle the Hickman softball team. The Jays defeated the Kewpies 6-0 on Tuesday night at Cosmopolitan Park.

Jefferson City’s Ken-dra Wilson pitched a complete game and allowed one hit, striking out two.

Winging it

Dozens of monarch butterflies glide from one branch to the next at Shelter Gardens in preparation for their long trip south. The sound of crickets and the smell of freshly mowed grass and flowers provide the backdrop for this midday meal for the monarchs as they pass through Missouri to their wintering grounds in the southern Sierra Madre near Mexico City.

The Leucothoe fontanesiana bush, commonly called “Girard’s Rainbow,” seems to be the favorite of the orange-and-black butterflies, said Joy Long, superintendent of the Shelter Gardens ground crew.

Veggie delight

A tantalizing aroma fills the Main Squeeze Natural Foods Cafe in downtown Columbia, the result of fragrant spices and fresh ingredients, which make up many of the cafe’s entrees. But there is one common ingredient whose distinct scent will never contribute to the restaurant’s appetizing smell: meat.

“There is no meat anywhere in our kitchen,” said Leigh Lockhart, who owns the vegetarian restaurant at 28 N. Ninth St.

For the love of cooking

Leslie Jett’s love for cooking started when he was young, watching his mother make wedding cakes, “which turned into wedding dinners, political gatherings and other events.” His family spent time together on weekends catering events held near their hometown of Rover.

Initially, when he came to MU as an undergraduate, the then 19-year-old Jett wanted to be a lawyer or a teacher. That all changed on the Thursday night before Thanksgiving break during his freshman year. His friends went out to a party while Jett spent the night in the Alpha Gamma Rho kitchen attempting to make his mother’s cinnamon rolls.

Twilight zone

People crowd the streets of downtown every Thursday night in June and September for the 13th annual Twilight Festival. Sponsored by the Downtown Columbia Associations, the festival offers a chance for downtown restaurants to shine. Although the Twilight Festival does not invite food vendors, it aims to showcase the 70 bars and restaurants downtown.

“Thirteen years ago when we started the festival, we purposefully picked Thursday nights because the retailers were open until 8 p.m. Our role is to help the retailers and restaurants downtown, and we didn’t want to have the festival when everything was closed,” said Carrie Gartner, executive director of the Downtown Columbia Associations.