Code Orange

The road through the river bottoms near Hartsburg passes rows of dried cornstalks and soybean plants. Amid the expanse of crops that suffered through the summer drought are fields of green dotted with bright orange.

Six weeks ago, Jo and Norlan “Hack” Hackman worried that their pumpkin crop also would suffer. There was a lot riding on the outcome: This year, the Hackmans became the sole providers of pumpkins for the annual Hartsburg Pumpkin Festival, which attracts thousands of visitors.

Abortion law block sought

Planned Parenthood executives expect to request an injunction today to block Missouri’s new law requiring a 24-hour waiting period for women seeking abortions.

In addition, Planned Parenthood officials expect lawyers to file a federal lawsuit in Jefferson City challenging the law after the Missouri Senate overrode Gov. Bob Holden’s veto of the measure last month.

Director of utility to retire

After 24 years of service to the city, Water and Light Director Richard Malon has decided to retire, effective Jan. 9.

“I’m 65, and it is time to retire,” Malon said Thursday. “But it’s a good time to make a change. The utilities are in good shape, and I feel good that whoever is going to come in to take over will be able to keep on very nicely.”

Coalition challenges sewer plan

A growth watchdog group is challenging the city’s plan to spend millions of dollars to extend sewer lines into new areas, arguing it promotes urban sprawl.

The money to improve and extend the sewer lines — $18.5 million — would come from one of two bond issues to be included on the Nov. 4 ballot. The other is a $28.3 million bond for water projects.

Eyes to the skies

Call him crazy, call him a space geek—Doug Kniffen probably won’t mind. He says he’s felt the sky pulling at him like a magnet since he was four years old.

Kniffen, 43, built his own backyard observatory and has enough money invested in the star-gazing hobby to buy a mid-sized car.

Cougars’ Hall of Fame set to open

Wendy Mertz Slifka couldn’t believe it.

It was 1990, and Slifka, a Columbia College pitcher, had become the first Cougars’ athlete to have her jersey retired.

Grant will pay to train poll workers

Change is in the air for Missouri voters — and poll workers.

In the next few years, touch-screen technology will be required at polling places in all Missouri counties as an option for handicapped voters and anyone else who wants to use it.

Mo. top judge issues call for more diversity

The first black chief judge of the Missouri Supreme Court said Thursday that, while the state has become a judicial trendsetter for the nation, more needs to be done to diversify the practice of law in Missouri.

In a keynote address at the Missouri Bar Association’s annual meeting in Columbia, Chief Judge Ronnie White said equality in the legal profession cannot be measured by numbers alone, but rather “when equality of opportunity for both entry and advancement exists in every corner of this state.”

Puglis clinches Bruins' win

The last spot in the lineup is often reserved for the offensively-challenged. Fortunately for Rock Bridge, its last hitter, Christie Puglis, played as if she were batting cleanup.

Rock Bridge beat Mexico 2-1 in nine innings Thursday night at Rock Bridge.

Viehmann nursing along coaching goal

A glimpse into Beau Viehmann’s future: In the morning, he will tell kids to lie down and take it easy. In the afternoon, he will tell them to stop being lazy and to run more quickly.

Viehmann, a walk-on tailback for the Missouri football team, is enrolled in MU’s Sinclair School of Nursing. His mom, Kathy, and sister, Claire, want him to be a school nurse. That way, he can coach, like his father, Les Viehmann, a defensive coach at Hermann High.

Pleimann, Jacoby tie for medalist

It was the last time Rachel Jacoby and Ashley Mansfield would play L.A. Nickell Golf Course for Hickman.

The Kewpies beat Marshall 174-204 on Thursday in their final home match.

Living in the past

For 40 years, Richard Gaffney has lived in the past. “I don’t live in this century, you see. I just visit from time to time,” Gaffney said.

His fascination with the history of American Indians extends beyond passive research into the realm of active participation.

Late surges carry Kewpies to victory

Sometimes a slow start can be a motivating factor for victory.

Hickman defeated Marshall 6-3 on Thursday night at Hickman with half of the victories coming after the Kewpies dropped the first set.

Kewps need to hang on to ball to succeed

Turnovers continue to end Hickman Kewpie drives, momentum and chances for victories.

The Kewpies, hoping to limit turnovers and end a two-game losing streak, will travel to Peve Stadium to face the Blue Springs South Jaguars at 7 tonight. The Kewpies (2-2) have turned the ball over eight times in their losses. When Hickman keeps its turnovers below two per game, it is 2-0.

Rock Bridge's Kruse keeps opponents guessing

Every team wants versatility. Rock Bridge has Johnny Kruse to make the Bruins multifaceted.

The Bruins, 4-0 and ranked fifth in Class 6, play at 7 tonight at Fulton, and Kruse will play his standard positions: free safety, wide receiver, punt returner and tailback.

Cougars rout Eagles to earn fourth conference shutout

Conference opponents haven’t been able to hold back the Columbia College soccer team.

With their 12-0 win against Williams Baptist College on Thursday at Owens Stadium, the Cougars earned their fourth shutout in American Midwest Conference play in as many games. Steve Williams earned the shutout.

Belly up and register to vote

Voting registration was a reason to party Thursday night at Spanky’s bar in the Holiday Inn Executive Center.

Rep. Chuck Graham, D-Columbia, First Ward Councilwoman Almeta Crayton and County Clerk Wendy Noren were there to help promote voter registration to patrons and employees.

A tale of two counties

If groups such as the Citizens for Rural Conservation had their way, Boone County, Mo., would have more in common with Boone County, Ill. than just a name.

At a Thursdsay meeting addressing concerns about urban sprawl, David Sliktas, a former planner with Boone County, Ill. outlined a process his county used that helped preserve 60 percent of farmland in his community. Area citizens hope Boone County, Mo., will follow in its footsteps.