Council approves Wal-Mart plan

Another Wal-Mart is coming to town.

After tabling the issue three times in the past two months, the Columbia City Council voted 6-1 Monday to approve a rezoning that will put a new Wal-Mart Supercenter on the city’s south side. The 53-acre shopping plaza, along Grindstone Parkway, will include other commercial developments.

Rolling on the river

Each year, Steve Witzig anxiously awaits December, when the air is bitingly cold and the wind rips through Columbia. On icy winter weekends, Witzig gets out of bed and bundles himself in a thick sweater and his favorite pair of swim trunks. Witzig is going kayaking.

Witzig, an MU graduate student, started the MU Canoe and Kayak club, better known to members as MUCK, in 2001. The idea stemmed from the closure of the MU Wilderness Adventure Program, which had left more than a dozen canoes and kayaks sitting unused at the MU Student Recreation Center.

Gun law to bar names from public records

Missouri’s new concealed-gun law prohibits law enforcement from releasing the names of people with permits to carry hidden handguns, and Boone County Sheriff Ted Boehm doesn’t like it.

“This is completely opposite of other laws that are on the books,” Boehm said. “If they’re going to open one up for public record, they need to open them all.”

Exceeding expectations

The Hickman girls’ volleyball team entered this season with senior leadership, depth and confidence that it could have a successful season.

The Kewpies hoped to win the district title, but they didn’t expect their undefeated start. Hickman is 21-0 after winning at Helias 25-12, 25-9 on Monday.

Recall? What recall?

CALIFORNIA, Mo. — Political bus tours haven’t made their way here yet, and this town’s 20 churches have more clout than anything produced in Hollywood. The biggest political spat in this California is whether the new city hall should be built within city limits.

To residents of California, Mo., population 4,005, today’s recall vote on embattled California Gov. Gray Davis is a farce. It’s something they keep half an ear on — if that — and harumph when reporters come to call.

Population of deer creating concern in city

John George, a natural history biologist with the Missouri Department of Conservation, sees the overpopulation of Columbia’s urban deer population as something that can’t be ignored.

“There’s a trend here, and it’s not going away,” George said during a presentation he made to members of the Columbia City Council before its Monday meeting.

Feeding your nest egg

With the future of Social Security in doubt and company pensions becoming increasingly rare, many employers are taking a more active role in helping workers plan for retirement.

Even smaller companies are implementing savings programs, such as the 401(k). Savings programs allow employees to contribute to their own retirement funds, with some employers offering matching contributions.

Who does that job?

After working 39 years and three months as the Athletic Department’s food service manager, Charles Eubanks just cannot get enough of working around MU sports.

Eubanks, 66, now owns and operates Eubanks Cleaning Service, the company that cleans Memorial Stadium after all home football games; a job that Eubanks said has its game-time advantages amid the mess that is left behind.

Helicopter search yields no new leads

Investigators will meet this morning to decide whether to call off their search for a downed helicopter after spending more than two days combing for clues in soybean fields in western Boone County.

The search began Saturday night after an anguished caller told 911 dispatchers his helicopter, westbound from North Carolina, had crashed while carrying him and six other people.

Hickman can’t field a victory

Hickman’s defense showed up too late.

Hickman lost to Southern Boone County 4-1 on Monday at Cosmopolitan Park, after the Eagles scored three runs in the first inning on three Kewpies errors.

Budget chairman: Give Mo. schools withheld funds

JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri House budget committee chairman is calling on Gov. Bob Holden to release some of his $240 million in withholdings to public schools because state revenues are up.

However, it is too early to consider releasing the withholdings, state Budget Director Linda Luebbering said.

Pinkel owns up to bad coaching

After a blowout loss to Kansas, Missouri coach Gary Pinkel took the blame for his team’s performance.

There was nothing unusual about that. Pinkel usually shoulders the blame for his team. On Monday, Pinkel was more direct about his shortcomings, saying he needed to improve his coaching like his players needed to improve their game.

Hooking MU up

New students in town no longer have to look for the hot spots in Columbia. A new Web site started by two recent MU graduates,, can now tell them what they need to know to survive on campus and around the city.

The site, an online source for local college students, has racked up about 50,000 hits during its first five weeks on the Web.

McMullen reveals talent

Stephen McMullen looked good on videotape.

It’s a good thing because it was the only way the Columbia College soccer coaches could gauge his skills. Although the Cougars’ coaches never saw him in person, McMullen became a Cougar.

Stephens improves against Hornets

The Stephens College volleyball team showed some character Monday night at Silverthorne Arena.

The Stars’ defeated Harris-Stowe 30-12, 26-30, 30-20, 30-27, overcoming a sloppy performance in their second game.

Symons on a roll for TTU

Call it the system, or call it what you will, but Texas Tech hasn’t missed a beat.

B.J. Symons, the Red Raiders’ senior quarterback, has planted himself solidly in the Heisman Trophy debate, throwing for 2,467 yards and 24 touchdowns in just five games.

Despite loss, Bruins encouraged

If ever there was an encouraging loss, Monday night was just that for the Rock Bridge girls’ volleyball team.

“If you can be happy in a defeat, I’m okay with tonight’s loss, because we fought hard,” Bruins coach Vicki Reimler said. “I thought we played tough until the very end, and that’s what I’ve wanted to see.”

Holden: No guns in Capitol

Gov. Bob Holden said today that he will ban concealed weapons in state-owned or -operated buildings to ensure the safety of state employees and the public.

Holden, speaking at a news conference in St. Louis, said guns have no place on state property.

Speaking the language:

A 401(k) is a retirement plan in which employees voluntarily participate. In a 401(k), a portion of the employee’s paycheck is taken out and invested before taxes are taken out. Many companies offer some sort of matching plan in which they match all or a portion of the income an employee invests. There is a 10 percent penalty for money withdrawn before 59 1/2 years of age. A 403(b) is the equivalent of a 401(k) for educational employees and nonprofit employees.

IRA stands for “individual retirement account.” In an IRA, an employee makes tax-deferred contributions from his or her paycheck. If the employee is not a member of a company’s pension plan or meets certain income rules, he or she can make tax-deductible contributions. Others’ contributions are not tax-deductible. The main difference between an IRA and a 401(k) is that an IRA is set up by an individual, while a 401(k) is set up by a company.