Abortion law facing halt

A federal judge said Wednesday he will block a new Missouri law that would have required physicians to wait 24 hours after consulting a woman before performing an abortion.

On the road to fitness

Missouri is spending more money per person for health care than the national average. But the state is in the bottom of nearly every measure of health, according to a study released Wednesday.

“We’re not getting enough from our investment,” said James Kimmey, president and CEO of Missouri Foundation for Health, which commissioned the study. “Despite the spending, we’re not getting results one would expect.”

Missouri to get funding to fight childhood obesity

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri will be getting federal funds to help reduce the number of overweight children in the state.

According to 2001 information gathered by the state’s Health Department, 21.5 percent of children in the state are overweight, which was a 2 percent increase from the previous year. These figures are significantly above the national average of 13 percent.

Agencies try to fill OATS gap

Three months after OATS, an agency that provides transportation for Missourian seniors, lost its funding and was forced to cut its services in half, local agencies find themselves in a crunch to pick up the slack.

The Boone County Senior Board met Wednesday with State Rep. Steve Hobbs, R-Mexico, and Boone County Council on Aging Director Lois Shelton to begin planning a course of action. Shelton said some local agencies are being overloaded with transportation requests from seniors.

On the road

Vladimir Yarets Alexeevich’s red motorcycle has seen the world and it shows.

The cycle, which Alexeevich calls his “little donkey,” is plastered with stickers from the states and countries of its travels. The Jawa350, manufactured in the Czech Republic, has taken Yarets through 29 countries including the Netherlands, Iceland, Spain, Morocco, Jamaica, Venezuela, Cuba and the United States.

Wal-Mart plan faces further scrutiny

The Wal-Mart Supercenter to be built in south Columbia will face additional scrutiny because of its proximity to Hinkson Creek, said Sierra Club representatives. The club also is questioning whether the development plans will stand up to state and federal regulations.

On Monday, the Columbia City Council rezoned a 53-acre site along Grindstone Parkway to accommodate plans for the Wal-Mart and accompanying commercial and residential development. Before work can begin, however, Aspen Acquisitions must apply for various state permits, most significantly a land-disturbance permit from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

Walnut rezoning plan draws some criticism; alternate plans suggested

Commercial zoning requests for two adjacent tracts on East Walnut Street are raising objections from city planners, who believe the rezoning could lead to undesirable businesses in a part of the downtown area that doesn’t have a “commercial feel.”

Newton Riley is asking the city for C-2, or central business district, zoning on his property that includes Dearing Hall, a former dormitory of Stephens College used for apartments. Riley declined comment on his request, which goes before the city Planning and Zoning Commission at 7 p.m. today on the fourth floor of the Daniel Boone City Building, 701 E. Broadway.

Free depression tests offered

Drugs that combat depression are among the most commonly prescribed pharmaceuticals in the United States. But the stigma of mental illness is still more frightening to many sufferers of depression than the disease itself.

Since 1990, Screening for Mental Health, Inc., a nonprofit organization, has been trying to overcome that fear with a National Depression Screening Day. Today, therapists from the Family Health Centers will be at the Columbia Public Library from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Truman Veterans Hospital from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. offering free, anonymous screenings for depression and other mental disorders.

REDI backs plans for bond issues

Water and sewer bond issues on the November ballot won the unanimous endorsement of Regional Economic Development Inc.’s board of directors Wednesday.

“We need an infrastructure that meets the needs of the existing residences and businesses and allows for future growth,” REDI President Bernie Andrews said. “Upgrades and repairs are needed to make sure we can support what is already here.”

Bruins shut out Lady Jays

The victories keep adding up for the Rock Bridge tennis team.

The Bruins defeated Jefferson City 9-0 on Wednesday at Bethel Park and improved to 14-1. It was the Bruins’ third consecutive shutout and ninth this season.

No horsing around

Kevin Millar was tired of excuses.

Millar, the Boston Red Sox’s first baseman, said so in a way that has caught on across the country.

A horse course

Columbia, a city known for its top journalism school, its low unemployment rate and its consistent rank ing as one of the most livable places in the country, is also home to a top equestrian program. Surprised?

The Equestrian Management Program offered by Stephens College boasts one of the most well-known programs in the United States, helped by having one of the oldest continuous riding clubs in the country, the Prince of Wales Club.

Cougars enthusiastic about starting over

After losing its first home volleyball game in nearly nine years Saturday, Columbia College didn’t sit around and bemoan its defeat. Instead, the Cougars took drastic action.

They redecorated the locker room.

Huskers’ defense centers on Pelini

LINCOLN, Neb. — Bo Pelini is the most popular man in Nebraska. Just ask NU defensive end Trevor Johnson.

“The feeling around Nebraska right now is, Coach Pelini’s the man,” Johnson said.

District play could prove difficult for Kewpies

Coaches often say district tournaments are like the beginning of a new season. Unfortunately for many teams, these seasons will last only one game.

Six softball teams, including Hickman and Rock Bridge, will compete today and Friday for the Class 4 District 10 championship. The single-elimination tournament is at Ber-Juan Sports Complex in Rolla.

Conference promotes women's health

When former Democratic Texas Gov. Ann Richards noticed that the collars of her shirts no longer fit properly, she went to visit her doctor. She learned that her spine had compressed and she had lost a half-inch in height.