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Dealing with discrimination

One man claimed that a Wal-Mart supercenter failed to accommodate his disability and that a manager cussed him out when he complained.

Another complained that Gerbes employees accused him of shoplifting because he’s black and walks with a cane.

Russell Park road issue still unsolved

City planners are still looking for a way to move traffic in and around the Russell property.

Planning Director Roy Dudark presented four options to the City Council on Monday to extend roads from Cunningham Road through the park. Dudark said an extension of Cunningham, which is included in the city’s Major Roadway Plan, would greatly benefit traffic in the surrounding neighborhoods and parks, but also included three options that extend roads further west.

Westlake Ace considering another store

Westlake Ace Hardware is hoping to open a third store in Columbia.

Harold Elsberry, Westlake Ace Hardware’s president and CEO, said Friday the company wants to expand in Columbia and is looking into potential locations in the Nifong-Providence area.

Mizzou grad wins ‘King of the Jungle’

The 6-foot blood python lunged at Kelly Diedring’s legs, attempting to strike the animal care specialist. Diedring hopped back while still grasping the aggressive snake and successfully avoided the jaws of the python — all the while explaining its features and behaviors on camera.

This scene from the Dec. 1 episode of Animal Planet’s first reality show, “King of the Jungle,” was one of many that impressed the judges so much that “Queen of the Jungle” might have been a more fitting title for the show.

Lane to seek seat on school board

Henry Lane will once again run for a seat on the Columbia Board of Education and plans to file the paperwork this morning to make his sixth candidacy official.

Lane said in a news release that his primary concerns are quality of education, financial management of the district, school property taxes and the $22.5 million bond issue that district officials are preparing to place on the April ballot.

Practicing for bowl welcome chore

For the past five years around this time, Missouri football players have become used to having time on their hands.

Some did Christmas shopping and decorating, some played video games and others sat around watching football on television.

Kewps wallop Rolla

With four members of the Hickman Kewpies girls’ basketball team signed to play college basketball, coach Tonya Mirts said she knows each of them are capable of taking over a game. She just didn’t know they could all dominate in one game.

Four Kewpies players scored in double digits in Hickman’s 61-29 win against Rolla on Monday at Hickman.

Guards give Hickman hope

It took Hickman’s Taylor Florence about 1 1/2 quarters to give Kewpies fans a reason to be optimistic about the next three seasons.

In the first half of his first varsity game, Florence, a 5-foot-7 sophomore reserve point guard, stood dribbling the ball near half court, waiting for something to happen. When nothing did, he got creative.

Chiefs win goes unseen

The Kansas City Chiefs and St. Louis Rams clinched division titles with wins Sunday afternoon, but many local Chiefs fans couldn’t watch their team’s game because Columbia TV stations didn’t air the game.

Chiefs’ games are usually a CBS gig, but a couple of times a year the Fox network carries Kansas City games when they play an NFC team. Fox had the rights to the Chiefs’ and the Rams’ games on Sunday, and since both games were scheduled for the same time, the local Fox affiliate could only air one.

Cricket draws eclectic group

Once a week, a small group gathers on Stankowski Field, and at first glance, the group doesn’t look as if it could get any more diverse.

Pakistanis and Indians joke, Brits and South Africans chat and Aussies and Sri Lankans mingle. No, it’s not a model United Nations club. And it’s not a diversity-training course.

Searching for home

John Hauck Von Braun shares a room with 10 other men. He sleeps in a bed that is a foot shorter than his 6-foot-7-inch frame. He has a curfew at night, and his phone calls are limited.

But the 55-year-old could not be more thankful for his place of residency, New Life Evangelical Center. “My life would probably be over if it wasn’t for this shelter,” he said.

A safe haven

Some have been abused, some neglected. Some arrive at their new home unable to read and unable to function in the outside world. They come to Missouri Girls Town because it’s a safe place where they can begin to heal from the trauma they’ve experienced and learn the skills they need to make their lives a success.

Elizabeth — the state requested that her real name not be printed — came to Girls Town because she began having problems with her family. She grew apart from her mother as she became more independent. She maintains a relationship with her mother, stepfather and siblings who live in Columbia, but her parents share custody with the state of Missouri. For the past four years, Elizabeth has lived at a Girls Town facility, attending high school at North Callaway.

A dream revisited

An empty hallway lit by fluorescent lights cuts through the ninth floor of St. Louis Children’s Hospital. Nurses in brightly colored scrubs pass frequently through the hall, sliding into one room, then another. This is the place 4-year-old Tim Grant called home for about four months, including Christmas, last year.

Tim is living with stage 4 neuroblastoma, a form of cancer that affects nerve cells. The disease is most often found in the adrenal glands, above the kidneys or behind the eye.

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