Ice covers Columbia

Columbians awoke Sunday morning to find their town coated with a quarter-inch to a half-inch of ice thanks to an early morning freezing rainstorm. For much of the day, downtown was deserted as ice and snow forced some businesses to close and made a simple stroll down the sidewalk a treacherous undertaking.

By lunchtime, the freezing rain had been replaced by light snow. Joe Pedigo of the National Weather Service in St. Louis said snow would probably fall throughout much of the day today and continue into the night. Pedigo expected 1 to 2 inches of snow accumulation by this evening but said no more snow was expected for the rest of the week.

Signs to mark path of Boone’s Lick Trail

David Sapp spent almost two years researching old deeds, land surveys and other historical records to map the exact route of the historic Boone’s Lick Trail across Boone County.

By this summer, the trail, one of the first routes used by 19th-century settlers heading west, will be marked by signs designed by a Boone County resident.

Bills could cost county revenue

Nike Thompson is keeping a close eye on the state budget process this legislative session.

As a state lobbyist for Boone County government, Thompson worries that a projected state revenue shortfall of $773 million might roll “downhill to the county” in the form of unfunded mandates and that other legislation might cost the county revenue.

Focusing on money clouds the mind

I’ll be the first to admit that although I realize money is not everything, shortly after I wake up in the morning one of the first things I’ve been thinking about lately is whether I owe anybody anything and when it is due. I mention this because it is a new experience for me. I’ve always been the kind of person who has so much going on in my mind that money has not occupied many of my thoughts. Never having had any money to speak of, I have never had any reason to give it much thought. In other words, I’m not one of those people who have experienced an economic boom either before or after the big tax cut.

So, I don’t know why it is that money has become such an important subject in my thought factory over the past couple of years. Since it is rarely a topic of discussion among my friends and family, I can only guess that it is outside influences that keep me financially anxious and stressed. I know, for example, that all the junk mail I receive either online or by snail mail is about money. I get volumes on how much I can borrow and all the wonderful goods and services available for purchase for so many dollars and cents. An hour of television viewing will earn me at least a 30-minute sales presentation involving the receipt and expenditure of money. The subject screams at me from billboards. It seems every available slip of empty paper has been confiscated and turned into an advertising document that has to do with money.

Mediacom and Charter await audit

Columbia’s cable companies are about to be audited.

That was the decision of the Columbia City Council on Tuesday night when it accepted the recommendation of its Cable Television Task Force. The audits are intended to ensure the city is collecting the proper amount of franchise fees from cable companies Mediacom and Charter Communications.

Translating politics

We leave our sparkling new hotel in Xi’an, passing hundreds of facemask-wearing Chinese riding bicycles and pulling wheelbarrows. The smog/fog is terrible.

We reach an elevated highway. It’s elevated, we surmise, to preserve the farmland below in a country where only 10 percent of the land is arable. We’re on our way to a factory. Our states have lost manufacturing jobs overseas, and we want to see the competition up close.

Tigers building confidence

A double-digit margin of victory makes any coach smile.

After the Tigers beat Nebraska 72-51 on Saturday at Hearnes Center, Missouri coach Quin Snyder wasn’t only smiling because his team won a Big 12 Conference game so convincingly. He was admiring a defining moment in the Tigers season, bouncing back from Tuesday’s crushing overtime loss to Texas.

Talent to spare

Missouri’s depth shined the brightest on a day when no single Tiger took the spotlight.

Despite competing without some of their most well-rounded gymnasts Sunday, the Tigers set school records in the floor exercise and on the balance beam to beat Southeast Missouri State.