Cheney to speak in Fulton

Vice President Dick Cheney is scheduled to visit Westminster College in Fulton on Monday.

Sgt. Paul Reinsch of the Missouri Highway Patrol confirmed that troops will be assisting the U.S. Secret Service in transporting the vice president to Fulton on Monday.

Energy center helps homeless

Two years ago, Mark Bernier was homeless, living day to day on the streets of Springfield. Then, he met the Rev. Larry Rice and found his salvation in the form of renewable energy.

Bernier is using scrap materials and other low-cost innovations, such as “papercrete” — a highly efficient insulation made from newspapers and concrete mix, to build his own house.

Leaving big footprints

Richard H. Knipp came to Columbia around 1938 as a carpenter with nothing but a car, a shovel, a shirt on his back and a lot of determination.

With no formal education and through hard work and frugality, he became the owner of a major construction company that has left its indelible mark on Columbia.

A troubling forecast

An abrupt climate change caused by global warming — long thought to be centuries away — could take place in a few decades. That’s one of the scenarios proposed by a new Pentagon report that stirred European public opinion earlier this year.

The report, published earlier this year in the British newspaper The Observer, has raised eyebrows among environmentalists because it is one of the first times the threat of global warming has been tied to national security.

Gas bags

Have you heard? Gas prices could reach $3 a gallon this summer, forcing Americans to radically rethink the SUVs they drive and causing politicians to expend enormous amounts of political capital reshaping the country’s energy consumption.

Please. Sockdolager has a request for those spouting such nonsense: Stop patronizing us. The current angst over rising gas prices will not result in any substantive changes to the country’s energy policy. Paying next to nothing for fuel has become as American as tax cuts for the filthy rich. That said, Thursday was Earth Day, and we can’t resist ranting a bit about the country’s dependence on black gold.

Columbia airport will get new evening flight

AmericanConnection will add an additional evening flight from Columbia Regional Airport to St. Louis beginning June 1.

The 30-passenger plane will depart Columbia at 5:12 p.m. and arrive in St. Louis at 5:57 p.m.

Day of Silence a success

Carol Snively spent Thursday in silence. Her phone would ring, but she couldn't pick it up. Her colleagues asked her questions, but she just looked at them blankly. Throughout the day, she used sign language and notes to communicate.

When those didn't work, she just gave up. For someone who is "very vocal," keeping silent wasn't easy.

Marriage bill clears House — 124-19

JEFFERSON CITY— The House on Thursday passed a proposed constitutional amendment barring gay marriage — a move supporters said would guard against activist judges but opponents criticized as discriminatory.

On a 124-19 announced vote, the House sent its version of the proposed amendment of the Missouri Constitution to the Senate. The Senate has passed a simpler version and that bill is pending in the House.

Despite rancor, liability bill passes Senate

JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri Senate came to what one senior member called the “edge of chaos” Thursday as Democratic floor leader Ken Jacob and Democratic Lt. Gov. Joe Maxwell created a two-hour block on a Republican attempt to end a Democratic filibuster. The fight was over a medical liability lawsuit awards bill.

At issue was a Republican motion to move the previous question— a rare procedural move that cuts off debate and forces a vote.

Supporters say bill will stop frivolous lawsuits

JEFFERSON CITY — Supporters of the medical liability lawsuit awards bill say the legislation would prevent frivolous lawsuits against doctors and hospitals. Large awards are cited as a major reason for the rising medical malpractice insurance claims. Supporters say doctors are, in many cases, being forced to give up their medical practices totally or move to another state with lower malpractice insurance premium rates.

Sen. Delbert Scott, R-Lowry City, told the Senate that Missouri is facing a crisis.

Big 12 win possible for Tigers

Mindy Bullard was so excited she almost cried when Phil Mickelson won his first major a few weeks ago.

Imagine how excited Bullard, a junior golfer for Missouri, would be if the Tigers can win the Big 12 Conference Championships, which start today in College Station, Texas.

Always looking to grow

Omeed Latifi has come a long way, but he wants to go farther.

Latifi, a sophomore, is one of Hickman’s most consistent tennis players. Despite that, he always finds something to improve in his game.

Trades make NFL Draft hard to figure

In one of the most active weeks leading up to the NFL Draft in recent memory, there has been one trade.

Most of the action has been in courtrooms and general manager’s offices around the country. The draft starts at 11 a.m. Saturday.

West Boulevard principal announced

Vickie Robb will be the new principal of West Boulevard Elementary School, the school chosen by the district as the new model school to help with achievement disparities. Robb is currently the principal of Russell Boulevard Elementary School, a position she has held since 1990.