Mid-Mo. protesters hit D.C.

Washington — Hundreds of thousands of people descended on the nation’s capital Sunday to protest recent U.S. policies regarding women’s reproductive health. Included in the throng of marchers were more than 100 young men and women from the Columbia area.

“I don’t think there’s usually enough men at these kind of events, so it’s really important to show up and support it,” said Scott Beauchamp, who endured a 24-hour bus ride from Columbia to attend Sunday’s march. “I think it’s really a civil rights issue.”

Annexation opens more land to the city

Columbia’s annexation of the Boone County Jail and about 150 acres of surrounding county-owned land will create a domino effect that will eventually bring even more northern property into the city, officials say.

The deal, approved by the City Council last Monday, will also bring city sewer service to Gaslight Acres, a subdivision in the county whose residents have refused voluntary annexation, and to Boone Industrial Park. County officials also hope the arrangement will prompt the city to extend bus service to the jail area.

Carving a niche

You might say Billy Bass, Daryl Maggine and Ernest Hilderbrand act just like kids sometimes, especially when they get together on Monday nights.

Their “clubhouse” is the Boone County Lumber Millwork on Vandiver Drive, where they meet every month with about 60 other men and women who call themselves the Midwest Woodworkers Association.

Political diversity would help us all

People who do not want either the Republican or Democratic nominees for president will in all likelihood get one or the other. After the upcoming presidential election, these folks will have another four years to build other political parties. If other parties are formed, the remaining question will be whether they can ever manage to raise enough money to win the office.

Frankly, I think it will be as difficult to reform our political system as it will be to rebuild Iraq. I think we have allowed our two-party system to flounder for too long to be able to perform an easy fix. The process of trying to weed out political corruption alone would seem to be overwhelming.

Late night for Tigers

After five years of tugging a Missouri jersey over their pads, a number of former Tigers are ready to trade in the Black and Gold for a new look, but some might have to wait longer than others.

The NFL Draft concluded Sunday without any Missouri players hearing their names called, but that doesn’t mean they won’t get a chance to play at football’s highest level.

Age no deterrent

Numbers always seem to lie regarding Skip Walther.

Take his age: His birth certificate says he is 51, but Missouri tennis coach Blake Starkey says watching Walther play at Green Tennis Center brings that number into question.

Scout’s honor

Chris Jenkins is one step away from joining the ranks of a president, an Olympian and an astronaut. He has spent the past three years working his way through the Boy Scouts and will soon reach the highest level — Eagle Scout.

The skills he has learned will culminate in a final project to complete his journey through the Scouts. The Boy Scouts of America says only about 4 percent of all Boy Scouts make it to Eagle.

Hawkins shares enthusiasm

When Kyle Hawkins arrived in Columbia in 1998, few in the city had ever heard of lacrosse, let alone played it.

“I came to Columbia just six years ago and there weren’t any stores in town that carried lacrosse equipment,” Hawkins said. “Most people didn’t know what the sport was.”

Housing Authority to pare jobs

A significant change in leadership roles at the Columbia Housing Authority should save the agency $150,000 and ensure more efficient performance, Executive Director Doris Chiles said. The shift would eliminate nine positions, including three that would be displaced by hiring an outside company to handle agency finances.

The restructuring will also help prepare the authority for Chiles’ departure, she said, though she wouldn’t say how soon that might come.

MBCA banquet honors state’s basketball stars

A select group of Missouri high school basketball players traded their uniforms for business-casual Sunday at the Reynolds Alumni Center.

The Missouri Basketball Coaches Association recognized the best athletic and academic performers at the Academic All-State Banquet on the MU campus.

All-natural festivities

MU’s Peace Park was a whirl of activity on Sunday as hundreds of people thronged the streets for the city’s Earth Day 2004 celebration.

For seven hours, parts of Elm, Seventh and Eighth streets were closed to traffic. According to organizers, this year’s events included more than 230 booths and two stages showcasing local musical talent.