Canadian Cougars

Don and Pat Fotti have lived in the Southwell Complex parking lot at Columbia College for the past four weeks.

They are not hitchhikers searching for a ride.

Missouri workers’ pay raise uneven

JEFFERSON CITY — An across-the-board pay raise generally means everyone gets the same amount of money.

But in Missouri’s budget, as recently passed by lawmakers, several thousand of Missouri’s roughly 61,000 state employees would not get the across-the-board, $1,200 annual raise set to take effect July 1.

Brew gets spiked in a healthy way

After years of growing soybeans and corn on his Cole County farm, Kelly Forck has been looking for a way to add value to the commodities he produces. He was recently able to tap into an unusual opportunity: beer made with soybeans.

In an effort to provide farmers an additional source of revenue, a group of Missouri agricultural producers purchased a brewery in Kansas City and formed TransCon AG, a 100 percent farmer-owned cooperative.

Rap and redemption

Rosetta Johnson’s door stays open to let in a little light and the sound of a neighborhood basketball game. The egg-crate foam draping the walls downstairs insulates her ears from the bass-heavy beats coming from the recording studio in her basement.

Johnson is the owner of Midwest Chocolate Entertainment, a 6-month-old Columbia business whose CEO, producer, engineer and secretary is her son, BeCarr Washington.

MU study examines portrayal of first ladies

An MU study has found that election coverage is increasingly focused on the wives of presidential and vice-presidential candidates and what they can bring to their husbands’ campaigns.

Journalism professor Betty Winfield and journalism doctoral student Barbara Friedman examined the 2000 election coverage of Laura Bush, Tipper Gore, Lynne Cheney and Hadassah Lieberman. They found that the women presented a challenge to the media because they represented backgrounds different from those of traditional presidential and vice-presidential wives.

Rotary roundup

A group of five business professionals from India recently visited Columbia to explore the differences a hemisphere makes in their fields.

The Rotary International Group Study Exchange connects business and professional leaders through humanitarian efforts to promote international cooperation. In February, four local business persons and one Rotarian went to India. In April, a group from Pune, India, came to visit practitioners in dermatology, business analysis, dentistry and education in mid-Missouri.

Holden’s office stays aloof

JEFFERSON CITY — With less than a week left in the session, a majority of Gov. Bob Holden’s legislative agenda has been left on the sideline.

Only a fraction of the measures Holden proposed in January made it past their initial reading — even fewer are still being discussed.

Fire degrees now offered in mid-Missouri

Completing an associate’s degree in fire service administration is now a possibility for mid-Missouri firefighters through a partnership between Columbia College and MU.

The two-year degree is made up of general education courses and business administration courses at Columbia College, and fire service courses taken through the MU Fire and Rescue Training Institute, Columbia College has announced.

Cards reverse luck vs. Expos

MONTREAL — Tony La Russa chose the right guys to keep in the St. Louis Cardinals’ lineup while giving some of his regulars a day off.

Albert Pujols and Jim Edmonds hit home runs, and Chris Carpenter pitched eight impressive innings in the Cardinals’ 5-2 victory against the Montreal Expos on Sunday.

Royals escape close call

BOSTON — Bill Mueller put Jaime Cerda’s first pitch over the Green Monster, foul, missing a game-tying grand slam by a few feet.

Mueller then fouled off eight more pitches in a 13-pitch at-bat, including another shot that would have needed some Carlton Fisk-style body English to stay fair.

Duty comes with U.S. democracy

Not many people in my circle are optimistic about what the next few years will be like in this country. The constant threat of terrorism is not the only consideration weighing heavily on their minds. There is also the economy. Questions like, “Where will the jobs come from?” are worrisome. While politicians are talking about job training, no one seems to have a clue about the kinds of jobs people would be training for. Many jobs have gone overseas while others have been replaced by technology. As far as the public is concerned, there is no news as to what the workplaces of the future will look like. The service sector can only provide so many jobs.

And then, those who have children or grandchildren can’t help but be dismayed by the federal deficit and the trade deficit they will be passing on to the next generation. Those who have to build their futures starting from behind will have their arms full trying to make a living and support families.

Providing better care

A ride in an ambulance wasn’t always loud with sirens, stocked with all kinds of medical equipment, and big enough to seat more than two people. One of the first ambulances known in Missouri was a Volkswagen van. Its primitive technology included an incubator that received power from the cigarette lighter. But ambulances have grown bigger and safer since then, and University Hospital has two new ones that show exactly how far they have come.

The new ambulances were designed by a committee of paramedics and emergency medical technicians to be more functional and spacious for both the medical crew and the patients.

Changing lives, one day at a time

The first time McKenzie Boyd volunteered, she played bingo and ate cookies with the residents of a senior center in Texas.

It was in high school and Boyd was involved with the student government.