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From here to there costs more

Fred Bunney regularly travels from his home in Pittsburg, Kan., to Columbia for treatment at Truman Veteran’s Hospital. Not long ago, gasoline for the round trip cost him about $23. Today, it runs him closer to $50.

“I used to go out riding around because I’m disabled,” said Bunney, as he filled his tank at the Phillips 66 at Providence Road and Locust Street. “Now I can’t do that.”

Bush urges passage of energy plan

WASHINGTON — President Bush on Wednesday rejected Democrats’ calls to ease high gasoline prices by tapping the nation’s petroleum reserve, saying such action would leave America vulnerable to terrorism in a time of war.

He also chastised Congress anew for failing to pass his energy proposal.

Grandfather admits to arson at son’s residence

An exhaustive two-year investigation culminated Friday in the guilty plea of an Arizona man to the largest arson fire in the history of the Boone County Fire District.

Francis Wildman, 82, of Prescott, Ariz., admitted setting his son’s house ablaze the night of his granddaughter’s wedding.

Lane wins 53 cents in school tax suit

The Columbia Board of Education will decide what to do today after the Missouri Court of Appeals sided against it Tuesday in a case concerning property tax levies.

The lead plaintiff, Henry Lane, said he was happy with the decision.

City manager: transportation key to growth

An increase in the city sales tax and expanded use of transportation development districts might help cover fiscal year 2005 transportation costs, according to City Manager Ray Beck.

At the State of the City address Wednesday morning, Beck emphasized quality infrastructure as a means to maintain annual city growth rates of 1 percent to 2 percent.

Beck: Tax-free Internet still taxes city services

Columbia City Manager Ray Beck would like to tax Internet purchases that occur in Columbia, but he isn’t sure exactly how to do it.

During his annual State of the City address, Beck said the trend toward Internet buying is one reason for slower growth in revenue from the city’s sales tax. Recent economic downturns and the emergence of businesses in neighboring communities are also to blame, he said.

Holden wants vote on gay marriage ban

JEFFERSON CITY — Gov. Bob Holden attempted Wednesday to set an Aug. 3 statewide election on a proposed constitutional amendment banning gay marriage in Missouri.

But the secretary of state’s office, which oversees elections, was weighing whether Holden’s proclamation can be enforced.

Kerry taps director for Mo. efforts

WASHINGTON — Democrat John Kerry has hired a Kansas City-based operative to assemble his campaign in Missouri, one of the battleground states where the presidential election will be won.

Tony Wilson left politics in 1997 to work in government affairs for Sprint Corp. and Microsoft Corp. A veteran of political campaigns who worked for Dick Gephardt, Al Gore and the national Democratic Party, Wilson is returning to direct Kerry’s Missouri operation.

Centri-sewage

The bright-blue cylinders roar day and night, and their powerful motors make the floor tremble as unseen parts spin inside. The two centrifuges have been hard at work at the city sewage treatment plant since it was built in 1983, separating solids from the millions of gallons of wastewater that’s piped to the plant each day.

After 20 years of service, these workhorses of the treatment plant, as well as other parts of the city sewer system, are feeling the effects of growth.

Heads-up goal lifts Hickman

SEDALIA — The opportunities were adding up and so was the tension.

Hickman had numerous chances to score Wednesday in the Class 4 District 10 championship game in Sedalia. The Kewpies hit almost every inch of the goal except for the back of the net.

Good enough for any team

In 1956, William “The Rocket” Richardson was considered the best back in a University of Missouri freshman class that included Mel West and Norris Stevens.

A graduate of Frederick Douglass High School, “The Rocket,” averaged 17.5 yards per carry his senior year. In one game, a 42-6 win against Helias, “The Rocket” had 126 yards rushing, 141 yards receiving and 32 yards passing.

Tigers set for NCAA play

Ty Singleton entered this season, his second as the Missouri softball coach, needing to come up with an encore.

After earning Big 12 Coach of the Year honors in 2003 and leading the Tigers to their first NCAA Tournament appearance in four years, it seemed as if Singleton would have a hard time following such an act, but he did not disappoint.

Helias pounds Bruins in semifinal

Helias teammates Kelly Fick and Josh Wilson proved to be too much for Rock Bridge.

Fick, a freshman left-hander, pitched a three-hitter and Wilson, a third baseman, hit a home run over the right-field wall in each of the first two innings as Helias beat Rock Bridge 7-1 on Wednesday at Hickman Field in the Class 4 District 10 semifinals.

Momentum lifts Jays past sluggish Kewps

By the time Hickman finally sent its ninth batter to the plate, in the bottom of the third inning, Jefferson City had scored nine times.

“That’s the worst thing that can happen in a district game, to get behind early like that,” Hickman coach Kent Fewell said. “The momentum switches to them.”

Black resigns from Hickman

Doug Black has resigned as Hickman’s wrestling coach to take the job at Blue Springs South.

“A good opportunity came up for me and my family,” Black said. “I couldn’t turn it down.”

Laskowski saves Missouri in 13th

The first nine innings featured a lot of scoring Wednesday that the extra innings lacked.

Missouri beat Southeast Missouri State 12-11 at Taylor Stadium in 13 innings. The game was 10-10 after nine innings, and neither team could produce the winning run until Lee Laskowski drove it in with two outs in the 13th.

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