Clean-up starts for Hinkson Creek

New pollution data on Hinkson Creek have landowners and city officials saying they plan to take steps to protect the stream. Some steps already have been taken.

A study of the creek released Monday by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources shows pollutants such as E. coli bacteria, fertilizers, salt, petroleum, oil and insecticides mixing in the creek at levels high enough to kill aquatic life.

North set for trials

Competing against top national athletes is a big chance for Missouri swimmer Matthew North to have another breakthrough.

North, who will be a senior, will compete in the 200-meter breaststroke at the U.S. Olympic Trials on July 10 in Long Beach, Calif.

Initiative focuses on energy

An initiative petition filed Tuesday morning would require the city to add renewable energy to its power supply beginning in 2007. Columbians for Clean Energy collected about 2,800 signatures from city voters in the petition drive that began on Earth Day.

The goal of the proposal is to gradually increase over 15 years the amount of renewable energy the city uses and to do so without increasing rates by more than 3 percent. The proposal calls for at least 2 percent of the city’s retail sales of electricity to come from renewable sources by 2007, then to gradually increase to 5 percent by 2012, 10 percent by 2017, and 15 percent by 2022.

Cards stalled again

PITTSBURGH — St. Louis scout Jim Leyland kept repeating his message to manager Tony La Russa before the Cardinals faced Pittsburgh rookie Sean Burnett: Don’t be deceived by the fact he has yet to win in the majors.

Burnett, a left-hander, backed up the former Pirates manager’s scouting report by pitching six shutout innings for his first major league victory, and Tike Redman drove in two runs to lead Pittsburgh past the division-leading Cardinals 3-0 on Tuesday night.

Royals snap streak

KANSAS CITY — It was a night of firsts for the Kansas City Royals.

Mike Wood got his first victory as a starter and as a Royal. John Buck got his first major league hit. Shawn Camp earned his first save in the big leagues.

Refund decision revised by court

The Missouri Court of Appeals released a modified decision Tuesday in the Henry Lane lawsuit to make clear that only the nine plaintiffs in the case are eligible for a partial refund of their 2001 property taxes. The court also decided not to re-hear the case or transfer it to the Supreme Court.

The two defendants — the Columbia Public School District and Boone County Collector Pat Lensmeyer — now have 15 days to decide whether to directly ask the Missouri Supreme Court to review the case.

Ballwin guard commits to MU

The recruits keep coming for the Missouri men’s basketball program.

Even though the program might receive penalties for NCAA violations, Matt Lawrence, a 6-foot-6, 185-pound shooting guard from Ballwin, orally committed to play for Missouri beginning in 2005.

Garden Club recognizes flowering achievements

When the Columbia Garden Club declares someone’s lawn the Yard of the Month, there’s no trophy, there’s no cash prize — nobody even contacts the media.

There’s not even a plaque — just a yard sign.

Don’t buy into online ‘designer’ deals, make certain it’s the real thing

So, you go to sleep at night dreaming of the Louis Vuitton Murakami Multicolor bag. You know, the white canvas bag adorned with brightly colored trademark LV’s, gold hardware and tan leather detailing. Apologies, but your chances of acquiring this bag are slim. The LV Murakami bag is in high demand and short supply, meaning you have to tack your name onto a hefty waiting list.

There is, however, an alternative to signing the waiting list and crossing your fingers: Ebay. A search for the LV Murakami bag turns up roughly 150 results. There it is, the bag of your dreams; but how do you trust an anonymous cyberseller?

Load strains public defenders

The Boone County Public Defender has strained its resources for years. The number of cases assigned to the local office caseload has increased each year since fiscal 2000, and three of the 11 lawyers, including the district defender, are leaving at the end of June to set up their own private practice.

Even though public defenders have help from interns and support staff, handling an average of 150 to 180 cases at a time has pressed some to their limits.

Crash Course in Safety

Arresting 40-pound rubber dummies, driving golf carts with “fatal vision” goggles and taking fingerprints are only part of the challenges that 22 local teenagers will face this week in the Columbia Police Department Summer Youth Camp. The bigger challenge is to decide what to do with the information once they graduate at the end of the week.

Charges of campaign violations fly

The race for the Democratic nomination for governor has become mired in a flurry of complaints about alleged violations of state campaign finance laws.

The campaign of Gov. Bob Holden fired a shot Tuesday at gubernatorial challenger and State Auditor Claire McCaskill, announcing it intends to file a complaint with the Missouri Ethics Commission alleging McCaskill has received illegal donations worth more than $575,000 from her husband.

Gov. Holden will debate in St. Louis, Kansas City

Gov. Bob Holden has agreed to two broadcast debates with Democratic primary challenger Claire McCaskill on consecutive nights in mid-July, his campaign manager said Tuesday.

The two candidates will debate in Kansas City on July 19 and in St. Louis on July 20, Roy Temple, Holden’s campaign manager, said. The Democratic primary is Aug. 3.

Exhibit honors educator

In a framed black-and-white photo, C. Brice Ratchford sits with his hunting dogs at his feet. Friends say he loved those dogs and treated them like children.

The photo — part of a commemorative display unveiled Tuesday in MU’s Whitten Hall — shows Ratchford in a casual light. In Missouri higher education, he is remembered as the former president of the UM system. Tom Henderson, interim vice provost and director of cooperative extension, called him “the architect of modern extension.”

Semitrailer crash shuts down one lane of I-70

Traffic was backed up Tuesday evening when an accident occurred on westbound Interstate 70 near the border of Callaway and Boone Counties.

According to state trooper Gary Gundy, a truck with a trailer was traveling east shortly after 6 p.m. when the trailer came unhitched. The trailer, which was empty, crossed the open median and hit a semitrailer in the westbound lane.

Get your gig: It’s frog season

Jeff Briggler, herpetologist with the Missouri Department of Conservation, said abundant spring rains mean a good outlook for frog season for the next few years.

Briggler bases his optimism on the number of tadpoles that were counted this year in different areas of the state. The legal limits this year are unchanged: eight frogs per day and a maximum of 16 in any one person’s possession.

Pierpont set to incorporate

Pierpont took a new step toward incorporation Tuesday night as residents filled the Boone County Commission Chambers to show their support of the proposal and commissioners expressed their eagerness to have the incorporation passed.

Pierpont, the common name of an unincorporated portion of Boone County, lies just south of Columbia at the crossing of Missouri 163 and Route N, next to Rock Bridge Memorial State Park. Three of Pierpont’s residents — Justin John, Bud Frew and Bob Miller — have been working for months to push through a proposal that would make Pierpont an official village with authority to govern itself.

Missouri kegs must have tags

Just in time for Fourth of July celebrations, a new state law is on tap that requires kegs to be registered to their buyers.

Authorities are hoping the law, which takes effect Thursday, will make underage drinking a bit harder.

Rock wall owner requests acquittal

Attorneys for a climbing wall owner accused of second-degree involuntary manslaughter filed a motion for acquittal Monday in Boone County Circuit Court.

Matt Woods and Pat Eng, defense lawyers for Marcus Floyd, 31, plan to call a motion to acquit at a hearing scheduled for 9 a.m. July 7. Assistant Prosecutor Richard Hicks said barring changes, the state plans to retry the case.

Police seek information regarding an East Campus break-in, robbery

Three men entered an East Campus apartment late Monday night, placed tape over the mouth of an occupant, then plundered the residence, police said.

Columbia police said the suspects entered an unlocked apartment at 406 S. William St. about 11:30 p.m. armed with baseball bats and a handgun. The four-bedroom unit was ransacked, with a loss of several thousand dollars reported. Computers, DVDs and cash were taken from the residence, police said. A 21-year-old occupant of the apartment was not injured.