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Cable task force OKs fee increase

Cable television subscribers will see their monthly bills rise to pay for a public-access cable channel if the Columbia City Council follows through on a Thursday night recommendation from a city task force.

Meanwhile, a nonprofit board, Columbia Access Television Corp., has been set up to oversee development of the public-access outlet, which will be broadcast on Channel 8 for Mediacom cable subscribers and Channel 21 for Charter Communications subscribers. The board includes members of the Columbia Media Resource Alliance, representatives of Stephens College and other interested stakeholders.

Teenager recreates ancestor’s adventures

When Josh Loftis went to a Lewis and Clark re-enactment with his grandfather, all the family legends suddenly came to life.

“They didn’t really make sense until I was 12 and went out and I saw the boats and I saw everything that was happening,” Loftis said.

Graduation kickoff

Senior members of the Hickman High School girls’ soccer team were all smiles Thursday — and not just because they will compete in the state finals this weekend.

The team’s eight seniors received their diplomas two days early at a special ceremony held in Hickman’s auditorium.

Methodist conference to draw 1,600

The Holiday Inn Executive Center will nearly burst at the seams this weekend as ministers and laypeople from more than 900 churches convene for the Missouri Annual Conference Session of the United Methodist Church.

“Basically, the conference is where we do our year’s business,” said Karen Gordy-Panhorst, communications director for the Methodists.

Missouri Methodists petition to thank Gibson for filming ‘Passion’

Mel Gibson might be hearing from Missouri United Methodists soon.

The Jefferson Avenue United Methodist Church in Moberly sent a petition to the 2004 Missouri Annual Conference Session of the United Methodist Church that suggests thanking Gibson for making “The Passion of The Christ.” The Rev. Bob Seaman suggested the idea to the men’s group at his church.

Fox broadcasting extends its signal in region

The majority of mid-Missouri television viewers without a cable television hookup can now watch the local Fox affiliate without having to “stand on their heads” to get a signal, said Michelle Linn, KQFX director of promotions and public relations.

JW Broadcasting has completed the construction of a transmission tower in Ashland, more than doubling the number of mid-Missouri households that can receive KQFX/Fox 38.

Tigers poised for regional

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. –- Missouri coach Tim Jamieson said his team can contend in this weekend’s postseason baseball regional for several reasons.

First, the Tigers were in the postseason last season, meaning they won’t be thrilled just to be here.

Indians triumph

Hallsville might have been the visiting team on paper, but if felt right at home in Taylor Stadium on Thursday night in the Class 2 state championship.

The Indians won 11-4 against the Springfield Catholic Fightin’ Irish after scoring five runs in the seventh inning.

Teamwork crucial for Kewpies

Great unity enabled Hickman to get this far.

The Hickman girls’ soccer team plays Ursuline Academy today at 6 p.m. in the semifinals of the Class 2 state championships at Anheuser-Busch Sports Center in Fenton. It is the first time the Kewpies (20-3-1) have played in the semifinals since 1994.

MU part of Stephenson’s bio

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark – Many coaches with long-term success often speak in clichés about building a program from scratch.

Wichita State baseball coach Gene Stephenson has done it.

Explorers’ voyage set to new tunes

Some of the most important artifacts to come from Lewis and Clark’s expedition are the journals kept by members of the Corps of Discovery. They describe everything from the speed of the river to the jerking of deer meat. But one thing is noticeably absent from the journal entries: music.

“Nowhere in the journals does it say what music was played,” local folk musician Paul Grace said. “No one knows.”

Everlasting shelter

After serving 22 years in Moberly Correctional Center for theft, Matthew Hobbs came to the St. Francis House in Columbia to live out the final six weeks of his life in 1990. He was dying of brain cancer, and the prison asked that he be medically cared for. But Hobbs was estranged from his family and technically homeless.

Hobbs had been in solitary confinement for the last nine years of his sentence. He required about $200 a month to pay for morphine to ease his pain, and he weighed about 106 pounds.

Drug card complexity stalls use

Despite the Tuesday start date for Medicare’s new prescription drug discount-card program, area pharmacists say complexity, cost and processing delays seem to be discouraging people from using it.

“The whole program is kind of a bust,” said Jim Reid, a pharmacist at The Medicine Shoppe. “It’s too complicated to start out with. We’ve only had three to five inquiries about what’s available. Anyone with any kind of health insurance is better off using their insurance than the card.”

Actor climbs to new heights as Capt. Clark

David Hommes’ portrayal of Capt. William Clark started with a trial. When the re-enactor for Capt. Meriwether Lewis dared his men to climb a rock with him in 2002, Hommes was the only one who took the challenge.

“It was pretty dangerous,” said Scott Mandrell, who has portrayed Lewis since 1996. The 80-foot high rock was on the edge of the Osage River, Mandrell said, “and you had to take off your shoes and climb with your fingers and toes.”

A matter of choice

When you walk around small town Missouri and see all the buildings that have managed to survive floods, tornadoes, fires and every other cataclysm, it’s easy to get wrapped up in how old everything is.

Truth is, this is a fairly young country. Just ask the Chinese or the Egyptians. Or don’t. Just looking at the people we choose to remember will tell you how we view things.

Heidelberg block sees retail change

When the Old Heidelberg reopens its doors in early August, it will be just one change occurring on the section of Ninth Street between University Avenue and Elm Street.

Lion’s Choice, a roast beef sandwich restaurant, opened May 13 next to the Heidelberg in what used to be Osama’s Coffee Zone. Less than 50 feet away, a realty sign has been posted in MU parking lot WC-14.

School district leaders get new posts

Beginning July 1, Sally Lyon will be the focal point of student achievement for Columbia Public Schools. Lyon was recently named director of research, assessment and accountability by Superintendent Phyllis Chase.

In the newly created position, Lyon — currently assistant principal at Gentry Middle School — will coordinate the district-wide efforts in student progress and achievement, providing support for district faculty in improving student performance in all aspects.

Hickman, Rock Bridge to honor graduates

Hearnes Center at MU will fill with caps, gowns and emotional families Saturday as Rock Bridge and Hickman high schools say goodbye to another senior class.

Hickman will graduate 630 seniors at the 2 p.m. ceremony, and Rock Bridge will graduate 436 seniors at 7 p.m.

St. Louis airport gets funds for expansion

ST. LOUIS — The Federal Aviation Administration on Wednesday announced $48.8 million in funding for expansion project and noise abatement at Lambert Airport.

The grants will help fund the $1.1 billion expansion project at Lambert, a project aimed at allowing the airport to handle more traffic and reduce flight delays. Part of the money will also buy out homes near the expansion project and help reduce the impact of noise on homes that remain.

Twilight fest starts tonight

No one can say there’s nothing to do in Columbia on Thursday evenings in June.

Downtown’s Twilight Festival begins at 6 this evening, and there will be some added attractions to go along with the usual mix of local artists, musicians and family activities.

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