Ballots brim with big decisions

KANSAS CITY — An incumbent governor in a fight for his political life and a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage are expected to bring national attention and a relatively high number of voters to Tuesday’s primary elections in Missouri.

Missouri also will nominate candidates to run for Rep. Dick Gephardt’s seat. Gephardt, a 14-term Democratic House leader from St. Louis, is retiring after his failed presidential bid.

Voting 101: A guide for the polling place

Timely advice for voters in Missouri’s primary elections today:

Double-check where you are supposed to vote.

Bring proper identification.

City Council rejects two marijuana initiatives

The City Council voted against two proposed ordinances Monday — one regarding medical marijuana and the other lowering penalties for those possessing small amounts of marijuana — but decided unanimously to send the initiatives to a special election on Nov. 2.

The vote came after petitions were filed by the Columbia Alliance for Patients and Education. The two petitions were certified by City Clerk Sheela Amin in mid-July.

Study: Ideology is no measure of compassion

As election season heats up, voters have not only begun looking at the candidates’ stances on the issues, but their moral beliefs as well. While it is sometimes held that liberals are more compassionate than conservatives, some Republicans — including President Bush — have tried to combat this perception in their political campaigns.

Three researchers, including an MU professor, put the perceived differences between liberals and conservatives to the test. Using two types of experimental games, the researchers concluded that liberals and conservatives are equally trustworthy and just as likely to act outside of their immediate self-interest.

Ferguson trial to get Lincoln County jurors

A jury from another county will be brought in to hear the case against murder suspect Ryan Ferguson, now scheduled for trial in late January.

Boone County Prosecutor Kevin Crane and defense attorney Scott McBride agreed on Lincoln County as the source for potential jurors for the trial. Ferguson, 19, has been charged with first-degree murder and first-degree robbery in connection with the 2001 death of Columbia Daily Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt.

Emergency crews praised

When they were deployed during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Missouri Task Force One’s trained volunteers became one of the New York Fire Department’s most vital resources, former department Commissioner Thomas Von Essen said Monday. But similar task forces can grow even stronger, he said, by mobilizing more ordinary individuals to join.

“The experience, the discipline and the training of the task force truly did a remarkable job for us,” Von Essen told a small audience at the Boone County Fire Protection District headquarters in Columbia as part of a campaign event for President Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney. “To have 20 to 25 men come in and not have to worry about training them, that experience is a great resource.”

UM info systems boss to retire in 2005

The first and only vice president for information systems of the University of Missouri system has announced his retirement.

Ralph Caruso became the UM system’s first chief information officer and vice president for information systems in 1992, when then-president George Russell decided the position was necessary because of the increasing role information technology was playing in higher education. Caruso announced Monday that he plans to retire on March 31, 2005.

Camp teaches students forensic science basics

When Ellie Palomino, along with her horse and cat, turned up missing Monday, students attending a forensics camp at Stephens College were on the case.

They did blood, fingerprint, handwriting and saliva testing on the evidence, just as any crime-scene investigator would, to search for the missing college student.

Pros a hit at Utley Classic

Laughter replaced silence on the Country Club of Missouri greens on Monday at the 14th annual Stan Utley-Rainbow House Golf Classic.

“Feel it in your feet, feel it in your feet,” Kelley Gibson said. “That’s what my pro always told me, and that’s why I’ve never been in the top 100 of putting.”

All-Stars falter in regional action

The Columbia All-Stars lost their first game in Little League Baseball’s 11- and 12-year-old Midwest Regional Tournament on Monday in Indianapolis.

Columbia, the Missouri state champions, fell to South Dakota 9-0.