Columbia cashes in with sales tax

Seventy miles isn’t enough to keep Sedalia resident Jim Larson from the movies and coffee he desires.

Larson, who was shopping at Columbia Mall on Wednesday afternoon with his wife, Donna, and their two children, said he makes the drive to Columbia twice a month because Columbia has a better selection of DVDs and coffee.

City looks to use salt to melt ice on streets

Columbia is one step closer to abandoning cinders as its primary means of combating snow and ice on its streets.

The city’s proposed budget for fiscal 2005 includes $30,000 to fund a site plan for a salt-housing facility. In late July the city paid $300,000 for a 6-acre tract, formerly owned by Columbia Ready Mix, at the east end of Big Bear Boulevard, where it plans to build a facility that would shelter salt and liquid calcium chloride.

Book critical of Kerry in short supply

Columbians who want to read the controversial book behind the controversy surrounding presidential candidate John Kerry’s war record might have trouble finding a copy.

That’s because the book, “Unfit for Command” by Jerome Corsi and John O’Neill, is absent from all Columbia bookstores and other retailers that stock books. Its Aug. 15 release has been plagued with production and distribution problems nationwide. Only about half the 625,000 orders have been met.

Submarine vets claim part of I-70

Baseball star Mark McGwire got his stretch of highway a few years back. Now U.S. submarine veterans will get theirs.

At 10 a.m. today, a ceremony will be held to commemorate the renaming of 54 miles of Interstate 70 as U.S. Submarine Veterans Memorial Highway. The ceremony — to be held in MU’s Jesse Hall — will include remarks by submarine veterans as well as city, county, state and federal officials.

Medicare firm opens new office

There’s a new federally designated Medicare quality improvement organization in town.

After 20 years in Jefferson City, the Missouri Patient Care Review Foundation, also known as MissouriPRO, opened a new office on 200 N. Keene St. in mid-July.

Meet-up provides site for Kerry supporters

When John Kerry received the Democratic presidential nomination last month, it brought together different factions of the party. Since then, groups that once supported candidates like Howard Dean and Wesley Clark have been heading to the Boone County Democratic Headquarters to back Kerry.

This unity was put on display Thursday at the first Kerry Meet-Up since the Democratic National Convention. Jim Windsor, the event's coordinator, describes a Kerry Meet-Up as a monthly meeting for people who haven't yet been involved in the campaign. He stresses that meet-ups can be used to organize any group of people with similar interests.

Rejuvenating Ellis Library

Jim Cogswell, director of MU Libraries, has a dream that breaks tradition: He wants the library to become a campus hot spot.

Libraries have long been regarded as places big on serious thought and sober behavior. This aura comes through particularly in some of Ellis’ older sections, dominated by worn, marked furniture, dusty windows and books, books, books.

Off-campus treks forge freshmen bonds

While many freshmen spend their first days at college touring the grounds and visiting the bookstore, some first-years at Columbia College spent last Saturday getting to know each other away from campus.

Through the school’s “Explorientation’’ program, participating students spent “Cougar Day’’ — named for the Columbia College mascot — with campus life staff members at the Lake of the Ozarks, on a float trip in Steelville, at the state fair in Sedalia or in downtown St. Louis.

Road chief promises value

JEFFERSON CITY — As he was introduced Thursday, Missouri’s new transportation director said that he has no immediate solutions to the state’s highway problems.

Pete Rahn, former chief of transportation in New Mexico, was presented as the Missouri Highways and Transportation Department’s new director Thursday.

City roadway vote postponed

Two dozen residents attended a public hearing Thursday afternoon at the City Council Chambers to add input to the Columbia Area Transportation Study Organization’s proposed changes to the city’s roadway plan.

But not enough of the organization’s members stuck around for the committee to make its quorum and take a vote.

Christian groups join forces for concert

Several campus ministry organizations are joining forces to bring a Christian band to the MU campus Saturday evening.

Summerville, an acoustic-rock band formerly known as the Pool Boys, has performed nationwide at both church gatherings and public venues. The band, which was formed by students at the University of Kansas six years ago and is now based in Nashville, has also released five CDs.

Turn down the heat!

After enjoying unusually cool temperatures for most of the summer, Boone County residents finally felt the heat Thursday. Temperatures in the low 90s combined with high humidity to produce heat indices of nearly 110 degrees at times. The county was one of 11 in mid-Missouri under a heat advisory from 2 to 8 p.m. Thursday.

On Hartfield Drive off Scott Boulevard, a construction crew for Kirby McKenzie Construction continued to put up the framework for a new home despite the heat. But the workers — and other Boone County residents — can expect relief this weekend. According to the National Weather Service, a cold front will move into mid-Missouri by Saturday.

Missouri rolls out backup quarterbacks

The college football world knows who Brad Smith is and what he can do.

As a result, Smith spent most of Thursday’s scrimmage, the final one scheduled this preseason, watching from the sideline as the Missouri football team let Brandon Coleman and Chase Patton handle most of the snaps. Smith ran the team for one series.

Competition drives new Bruins coach

Everybody who knows Beth Newton agrees on one thing: She hates to lose.

“It’s hard for me to play in recreational situations,” said Newton. “When I’m playing, I want to win.”

Softball teams get season underway

The Hickman and Rock Bridge softball teams are finding out that the start of the season doesn’t mesh well with abundant rainfall.

After a week of thunderstorms, the teams will enter this weekend’s 16th annual Columbia College Invitational having had limited time to prepare. The two-day, eight-team tournament begins today at Cougar Field and Rock Bridge Field.

No small decision

Football was born in the United States and Americans love it. But like domestic cars, the home-grown game competes with a foreign import: soccer.

The two games reward different athletic skills. Football is a game of strength, but also well-laid plans, with playbooks detailing precise moves. Soccer games, in contrast, rely on quick thinking and proper execution of practiced skills to create an offense.

Kewpies’ golfers second at invite

Hickman senior Payge Pleimann finished fourth overall with an 85 on a par 71 course, bringing the team to a second-place finish Thursday at the Warrensburg Lady Tiger Invitational at Hidden Pines Golf Course.

Hickman shot 375 while Rock Bridge finished third with 387 in a field of 12 teams. Blue Springs South won the tournament with a 366.