From politics to cow-patty bingo

Stump-speaking at Midway on Saturday took a back seat to socializing. In the parking lot of a gas station, people wearing silly T-shirts, campaign stickers and cowboy hats gathered to raise money for the Central Missouri Food Bank.

The annual fund-raiser features local politicians who want to make that last-minute impression on voters. But policy talk doesn't fit the pace of an event that features "cow-patty bingo," so most speakers try to be funny.

How to use the potential money generated by gambling at Rockaway Beach clouds issue of education funding

For some Amendment 1 opponents, the main issue isn't gambling, it's what they say is poor educational policy.

State revenues from the estimated $39.9 to $49 million generated by the amendment would be directed toward teacher salaries and capital improvements in Missouri's "priority schools."

In the market for votes

Art Gelder’s T-shirt flashed no name but his own and endorsed nothing but his farm and beekeeping business.

Although Missouri’s primary election was three days away, the first thing on Gelder’s mind was his honey. The election, however, wasn’t too much farther down the list.

Residents bet it all on casino

Heading south on U.S. 65 toward Branson, huge billboards tout the headline acts on stage at the live show capital of the world: Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede. Andy Williams. Presley’s Country Jubilee.

There are no billboards after the exit for Rockaway Beach. But nine curving miles east of the highway, as the two-lane blacktop enters the dried-up resort town on the White River, visitors are greeted by an assembly of signs with a singular message: “Yes on Amendment 1.”

Churches examine Amendment 2 vote

The Rev. Bill Smart of Evangelical Free Church in Columbia said he intends to deliver a sermon this morning about gay marriage but will not tell congregants how to vote on the issue.

“I’m going to remind them that while we should all be involved citizens who vote with godly wisdom, that it’s more important that we show love to homosexuals,” he said Friday.

Amendment 2 likely to be challenged if passed

On Tuesday, Missouri voters will be asked the following question, in the form of constitutional Amendment 2:

Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended so that to be valid and recognized in this state, a marriage shall exist only between a man and a woman?

MU investigates claim of harassment

The MU athletic department is investigating claims made in a national magazine by a former football recruiting volunteer who said coaches at MU ignored her complaints of sexual harassment by recruits. The September issue of Seventeen magazine, a national magazine directed toward teenage readers, includes an interview with an anonymous former member of Tiger Hostesses, a university-run campus group that welcomes football recruits. The woman, whose name is disguised as “Emily,” said in the article that, as a Tiger Hostess, she was sexually harassed by MU football recruits and that coaches ignored her complaints.

On Saturday, Chad Moller, director of media relations for the MU athletic department, said the department is aware of the article and had sent a letter to Seventeen publishers on Thursday asking for the identity of the woman in the interview. Moller said the claims were serious, and the department would investigate.

Health care ideas divide Democrats

Health care is a hot topic for both 19th District state Senate Democratic candidates, Tim Harlan and Chuck Graham. It has been the source of conversation at forums, in radio and television ads and at stump speeches.

Although the two candidates set to face off in Tuesday’s primary share similar views on many aspects of health care, they are split over what issues warrant the most concern. While Graham has campaigned on expanding his personal-care assistance program, Harlan’s focus has been on providing health care to small-business employees and farmers.

Absentees indicate voting surge

If the number of absentee ballots being cast is any indication, Tuesday’s primary is going to be a wild one for the Boone County Clerk’s office.

The office set a record Tuesday when it processed 323 absentee primary ballots. Boone County Clerk Wendy Noren said she and her staff processed between 250 and 300 absentee ballots every day last week.

Post 202 rolls past Kirksville, into state

KIRKSVILLE – Post 202 refuses to lose.

Columbia’s American Legion team defeated Kirksville BB 14-1 to become the Zone I Tournament Champions on Saturday at North Park Complex in a game that ended after seven innings because of the 10-run rule.

Players get in position for final 36

CREVE COEUR – The second round of the U.S. Senior Open on Saturday at Bellerive Country Club had the unmistakable feel of a final tuneup before an ultimate test of skill and desire.

Three inches of rain Friday postponed the second round, forcing the final three rounds to be squeezed into two days, and players positioned themselves on the leaderboard with hopes of outlasting the field during today’s 36-hole final round.

Aiming high

Brothers Dallas and Ron Brakeville live more than 700 miles away from each other, but they plan at least a couple of events each year to do together.

Archery at the Show-Me State Games, which took place at Lake Stephens Park on Saturday morning, is one way. Rattlesnake hunting is another.

Interests connect for volunteer at Wisc. air show

Of more than 4,500 volunteers running the country’s biggest air show this weekend, one Columbia man is doing double duty during what he considers a vacation.

Greg Heifner is filling two roles when he travels to Experimental Aircraft Association’s Airventure Oshkosh in Wisconsin. He volunteers as a staff photographer for the EAA and supplies primary Internet connections for the association and a flight management software company.

Oakland Plaza Lanes shuts down its lanes after 30 years

Adonna Mason has been going to Oakland Plaza Lanes since she was 12. “I can remember my sister and I playing downstairs, while my parents would bowl upstairs during the Skater Bowls,” she said. “There used to be a skating rink downstairs.”

Mason, 37, used to bowl at least twice a week. On Monday nights, she would bowl for an MU faculty and staff league. One afternoon a week she would bowl with a not-for-profit agency that provides support for people with disabilities.

Chief retires after 23 years in Ashland

Retiring Ashland Police Chief Mel Rupard has some advice for the incoming chief — come in with an open mind, get to know the people, find out what the citizens want and see what you can do to provide those services, and be fair, honest and neutral.

Rupard wrapped up his career with a reception at the Ashland Senior Center on Friday evening. Wearing his dark blue Ashland Police Department uniform, he received thanks, congratulations and well wishes. Several people who he had helped during his career came and shared stories.

Little Leaguers off to regional

Ten boys sit and listen to Missouri baseball coach Tim Jamieson.

“If you keep playing and practicing hard, you may have the opportunity to play at college and beyond,” Jamieson said.

Big names will pursue Open title

CREVE COEUR – Golf fans heading to the final round of the U.S. Senior Open at Bellerive Country Club today certainly have nothing to complain about.

Not only will they be treated to two championship rounds of golf, but they will also see some of the biggest names on the Champions Tour take part in a showdown for the most coveted title on the senior circuit.

Movie buffs can see but not hear

Janice Cobb is a big film fan. But she never goes to a movie theater.

Cobb, who is deaf, misses the day when, thanks to open captioning, she could go to theaters with her husband, Donald, and her son, John, and see the latest releases.

Humble retirement

Paintings, photos and cross-stitch samplers on the walls of the Rev. Fred Brandenburg’s tidy study reveal the closeness of the relationships he has with his congregation. Nearly each one was made by a member of Columbia United Church of Christ.

“I appreciate their creativity,” he said. “If you encourage it, people’s talent comes out.”

Enduring Faith

It’s the end of a sweltering day, and the air conditioning in Hartsburg Baptist Church isn’t quite up to the challenge. Marjorie and Carl Thomas arrived early to turn it on before the 6:30 prayer service, but it’s more or less futile in the face of a summer heat advisory. It’s Tuesday night, though, and that means there will be a prayer service, hot weather or not.

The Thomases settle in next to each other toward the back of the church and wait for others to arrive.