Farm-scene painting chosen for art festival

From Monet’s “Wheat Field” to Grant Wood’s “American Gothic,” farming culture has long been an inspiration to artists. And this year it’s the inspiration behind the poster for the 13th-annual Columbia Festival of the Arts.

The poster, featuring a painting by Columbia artist Joel Sager, was unveiled Saturday evening at a festival fund-raising party at Quin and Helen Snyder’s house.

Three Tigers vie for return duties

Although a diminutive player, Marcus James has left a big void on the MU football team.

James, a 5-foot-8 wide receiver whose eligibility has expired, produced nearly every time he touched the ball as a punt returner last season. James finished the season sixth in the nation averaging 14.5 yards, and Missouri’s Special Teams Player of the Year award for the second straight season.

Paige gets 20-game schedule

Paige Sports Arena will see plenty of action during its inaugural season.

The Missouri men’s basketball team announced its 2004-2005 schedule Friday, and it includes 20 games at the new 15,000-seat, $75 million facility.

Seniors set to lead Kewps

There was something in the air Saturday outside the Hickman High School football office.

It wasn’t only the dreary skies and an off-and-on drizzle.

For the Hickman football team, there was a subdued eagerness to begin the season after two 7-7 ties Friday night at Adkins Stadium in Jefferson City.

Bruins try to find new stars

When the Rock Bridge football team plays Friday in Marshall, it will officially begin defending its North Central Missouri Conference title. The team will have to adjust after losing two key stars from last year.

After leading the Bruins to an 8-2 record with 2,630 passing yards and 30 touchdowns in 2003, quarterback Chase Patton will no longer pull a green and yellow jersey over his shoulder pads. Instead, he will be competing for playing time with the Missouri Tigers, as will last year’s tailback Van Alexander, who rushed for 760 yards and 14 touchdowns during his senior season at Rock Bridge.

Rain caps dreary week for Kewpies

For Hickman softball coach Courtney Haskell, it’s been one of those weeks.

After going 0-3 and getting outscored 33-3 to start the season, the team was leading Hannibal 2-1 in the second inning Saturday at the 16th annual Columbia College High School Invitational. Thunderstorms forced tournament officials to stop the game, though, and eventually end it as a draw.

Missouri soccer team wins opener

Senior Karen Bauer converted a penalty kick less than three minutes into overtime to give Missouri a 2-1 win against host Northwestern on Friday in the Tigers’ season opener.

After Northwestern goalkeeper Whitney Jones stopped a run at the goal by Jennifer Nobis, Nobis collected the rebound and was fouled inside the box to set up Bauer’s winner.

Experienced Cougars aim for success

For the 14 returning Columbia College men’s soccer players, frustration will be motivation this season.

Last year, after earning a No. 16 ranking and a spot at the national tournament, the team lost in the first round to end its season at 16-4-1.

The healing power of faith

Inside the doors of a nondescript office in building 3 at Doctors’ Park, more than 250 cases as varied as rotator-cuff injury, toothache and depression have been treated. The 36 people who volunteer in the office did it all without using one X-ray, dental drill or prescription drug.

But the difference between this office and other medical practices is that the people who work inside aren’t medical doctors. They are Christians from Columbia churches, and for nearly a year, they have worked at the Columbia Healing Rooms using prayer to help make people well. Dennis Sievers, the office’s director, has been involved with healing ministry for 25 years. He started the local healing center because he said he believes God wanted the ministry in Columbia. The practice is based on the Bible and its promises that God is a healer, he said. The Bible, he added, sees the human as having three parts: body, soul and spirit.

Welcome to another school year

I’m happy to report that 12 of my 14 grandchildren are in school this year. The oldest grandson is starting ninth grade where his grades will be written down and follow him for the rest of his life. Wanting him to understand that his future depends on how well he does academically, I sat him down a few weeks ago and tried to have a serious discussion about life.

I went on and on about how important it is to take courses that would prepare him for his career. Up until now, I pontificated, he was just “playing” school. But, beginning this fall, everything changes. He sat there listening semi-attentively, mostly avoiding eye contact. But when I told him that one bad grade and there goes West Point, he looked at me as if I had just sprouted two heads.

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.