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Election reforms aim to draw young voters

White male property owners casting their votes orally and enjoying free-flowing alcohol is the Missouri Election Day scene set by George Caleb Bingham in his 1852 painting “The County Election.”

If Bingham were to paint the picture today, it might include computerized voting machines and Election Day voter registration, both among recent reforms that have transformed the election process in some states.

Road plan under study

Tens of thousands of people use Columbia’s roads every day, but only one showed up to speak at a meeting Thursday about how the city should pay for anticipated transportation improvements.

Members of the Transportation Finance Advisory Committee heard public comment before discussing options for creating a comprehensive transportation funding plan for the city. The City Council has asked the committee to prepare a plan before the council’s Nov. 15 meeting.

Missouri OKs plan for drug imports

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri is joining Illinois and Wisconsin in a new Internet program that helps residents buy cheaper prescription drugs from Canada and Europe, despite a federal ban on the imports.

Gov. Bob Holden traveled to Chicago on Thursday to announce Missouri’s participation in the I-SaveRx program, which was spearheaded by Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich.

Journalism library to address user needs

The new MU journalism library, to be located in the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute, will be more user-friendly and more technologically advanced than the current library, said Marsha Hoffman, senior associate at Shaughnessy Fickel and Scott Architects, the Kansas City firm designing the institute.

The institute, slated to open in the fall of 2007, is being funded by a $31 million gift from the Reynolds Foundation, given to the Missouri School of Journalism in February. It is the largest donation in MU history.

Cardinals’ downfall hard to figure

ST. LOUIS — It can be argued that the St. Louis Cardinals lost the World Series in mid-September, when Scott Rolen and Chris Carpenter went down with injuries.

In the space of a week they lost their ace for the season, and their cleanup hitter was never the same after returning from a calf injury.

Feline intervention

Sixteen cats were rescued Wednesday from an unlicensed broker in Iberia, Mo., by the Missouri Department of Agriculture and the Central Missouri Humane Society. The owner, Sandra Hudson, voluntarily relinquished the cats after she was contacted by the department, which learned about the cats from a Hallsville veterinarian, said Jason Ramsey, director of development and public relations for the Humane Society.

Hudson does not face any criminal charges because she voluntarily handed the cats over to the Humane Society. The cats came from an unlicensed breeding facility in the Lake of the Ozarks area that officials discovered a few weeks ago, said Jerry Eber, program coordinator for the animal health division of the Missouri Department of Agriculture.

Halloween no longer a holiday in many schools

SPRINGFIELD — Ann Waite gets “warm fuzzies” when she recalls wearing homemade costumes and celebrating Halloween by bobbing for apples and eating candy during the school day.

She is disappointed her 13-year-old daughter won’t get the chance to make her own memories, outside of going trick-or-treating on Sunday.

Natural gas rates to increase

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri Gas Energy customers will see their natural gas bills rise by about $110 on average for the winter, the Public Service Commission said Thursday.

Missouri Gas Energy’s rate change was among several increases and decreases the commission approved for various companies. The new rates are largely supposed to account for changes in the cost of natural gas for the winter season and will take effect Monday.

India Nite festivities are a growing affair

In its 13-year tradition, India Nite has grown tremendously in popularity and in terms of its performances. Saturday evening, the Columbia public will have an opportunity to experience the diverse dancing, music and other festivities that the event has to offer.

Tigers, ’Huskers vie for control

There will be one team atop the Big 12 Conference North Division after Saturday’s game between Missouri and Nebraska.

Neither the Tigers (4-3, 2-2) nor the Cornhuskers (4-3, 2-2) have looked eager to take the lead. Both teams lost last week, and Saturday’s game in Lincoln, Neb. might be the last chance for the teams to control their destiny.

Rock Bridge relishes underdog status

When the Rock Bridge Bruins run onto the field at Memorial Stadium tonight for week nine of their season, they will set foot on the same ground where Missouri greats Corby Jones, Brock Olivo and Justin Gage once played.

But before the Bruins get too caught up in the sense of awe, they will have to remember what they are at Memorial Stadium for: a game with the No. 1 Hickman Kewpies.

House calls for horses

Students of the Department of Veterinary Medicine and Surgery have the opportunity to get hands-on experience with an elective class, Ambulatory Care. The class lasts three weeks and is typical of most veterinary schools. Students, along with their instructors, make house calls in the Columbia area, providing veterinary services to horse trainers and owners.

Reading to feature professor’s work

MU Greek History professor Ian Worthington will present a short reading of his book "Alexander the Great: Man and God" at Barnes & Noble, November 9 at 7 p.m. A consultant for the National Geographic documentary on Alexander the Great, he has also written many books on Greek history

County’s political division wide

In Boone County, where rural towns on rolling hills co-exist with Columbia’s trendy coffee shops and strip malls, voting patterns are as diverse as the county itself.

Within Columbia, many residents vote Democratic and are concerned about education and international relations. In smaller towns, such as Ashland and Hartsburg, many residents vote Republican and are concerned with national security and morality.

Perfect Site

When Friday night rolls around and Jim McNeil sits in the locker room sliding his shoulder pads over his head, he can feel something building up.

McNeil isn’t the biggest player in that locker room. He’s surely not the most athletic. His statistics certainly aren’t worth dropping a jaw over, either.

Election inspires influx of campaign rookies

Jenny Chicone awoke one morning to discover only remains of her “Bush must go” political yard sign.

“All that was left was a stick — a charred stick — coming up out of the ground, and it was pretty sad looking, and it got me motivated to become an activist,” Chicone said.

Public works unrest stirs voters

Some employees of the Boone County Public Works Department, complaining of a tense and uncomfortable work environment, hope their concerns will be an issue on Election Day.

Greg Mullanix, a union steward and heavy-equipment operator for 20 years, said some employees are working to prevent the re-election of Southern District Commissioner Karen Miller, who he called “a barrier to change.”

Cougars up for start of new season

Columbia College women’s basketball coach Mike Davis had a hard time masking his excitement Thursday.

Davis, entering his fourth season as coach of the Cougars, couldn’t help but smile when reporters asked about the potential of this year’s team at media day.

Tigers’ talent to be tested

With its highest national ranking in more than 20 years, the ninth-ranked Missouri women’s cross country team should be optimistic about Saturday’s Big 12 Conference championship in Topeka, Kan.

Colorado has them feeling challenged, though.

Absentee ballots, direct mail keep postal workers busy

With only four days left before the election, the downtown Columbia post office is busy delivering political mail. Absentee ballots as well as other political mail are being received and delievered in huge numbers. Ballots coming to the post office are delivered daily to the clerk's office.

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