Commerce leader reports confidence in Blunt’s goals

Missouri employers are looking forward to seeing lawmakers pass legislation they have supported in the past but seen Democratic Gov. Bob Holden veto, according to one of the state’s top business leaders.

“We are very confident that we will be successful in getting something through the General Assembly this year, and now we have a governor in Matt Blunt who will sign it into law,” said Dan Mehan, president of the Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Adjusting to traffic patterns

There’s a new location for local residents needing to renew their driver’s license or register vehicles.

The Missouri Department of Revenue Motor Vehicle and Drivers’ Licensing Office opened for its first day of business on Nov. 22 at 1500 Vandiver Drive.

Blunt addresses higher education

Gov.-elect Matt Blunt said Wednesday that higher education in Missouri needs to be more affordable and more accountable to taxpayers.

“College is not just a rite of passage for the elite,” Blunt said at the Governor’s Conference on Higher Education in Columbia. Rather, he said, it is an opportunity for all Missourians who qualify and who want to attend.

Blunt hopes to consolidate technology

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri’s Office of Administration will experience changes under Gov.-elect Matt Blunt’s administration with two key appointments and the proposed consolidation of the state’s information technology systems.

In a news conference Wednesday, Blunt said he plans to consolidate all state agencies’ information technology departments into one that would be overseen by the Office of Administration.

Grindstone tax district would fund road works

Three companies filed a petition in Boone County Circuit Court to form a transportation development district along Grindstone Parkway.

The development would charge extra sales tax to pay for road projects intended to accommodate a new Wal-Mart and other development in the area. It is the fifth taxing district to be either formed or proposed within Columbia.

Sapp asks city to annex Harg area

A developer’s unique zoning request could have lasting implications on how Boone County and the city of Columbia work together on issues of growth.

Billy Sapp, who is developing thousands of acres of homes, condominiums, shops and a golf course in the Harg community east of Columbia, would like his property to be annexed and receive city services. Sapp wants the city and the county to work together on zoning so the development is appropriately zoned in the county even if the city refuses to annex the area.

Tigers' top terrors

Missouri deserves much of the blame for their late-game collapses and disappointing results, but not all of them.

Whether they were highly touted stars or unheralded newcomers, several players Missouri faced deserve recognition for their exemplary performances this season against Missouri.

The Missourian’s All-Opponent Team recognizes those outstanding performances.

Local resident marks World AIDS Day with talk about HIV

As rush hour traffic crawled through downtown Columbia Wednesday evening, white flags with the insignia of a red ribbon flapped in the breeze as a reminder of those who died from AIDS.

Outside Uprise Bakery on Broadway, Columbia resident Brenda Flowers spoke to a crowd of roughly 30 people about what it means to be HIV positive. Flowers’ speech followed a thirty minute candlelight vigil and a musical performance of Marvin Gaye’s “What’s Going On” by Andrea Sanderson of St. Louis.

A memorable union

Students and staff who sought refuge Tuesday from the blustery cold inside MU’s Memorial Union North found something a little out of the ordinary instead: two long tables covered with cake, ice cream and 1,000 cupcakes set on black and gold striped tissue paper, along with the celebratory cries of a woman behind one of the tables.

“Happy Birthday! It’s 82! Would you like a cupcake?” called Mary Flatt, director for student and auxiliary services, to passers-by, none of whom passed up the invitation.

Plan would divulge student info

JEFFERSON CITY — A proposed overhaul of the way higher education data is collected would require all universities in Missouri to disclose personal information about their students, including Social Security numbers, to the federal government.

A proposal being studied by the National Center for Education Statistics would greatly expand the data the federal government collects about college students. It would allow federal officials to track individual students as they move through the higher education system by matching Social Security numbers with financial aid numbers.

Canadian addresses Iraq war

The Canadian government’s decision not to participate in the war in Iraq stemmed from disagreement over the United States’ approach to invading Iraq and not over policy goals of disarming Saddam Hussein.

That was one of Canadian Rear Admiral Ian Mack’s main messages to an audience Tuesday at MU for the school’s first-ever Canada Days festival this week, an effort to establish a Canadian studies minor at the university.

Transition to independence

Mike Harding eats the same lunch everyday — a peanut butter sandwich and a Twinkie washed down with a bottle of Mountain Dew.

For Harding, lunch is about choice, one of many life skills he is taught at Integration Plus, a supported living program for people with developmental disabilities that recently opened its third individualized supported living site in Columbia.

Faces: Rick Linhardt

Working in an ice cream store has obvious benefits. For Rick Linhardt, however, they stretch further than free ice cream.

Linhardt, manager of Buck’s Ice Cream Place at MU since 1993, said the job has given him invaluable experiences.

How do I... Help an international student adjust to life in the United States?

MU’s International Student and Scholar Services runs the American League of International Friendship Encounters program, which pairs community members with international students who are new to Columbia and the United States.

After filling out an application and attending a 45-minute orientation session, participants are paired with an international student.

Mizzou Arena likely to host MSHSAA basketball finals

The Missouri State High School Activities Association wants to bring championships to Mizzou Arena.The MSHSAA is expected to announce the boys’ and girls’ state high school basketball tournaments will switch venues from Hearnes Center to Mizzou Arena.

Hickman plans title celebrations

Boosters at Hickman High School have more than usual to celebrate this fall with two state champions.

Students, parents and fans will soon have a chance to show their appreciation.

Investigation of Tuesday’s plane crash begins

ST. LOUIS — Federal investigators Wednesday began trying to unravel why a small corporate jet crashed on a Missouri River island, killing the company’s top executive and an employee.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the twin-engine Hansa 320 — registered to an air charter company that lost two planes in five hours last year — went down on Howell Island west of St. Louis about 8:15 p.m. Tuesday, shortly after leaving Spirit of St. Louis Airport in suburban Chesterfield.

Big 12 Conference honors seven Missouri football players

The Big 12 Conference honored seven Missouri football players Wednesday, including Atiyyah Ellison, a senior defensive tackle who was named to the All-Big 12 team.

Big 12 coaches voted on the selections, but could not vote for their own players.