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A city’s expansion

As the city of Ashland anticipates another year of unprecedented growth, City Administrator Ken Eftink knows this can be a blessing and a curse.

“The challenge is to make sure we are growing the way we have envisioned,” Eftink said. “We don’t want things to get out of control and go unchecked.”

Wal-Mart decision expected tonight

After nearly a year of fiery debate, the Columbia City Council will likely decide tonight whether Wal-Mart can build the city’s second Supercenter on 23 acres of zoned residential property.

Two council members — Second Ward Councilman Chris Janku and Third Ward Councilman Bob Hutton — said they probably would vote in favor of rezoning those 23 acres, which would also entail acquiring and then demolishing five homes. Three other council members said they were undecided.

Home sales climbing

As executive officer for the Columbia Board of Realtors, Carol Van Gorp eyes a lot of real estate statistics about buyers and sellers. In October, she became one of those statistics when she joined the thousands of new homeowners in Columbia.

“Everybody kind of wants to get into homeownership right now,” she said. “We felt like we could get a lot of house for our dollar.”

Blunt’s majority doesn’t guarantee easy ride

JEFFERSON CITY — For a freshman governor, Matt Blunt already has plenty of friends. With 120 fellow Republicans in the Legislature, Blunt theoretically could enact any proposal he likes, or stop anything he doesn’t. His own expectations are high.

Enough to win

The coach didn’t quite know what to say.

“Well, I think the most important thing coming out of this game is that fact that we won,” Missouri coach Cindy Stein finally said.

Bond back for Tigers

At halftime, LaToya Bond was upset in the locker room.

Against St. Louis on Sunday, Bond only had two points in the first half.

No kicking out Rams

ST. LOUIS — St. Louis Rams coach Mike Martz couldn’t care less that his team finished .500. Somehow, they are in the playoffs.

The Rams clinched a postseason berth when Jeff Wilkins kicked a 31-yard field goal in overtime to beat the New York Jets 32-29 on Sunday. They got a little help earlier in the day when Minnesota lost.

Chiefs’ winning streak fizzles

SAN DIEGO — Doug Flutie got to scramble around as he does so well and a nervous Philip Rivers threw his first NFL touchdown pass.

Now they get to give Drew Brees his job back.

Irresponsible parents hurt core of society

It happens at least once a month.

  I find myself feeling sad when I have to tell young parents that I can’t help them solve the problems they are having with their children. I have to tell them truthfully that I have no experience with children who have no respect for their parents. In the days of my childhood, the single, most powerfully motivating factor for doing good among my friends and me was the hope that our parents would be proud of our behavior.

Suspected meth lab discovered by deputies

A suspected methamphetamine lab was discovered at 12:53 p.m. Saturday at a residence at 10300 Route N in rural Boone County by deputies from the Boone County Sheriff’s Department.

The residents, Louis Henry, 34, and Octavia Price, 20, were arrested and charged with one count each of manufacturing a controlled substance.

Groovin’ on a Sunday afternoon

Although the second-floor balcony overlooking the entrance to the Columbia Public Library was quiet and nearly empty, Tom Verdot sat down, unpacked his instruments, closed his eyes and started fiddling anyway.

“If I didn’t enjoy it, I wouldn’t be doing it,” he said.

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