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Wal-Mart zoning approved

The Wal-Mart way presided Monday night when the Columbia City Council voted 5-2 to approve rezoning that will allow construction of a Wal-Mart Supercenter and accompanying retail development at Broadway and Fairview Road.

Youth program to expand

For the past 15 years, Missouri Boys and Girls Town has operated a group therapy program for children, known as Healthy Alternatives, at its St. James campus. Thanks to a grant of $472,695 from the Missouri Foundation for Health, the program will be available this year to residents of the organization’s Columbia, St. Louis and Springfield campuses.

“We are really excited about this,” said Stacey Koeller, the agency’s assistant director of development. Koeller wrote the grants and received news of their approval in late November.

Teen drivers will be facing police checks

With the help of new grant money, the Columbia Police Department will soon be making an extra effort to ensure that teen drivers are buckled up.

“Fifteen- to 20-year-olds are the ones dying the most on the highway,” said Sgt. Timothy Moriarty, supervisor of the Columbia Police Department Traffic Unit. “This is an example of an effort to target young drivers to make sure they are obeying all the rules.”

Signers lend a hand at church

Scott Courtney sits on a chair in the front of the sanctuary at Grace Bible Church dressed in a gray shirt with the embroidery of Ephesians 3:20. Over his left shoulder, in the background, hangs a sign that reads, “Holding forth the Word of Life.”

At Grace Bible Church, holding forth the Word may mean not even uttering a single word.

‘Big Bird’ finds a friendly roost

Of all the fields, in all the towns, in all the world, the emu now going by the name of Big Bird walked into theirs.

A wandering emu couldn’t have asked for a better temporary home when it picked its way into the Selbys’ field on Sunday. The animal-loving Selbys – Pat, Terry and their twin teenage daughters — already have three dogs and four cats at their home near Deer Park off U.S. 63 between Columbia and Ashland.

Horton confident

With the clock ticking down, Missouri point guard Jason Horton calmly dribbled the basketball near half court.

Not even the piercing gaze of Gonzaga’s Dereck Raivio, who was watching his every move, could faze Horton as he moved toward the basket.

Bulger’s play makes him Rams’ MVP

ST. LOUIS — Marc Bulger has become the indispensable man in the St. Louis Rams’ offense. On Monday, the team acknowledged it by naming him its MVP for the second time in three seasons.

“He’s just a terrific, outstanding quarterback,” coach Mike Martz said. “He’s one of the upper echelon quarterbacks in this league.”

Chiefs defense lets offense down again

KANSAS CITY — The Kansas City Chiefs have proved once more that no matter how high any offense might soar, all is lost when the defense can’t stop anything.

It’s a point they’ve made three years in a row — perhaps never more emphatically than this season.

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