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Zoning commission OKs Sapp plan

After two hours of comments from critics, the Planning and Zoning Commission recommended Thursday night that the city approve Billy Sapp’s permanent zoning requests for the nearly 1,000 acres he hopes to voluntarily annex.

Opponents, many of whom live near the proposed developments on Route WW, voiced concerns over the density of the developments, traffic, watershed and the costs the city could face.

One killed, one injured in stabbing

A 20-year-old man was stabbed to death Thursday after a dispute that culminated inside a Columbia convenience store. A second stabbing victim remained in critical condition Thursday night.

Columbia police identified the dead man as

Women’s alliance sets priorities for 2005

Eliminating earning disparities between women and men and ensuring access to affordable, quality health care and child care are the top priorities of the Alliance for the Status of Missouri Women in 2005, the group announced Thursday.

At a news conference in Columbia, the group released its goals for shaping state policies that support women in the workplace and their families.

Jacob quits labor panel for union post

JEFFERSON CITY— Former Sen. Ken Jacob, whose appointment to the state labor commission created a political firestorm, has left government to become executive director of one of the largest labor unions for state employees.

Jacob said Thursday that he resigned as chairman of the Labor and Industrial Relations Commission because Republican Gov.-elect Matt Blunt had pledged during the campaign to remove Jacob from the position.

Job-skills grant aims to train youths

A state grant of $143,213 will help Columbia’s young people develop and improve work skills.

“We know that an educated work force is a key component to building a strong and viable economy,” said Rick Beasley, director of the Missouri Division of Workforce Development. “In order to achieve an educated work force, we must begin teaching key occupational and academic skills, social skills, workplace skills and thinking skills to our youth.”

Well-known book under scrutiny

BLUE SPRINGS — A group of parents has asked the Blue Springs school board to remove the award-winning book, “The Giver,” from student reading lists, saying it contains “negative” themes.

The district has included the book, written by Lois Lowry, on its suggested reading lists for eighth-graders for almost eight years without incident.

After the storm

Although the weather service registered only a trace of precipitation Thursday, freezing temperatures froze the snow and ice that fell Wednesday into a dangerous combination. Columbia street crews began clearing roadways late Wednesday afternoon after a wintry mix began and continued throughout Thursday.

“We had people that worked until 8 p.m. Wednesday and then two people who worked all night,” said Jim McKinnon, Columbia streets department superintendent. “By 6 a.m., they tried to get the whole crew out.”

Gonzales decries torture

WASHINGTON — Attorney General-nominee Alberto Gonzales, under scorching criticism from senators, condemned torture as an interrogation tactic Thursday and promised to prosecute abusers of terror suspects. He also disclosed the White House was looking at trying to change the Geneva Conventions that protect prisoner rights.

Pressed at his confirmation hearing by senators from both parties, the White House counsel defended his advice to President Bush that the treaty’s protections did not extend to al-Qaida and other suspected terrorists.

Missouri women hope to keep rolling

The next challenge: Nebraska.

The Missouri women’s basketball team takes on Nebraska on Saturday.

Special teams not so special

ST. LOUIS — When Jeff Wilkins is using his shoulder pads, the St. Louis Rams know they’re in trouble.

Their kicker is supposed to be the last line of defense on returns, but all too often they’ve needed him to save the day. It illustrates the Rams’ glaring weakness on special teams entering Saturday’s playoff game against the Seattle Seahawks (9-7).

Jackson says ability proven

ST. LOUIS - The day the St. Louis Rams make him their feature back can’t come soon enough for Steven Jackson.

The rookie said Thursday he has shown the past few weeks that he is ready to take over from Marshall Faulk.

Extra Points

Henson’s plan to

coach put on hold

Man charged in stabbing death arrested

A Columbia man was taken into custody Friday and charged with second-degree murder in connection with Thursday night’s fatal stabbing of a 20-year-old man at a convenience store in Columbia.

Robert J. Barney Jr., 26, surrendered to Columbia police at 2:35 p.m. Friday in the parking lot of the former Osco Drug, 111 S. Providence.

Firefighters find body in burning car

Authorities found a body Friday afternoon when they responded to a call of a burning car inside a campus parking garage.

Shortly before 12:30 p.m., the Columbia Fire Department responded to a report of a burning car on the third level of the Maryland Avenue Parking Garage. Once firefighters extinguished the blaze, they found a body inside the car. Authorities did not release any details about gender or race of the victim.

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