City looks to comply with energy ordinance

The change in the way electricity flows to and from Columbia comes at a turning point for the city, which is evaluating upgrades to its own coal-fired plant and looking for long-term energy contracts. The city is also attempting to acquire electricity from renewable sources such as wind farms in Kansas and is considering using methane from Columbia’s own landfill to provide up to 1 percent of the electric supply.

Columbia, which uses an average of 110 megawatts of electricity in April, has the capability to produce up to 86 megawatts of power on its own. But the city is looking for another 75 megawatts in the short term and 120 megawatts by 2015. The city has paid Stanley Consultants $98,500 to evaluate upgrades to the Municipal Power Plant and expects the firm’s final report in April.

Speaker highlights importance of raising attention to the discrimination of women

Martha Burk is a petite, middle-aged woman with graying hair. When she speaks, people listen. On Thursday, Burk’s message was clear: Get their attention.

In an afternoon press conference at Stephens College, Burk announced that a class action lawsuit had been filed in San Francisco against Smith Barney, alleging pay and promotion discrimination against women by the Citigroup, Inc. division.

Pierpont to decide on sales tax issue Tuesday

The Pierpont Store at Highway 163 and Route N has a history much longer than the village it serves.

Almost two centuries ago, the store was part of Boone County’s first recorded distillery and grist mill in what is now Rock Bridge Memorial State Park. In 1834, John Keiser converted it into Missouri’s first paper mill, according to the Missouri State Historical Society. But the distillery proved more profitable and brewing resumed in 1841 under the name McCanathy’s Rye Distillery.

Federal grant to help fund park expansion

A $150,000 grant from the federal government will help the city further construct and expand Flat Branch Park.

Columbia’s grant will go toward the second phase of construction of the downtown park, including an expansion ofthe park into a city-owned parking lot between Locust and Elm streets.