Device fills in for 21-gun salute

KIDDER — An 83-year-old Navy veteran from northwest Missouri said he expects to patent a device that would provide a 21-gun salute to deceased military members.

Bill Crabb said he got the idea for his invention last Memorial Day, when American Legion leaders in Kidder, about 60 miles north of Kansas City, couldn’t find enough volunteers to fire a salute to the veterans buried in the local cemetery.

A Day of Flags and Families

Anthony Koebel held his granddaughter, toddler Payton Mies, in his arms as she waved her American flag in one hand and waved to the people in the Memorial Day parade with the other hand.

“Even though she may be too young, we still want her to get a sense of pride,” grandma Paula Koebel said.

Joint effort sought to fix roads

The Columbia Board of Realtors and the Chamber of Commerce are urging city and Boone County officials to work together to find a way to pay to fix roads.

The two organizations last week proposed a countywide sales tax of one-half to three-quarters of a cent to fund work on city and county roads. They estimate the proposed tax would generate more than $10 million annually for road improvements.

Ethanol measure moves ahead

Missouri farmers could soon be standing in tall cotton thanks to an amendment to a federal energy bill passed last week by the Senate Energy Committee.

The amendment, co-sponsored by Sen. Jim Talent, R-Mo., calls for an increase in the use of corn-based ethanol in gasoline and increased use of other renewable fuels beginning next year.

Visiting loved ones

The engines of fighter planes rumbled as they passed through the clouds over Columbia, heading for the Memorial Day parade. Theadus Beasley and her adult son Andrew walked, carrying a small flag. “My family is very patriotic,” she said.

But the Beasleys were not going to the parade. They went to Columbia Cemetery Monday to visit Jack Beasley Sr., Theadus’ husband and Andrew’s father. They brought pots of purple, white and yellow flowers and a flag.

Blunt's office tardy in reporting travels.

WASHINGTON — Scrutiny of Majority Leader Tom DeLay’s travel has led to the belated disclosure of at least 198 previously unreported special-interest trips by House members and their aides, including eight years of travel by the second-ranking Democrat, an Associated Press review has found.

At least 43 House members and dozens of aides, including one from Missouri, had failed to meet the one-month deadline in ethics rules for disclosing trips financed by organizations outside the U.S. government.

Award recognizes work on arson case

More than four years after one of the most notorious arson fires in Boone County history, the people who solved the case have been recognized.

On May 21, the International Association of Arson Investigators Missouri Chapter named Ken Hines, assistant chief of the Boone County Fire Protection District, and Connie Sullivan, Boone County assistant prosecutor, as Investigator and Prosecutor of the Year.

Summer can wait

Missouri fans used to seeing Keyon Dooling back in Columbia this time of year will have to be understanding.

The former Tiger guard can’t help it if he plays for one of the best teams in the NBA.

Crewmen salute American pastime

Machinist mate Trevor Johnson of the United States Navy is from Oklahoma City and based in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, a member of the USS Columbia submarine crew.

He knows little about the Mid-Missouri Mavericks and their history of futility, which is entering its third year.

Pujols powers Cards to victory

DENVER — Albert Pujols hit a three-run home run in the seventh inning Monday night to add to the Colorado bullpen’s misery and lift the St. Louis Cardinals to a 5-4 victory over the Rockies.

Pujols put a 1-2 pitch from Jay Witasick (0-2) barely over the left-field wall for a 4-3 lead. The home run halted Witasick’s 10-game streak without allowing an earned run and marked the major league-high 11th blown save of the season for Colorado’s beleaguered relievers.

Illegal immigration requires attention

President Vincente Fox’s remarks about Mexicans taking jobs that “not even blacks” want in America didn’t get much of a reaction in my neighborhood. We’ve been hearing these kinds of comments all of our lives, and most of us consider that he is only repeating sentiments he has heard expressed by some Americans. Illegal immigration is the problem, and that’s the issue that needs to be addressed by political leaders.

Personally, I found the entire discussion pretty silly. Some of my ancestors migrated from Mexico during the mid-1800s and married African-Americans. So, frankly, I just think he was firing a cheap shot at those who disagree with his attitude toward the citizens of his country illegally crossing our borders.

Missouri earns spot in regional play

The Missouri baseball team will make its third-straight trip to the NCAA Tournament. The Tigers will face Arizona in regional play at 6 p.m. Friday in Fullerton, Calif.

It is the first time the Tigers made the tournament three straight years, and Missouri joins Texas as the only Big 12 Conference teams to make the tournament in each of the past three seasons. This will be Missouri’s 17th trip to the tournament.

Royals replace hitting coach

KANSAS CITY — Hitting coach Jeff Pentland was fired Monday by the struggling Kansas City Royals, who have lost six straight games and whose 13-37 record is the worst in the major leagues.

Kansas City’s team batting average of .246 is the fourth-worst in baseball, and the Royals’ on-base percentage of .309 is the second-worst in the majors.

Wild Blue Yonder

Sunday was an “ideal air show day,” according to Annette Saunders, spokeswoman for the 17th Salute to Veterans Airshow. The World War I planes flew for a second day, and they can only do that when it’s calm, she said.

As the air show wrapped up events at the Columbia Regional Airport, thousands turned out to look at military aircraft both on the ground and in the air.

Goodbye brings closure for family

LADDONIA — Roger Montague stood in the back of a small, red-brick church in the northeastern Missouri town of Laddonia on Sunday, wrestling with a button on his suit jacket that didn’t seem to want to fasten. He is understandably nervous; he has been waiting to say goodbye to his daughter, Sheri, for nearly six years.

“It feels right,” Montague says, his glasses quickly clouding over with tears. “It’s something we needed to do.”

School funds distribution tilts to GOP

JEFFERSON CITY — All along, the battle about how to change the way the state funds public schools was portrayed as a delicate balancing act between rural and urban interests.

In the end the votes for the new plan were largely along party lines. An analysis by The Associated Press shows that school districts with GOP representation, on the whole, fared better.

‘I’ve been gone too long’

The big, yellow sign suspended above the doors of Grant Elementary School was almost impossible to miss. “Welcome Back, Mr. Miles. U.S. Army Reserves,” it read.

Eighteen months after his deployment to Fort Polk, La., Calvin Miles has returned to his family at Grant.

Lawsuit limits to begin in August

JEFFERSON CITY — When attorneys for several residents of a rural town along the Mississippi River filed a property damage lawsuit alleging contamination from a lead smelter, they cast a wide legal net that eventually included 11 defendants from across the nation.

One man, Marvin Kaiser, the chief financial officer of the nation’s leading lead producer, Doe Run Co., lived in St. Louis. And that’s where plaintiffs’ attorneys wanted to try their case.

City groups request grants

Representatives of seven city agencies are asking for almost $1.8 million in Community Development Block Grant money for fiscal 2006, which begins Oct. 1.

Representatives presented the requests to the Community Development Commission on Wednesday. CDBG money is intended for the development and improvement of low- to moderate-income neighborhoods. Projects in large portions of central and northeast Columbia are eligible for the money.

Event a hit for softball players

For the players in the Diamond Council’s Memorial Day fast-pitch softball tournament, the weekend represented more than just the beginning of the summer; it marked the beginning of the season.

Twenty-six teams of enthusiastic teenage girls from all over the state gathered at Rainbow Fields in Cosmopolitan Park.