Senior Games begin today

For some senior games means old men sitting around a park playing chess. For Jack Miles it means physical and mental competition between seniors.

Miles, the coordinator for the 12th annual Missouri State Senior Games, says for the nearly 800 people 50 and older who have signed up so far to participate today through Sunday in this year’s event in Columbia, it’s about staying fit.

Council scraps Smiley Lane plan

The Columbia City Council talked over the road, park and public safety projects they want to make a priority for the next 10 years in an evening work session Wednesday. Without reaching any final decisions, council members shuffled one road project — an extension of Smiley Lane — out of the mix in favor of building a new distribution center for road salt.

The council plans to present these projects and others to voters in November as a package of ballot initiatives that would cost taxpayers more than $100 million if approved.

Ray Beck announces retirement

[Updated 11:01 a.m.] Ray Beck, Columbia’s city manager for 20 years, will retire at the end of the year, he said at a news conference Thursday morning.

"It has been a privilege to serve our city for 45 years," Beck said. "Working in local government allowed me the opportunity to help make a contribution to the total environment of our city."