New tax credit to benefit seniors

The Homestead Preservation Act has been in the works since Sen. Chuck Gross, R-St. Charles, knocked on the door of an elderly man. Gross was canvassing a neighborhood, attempting to pinpoint the concerns of his constituents.

“Yes, there is something you can do for me,” the man said.

Hospital delays opening of playground

Although a grand opening was held last week, officials have yet to allow public access to the new playground at the Children’s Hospital because of concerns that the park’s rubber matting might contain lead.

“We are just being extra, extra safe and cautious,” said Mary Jenkins, spokeswoman for University Hospitals.

City Council discusses tax agenda

In an evening work session Wednesday, the Columbia City Council discussed tax proposals that will largely decide who will pay for growth for the next decade. Among the funding options the council considered introducing to voters in coming weeks was a five-fold increase in the fees developers pay on new construction.

The council considered several ways to pay for more than $140 million in estimated roads, public safety and parks projects over the next 10 years. There will be several meetings this summer to solicit public comments and finalize plans for a November ballot issue.

Running on sunshine

As president of MU’s SunTiger VI solar car team, senior Justin Wilson’s life for the past two years has been dedication and sacrifice. Since the last race ended in 2003, he and his fellow team members have been preparing for the North American Solar Challenge, the longest solar race to date.

During 11 days, 32 teams will travel 2,500 miles from Austin, Texas, to Calgary, Alberta, in Canada. As Wilson worked on his computer, he said time was running out. The race begins July 17.

Suspects identified in shooting

Columbia police have identified two suspects in a shooting in a central Columbia neighborhood Tuesday night, but no arrests have been made.

Police said two men began shooting at each other at 11:40 p.m. Tuesday night at the corner of Trinity Place and Park Avenue, near Douglass Park. Witnesses said one of the shooters was in a car and the other was on foot, Sgt. Don Hawkins said in a news release.

Finding inspiration from disaster

Near Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka, a dilapidated train lay at its final depot stop. Chandra Weerasinghe, 56, could see that the windows had been broken from the interior, and the dirt surrounding the tracks seemed eerily flat and smooth.

As passengers began to exit the train and go about their days on Dec. 26, they saw a tidal wave in the distance and instinctively ran back into the train for protection.

Royals beat Big Unit

KANSAS CITY — Joe Torre thinks the Yankees need some of the spirit Kansas City is playing with.

Energized by the arrival of a new manager, the resurgent Royals beat old nemesis Randy Johnson 3-1 on Wednesday night, handing the Yankees their fourth straight loss and prompting Torre to call an angry closed-door team meeting.

Cardinals outhit Rockies

DENVER — Mark Grudzie-lanek had four hits and two RBIs, and Matt Morris fought through six shaky innings to remain unbeaten in the St. Louis Cardinals’ 8-6 victory against the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday night.

Some of the Mile High air had been taken out of Coors Field, with just 21 runs scored the previous four games at the hitter-friendly park.

Families on the run at annual 5K

Columbia’s Rod Stevens had just enough time after completing the 10th annual Boone Hospital Center WELLAWARE 5K Run/Walk Monday to catch his breath and get a drink of water before running in the Kids on Track race with his two children, ages 5 and 3.

Stevens’ 3-year-old son ran a quarter of the Kids on Track mile race before being placed on his dad’s shoulders to finish.

‘Deep Throat’:Mystery Solved

SANTA ROSA, Calif. — The Washington Post said Tuesday that a former FBI official, W. Mark Felt, was the confidential source known as “Deep Throat” who provided the newspaper information that led to President Nixon’s impeachment and eventual resignation.

The paper made its announcement on its Web site after Felt, 91, talked to a lawyer who wrote a magazine article for Vanity Fair.

Columbia traffic stops rise 21 percent

The number of traffic stops made by the Columbia Police Department rose 21 percent in the last year, and blacks continued to be more than twice as likely to be searched during a traffic stop as whites.

According to Attorney General Jay Nixon’s report on Missouri traffic stops, released Tuesday, whites were searched in 9 percent of traffic stops by Columbia police, whereas blacks were searched 23 percent of the time. These numbers come from the Police Department after it reported 2003 statistics for Columbia as 8 percent and 24 percent, respectively.

Twilight Fest season about to start again

Sam and Brandi Dennis have turned their passion for classic rock music into a family affair.

The couple and their three sons, ages 11 to 22, make up The Family Jam Band, and have appeared on KOMU’s “Pepper and Friends,” at Bear’s Breath Bar and Grill and at the 2004 Boone County Fair.

Cooking up a winner

His students try to trick him into telling them all the time. After all, who wouldn’t want to know whether their teacher had been selected as the next Food Network star?

In mid-February, Brook Harlan, 24, a culinary arts teacher and wrestling coach at Rock Bridge High and a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., packed his bags and set off for New York City.

Watergate gave journalism a boost

From 1972 to 1974, an anonymous informer known as “Deep Throat” — whom Vanity Fair magazine on Tuesday identified as former FBI second-in-command Mark Felt — helped Washington Post reporters Carl Bernstein and Bob Woodward write a series of newspaper articles that played a large role in ending Richard Nixon’s presidency.

That reporting had a tangible effect on both journalism and the MU School of Journalism, the world’s oldest.

City makes high-tech list

Believe it or not, Columbia might become a superstar among the nation’s metro areas.

The May issue of Expansion Management magazine published a study of “America’s Super Cities of the Future,” which identified cities that are viable for high-tech companies and entrepreneurs. Columbia made the list.

Donors send texts to Asia

On Tuesday afternoon, 32 boxes of donated nursing textbooks were ready to be shipped halfway around the world, from MU’s Printing Services to the Indian Society of Health Administrators in Bangalore, India.

Collected by Marcia Flesner, a clinical instructor at the MU Sinclair School of Nursing and president of District 7 of the Missouri Nurses Association, the books are intended to help restock the devastated nursing school library at Eastern University of Sri Lanka, which was washed out by the Dec. 26 tsunami.

MU student chosen for reality show

MU student Mindi Emanuel’s friends and family thought they were getting “punk’d” when she told them she had been chosen for Ashton Kutcher’s new reality show, “Beauty and the Geek.”

“I found out she was on the show when she called me over Christmas break and was like, ‘I’m in California!’ I couldn’t believe it,” said Alissa Voran, Emanuel’s roommate.

Bank of America branch off Old 63 robbed

A Bank of America branch off Old 63 South was robbed Tuesday afternoon when a man handed a bank teller a note demanding money. Police said that the suspect implied he was carrying a weapon but never showed one and that he fled with an undisclosed amount of money.

Columbia police described the robber as a 30- to 40-year-old, thin, white male, standing between 6 feet 2 and 6 feet 5 inches tall. He was last seen wearing a black windbreaker, an off-white baseball cap with a Nike logo, denim jeans and large-framed sunglasses. Police said he was last seen at a bus stop on Old 63 South.

Healthy Tekotte key for Kewpies

Blake Tekotte had reason for high hopes entering his senior year.

As a junior quarterback, he set a school record for passing yards and led the Hickman Kewpies to a District 6 football title. In the spring he led the baseball team in batting average, home runs, RBIs and runs scored.

Columbia bike club rides easy

When Bob and Jane Smith moved from Omaha to Columbia four years ago, they brought their love for recreational bicycling with them.

The Smiths had been members of the Omaha Bicycling Club, but there was no group for recreational riders in the Columbia Bicycling Club, even though the club was divided into groups based on the style and speed of riding.