Report says court needs space

Boone County officials should ask voters to approve a temporary sales tax to pay for the expansion of the courthouse and to address other government space needs, a committee appointed by county commissioners said in a report delivered Tuesday.

After 10 months of work and a series of 16 meetings, the 19-member Space Needs Committee presented its final report to the commission. Its overriding message: Get moving on it.

Rios is sentenced to life with no parole

Former Columbia police Officer Steven Rios was transported to a prison facility in Fulton on Tuesday after he was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for the murder of 23-year-old MU student Jesse Valencia.

Circuit Court Judge Ellen Roper sentenced Rios, 28, to life in prison, plus an additional 10 years in prison for armed criminal action. She ordered both sentences to be served consecutively. Prosecutors did not pursue the death penalty.

Officers granted 10 mph cushion

Although the sign reads 60 mph, officers unofficially gave a 10 mph speed cushion to violators in Friday’s special traffic enforcement detail. However, police said the cushion was desperately needed given their resources.

Columbia police officers, along with the Missouri State Highway Patrol and Boone County Sheriff’s Department, stopped 141 vehicles between 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Friday.

Illegal fireworks lead to arrest of 12

Twelve people were arrested during the holiday weekend on suspicion of setting off fireworks and other charges that stemmed from firework violations.

A Columbia city ordinance bans fireworks from being set off in the city.

Alumni Association hits member goal

The MU Alumni Association has topped its goal of 37,000 members. Next, the association wants to have more members than the University of Kansas Alumni Association, said David Roloff, director of membership and marketing for the MU group.

The KU group has more than 41,000 members.

ASUM to offer federal internships

Associated Students of the University of Missouri has established a student internship program at the federal level.

The program in Washington, D.C., will begin in January 2006, said ASUM Chairman Craig Kleine.

Mom sentenced for aiding suspects

A Mexico, Mo., woman was sentenced Tuesday to 12 years in prison for burning checks and aiding suspects in connection with the killing of a Mexico, Mo. restaurant owner Komninos “Gus” Karellas, 60.

Donna Doyal, 40, was sentenced to serve four concurrent terms of four years for tampering with evidence, and two consecutive terms of four years for hindering prosecution.

U.S. 63 construction slated to end early

Traffic backups on U.S. 63 because of bridge construction will soon be a thing of the past. The southbound lanes on the Hominy Creek bridge were open to motorists during the holiday weekend, though crews aren’t quite finished.

Roger Schwartze, Central District planning engineer for the Missouri Department of Transportation, said the final cleanup, which includes removing temporary crossovers between the north and southbound lanes, began Tuesday. He said both a northbound and southbound lane will be closed at various times during the week so crews can load pavement and leftover debris in trucks and haul it away. Contractors are working to finish the project by the weekend, weather permitting.

Council approves Sapp annexation

It took months of negotiation by developer Billy Sapp, his Harg-area neighbors and city officials. But in the end, the Columbia City Council pushed through the city’s largest-ever voluntary annexation in less than an hour Tuesday night.

After no public opposition and few questions from council members, the council unanimously approved Sapp’s request to add 805 acres to the city.

Social Security group meets with Hulshof

For Missourians United to Protect Social Security, a well-known piece of advice was proven true. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.

After six months and three previous attempts, members of the organization comprising various liberal interest groups sat down with U.S. Rep. Kenny Hulshof, R-Mo., Tuesday to discuss concerns about Social Security reform, most notably President Bush’s efforts to privatize America’s oldest social welfare program.

A little night music

Twenty-four-year-old Chris Hatfield of Columbia is an electrician by day but moonlights as a singer with a style all his own.

The winner of KOQL/106.1 FM and KQFX/Fox 38’s “Mid-Missouri Idol,” an open-audition contest held at Twilight Festivals throughout June, Hatfield sang the national anthem before the Mavericks’ game Tuesday night.

No deaths in top tornado months breaks record

WASHINGTON — For the first time since record-keeping started in 1950, no one was killed by a tornado in April, May or June.

Normally those are the top months for tornadoes with an average of 52 fatalities, sometimes many more.

Rally keeps Mavericks out of cellar

For six-and-a-half innings Tuesday night, the rubber game of “The Battle for the Basement” looked like a meeting of division leaders.

Both the Mavericks and Windy City ThunderBolts put on a display of sterling pitching and stout defense before a Taylor Stadium crowd of 660.

Crowd in central London cheers city's 2012 Olympic win

LONDON — Crowds in London cheered and waved flags as they heard Wednesday that their city had upset Paris to win the 2012 Olympics.

Prince William, who is in New Zealand, joined the celebration.

Peking at the right time

Inside the pleasantly cool room, Annie Zhang walks around in small, fast steps, making sure that all of her customers are well served and comfortably seated.

It is almost noon, and the lunch time rush at the Peking restaurant at Village South Center has started.

Royals end scoreless drought

KANSAS CITY — The Kansas City Royals used their best at-bat in about six weeks to break out of their offensive funk.

After fouling off several pitches, David DeJesus grounded a 3-2 pitch up the middle for a two-run single in the second inning for a four-run lead Tuesday night, an offensive bonanza for a team that had scored in only one of its previous 38 innings.

Cardinals roll past Arizona

PHOENIX — Albert Pujols drove in two runs with three hits — including a double and his 22nd home run — to extend his hitting streak to 17 games and lead the St. Louis Cardinals to a 7-1 rout of the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night.

Pujols, who had a 30-game hitting streak in 2003, also hit in 17 in a row as a rookie in 2001.