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Mid-Missouri heat wave too hot to handle

There were several topics I was going to explore for this week’s column — deep meaty stuff that would have left my readers reflecting on my lofty thoughts. However, it’s so hot I can barely move, let alone write something profound.

I can’t remember when this heat wave began. It seems like June has been one big hazy blur. I’ve written about trying to survive the heat in mid-Missouri before, but in August. It’s more depressing to have 99 degree weather in June. You realize that the entire summer could be miserable.

First Freedoms

After Mike Hall, Southern Boone football coach, was fired earlier this year, the community exercised four of its First Amendment rights by circulating a petition, assembling with the school board, speaking in an open forum and receiving press coverage. And as for the fifth right, it could be argued that football is a form of religion.

However, actively using First Amendment rights is not always easy. Chris Gares learned that one spring evening at an Ashland R-1 School Board meeting.

Petition

When Ellen Wolfe joined a handful of Harg residents around a kitchen table in the fall, they didn’t plan to prevent the City Council from voting on an annexation and development proposal from Billy Sapp.

They only wanted someone to listen to their concerns about how the project would affect their backyards. But the kitchen crew eventually grew to more than 20 residents. Twice, the Harg residents collected enough signatures from Columbia residents to stop the City Council from voting to annex the land, and they earned an audience with the developer.

Assembly

Michael Ugarte’s father taught him the importance of civil liberties.

Francisco Ugarte was working for the U.S. Embassy in Madrid when Gen. Francisco Franco, a fascist, came to power after the Spanish Civil War.

Speech

Normally, the mere sight of a Ku Klux Klan hood incites intense emotions. For Marlon Jordan, it was wearing the hood for the first time that frightened him.

“I’d never been so scared in my life,” Jordan said.

Press

When Henry J. “Hank” Waters III took the reins of the Columbia Daily Tribune in 1966, he quickly realized the power of the newspaper’s editorials.

The stubborn son of the Tribune family wanted his editorials to be straightforward and honest with a local flavor. He wanted what he called “weak-kneed politicians” and a closed-minded city government to notice what he was saying.

Religion

Shimin Zhuang heard about Falun Gong from the government-controlled media in China.

She wondered why so many people, especially young women, would join a movement that, according to the government, was destroying China. Falun Gong has been described as a spiritual movement, a pseudo-religion, a religion and an “evil cult.”

Wreck causes early morning power outage; driver arrested

Early Saturday morning, a driver swerved off the road, knocked out three trees and struck a pole, cutting a transformer and causing a blackout around the East Campus area, said MU Police Captain Scott Richardson.

Richardson said police found an overturned car near a fire station at 12:38 a.m. on the 1100 block of Ashland Road.

Murder charge added after victim dies

A 72-year-old woman who was struck on the head with a branch during a neighborhood quarrel Monday died from complications of her injuries Friday.

Columbia Police said Earlene Bradshaw died at 2:30 p.m. Friday after nearly five days on life support in serious condition at University Hospital. An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday.

Developers pursue acreage near river

Two lifestyles intersect at Route K and Old Plank Road.

Just before veering south toward the bluffs that line the Missouri River, the drive grazes suburbia, providing a glimpse of the urban growth that residents of southern Boone County have avoided for decades.

Smoking ban ignites debate

The Columbia smoking debate heated up Thursday night at the Board of Health subcommittee meeting, when business owners and residents argued over the change in the proposed smoking ordinance.

The Board of Health has been discussing changing Columbia’s smoking ordinance to ban indoor smoking in public places, including bars and restaurants.

Columbia gets expert help in walking issues

Dan Burden went from photographing Argentinean mountains to taking pictures of Columbia’s busiest intersections.

A former National Geographic photographer from Florida, Burden is now one of the nation’s top pedestrian consultants. He walks more than 1,500 miles and spends 300 days a year on the road advising communities and business leaders across the country on how to design for people, not cars.

City grants contingent on pending federal budget

The $950,000 in block grants doled out Wednesday by a city panel charged with distributing federal funds are far from final.

Officials say they fear Columbia’s share of federal dollars could shrink if cuts pending in the federal budgetary process become a reality.

Carp invasion: Boaters beware

With the Missouri River running high enough for boaters to venture a little ways up Bonne Femme Creek, Steve Mellis and several friends in two motorboats made their way through woody debris and downed trees last weekend in search of some shade to escape the insufferable heat.

Mellis had seen silver carp break the surface of the Missouri River and its tributaries in the past, typically in response to the sounds of boat motors. But this experience was more dramatic — and potentially dangerous — than previous displays.

Corrections

Youzeum confident it reached goal

YouZeum supporters, with their backs against an $800,000 wall and facing the possibility of losing a sizeable grant, said Thursday they believe they have met their capital campaign goal of raising $1.2 million.

Last year, the Mabee Foundation of Tulsa, Okla., said it would give YouZeum a $500,000 grant, contingent upon YouZeum raising the balance of the money needed to meet the project’s total cost of $5.2 million by June 30. YouZeum had previously raised $4 million for the project. YouZeum launched the campaign in May, when the deadline already loomed. This week, however, the dollars came rushing in.

Safe and legal celebration

Law enforcement officers in Columbia and Boone County are preparing for a full plate on the Fourth of July and will concentrate on responding to calls about people shooting fireworks at each other or at property.

While it is illegal to shoot fireworks in Columbia without a special permit, it’s OK to do so in unincorporated Boone County or in some smaller towns.

Salt drive raises money for packaging plant

Give a sister city 120,000 boxes of iodized salt, children will be healthy for a year. Help the city provide salt for its children on its own, good health could be insured indefinitely.

In the past, Columbians have been asked to contribute salt and money as part of the yearly salt campaign coordinated by “A Call to Serve,” a nonprofit international humanitarian aid organization, to buy salt for Columbia’s sister city Kutaisi, Georgia. This year, Columbians are asked to make financial contributions to help purchase equipment that would be used to repackage iodized salt.

New league offers swing shift

Blake Ingram was expecting a calming weekend visit to his native St. Joseph two weeks ago. His relaxation ended when his friends from high school called him to fill in on their wooden bat summer league team.

“I’d take the chance to swing a wooden bat any day,” Ingram, a 20-year-old MU sophomore said.

Races put cycling in spotlight

Yellow wristbands with the slogan Livestrong on them will be popular accessories this weekend with Lance Armstrong starting his bid for his seventh straight Tour de France title. They should be more popular than normal in Columbia, though, with hundreds of cycling enthusiasts in town for the 20th Columbia Cup.

A set of four United States Cycling Federation events spanning Saturday and Sunday, the Columbia Cup begins the same day as the Tour de France.

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