Ameren seeks hike for natural gas

Ameren UE, Columbia’s biggest supplier of natural gas, wants to raise its prices starting next month. The price increase, now awaiting approval by the Missouri Public Service Commission, comes in response to the rising cost of natural gas from suppliers.

Son denies killing mom

Held in the Boone County Jail for one week charged with murder in his mother’s death, Braxton Gentry called his arrest “ridiculous” Wednesday and expressed anger that he wasn’t allowed to attend his mother’s funeral. Gentry, 47, unshaven and dressed in a striped prison jumpsuit, said that his life centered on the woman he is accused of killing and that he took care of her for seven years — leaving only her more complicated medical care to visiting nurses.

Missouri scores up on ACT

Students at Rock Bridge and Hickman high schools scored better than the state average on this year’s ACT college entrance exam, an administrator with Columbia Public School District said Wednesday. Rock Bridge students achieved an overall score of 23.7 out of a possible 36, and Hickman achieved a score of 23.5, said Sally Beth Lyon, director of research, assessment and accountability.

For special session, Blunt sets tight agenda on abortion bills

JEFFERSON CITY — Gov. Matt Blunt on Wednesday called lawmakers into a Sept. 6 special session to impose new restrictions on abortions, but he set forth a narrow agenda that likely would prevent passage of a proposed ban on certain stem cell research. Blunt had pledged to call a special session after lawmakers adjourned in May without passing any anti-abortion legislation, despite large self-described “pro-life’’ majorities in the House and Senate.

Businesses feel price pinch

Faced with surging gasoline prices, local businesses are hoping for relief before they must pass costs on to their customers. Prices in Boone County have increased from $2.18 last month to the current average of $2.40, according to Mike Right of AAA. A year ago the price was $1.79.

Car hits Jefferson Junior High

A 27-year-old Columbia man drove a borrowed car into Jefferson Junior High School about 2 p.m. Wednesday afternoon, police said. Daniel Schulten was driving south on Seventh Street when he ran a stop sign at Hickman Avenue and hit the northwest corner of the building, according to police and witnesses.

Schools minus (some) pop

A new policy from the American Beverage Association to cut down on soft drinks offered in public school vending machines trails Columbia Public School District’s year-old policy. In 2004-05, the district decided that vending machines should not be available in elementary schools and, in middle schools, they should not be turned on for students during school hours.

Naturalists: Wildlife best left alone

In late July, well-meaning people brought abandoned baby bunnies and baby birds to the Missouri Department of Conservation, according to department officials. But the baby birds died before department officials were able to do anything, and they had to turn the bunnies loose in the 113-acre woods behind their building. According to officials, this is a daily occurrence during the summer. People bring in injured wild animals or animals they think are abandoned — but they are often not.

Sculptor’s art exhibit opens in Sedalia

Since fleeing from Nazi Germany in 1936, Ruth Duckworth has progressed from being a member of the émigré movement of art to one of the most prominent living ceramic sculptors in the modern era. Duckworth has worked with various media and techniques, including stone carving, metal fabrication and bronze casting, during her 50 years as an artist. However, she is best known for her work in clay sculpture.

Mo. House to pull reps’ home info from Web site

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — By the end of the month, the state House of Representatives plans to remove many home addresses and telephone numbers of legislators from its Web site to comply with a new state law. The law states that no court, state or local agency shall post on the Internet the home address, Social Security number or telephone number of any elected or appointed official without first obtaining the official’s written permission. The ban takes effect Aug. 28.

New route for receivers

When Missouri coach Gary Pinkel decided to revamp the Tigers’ offense after last year’s disappointing 5-6 season, the team’s wide receivers were unsure how they would be affected. But after beginning offseason practice last spring, it quickly became apparent that the biggest difference, at least according to many, is the amount of running. There’s a lot more of it.

Folly continues

SEATTLE — One of the Kansas City Royals has even had to change his evening plans.“I’m embarrassed," right-hander Jose Lima said. “I’m embarrassed to go into a bar. The people would say, ‘They lost 18 in a row. They really stink this year."

Scherzer, Mense gain from national team play

A special summer for two Missouri baseball players should benefit the Tigers next season. Max Scherzer, who will be a junior pitcher for the Tigers in 2006, and Hunter Mense, who will be a junior outfielder, played on the USA National Baseball Team this summer. The team consisted of the top collegiate players in the country that are non-draft eligible. “Everyone of these guys will play professional baseball,” said Baylor head coach Steve Smith, who managed the national team this summer. A long list of major and minor league players have been on the team in the past, including Mark ...