Restaurateurs weigh in on smoking ban plans

On Wednesday morning, Osama Yanis was cutting cucumbers and parsley for the sandwiches he would serve later in the day at Coffee Zone, his restaurant on Ninth Street.

County employee insurance fund to see surplus

After years of crisis, Boone County is again financially healthy when it comes to its employee insurance fund.

Homecoming spirit parades into town

Corvettes and Mustangs with candy-tossing riders made their way through downtown Columbia on Friday afternoon as Rock Bridge and Hickman high schools celebrated homecoming together.

Health program focuses on rural care

The U.S. is experiencing a shortage of health care professionals, but help is on the way, according to a report from the UM System Health Care Task Force.

Editor tells librarians to fight censorship

People often envision librarians with a severe stare, pursed lips and an overbearing insistence on silence. But most librarians see themselves as fighters and even though they may not look like warriors, they are on the front lines of a cultural war over censorship.

Stream of conscience

John Belaka grew up in the Ozarks and was used to bushwhacking. He carried a tire, which he found in the stream bed, up the banks of Hinkson Creek and disappeared into the thick brush at the creek’s edge.

Peace coalition holds vigil

The Columbia Peace Coalition is more diligent than even the U.S. Postal System. Through rain, sleet, snow and even on holidays, the group meets outside the post office every Saturday to protest American wars.

Few folks find first vision festivals

On Saturday’s crisp and cool afternoon, food, music and crafts weren’t enough to bring people together to think about Columbia’s future.

Injured Marine moved from ICU

Lance Cpl. John McClellan, 20, who was wounded Sept. 26 while serving with the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Echo Company in Haditha, Iraq, was moved Saturday from the Intensive Care Unit at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md., to a surgical floor for less severe cases.

Finding a way in at any cost

TIJUANA, Mexico — Rising from the Pacific surf and zig-zagging along the border for 14 miles, Tijuana’s border fence has done little but push illegal migrants into the Arizona desert and feed the smuggling industry since it went up in 1994.

Columbia City Council special meeting

Key issues on the agenda:

Memories amid the muck

Edward Baldo, known affectionately to his wife, Joan, as “Eddie,” was born and raised in the Gentilly area of New Orleans.

Flooded in doubt

Yvonne Birdsall’s house at 5200 Warrington DSamantha Clemensrive, in the Gentilly section of New Orleans, hadn’t changed much in the past year. A moldy stuffed bunny still lies abandoned on the living room floor. Washed-out family photos rested in their broken frames. Plates and cups stood in the dish rack by the sink, dirtier than they had ever been.

A year later, few homes are livable

Photographer Samantha Clemens wanted to show Missourian readers the devastation that still exists in New Orleans. Clemens worked in residential areas of the Gentilly neighborhood and part of the Mid-City neighborhood, covering roughly 10 blocks on the east and west sides of the London Avenue Canal, which breached during Hurricane Katrina. She photographed every 10th house on the west side of every other street. Data on the amount of damage for these 135 properties was obtained from a city of New Orleans database. The damage to a majority of the homes in this area totaled about 50 percent of each home’s replacement value. Most are unlivable because of extensive interior damage. The 135 properties represent about 0.7 percent of the 19,000 homes in these areas.

BOONE LIFE: Pumpkin picking

A wood-framed sign, backed by hay bales, pronounces “Hackman’s Farm Fresh Produce.” It introduces visitors to the Hackman’s front yard: potted plants, hay bales, wagons filled with gourds and squash — and pumpkins. They dominate the landscape, hundreds of them in every imaginable size.