Boat explodes at the Lake of the Ozarks, 3 men hospitalized

Two men were airlifted to University Hospital on Saturday after a boat engine exploded at the Lake of the Ozarks.

The Missouri River 340

These people love the river.

They love the feeling of being in another world of endless blue skies and wide open spaces. A world where the sounds of screeching tires, honking horns and roaring sirens are replaced with birds singing, water flowing and crickets chirping. A world so serene that stresses of the busy world just go away.

“There wasn’t a single time I couldn’t look around me and be happy, no matter how much I was fighting being tired and sore,” Bryan Hopkins said.

Jeff Barrow agreed.

“It’s such a cool feeling being out there all alone and seeing the wildlife,” Barrow said. “I just sit back and sing at the top of my lungs.”

The Missouri River feels just like home.

Katie Pfefferkorn: No. 1459

Katie Pfefferkorn, 22, of Columbia is returning as a solo paddler to the Missouri 340 after finishing second in her division last year.

Jeff Barrow: No. 1007

Jeff Barrow, 51, of Columbia is paddling solo in the Missouri 340 for the first time this year. Barrow coordinates river cleanups for Missouri River Relief, so he’s familiar with the area. He said he has done a fair amount of fun paddling and whitewater racing, but this race presents a new challenge for him.

Will Lamm: No. 1138

Will Lamm, 20, has lived close to the Missouri river most of his life. So this year, when he entered the Missouri River 340, he felt pretty prepared for the rigors of a cross-state race in a kayak.

Curtis Bourgeois and Drew Lemberger: No. 1986

Few people would jump at the opportunity to paddle 340 miles in a canoe with their boss, but Drew Lemberger, 37, cellar master at Les Bourgeois Winery, has few reservations about racing with Curtis Bourgeois, 42.

Scott Myers: No. 1691

Scott Myers, 40, of Columbia, will be paddling solo in the Missouri 340 in a Chesapeake 16 wooden kayak. He built his boat on his own.

Scott and Lisa Swafford: No. 0625

If you ask Scott Swafford, 45, what drove him to paddle for 100 hours in the Missouri River 340, he’ll tell you that with his long history of canoeing in Missouri, this race may well be his destiny.

Bryan Hopkins: No. 1313

For Bryan Hopkins, 42, of Columbia, the Missouri 340 race is a personal matter.

“It’s called a race, but it’s very personal,” he said. “You’re not really racing anyone. It’s a personal challenge, and it’s going to be a journey.”

Looking for ways to help Columbia envision the future

On Wednesday, according to my newspaper, 13 citizen topic groups hit their deadline for turning in their ideas for what needs to happen to improve our town. I’m betting there will be interesting results.


As technology becomes a bigger part of conducting everyday business, from online bill paying to camera phones, some in Missouri are working to make it a common aspect of medical exams as well.

A Catholic nun in Italy, A Hebrew teacher in Israel, and a Hindu stonemason in India:

Proposed regulations have kindled fears among religious organizations nationwide.

Hey, big shots, it’s time to care for vets

To President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and members of the House and Senate:

You’ve all been shocked — shocked to discover the care some of our wounded soldiers received was substandard. But what did you expect?