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Pujols sets record in Cardinals' victory over Marlins

The first baseman homered for a career-best fifth consecutive game and became the first player in major league hsitory to hit 30 or more home runs in each of his first seven seasons.

Unique hot-air balloon opens opportunity to wheelchair users

Hot-air balloon gives the disabled a chance to enjoy a sky-high experience. Gary Waldman brings Serena's Song, his specially equipped hot-air balloon, to Columbia this weekend.

After 4 year hiatus, hot air balloons return to Columbia

World champion balloonist to compete in charity balloon event this weekend in Columbia.

Royals hold on despite baffled bullpen

Kansas City nearly let a four-run, ninth-inning lead evaporate in the afternoon heat Wednesday, but closer Joakim Soria still managed to tally the save.

Missouri Theatre launches<br>renovation efforts</br>

The Missouri Theatre renovation and expansion project, costing close to $7.7 million, aims to transform the building into the center of the local arts scene and downtown Columbia.

Group proposes amendment to restrict further stem cell research

Cures Without Cloning submitted paperwork to the Missouri secretary of state’s office Wednesday for a constitutional amendment targeted for the November 2008 ballot. The language of the proposal would ban any form of human cloning.

Johnson extends contract with Chiefs, becomes highest-paid player in team history

Running back Larry Johnson extended his contract with Kansas City for five years after 2007, but isn’t sure if he’ll be fully ready to play in the season opener at Houston.

Setterstrom to start in Rams opener at home

After not playing in the first nine games of his rookie year, Mark Setterstrom will start this season at left guard and play center when needed for St. Louis.

Journalism students to volunteer<br> at Beijing Olympics</br>

The Missouri School of Journalism will take steps today to formalize its agreement to send about 50 students to Beijing to work as interns/volunteers at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games.

House committee approves bridge bill

The Missouri House Transportation Committee approved a bill Wednesday that will speed up the rebuilding of 802 of the lowest rated bridges in Missouri, including 13 in Boone County.

Columbia woman contracts West Nile virus

COLUMBIA — A Southwest Columbia woman has contracted West Nile virus. This is the second human case found in Columbia this year.

Nixon declines to bow out as lawyer<br> in Planned Parenthood case</br>

The Health Department director says she won’t use Attorney General Jay Nixon as its lawyer in a Planned Parenthood lawsuit because his ties are too close to the organization.

New MU committee to address <br>veterans' needs</br>

A new committee intends to reduce barriers in university policies and procedures that may affect both incoming and outgoing military personnel.

Waterfall and bridge being constructed <br>at Stephens Lake Park</br>

Construction begins on a new Stephens Lake Park waterfall bridge that is expected to be completed in mid-September.

Missouri River Festival brings<br> musical variety to Boonville</br>

The 32nd annual installment of the Missouri River Festival of the Arts has a diverse lineup on tap, including “The Four Seasons,” tango-style.

Schools will let out early for the rest of the week

Columbia Public Schools will follow early dismissal procedures today, Thursday and Friday due to excessive heat and humidity, the district said in a news release.

Health director drops AG in defense of abortion law

Gov. Matt Blunt's health director is using private attorneys to defend against a lawsuit challenging Missouri's new, more stringent requirements for abortion clinics.

District's after-school program <br>also closing early

The closing of the school district's Adventure Club because of the heat leave hundreds of children without after-school care.

City seeks applicants for boards, commissions

The city has vacancies on a variety of advisory boards.

Diversity: the world's new buzzword

Diversity is a code word for social excellence and progress these days. The aim of the U.S.: Have as diverse a population as possible. The aim of the professions: Get great diversity. And of television programming: Diversify. And of race relations: Get diversity. And religion: Diversity is better. Of schools: We need more diversity. On and on we could go with this objective of diversity.

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