UPDATE: Fire District: Missouri Task Force One functional despite audit

Members of the FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Missouri Task Force check houses impacted by Hurricane Katrina on Aug. 31, 2005, in New Orleans. The members are taking off vents and cutting holes in the roof to search for people stuck in their attics.

Boone County Fire Protection District officials said that the reserve fund of roughly $1.2 million might take the financial hit.

LETTER: Everyone is entitled to affordable, quality health care

A strong message to Washington about health care reform is necessary if any imporvement is going to happen.

LETTER: New law won't increase electricity bills

The new energy law in Missouri will lower customer bills by encouraging additional energy efficiency.

The Beat: Last year's debt paid on Roots 'N' Blues

Columbia Missourian local government editor Scott Swafford and reporter Abby Rogers say there has been a debate on the level of city support for the festival.

Palin's attorney should know better than to dare the media

Threats by Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's attorney to sue the media over suspected fraudulent claims is unconstitutional and little more than a dare to investigate the former Alaska governess further.

Recession hits creditors, clerks at Boone County Courthouse

As the recession deepens, the caseload at the Boone County Courthouse has climbed thanks to sharp increases in consumer debt and related filings. These economic woes aren't just straining the community, they're straining the courts.

Columbia swimmer competing in U.S. national championships

Leah Pierce, a former Rock Bridge standout and a member of the Columbia Swim Club, swam a personal best 1:10.87 Thursday morning in the preliminaries of the 100-meter breaststroke at the U.S. national championships.

Tour of Missouri threatened by potential budget cut

A $1.5 million budget cut on Gov. Jay Nixon's desk could spell doom — permanently, organizers worry — for September's third annual Tour of Missouri bicycle race.

Columbians' service trip to Honduras cut short by coup

Columbia resident Kevin Denson managed to catch one of the last flights out of Honduras before the nation closed its airports.

City delays installation of red-light cameras

The red-light cameras should be in place by the middle or end of next week.

Community forum joins in exploration of faith, sexuality

Four Columbia groups are hosting a public forum on faith and sexuality July 10 amidst discussion about ordaining gay clergy in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America.

UPDATE: DNA samples soon required after some arrests in Missouri

Gov. Jay Nixon signed legislation Thursday requiring DNA be taken from people age 17 and older who are arrested on suspicion of violent felonies, sex offenses or burglary. The DNA samples will be discarded if charges aren't filed, dropped or if the suspect is acquitted at trial.

UPDATE: Gov. appoints Columbian to Missouri appeals court

On Thursday, Karen King Mitchell, 50, of Columbia was appointed to the Missouri Court of Appeals Western District. She is a longtime aide of Gov. Jay Nixon.

Checks remain outstanding in Blunt firing settlement

The checks were written to Scott Eckersley in a settlement after Eckersley claimed he was fired from Gov. Matt Blunt's office because he raised concerns about e-mail deletions.

Environmental group says riverfront communities are at risk

The National Wildlife Federation says the combination of global warming and improper flood plain management will hurt communities that develop those areas.

Columbian appointed to Missouri appeals court

On Thursday, Karen King Mitchell, 50, of Columbia was appointed to the Missouri Court of Appeals Western District. She is a longtime aide of Gov. Jay Nixon.

Two plead not guilty in 2008 double stabbing

The two men are accused of killing a Jasper County sheriff's reserve officer and his wife.

UPDATE: Dog-fighting busts yield 400 dogs and counting

The multistate raids have led to indictments against 26 people and have yielded more than 400 dogs, most of which were American pit bull terriers.

MIssouri retirement fund to post pension benefits

The Missouri State Employees' retirement system voted to publish the retirement benefits for former public officials on its Web site.

MU Health Care vehicles receive recognition for pediatric care

MU Health Care's ambulance and helicopter services were recognized by the state for their emergency pediatric preparedness.