Columbia teachers prepare for first day of 2012-13 school year

Hickman High School welcomes back students with messages written on its front doors. Thursday is the first day of school for Columbia Public Schools.

With school approaching, teachers are preparing for students to arrive and are using the e first day of school activities as a way to connect with their students.


Columbia Board of Education sets tax rate at $5.40 per $100 assessed valuation

The Columbia Board of Education set the district’s tax rate at $5.40 per $100 assessed valuation, a 52-cent increase from last year. Voters approved a bond issue and a levy in April that raised the highest rate the board can set to $6.40.

Missouri football's Max Copeland gets weird on Tigers' offensive line

Missouri left guard Max Copeland, who hopes to start this fall for the Tigers, has taken the meaning of vocal leader to a new level. His shouting during practice and untamed mane of blond hair make him stand out on the football field.

Artists decorate downtown Columbia stormwater drains

Missouri artists donated their time and talents to paint murals on nine downtown stormwater drains as part of an educational public art project.

Consultant urges quick decision on 911 tax

The Public Safety Joint Communications Committee discussed options for placing a tax proposal on next April's ballot at a meeting Wednesday.

L'Damian Washington invigorates Missouri football practice, despite personal hardships

Teammates say Tigers receiver L'Damian Washington's positive attitude is a boost for the team.

Ealy benefits from Missouri football practice rivalry

Kony Ealy, a redshirt sophomore defensive end, has seen plenty of senior offensive tackle Elvis Fisher in fall camp. The budding rivalry the two first-team players have developed in practice could benefit each player when the season gets under way.

DAVID ROSMAN: Religion is not a qualifier for public office

Although an individual's religious affiliation has no impact on that person's ability to run for office, it might have an effect if the population actually votes  for them.

J. KARL MILLER: McCaskill vs. Akin for U.S. Senate — an intriguing contest

Missouri's contest for U.S. Senate is expected to exemplify the political leanings of the country. Does Claire McCaskill or Todd Akin hold the edge in the upcoming election?

Joplin mosque fire called evidence of hatred

Representatives of Muslim and interfaith groups were among those who spoke at a news conference outside a mosque in St. Louis County to show their support for Muslims in Joplin.

Plains ranchers sell cattle as U.S. drought spreads

The U.S. Department of Agriculture reported Friday that the nation's cattle inventory was the smallest since the agency began a July count in 1973. It is likely to take the beef industry years to recover.

Construction begins on east-central Columbia sidewalks Monday

Sidewalk construction will begin Monday along an 18-block area in east-central Columbia. The Public Works Department aims to have the construction completed in November.

Small farmers struggle as drought kills vegetables

Small fruit and vegetable farmers across the Midwest are fighting lost crops, increased irrigation costs and deflated farmers markets thanks to the nationwide drought.

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Sen. McCaskill always willing to hear us out

Missouri needs a senator who is able to work with others who do not share the same perspectives.

FROM READERS: Bamboo Terrace restaurant is delicious addition to Columbia's west side

Scott Rowson, who writes the blog Show-Me Eats, shares his review of West Broadway's new Chinese restaurant, Bamboo Terrace.

Circus-themed Family Fun Fest to be held Wednesday night

Wednesday night's Family Fun Fest, "It's a Circus," features a live band, performing dogs, a magic show and more at Flat Branch Park.

Brian Cook was technology fan, ethical computer hacker

Brian Cook was a certified ethical hacker, his family said. He worked to protect clients from computer hacking.

Helen McLaughlin put her country and family first

For 33years, Helen McLaughlin worked as a photo lab technician for Today's Farmer Magazine, an agricultural publication by MFA Inc. In more recent years, she became a familiar face around the Columbia community as she enjoyed daily walks along Forum Boulevard.

Brian Dale Cook, Feb. 5, 1968 — Aug. 12, 2012, of Columbia

Brian Dale Cook of Columbia died Sunday, Aug. 12. He was 44.

Ronald Davidson was prankster, avid reader

Ronald Davidson was known for his sense of humor, kindness and enjoyment of reading, gardening and listening to music.