LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Smokers should share financial burden of their habit

The current Missouri Tobacco Tax is only 17 cents per pack (lowest in the nation) and yet, according to the CDC, the smoking-related health care cost in Missouri is $7.61 per pack. Unfortunately, this means that Missouri taxpayers must pick up the tab for $532 million of annual smoking-related Medicaid bills and that costs every Missouri household $565 every year.

FROM READERS: Extensive military career begins with search for supplemental income

Debbie Dixon enlisted in the National Guard in 1978 as a way to supplement her income. Through her military service, she has developed a greater appreciation for those who came before her.

VOTERS GUIDE 2012: Benton County circuit judge, district commissioner candidates

This is a list of candidates in Benton County running for circuit judge in the 30th Judicial Circuit and district commissioner in the South District.

Everyone Eats Thanksgiving food drive is now accepting applications, donations

Almeta Crayton leads a yearly effort to help people in need get a full Thanksgiving meal. Applications to receive food are due Oct. 15; donations of canned and dry goods are being accepted now.

Columbia residents arrested in connection with operating meth lab

Boone County deputies arrested the two residents Wednesday night.

Rams get 9 sacks, bust Cardinals' unbeaten run

Robert Quinn had three of the Rams' nine sacks on Kevin Kolb to keep the previously unbeaten Arizona Cardinals in check in a 17-3 victory Thursday night.

Cardinals face streaking Braves pitcher in wild card game

The Atlanta Braves haven't lost a start by right-hander Kris Medlen in more than two years.

Study: Free birth control leads to fewer abortions

The effect on teen pregnancy was striking: There were 6.3 births per 1,000 teenagers in the study. Compare that to a national rate of 34 births per 1,000 teens in 2010.

Richard O. Boggs, Oct. 8, 1927 — Sept. 14, 2012, Oklahoma City, Okla.

Mr. Boggs served in the Navy in South Pacific during World War II.

Joplin gets $2.4 million to deal with contaminated soil problems

The money, from the Superfund program, will help Joplin test and cleanup soil that was contaminated with lead and cadmium during the tornado that hit the city in May 2011.

A look at what the media reported about the first presidential debate

Analyses of last night's presidential debate between President Barack Obama and Gov Mitt Romney were impressed by Romney's enthusiasm and aggression.

Akin failed to report state pension

Todd Akin described the lack of information about his pension payments as a mistake that only recently came to his attention.

Parked car ignites in front of Fashion Bug

The fire was controlled within 10 minutes, and no one was injured in the blaze.

WHAT OTHERS SAY: When student loan bubble bursts, poor will suffer the worst

Pew Research Center reported Wednesday that a record one in five U.S. households owed student debt in 2010. That's more than double the share from just 20 years ago.

Missouri officials combat spotted knapweed

Officials are trying a technique in southern Missouri that involves insects, such as a beetle that attacks the roots and eats seeds.

Missouri Supreme Court hears challenge of Woodworth murder conviction

A Boone County judge appointed by the court in an advisory role wrote in May that Mark Woodworth was the victim of "a manifest injustice" and deserves to be freed or receive a third trial.

Missouri board to hear case of doctor who treats autism

Mark Geier has had his license revoked or suspended in several states, and is now allowed to practice at only two of his clinics.

WWII ship now visable in low Mississippi River

The remains of the USS Inaugural are now visible on the Mississippi about a half mile past the MacArthur Bridge in St. Louis.

Concerns of serial rapist in St. Louis County

Detectives have forensically linked the rapes of two young women to the same man.

Joplin man sentenced in Kansas man's death

In a plea deal in January, Rickey R. Smith admitted that he shot Ryan Bailey during an attempted robbery at Bailey's home in Pittsburg.