Centralia man dies in crash

A 20-year-old Centralia man died early Tuesday morning after taking a curve too fast in his car on a Boone County road, sliding off and rolling the vehicle seven or eight times, the Boone County Sheriff’s Department said. Sgt. Scott Ewing, supervisor of the department’s traffic unit, estimated that Travis Wayne Beamer was driving between 75 and 100 mph when the accident occurred and said Beamer was not wearing a seat belt.

Chinese city wants Columbia as sister

China’s Laoshan District, beset by mountains and sea, is a small, charming city much like Columbia. It is for this reason that the Columbia Friends of Laoshan think it is a worthy addition to Columbia’s four other international sister cities. The relationship between the cities can help foster understanding between cultures and strengthen economic ties, according to Columbia’s Sister City policy resolution.

Records show disparity in election fundraising

Less than a week before the Nov. 8 election, official campaign finance records have been released for Columbia’s two dueling organizations, Columbia on the Move, a committee appointed by Mayor Darwin Hindman to promote six ballot initiatives, and Citizens for Timely and Responsible Road and Infrastructure, which is opposed to Propositions 4 and 5. Columbia on the Move raised $13,985, roughly half of which came from developers, construction companies and banks, while TARRIF raised $3,786, most from its members.

Runaway girl found after three-hour search

A three-hour search for an 8-year-old girl ended Tuesday night after she was found hiding behind bushes in the 4400 block of Bellview Drive by officials from the Boone County Sheriff’s Department and Boone County Fire Protection District. The girl ran away from home at 4:15 p.m. because she was afraid of getting in trouble with her parents over an incident that occurred on the school bus ride home, Boone County Sheriff’s Maj. Tom Reddin said. Her family searched for her for almost two hours before contacting the Sheriff’s Department at about 6 p.m., Reddin said.

Residents asked for input on transportation system

Boone County residents will have the chance to share their opinions on bus routes and the state of public transportation today at an open house sponsored by the Boone County Community Partnership. The open house is part of a study aimed at gaining the public’s opinion and suggestions regarding public transportation before action can be taken, said A.T. Stoddard, community involvement officer for the partnership.

Roasting rivalry

A New Year’s countdown has a whole new meaning for Jennifer Ayers this year. Starbucks Coffee is coming to Ninth Street in downtown Columbia in early 2006, and Ayers and other members of her MU Starbucks group on couldn’t be happier. “Most towns have a Starbucks,” said Ayers, a sophomore at MU. “With 80,000 people, it’s shocking that the only Starbucks in Columbia is in HyVee.”

Seniors find new hurdle in licensing

JEFFERSON CITY — A 72-year-old Missouri man worries a new state law will make it illegal for him to drive. John Kelly’s driver’s license is up for renewal in January, but because he lacks a birth certificate he may not be eligible for a new one.

Celebration to honor legendary Missouri fiddler

The music of champion fiddler Pete McMahan sounded like apple cider tastes and autumn leaves smell. It was the soundtrack to barn dances and helped set the standard for what is recognized around the nation as Missouri-style fiddling A celebration of McMahan and the rerelease of his recording, “50 Old-Time Fiddle Gems,” will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Walters-Boone County Historical Museum, 3801 Ponderosa St. The event will also feature an old-time fiddling jam session.


Lisa Bullard was incorrectly identified in this week’s MiniMo. Bullard has been a full-time employee of the Columbia Fire Department for the past five years.

Accidents minutes apart block I-70 traffic

Two accidents that occurred within 10 minutes of each other Monday on Interstate 70 blocked traffic in the westbound lanes for about an hour. At 5:21 p.m., a Columbia girl rear-ended a car driven by 19-year-old MU sophomore Margaret Rallo on westbound I-70, Columbia police Capt. Stephen Monticelli said. The car driven by the juvenile, who cannot be identified because of her age, slid into the rear of Rallo’s car when Rallo slowed down for congested traffic.

Tricky treats

The ghostly costumes and Halloween tricks may be gone for now, but the ghoulish effects of too many treats could live on. Parents may want to take a closer look at the type and amount of candy they let children eat in the days ahead, dentists say. Sticky chewy favorites, such as taffy, Tootsie Rolls and gummy bears, are the most damaging, said Valle Rischer, a dentist at Woodrail Dental Center in southwest Columbia.

Boone market’s vendors like locale

For some Boone County Farmers’ Market vendors, the parking spaces behind Marketplace Antiques and Collectibles will continue to serve as a home well into the future. Others, however, might soon begin to weigh their existing setup against the potential benefits of the Columbia Farmers’ Market. If voters approve Proposition 2 next Tuesday, the Columbia market will move into new accommodations in a multi-use facility the city would build using proceeds of an extended one-eighth-cent sales tax for parks. That tax is scheduled to expire March 31.

MU examining Facebook use

If you have a profile on university social network, assume you are being watched by more than your classmates. Facebook, popular with college students across the country, allows users to create profiles containing contact and personal information, post photos, and create and join social groups. But because anyone with access to a university e-mail account can join, some of what students post online could get them in trouble and come back to haunt them when they start hunting for jobs after graduation.

City creates cleanup program

In an effort to encourage residents to pick up trash in their neighborhoods, Columbia’s Office of Volunteer Services has created the Neighborhood Pride Volunteer Program. The program comes at the request of the Columbia City Council, which asked the volunteer services staff to develop a litter-patrol effort. The city plans to fully launch the program in conjunction with the Cleanup Columbia event, planned for April 8, because of the warmer spring weather.

MUnity to assist students in Africa

Jordan Smith has spent her life creating and organizing service projects. Now taking her cue from actor Brad Pitt, she is breathing life into her latest one. Smith, a senior business major, in May founded MUnity, an organization to raise money to send African children to primary school.

Women see benefit of female schools

Compared to the glory days of the 1960s and ’70s, women’s colleges across the nation have watched their popularity plummet. But with a renewed interest and increased enrollment in recent years, things are starting to look a little brighter, and Stephens College is reaping the benefits. Creating that change has not been easy. Stephens, like other women’s colleges across the country, has gone into survival mode by implementing a five-year Renaissance Plan: changing curriculum, focusing on strengths and eliminating majors with little interest.

Three arrested after series of robberies

Two women and a man were arrested Sunday after a series of armed robberies over the weekend. The suspects face charges of first-degree robbery and armed criminal action in at least one of the robberies, though a police report said more charges might be brought pending further investigation into similar incidents.

Suspect arrested in party shooting

A 21-year-old man was shot in the chest at a party early Monday morning and driven to a hospital by the man suspected of shooting him. Corey Frye, 19, is accused of shooting the man with a handgun at a party at 5001 Kirk Hill Road, according to Columbia police Sgt. Scott Young. The shooting occurred just after midnight, police said. Frye was later arrested and charged with assault.

WANTED: Male teachers

Like most elementary school classrooms in Columbia, the environment in Clint Darr’s room at Cedar Ridge Elementary School caters to children. The air smells of glue and markers. A border of red and yellow apples runs the length of each wall. A reading corner has a couch and beanbag chairs. As the school day winds down, children clean up their desks in preparation for the final bell. Darr stands at the door as his fourth-graders file out, hunched slightly under their book bags.

Housing prices drive ballot debate

Carol Van Gorp worries about the future of affordable housing in Columbia. As chief executive officer of the Columbia Board of Realtors, Van Gorp thinks approval of Proposition 6 on the Nov. 8 ballot will price some people out of the housing market. Proposition 6 asks voters to authorize the Columbia City Council to increase development charges by 400 percent, from 10 cents per square foot to 50 cents per square foot, over the next five years. The increase would happen gradually, producing an estimated $19 million for major street projects.