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Local Government

Bill Watkins' resume details work in Columbia, elsewhere

Bill Watkins' had held posts in Ohio, Illinois and Missouri.

A "Journey to Excellence"; Columbia's plans for city improvement and national recognition

Columbia will be pursuing two awards for excellence in business quality and leadership, including the Missouri Quality Award and the Malcolm Baldrige Award.

Opposed neighbors win council's support on Great Hang-ups rezoning

The lack of a detailed site plan played a part in the council's decision.

City communication snafus keep proposed pedestrian improvements in limbo

For the second time, the proposed pedestrian improvements at Providence and Business Loop 70 were tabled because property owners were not notified.

Council to commission study of airport terminal

On Monday, the Columbia City Council will vote to allocate funds for a study to recommend improvements for the Columbia Regional Airport’s terminal.

Proposition B TV advertising backed by out-of-state money

The campaign in support of Proposition B, Missourians for the Protection of Dogs, has raised $2.38 million this year. Only about 3 percent of the contributions came from Missouri residents and groups.

City Council to review proposed SWAT ordinance

The proposed ordinance would limit who controls SWAT raids and how operations should be conducted by police.

Public defenders prepare to turn away cases, citing work overload

State public defenders' budget is causing problems as caseloads increase and staff levels remain the same.

Columbia solid waste manager turns trash into treasure

Richard Wieman recently received national recognition for his accomplishments in the Public Works Department. He and his wife Sheila make sculptures out of trash in their spare time.

Columbia Housing Authority recognized as 'high performer'

The authority restructured its public housing system in 2008 to allow properties more independence from the authority.

Columbia Planning and Zoning Commission endorses East Area Plan

The commission voted unanimously Thursday to accept a plan that creates a road map for the expansion of east Columbia, whose population has grown in recent years.

Mayor voices worries about parks sales tax proposition

Mayor Bob McDavid said unclear language could affect voters' opinions of a proposal to continue the city parks sales tax. The proposal will be on the ballot Nov. 2.

Panel discusses property seizure laws

About 30 people gathered at The Blue Note on Wednesday night to listen to a panel discussion about civil forfeiture laws. The gathering was sponsored by the Americans for Forfeiture Reform.

Columbia's city manager defends officers in February SWAT team raids

City Manager Bill Watkins informed Green Aid in a letter that he supports Columbia's police officers' actions during a SWAT team raid in  February. Green Aid said it was disappointed in the city's actions and the message it sends.

Judge Gene Hamilton concludes career spanning 28 years, 500 cases

Hamilton said he does not know who Gov. Jay Nixon will choose to replace him. In 1989, Hamilton presided over the state’s first case to accept DNA evidence. After retiring, he will begin conducting arbitration mediation for Fulton law firm Riley and Dunlap.

UPDATE: Family's suit seeks damages over SWAT raid that killed dog

A lawsuit filed by the Whitworth family claims the city and police officers violated their constitutional rights during a Feb. 11 SWAT raid at their Columbia home.

Council passes 2011 budget with smaller-than-proposed electricity rate increase

The Columbia City Council unanimously approved the budget for fiscal year 2011. It also approved the hiring of four firefighters, one police officer and two joint communications operators.

Columbia City Council considers police chief's downtown camera report

The council asked the Police Chief Ken Burton to provide more specific information regarding the camera model and price before it chooses how to proceed.

Columbia's Fleet Operations Division hopes for increase in budget, staff

The budget for the 2011 fiscal year of the division, which works on vehicles and equipment for the city, was approved Monday night.

Columbia City Council to hold final budget meeting Monday

Bill Watkins first proposed a $385.5 million budget in July. The city council must now make its final decision on the fiscal 2011 budget.

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