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Gunshots wreak havoc on day care center

Shots fired at a moving vehicle on Allen Street hit a residential day care several times Wednesday afternoon, Columbia police Sgt. Ken Hammond said in a news release.

Police said there were children in the backyard of the day care at the time of the shooting. Officers responding to the incident at 4:25 p.m. located numerous shell casings and discovered that the day care on the corner of Allen Street and Lasalle Place had been hit.

Faculty head calls for diversity group

As a way to attract and keep more minority students and faculty, a standing committee on diversity should be created as part of the Faculty Council, the group’s chairman said Wednesday.

Four arrested after federal meth investigation

Four Columbia residents were arrested Wednesday on felony narcotics charges, including one man who was the target of an 18-month federal methamphetamine investigation.

Blake Edward Idel, 20, was arrested on a federal warrant for conspiracy to manufacture methamphetamine, Columbia police Sgt. Will Green said in a release. Idel’s arrest was the result of an ongoing investigation conducted by Columbia police and the Mid-Missouri Unified Strike Team and Narcotics Group Drug Task Force that targeted the manufacture and production of meth in mid-Missouri., police said.

Bill would evaluate higher ed

JEFFERSON CITY — Citing a growing national trend away from direct appropriations for higher education, the second-ranking Republican in the Missouri House said he wants to change the state’s method for funding public colleges and universities.

House Speaker Pro Tem Carl Bearden, R-St. Charles, said his goal is to force schools to become more receptive to student needs while increasing efficiency.

House poised for major Medicaid cut

JEFFERSON CITY — House lawmakers are poised to send Gov. Matt Blunt’s proposed Medicaid cuts to his desk. A vote could come as early as today, which is when the time for debate is set to expire.

Discussion opened Wednesday on the governor’s cuts, which would remove tens of thousands of Missourians from the Medicaid rolls. Democrats rallied to amend the bill, but their efforts were rebuffed repeatedly by a united Republican majority. Any changes in the legislation would require it to be sent back to the Senate, where it was ensnared in a 17-hour filibuster last month.

City forging ahead for trail grant

Residents in northwest Columbia want to see an overgrown field converted to parkland, tall grass give way to 5,000 feet of scenic trail and marsh-like terrain become six scenic ponds.

Rally protests Medicaid cuts at legislature

Cynthia Hamilton has been diagnosed with 13 different disabilities, all of which she had written on her T-shirt Wednesday at a protest in Jefferson City.

Hamilton, along with hundreds of other protesters from across the state, gathered at the steps of the Capitol to urge lawmakers to oppose a bill that would cut Medicaid and other social services.

Class jump-starts underachievers

Tabia Gardner, a seventh-grader at Lange Middle School, never thought she’d be throwing paper airplanes in class.

But on Wednesday, Tabia and her classmates — students in Carla London’s Aspiring Scholars class — had the opportunity to do just that.

Division stalls bill to ban stem-cell research

JEFFERSON CITY — An effort in the state Senate to restrict embryonic stem-cell research in Missouri stalled Wednesday when faced with dissent within the Republican Party.

Sen. John Dolan, R-St. Louis County, a co-sponsor of SB 160 and a longtime opponent of abortion rights, said the bill coming to a vote would split the Republican Party — and the anti-abortion movement — and still would end with a veto from Gov. Matt Blunt.

Clean, green hybrid machine

As gasoline prices climb above $2 a gallon, Missouri residents are starting to wonder how to save a buck or two at the pumps.

That question is what the Missouri Department of Natural Resources hopes to capitalize on with its Drive Clean and Green event.

Growth proponent joins council

A platform promoting balanced growth for Columbia and $21,000 in campaign financing proved to be a winning combination for Laura Nauser.

Nauser won the Fifth Ward seat on the Columbia City Council that will soon be vacated by John John. Nauser, opposed by Gayle Troutwine and Joseph Vradenburg, garnered 959 votes, or 56.4 percent.

First-timer, 2 incumbents elected to school board

Columbia voters elected first-time candidate Darin Preis and incumbents David Ballenger and Don Ludwig to the seven-member Columbia Board of Education on Tuesday. Preis, director of the Missouri Head Start collaboration office, finished in second place, receiving 24.52 percent of the votes.

He and his wife, Stacey, spent the evening monitoring election results with supporters at the Colosseum, a downtown restaurant.

P&Z to hold hearing for rezoning on Broadway

Jay Lindner says he will consider neighborhood concerns about bright lights and traffic when planning a development near Stephens Lake Park.

Lindner, a developer with Forum Development Group, has asked that the city rezone 8.15 acres on the northwest corner of Broadway and Trimble Road to accommodate multiple restaurants and office buildings. He would not comment on which restaurants he would build, but said some “sit-down restaurants, quick-casual restaurants, and one fast-food chain” are interested.

Judge has seen law from badge to bench

HALLSVILLE — Municipal Judge Lee Koury bought the bench he sits behind for $1 from the city of Springfield. That was a good deal. But his courtroom is so small he had to saw two feet off the end of the bench just to make it fit.

Koury has been the municipal judge in this northern Boone County town — population 1,200 — since 1993. He holds court once a month and handles 12 to 15 cases.

None hurt in fire at recycler

Flames engulfed hundreds of bales of recyclable materials at Civic Recycling, 3300 Brown Station Road, sending a column of black smoke into the blue evening sky Tuesday.

A Civic Recycling employee reported the two-alarm fire at 4:24 p.m. to Station 4 of the Columbia Fire Department. The downtown station was called later.

Two students remain in hospital after fire

Two MU students remained in critical condition Tuesday after a south Columbia house fire on Sunday, University Hospital media coordinator Jess Hoelscher said.

Curators to vote on grievance process

MU faculty are likely to see differences in the way they file their campus complaints. When it meets Friday in Rolla, the University of Missouri Board of Curators will vote on whether to implement a revised grievance process.

The new process, championed by MU’s Faculty Council, has been in the making for almost two years.

House plan reconsiders Amtrak cuts

JEFFERSON CITY — House budget writers on Tuesday restored money for Amtrak passenger train service and Alzheimer’s research — two items targeted for elimination in earlier budget proposals.

The House budget plan would fund the passenger trains, which make eight stops between Kansas City and St. Louis, with about $6.2 million, roughly the same amount Amtrak received for the current fiscal year.

Kemper awards given to two MU professors

Jana Hawley, assistant professor of textile and apparel management, and Glenn Good, associate professor of educational and counseling psychology, were awarded the second and third Kemper Fellowships for Teaching Excellence on Tuesday. Each receives $10,000 for the honor.

Stories about the surprise presentations of the Kemper awards will run Thursday in U Town. Seven more Kempers will be handed out during the next couple of weeks.

Driver hospitalized after car is struck

A car was struck from behind and flipped Monday night, sending one man to the hospital.

Larry Grantham, 54, was slowing to make a left turn onto Grant Lane from Chapel Hill Road when his car was hit by another car so strongly that Grantham’s car flipped and landed on its roof, Columbia police said.

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