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A lifetime of influence

Eleven years ago, Danny Grant spoke to fifth-graders at Shepard Boulevard Elementary School as a Drug Abuse Resistance Education officer. Nine years later, one of those students, Andy Muscato, came to the Columbia Police Department to volunteer. Grant’s influence, Muscato told him, had piqued his interest in law enforcement. Grant, who retired Friday, said he has taken pride in having that kind of influence. Grant’s own decision to work in law enforcement stemmed from his mentor, a police officer and neighbor from his childhood, Preston Bass.

Family finds fault with investigation of son’s death

Protesting what they say has been a shoddy investigation of a 7-year-old’s death, a handful of Patrick Knedler’s family and friends stood at the corner of Seventh and Walnut streets Monday with a single plea. “All we want is to know why,” said Patrick’s mother, Stephanie Harding.

String of storms causes flooding

High winds and heavy rains caused by a string of thunderstorms that rolled through Boone County on Monday evening caused flash floods on several roads and knocked out power to scores of homes. Rescue workers responded to eight incidents where vehicles became trapped when their drivers attmpted to drive through high water, said Suzanne Fred, communication supervisor at the Boone County Public Safety Joint Communications Center. Most of these took place within the city limits. No injuries were reported.

Prop. 2 would fund ice rink, farmers market

Two projects long anticipated and debated in Columbia will appear on the Nov. 8 ballot in the form of Proposition 2, which would extend a city sales tax for parks to pay for an ice rink and a permanent space for the Columbia Farmers’ Market. Proposition 2 would extend a one-eighth percent sales tax for parks and generate $5 million over two years. Also on the ballot is Proposition 1, which would extend the one-eighth percent tax for five years to pay for parks and recreation projects. The parks sales tax as it stands is a quarter of a percent, but half of that will expire March 31 if voters reject Propositions 1 and 2.

Fuel from the farm

On Missouri 65, just outside Malta Bend, the state transportation department crew works away, busily building a turn lane to allow farmers, employees and trucks better access to Mid-Missouri Energy’s ethanol plant. Now 6 months old, the business is growing, and the steady flow of traffic makes the turn lane necessary. This attention is a good sign, considering the plant’s initial year has brought a mixture of attempts, adjustments and successes. “It’s really been better than what we’d anticipated,” said Billy Gwaltney, general manager at Mid-Missouri Energy. “With the year coming to a close in September, we’ve been looking back and looking ahead. It’s an exciting time as we get to look at where we can go.”

City officials want park tax renewed

City officials say Columbia’s parks and trails are among the primary reasons the city has witnessed steady growth in recent years, and that’s why they think an extension of the existing parks sales tax is necessary. Voters in November 2000 approved a quarter-cent sales tax for parks with the understanding that half the tax would expire March 31, after the city had used proceeds to buy and develop Stephens Lake Park.

County is haven for 358 evacuees

Boone County is home to a greater number of officially tallied Hurricane Katrina evacuees than any other Missouri county, city manager Ray Beck said Friday. The most recent count, as of Sept. 14, shows that 134 families totaling 358 people have relocated to the area. Taney County is second with 170 people, and Cole County is third with 105. Counts for St. Louis and Kansas City are unavailable.

Planning for peace palace continues

Jim Morrow thinks the Capitol building in Jefferson City should be rebuilt. He came to this conclusion after he recently toured the Capitol. Admiring its history and architecture, he felt like something was wrong. “It is affecting the lives of everyone in Missouri, and they shouldn’t use it. I could feel it. It’s confusing and sending the wrong influence into your awareness,” Morrow said.

Correction

A headline on page 5A Friday misidentified the originator of the Molly S. Thomas Bowden Memorial Scholarship at Columbia College. Joe Carrier, an assistant professor of criminal justice at Columbia College and Bowden’s former professor, started it.

Keeping history alive

After riding his faithful steed into battle Saturday morning, Mark Bell spent his evening dancing at a ball— an unusual day in Centralia. Bell, a member of the 10th Missouri Cavalry, spent Saturday and Sunday re-enacting the battle and massacre of Centralia as a Union soldier of the Civil War with about 100 other re-enactors. The event, sponsored by the Centralia Historical Society, commemorated the 141st anniversary of the conflict that left nearly 150 Union soldiers dead.

Mother knows best

When her daughter became ill with breast cancer, Ann Edwards needed to find a job closer to Columbia so she could take care of her. She retired early from teaching in Osage Beach and started a new career as the caretaker and substitute mother of more than 100 women — as house director of the Kappa Delta house at MU. “She (Edwards) runs the house and makes sure everything runs smoothly,” said Mackenzie Rademeyer, a member of Kappa Delta.

MU arts center has big plans

The Center for Arts and Humanities at MU has been giving small grants to MU faculty and students for three years. But until recently, it did not have an office or any staff except a director. When Elaine Lawless was appointed as the center’s new director, she sought to change that.

New degree satisfies demand

Proving that customer service is important even in higher education, Columbia College has created a new major to satisfy student demand. Starting this fall, Columbia College students pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business administration will have the option to major in human resource management. “We offered six other business majors, but directors from the college’s nationwide campus made it clear that the real cry was for a human resource degree,” said Eric Cunningham, associate dean for adult learning.

MU extends funds drive

An additional $400 million that MU plans to raise in private donations will go toward attracting faculty, paying faculty more and creating more student scholarships, Chancellor Brady Deaton has announced. At a “Celebrate Mizzou” gathering Friday in Jesse Hall, Deaton said the goal to raise $600 million in private money in the “For All We Call Mizzou” campaign has been exceeded – and now will be extended to December 2008 to reach $1 billion.

Judge upholds freeze on Islamic charity funds

A federal judge has found “substantial evidence” linking a local charity to an organization accused of funding global terrorism. The Treasury and Justice departments were warranted in their decision to freeze the assets the Columbia-based Islamic American Relief Agency, U.S. District Court Judge Reggie Walton ruled Thursday.

Jail disturbance leads to charge

A Columbia man accused of abusing his baby daughter was charged Thursday with second-degree assault in connection with an altercation in the Boone County Jail last month. Shaetwyn Allen, 24, was in the jail and awaiting trial on a charge of felony child abuse at the time of the alleged assault, Boone County Prosecutor Richard Hicks said. He was released on Aug. 26 after posting a $50,000 bond.

Wine fest celebrates fall with family fun

Families and winemakers celebrated the beginning of fall at the eighth annual Crush Festival at Les Bourgeois Vineyard in Rocheport. Laura Royse, marketing director for Les Bourgeois, coordinated her third festival Saturday. “It’s a way to celebrate harvest and invite the public out,” Royse said.

Federal judge issues temporary hold on new abortion restrictions

JEFFERSON CITY — A federal judge on Friday blocked enforcement of a new anti-abortion law, ruling it would have forced an end to abortions in part of Missouri and created a general chilling effect on abortion counseling. The law requires doctors performing abortions to have clinical privileges at a hospital within 30 miles. It also lets parents sue people who “intentionally cause, aid or assist” their minor daughters in getting abortions without parental consent.

5 ideas

[1] Abortion bill, [2] Constitution Day, [3] Pedestrian safety, [4] The buck stops where? and [5] Artificial turf.

Former AP reporter hired as UM's new communications director

A former Associated Press reporter who served as a consultant to University of Missouri System President Elson Floyd has been hired as the UM’s director of communications. Scott Charton, 44, will hold a position new under a reorganization of the system’s department of university relations. David Russell, who was director of university relations, is now chief of staff.

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