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Well-grounded family

The farmer is 79 years old. Her farms are ages 107 and 140. In the rosy dusk, Grace Butler powers her big red SUV across a creek and winds up a hill to feed and count her cattle. She talks to them as if they’re old friends, and they really are.

As she counts the herd, she spies a black cow in a clump of trees. “You naughty girl, hidden here,” she says in a brisk voice. “I see you have a baby to come, don’t you?”

Gov. Blunt spells out state’s reduction plan

JEFFERSON CITY — Gov. Matt Blunt spelled out Thursday how various agencies would cut nearly $240 million from their budgets for the coming fiscal year, with social services taking the hardest hit.

Among the cuts are eliminating the grandparent foster care program, temporarily shutting down the Central Missouri Correctional Center, which is six miles west of Jefferson City, and eliminating the state’s payment to keep Amtrak trains running between Kansas City and St. Louis.

Options near end in Schiavo conflicts

PINELLAS PARK, Fla. — With Terri Schiavo visibly drawing closer to death, her parents were rebuffed by both the U.S. and Florida supreme courts Thursday in their battle to reinsert their brain-damaged daughter’s feeding tube.

Bob and Mary Schindler held onto the slim hope that Gov. Jeb Bush would somehow find a way to intervene or a federal judge, who had turned them down before, would see things their way. But Bush warned that he was running out of options.

Grocery store seen as perk of rezoning

A grocery story is one of the first things people mentioned when the would-be developers of land at Range Line Street and Blue Ridge Road approached neighborhood associations to see what type of commercial uses they would support.

The Columbia Planning and Zoning Commission on Thursday recommended the Columbia City Council approve the developers’ request for rezoning to accommodate planned commercial and office uses that might include a grocery store. Magnus Enterprises LLC submitted the request, which seeks to rezone three tracts totaling 45 acres at the southeast corner of the north-side intersection.

Hundreds mourn patrolman

DEXTER — During a funeral that drew hundreds of police from at least four states, a Missouri state patrolman ambushed and slain outside his home was tearfully eulogized Thursday as a Christian man who masterfully blended passion for his job with adoration for his 4-year-old son.

“Family, you’re wrapped in blue; they’re all around,” Denny McGinley — alluding to mourners largely dressed in police uniforms — told Sgt. Carl Dewayne Graham Jr.’s survivors at a packed First Baptist Church in this Missouri Bootheel town where Graham grew up.

Childhood inspired candidate’s school goals

Darin Preis grew up in a family of educators and remembers dinner discussions that revolved around the successes and challenges in the classroom. His upbringing inspired him to keep education a priority, which is one of the reasons he decided to run for the Columbia School Board.

Preis said the board could use his expertise to bring a new perspective to early childhood education and to further work to close the achievement gap. Preis said being the director of the Missouri Head Start, State Collaboration Office has prepared him to deal with important school board issues.

The Sport of Wings

"The Book of St. Albans,” a 15th century text, lists a hierarchy for the sport of falconry. Kings flew large and rare gyrfalcons, knaves used smaller and more common kestrels, and every rank in between used different breeds of falcon and hawk.

Whether the rules were strictly enforced or simply represented economic realities is unsure, but since then, falconry has become the most regulated field sport in the world. Now, the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service is trying to make falconry more accessible to everyone by simplifying federal regulations.

U.S. lawyers ask IARA suit be dismissed

KANSAS CITY — Government lawyers are asking a federal judge to throw out a lawsuit filed by a Missouri charity accused of having terrorist ties.

The Islamic American Relief Agency is seeking to have its assets unfrozen. The assets were frozen in October after federal agents raided the charity’s headquarters in Columbia as part of a criminal investigation. The Treasury Department also made it illegal for people to send contributions to the charity.

Blunt’s budget threatens Alzheimer’s research

JEFFERSON CITY — James Galvin has spent four years investigating how the brain changes as adults grow older, trying to uncover what triggers dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

The Washington University assistant professor credits a $26,000 seed grant from the state in 2001 for launching his study by giving him the money he needed to start collecting basic data. He then used that data to secure $1.2 million in federal grants to fund his research.

Ten copycats repeat local activist’s act for Schiavo

Ten people followed the example of Columbia activist, Lana Jacobs, who crossed a police line in front of the Woodside Hospice in Pinellas Park, Fla., to bring water to Terri Schiavo, said officials with the Pinellas County Jail.

Schiavo, brain-damaged and unable to speak or eat without assistance, has not been given food or water for five days. Her feeding tube was removed by court order Friday.

Recreating the past for the future

Olin Fugit braved 30-degree temperatures and donned a purple, cotton cap under a navy blue hard-hat covered in stickers Wednesday, all for a good friend and a good cause.

Fugit and four volunteers began dismantling the Easley Store, a 114-year-old country store in the Easley area of southern Boone County. The Boone County Historical Society is sponsoring the project and plans to use parts from the original building to reconstruct the store on its land near Nifong Park.

Candidate champions tutoring, parents, exercise

Rhonda Garland is running for the Columbia School Board to let her daughter know that “she has boundless opportunities.”

She wants her daughter to know she can be whatever she wants to be, the impossible can happen, and she can make a difference.

Van Buren man considered person of interest in trooper's death

MALDEN, Mo. (AP) - A Van Buren man arrested Wednesday on a charge of leaving the scene of a fatal November accident is considered a "person of interest" in Sunday's shooting death of Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Carl Dewayne Graham, the patrol said.

The patrol said Graham initially investigated the Nov. 26 crash for which the 28-year-old was arrested. The patrol said information gathered in the investigation of Graham's death led to the man's arrest for leaving the scene of the fatal Carter County crash.

Local twist to Fla. case

A Columbia woman attempting to take water to Terri Schiavo was arrested Tuesday afternoon outside Woodside Hospice in Pinellas Park, Fla., for trespassing.

According to Miami Herald reporter Erika Bolstad, a crowd of about 100 protesters watched as Columbia activist Lana Jacobs, 56, was handcuffed and escorted away by officers from the Pinellas Park Police Department and the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Department at 1:45 p.m. EST. Jacobs was charged with trespassing after warning, a misdemeanor in Florida. She was taken to the Pinellas County Jail, where her bond was set a $250. She posted bond about 7:45 p.m. EST.

Rose left legacy of music, insight

Columbia Renaissance man Forrest Rose was by all accounts a prolific musician, writer and thinker. Often characterized as humorous, witty and intelligent, Mr. Rose wrote and performed with passion.

“He was someone who loved to skinny-dip in the fountain of life,” said longtime colleague Irene Haskins.

Providers blamed for most Medicaid fraud

When Gov. Matt Blunt announced plans to drastically reduce Medicaid services in Missouri, he set his sights on “well-documented instances of individuals defrauding the Medicaid system and costing taxpayers millions of dollars each year.”

As it turns out, the actual numbers squash the myth of the stereotypical Medicaid queen sucking most of the money from a broken system.

Older artworks need restoration

Restoration of the Gentry and Howard buildings on Broadway has ignited discussions about the maintenance of city-owned art.

There is talk to set aside part of the building-restoration costs and use the money to maintain some existing art.

Communication crucial, science journalist says

When Columbia School Board candidate Mike Martin’s mother attended school to get her paralegal’s certificate and private investigator’s license, Martin helped care for his sister, Stephanie, who had muscular dystrophy.

The family’s income was a “cobblestone course” of different avenues: the Supplemental Security Income and Supplemental Security Disability Income helped, as did his father’s child support, his mom’s income, the money Martin earned mowing lawns and taking odd jobs. The Section 8 housing program paid a large portion of his family’s rent for 10 years, and the Muscular Dystrophy Association and the Foster Grandparent Program also gave them financial help.

Blunt spends $75,000 on office gear

JEFFERSON CITY — Gov. Matt Blunt has spent about $75,000 on new computers and phones for the governor’s office, raising the total taxpayer cost for his office makeover to nearly $120,000.

Blunt’s information technology director said Tuesday the old computers dated to the mid-1990s and couldn’t support the latest antivirus programs and operating systems. The phones were last replaced in 1997.

Sculpture plan approved

Stonehenge-style columns will be added to the list of unusual art that adorns Columbia’s landscape, which already includes alligators playing banjos and flying french fries.

Columbia City Council approved plans on Monday night to add St. Louis artist Carol Fleming’s concept design “Look Out Point” to Stephens Lake Park as part of the Percent for Art program.

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