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150 years of faith

People congregated outside Bethel Baptist Church about 7 p.m. Saturday, but they were not there for a sermon. Instead, members of the church came to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the church’s opening.

Bethel Baptist Church’s open house Saturday night allowed people to mingle, see historic documents and roam around the church buildings and grounds.

Columbia teen reports assault, kidnapping

An assault was reported Saturday at Austin and Garth avenues, according to police reports.

A 17-year-old boy was walking in the area when four men, ranging in age from 16 to 25, struck him from behind with a blunt object, according to a release from the Columbia Police Department. The men reportedly continued striking him as he fell.

In for a wild ride

Rachel Schaeffer reached her hand through the gate Sunday morning at the Boone County Fairgrounds and calmly stroked the wild mustang she would train for jumping and dressage competitions.

Rachel, 15, was one of many who adopted horses at the Bureau of Land Management’s wild horse and burro adoption sessions Saturday and Sunday.

Do you know what games your kids are playing?

Before he steals a few cars, hijacks a helicopter and shoots police and innocent bystanders, Alex Cade, 15, pushes his controller and walks past a prostitute. If he wants, he could pick her up, take her to a dark alley and pay her for sex. His health points would go up, and if he felt like it, he could shoot her and get his money back. But Alex is not interested in sex right now, so he merely slaps the prostitute around a little bit.

Alex is not wandering the streets alone or even thinking of engaging in any illegal activity. Rather, this high school sophomore is sitting inside playing “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas” with his friends on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon.

Tumult over tarmac sparks air show suit

With the 2005 Salute to Veterans Air Show fast approaching, Salute to Veterans Corp. is facing a lawsuit about its policies toward political activists.

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed suit in federal court on behalf of two local activists to gain access to the tarmac of the Columbia Regional Airport during the annual event.

Eastside bank robbed Saturday

Boone County National Bank, 5614 E. St. Charles Road, was robbed Saturday morning, Columbia police said.

According to a release, bank personnel said the suspect entered the bank and demanded money. He implied he had a weapon but never displayed one. He left on foot and headed northwest with an undisclosed amount of money. No one was injured.

Puzzling or inspiring?

For several weeks earlier this year, a model of how Carol Fleming’s 12 pillar-like structures would look in Stephens Lake Park was on display at City Hall, inviting public comment on its artistic merits.

The city’s Standing Committee on Public Art and the Office of Cultural Affairs had already recommended the City Council approve Fleming’s project, which would be funded by $18,500 in public money. But by the March 21 vote, public reaction to the piece was less than enthusiastic. Of the 54 comments offered, only 15 were favorable.

Communion dress hunt for granddaughter

It’s every grandmother’s dream, and when I got the call from my daughter-in-law, I had to pinch myself. My 8-year-old granddaughter wanted ME to go shopping with her to pick out her dress for her first Holy Communion.

When I picked her up for our big shopping date, she held a stack of pictures of dresses she found on the Internet. Leafing through them, I noted that most had price tags above $100. I asked her which of the gowns she liked most, and she picked out two. I had my work cut out for me, but I felt I was up to the task of finding the “perfect” dress.

Kewpies earn Merit scholarships

Stefan Novosel and Ben Shelton, seniors at Hickman High School, have been selected as recipients of a National Merit Scholarship worth $2,500 apiece.

Novosel and Shelton, both 18, were selected as winners because of their exceptional skills, accomplishments and potential.

Lending a helping hand

For 150 years, the one-room Claysville General Store has been a lone beacon to southern Boone County travelers, from Missouri River loggers to Katy Trail bicyclists.

The store isn’t calling it quits anytime soon. An additional wing, scheduled to open this month, will double the restaurant’s occupancy — to two rooms.

ON A ROLL

The bowling ball’s sole purpose is to knock down as many pins as possible. So what makes one ball roll better than another? At AMF Town and Country Lanes in Columbia, balls ranging in size, color and weight are used by bowlers who hope for a strike or at least a spare.

But how much do you know about the ball you choose? They can fly down the lane and slam into the pins, or they can inch along with relatively no force at all.

Together in unity

On a recent Tuesday evening, 8-year-old Jonathan Jalali sat on the couch, eager to show off his newly acquired skills on the guitar for a small group of people gathered in his family’s living room. He started playing softly, timidly, but his confidence grew as everyone united to sing the tune with him.

“Oh Bahá’u’lláh, oh Bahá’u’lláh, oh Bahá’u’lláh.

Clipping cancer

Toenail clippings doused with radiation at the MU Research Reactor could hold the key to preventing prostate cancer. Researchers are testing toenail samples from men across the country to find out whether optimizing selenium intake reduces the risk of prostate cancer. Selenium is a naturally occurring chemical element found in soil and food. Combined with other molecules, it is one of the elements essential to animal and human health.

Scientists at the nuclear reactor — the largest one on a U.S. college campuses — are using radiation to bombard the samples with neutrons, which makes the amount of selenium measurable. It is one of the few trials conducted to study methods for preventing cancer rather than possible cures, said David Waters, director of the Gerald P. Murphy Cancer Foundation and a professor of comparative oncology at Purdue University.

Graduates continue ivy, rose traditions

In the words of Stephens College President Wendy Libby, Saturday was just the beginning for more than 100 graduates at Silverthorne Arena on the Stephens campus. The space was filled with family, friends, faculty, staff and well-wishers as jubilant music played over the speakers in anticipation of the graduation ceremony. The crowd was joyful and often raucous as loved ones walked across the stage to receive a diploma and a white rose.

Before entering the arena, the graduates gathered near Firestone Baars Chapel to proceed from the residential quadrangle. The graduates wore fanciful footwear and festive outfits as they chatted with each other in scattered clusters. With a few minutes to go, the diverse group donned black robes and mortar boards.

Theft was motive in Wal-Mart fires, investigators say

Wal-Mart’s surveillance videos have helped Columbia fire investigators determine theft as the motive in two related cases of arson at two Columbia stores Thursday night, Columbia Fire Department Battalion Chief Steven Sapp said.

In a news release, Sapp said the motive appeared to be an attempt to steal electronic merchandise from the stores by using the fires as a diversion.

Sheriff sends strangulation case evidence to 2 other law agencies

Evidence sent to two Missouri law enforcement agencies may help investigators make an arrest in the strangulation death of 77-year-old Zelpha Turner in the next few days, an official with the Boone County Sheriff’s Department said.

Sgt. Tom O’Sullivan said evidence collected from the crime scene at 6060 N. Highway VV and surrounding areas has been sent to the Missouri State Highway Patrol and Kansas City Police Department for review.

Columbia College demonstrates unity

On a sunny, breezy morning, 125 graduating seniors of all ages walked through Rogers Gate at Columbia College, linked by an ivy chain.

Before commencement Saturday, seniors at the college took part in a tradition called the Ivy Chain Ceremony. The 104-year-old ceremony symbolizes how the students have grown close over the years. The chain of ivy is cut upon graduation to allow them to be themselves, while reminding them that they came from the same place, said senior Julie Kendrick, who sang at the event.

Restaurant wins award

Thomas Bair said he felt honored when he was awarded the Columbia Chamber of Commerce’s 2005 Small Business of the Year award, but added it’s not all about winning.

“Our business is not better than anyone else’s,” said Bair, owner of the Cherry Street Artisan cafe. “The fun thing about this is recognizing all the hard work that these business owners put into their job.”

Partners in Education celebrate 21st year

The air was full of blue and white flags and inspiration as a few hundred parents, teachers and students gathered for the 21st annual Partners in Education Flag Celebration on Thursday.

Partners in Education is an organization of businesses and public schools in Columbia that helps to promote educa-tion among students by sharing human resources. The celebration is held each May.

Victim feared repairman, sister says

Zelpha Turner told her sister only days before she was strangled that she was afraid of a neighbor she had hired to repair the roof of her garage.

Margery Wade of Centerville, Iowa, said Turner, who was 77, told her during an April 29 telephone conversation that she was thinking of investing in a home security system.

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