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Group to promote airport use

A volunteer task force has been established to promote greater use of Columbia Regional Airport, which has struggled with declining passenger numbers in recent years. The task force will concentrate on marketing the airport’s favorable characteristics and what airport advocates believe are the advantages of flying from Columbia Regional rather than driving to the airports in St. Louis or Kansas City.

Wilco concert wraps up summer

Summer unofficially comes to an end tonight when the rock band Wilco plays outside to a sold-out crowd at the last installment of the Ninth Street Summerfest. Between 2,500 and 3,000 people are expected to pay to listen to the Chicago-based band, with others expected to show up outside the barrier to listen for free, said C.K. Hoenes, owner of W.G. Grinders and one of the Summerfest sponsors.

Tattered Tiger

After a history of vandalism, remakes, and damage from water and the occasional snowplow, the Tiger Spot on Lowry Mall outside Ellis Library is once again in dire need of care and maintenance. A dozen small and large chunks of the 30-foot-diameter glass tile mosaic have vanished, leaving deep scars in the tiger’s face. “We are aware of the damage, and we are looking into what steps to take in order to fix it,” MU spokesman Christian Basi said.

Schools to let out early today because of heat

Public school students will be dismissed early from classes because extreme heat is predicted for this afternoon, Columbia Public Schools announced Monday. Here are times for early dismissals:

Officials hear testimony about Medicaid cuts

Kathy Forshee said her life depends on Medicaid. Without the medication the program helps her purchase, Forshee said she probably would have died a year ago from melanoma, as doctors predicted.

TV tribute to musician to air

A spritely jig swells as Bob Black picks his banjo. As the instrumental peaks with joviality, the weep of Chris Brashear’s fiddle flutters to the fore, almost as a harmonious remembrance of a lost friend. The performance was one of the many musical tributes offered one evening last spring to the late Columbia bluegrass musician, Forrest Rose, who died unexpectedly in Phoenix on March 20. More than 800 people, including dozens of musicians Rose had played with through the years, attended the event at The Blue Note. For everyone else, Columbia Access Television will be airing the tribute tonight and Sept. 23 through Sept. 25.

Seminar teaches lessons in amity

The one thing people who come to the Mid-Missouri Alternatives to Violence Project seminars have in common is a desire to make the world more peaceful, workshop facilitator Steve Meyerhardt said. On Sunday, seven people completed a three-day workshop at the Unity Center. Facilitator Scott Searles said a total of about 150 have completed the program in the past five years.

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.

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