The gift of mobility

The building is not much to look at from the outside. Tucked away behind Mid City Lumber, the small warehouse is barely distinguishable from any other building along the industrial strip just off Paris Road. But inside, past the dirty windows and vines that cover the peeling white paint, is a workshop filled with band saws, drill presses, lumber and steel. The walls are covered with photographs and letters from around the world. Maps tracking financial donations from families and churches hang above a desk littered with international shipping orders and a Bible.

Euthanasia law changes considered

As new Chief Justice John Roberts and his Supreme Court colleagues clash over an Oregon law that allows doctors to assist terminally ill patients end their lives, the debate is under way in Missouri as legislators and end-of-life groups review the state’s position on doctor-assisted suicide. The Missouri End of Life Coalition held a summit in Jefferson City last Thursday and will begin compiling a report for next year’s Missouri General Assembly.

Credit card payment to cost more at Mizzou

MU students who plan to pay next semester’s tuition with a credit card had better act fast. Starting Jan. 1, MU will no longer accept credit cards for payments in the cashiers office.

Migrating butterflies linger on way to Mexico

Monarch butterflies are flapping their way through Missouri this fall, heading south for the winter. But while scientists say Missouri has probably seen the peak migration for this season, the little voyagers seem to be sticking around a bit longer. “Most of the migration is over in this area by the fourth of October, but there are unusually large numbers of late monarchs this year due to the warm weather and the strong winds from the southwest,” said Chip Taylor, an entomologist with the University of Kansas research program Monarch Watch.

UM curators approve $350M in bonds

ST. LOUIS — The University of Missouri Board of Curators spent part of their meeting Friday talking about how to pay for future construction of new academic buildings. The discussion sprang from a proposal to add onto MU’s Schweitzer Hall.

UMSL institute criticized for Democratic bias

ST. LOUIS ­— Misperceptions and complaints about an institute promoting the involvement of women in public life came out as accusations during a meeting Friday of the University of Missouri Board of Curators. The Sue Shear Institute for Women in Public Life was scrutinized over whether its current association with the University of Missouri-St. Louis and the taxpayer funding it receives conflict with what some say is bias toward Democrats and the exclusion of men.

Columbia School Board to discuss real estate in closed session

The Columbia School Board will meet in closed executive session Monday afternoon to consider the leasing, purchasing or sale of real estate, according to its agenda. Afterward, at its regular evening meeting, the board will hear from the Long-Range Facilities Planning Committee. Lynn Barnett, assistant superintendent for student support services, said the committee will provide an update on existing school buildings.

Hartsburg expects 45,000 to celebrate pumpkin pride

If you think a town the size of Hartsburg — population 108 — cannot handle an influx of thousands of festival-goers, think again. The town’s 14th Annual Pumpkin Festival takes place this weekend, complete with treats such as apple butter cooking demonstrations, homemade arts and crafts, and of course, sizable pumpkins ready for Halloween carving or pumpkin pie.

5 ideas

[1] Elusive killer MU police released a photo this week of the knife they say was used to kill Jeong H. Im, a retired research professor at MU. Im was found dead of multiple stab wounds Jan. 7 in the trunk of his burning Honda in the Maryland Avenue parking garage.

Hurricane Katrina creates an unlikely marriage between Connecticut doctors and mid-Missouri EMTs

In the days immediately after Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast, Keith Schaefer said he called every relief organization he could think of to volunteer his help. Most told him they just wanted money. When the Red Cross expressed interest, Schaefer cleared his work schedule for three weeks but never heard back. He was frustrated and about to give up when his father, Mark Schaefer, had a wild idea: Take an ambulance and go.

Mavs, county explore building new ballpark

Boone County’s government needs commercial activity to boost its fairground. The Mid-Missouri Mavericks need a new place to play. A possible partnership between owners of the minor league franchise and county commissioners is leading representatives of the two sides out of town this week to get a look at other ballparks.

Group hears pitch for Nov. tax issues

Opinions were split among members of the Boone County Muleskinners after hearing a pitch for approval of the six city propositions that will appear on the Nov. 8 ballot. Muleskinner Earl Lubensky wondered if the projects could be financed from the city’s general budget if voters do not approve the propositions.

Columbia businesses fundraise for United Way

Twenty-six Columbia businesses set the pace for United Way fundraising efforts Thursday, offering $646,450 in pledges. “We went close to $1,000 over the corporate goal,” Julie Coleman, the store administrative assistant for Schnucks in Columbia said.

Cooks use steak, tofu in chili challenge

Professional chefs and amateur “campfire cooks” squared off in the Columbia Jaycees’ Chef’s Chili Challenge Thursday night at the Holiday Inn Expo Center. At least one of the cooks, Cheng-Chih Kuan, had never cooked chili before. The Taiwanese businessman made his chili with tofu mushrooms, soy sauce, beef, chili beans, green onions, tomato juice and chili bean sauce.

Group protests housing project

With signs bearing the words “Why are we left out of the process?” and “We don’t need demolition, we need proper maintenance,” public housing residents and other Columbians marched down Park Avenue on Thursday to protest plans to redevelop 70 homes administered by the Columbia Housing Authority. The marchers said they were concerned that a Housing Authority task force would vote Thursday on a final plan to redevelop the Park Avenue homes, although no such vote was taken.

Two-wheel drive

A futuristic half-bicycle, half-scooter caught the probing eyes of tailgaters of all ages as it glided quickly through Hearnes Center field house during a recent MU football game. Rolling backward, forward and in circles, this motorized vehicle is unlike your dad’s old scooter. “When you go to college, you’ll be wheeling around one of those things instead of walking,” said tailgater Denise Thurman to her 8-year-old son and his friend.

Columbia’s sales tax rate ranks 10th but ...

Columbia has the 10th-highest sales tax rate among the 65 Missouri cities with populations of more than 10,000, according to figures released by city Finance Director Lori Fleming. Of the 65 cities, 34 have sales tax rates greater than or equal to Columbia’s, according to the news release.

Panel offers competing views of tax propositions

The League of Women Voters held its first tax forum Thursday night to open a dialogue on the six tax proposals voters will face on the Nov. 8 ballot. Mayor Darwin Hindman and City Manager Ray Beck spoke in favor of the tax initiatives. Ben Londeree and Traci Wilson-Kleekamp, members of Timely and Responsible Road Infrastructure Financing, spoke against the proposals.

Board toughens high school graduation requirements

Columbia students who enter high school in the fall of 2006 will face tougher graduation requirements than upperclassmen do. The state Board of Education approved new requirements Thursday thatincrease the minimum number of graduation credits from 22 to 24. Eighth-graders set to graduate in 2010 will be the first class affected by the decision.

Gov. BlUNT lauds new health care premiums

JEFFERSON CITY — Gov. Matt Blunt said Wednesday that newly required premiums for a children’s health insurance program are a reasonable step that helps build personal responsibility. His remarks came after children in thousands of families lost their state-funded health care this week because their parents failed to pay the premiums.