Church awaits Katrina refugees

Frantically filling out paperwork Thursday evening, Pat Chavez of the American Red Cross directed church members where to put snacks in anticipation of scores of refugees fleeing Hurricane Katrina. “I’d be a nervous wreck if I had to stay in a shelter,” she said.

Nursery worker accused of abuse

A Columbia boy just shy of his second birthday was backhanded by a day care worker after being dropped off at Community Nursery School early Wednesday morning, police said. Lilly Davis, 65, was arrested by the Columbia Police Department and charged with endangering the welfare of a child in the second degree. She was released from Boone County Jail after posting $500 bond.

Former Olympics stage manager speaks at Stephens' opening convocation

Stephens College students listened and laughed as 1982 Stephens alumna Anne-Louise Wallace recounted the day she realized she was not going to be like her quiet, perfect older sister, whom she idolized. The sisters were walking to school when 7-year-old Wallace had her feelings hurt by a boy, and while her sister encouraged her to walk away, Wallace instead decided that hitting the boy over the head with her lunch box was a better idea.

Fueling Fears / Red Cross Shelter

Going North... and wondering why.

Team 2 on its way

Cleanup of Big Easy to take months

NEW ORLEANS — With thousands feared drowned in what could be America’s deadliest natural disaster in a century, New Orleans’ leaders all but surrendered the streets to floodwaters and lawlessness Wednesday and began turning out the lights on the ruined city — perhaps for months. “We know there is a significant number of dead bodies in the water,” and other people dead in attics, Mayor Ray Nagin said in calling for an all-out evacuation of the city’s remaining residents. Asked how many died, he said: “Minimum, hundreds. Most likely, thousands.”

Emotions run high en route to New Orleans

Editor’s note: On Tuesday, three Missourian staff members set off for the Mississippi Delta to report on the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Erin Richards will be filing regular dispatches for the Missourian, with photos by Meghan Lyden. Online reporter Stefanie Zimmerman will be posting to the Missourian’s Katrina blog, which can be found at

Picking up the pieces (video)

Boone County’s rescue team saves hundreds from flooding

On its second day of search and rescue operations in northwestern New Orleans on Wednesday, the Boone County Fire Protection District’s Task Force I was going house to house in boats and cutting open roofs to find trapped survivors, Fire Chief Steve Paulsell said. “Things are going well,” Paulsell said at a news conference Wednesday. As of Tuesday night, “operations had produced 332 rescues, many of whom were invalids and handicapped people who were essentially homebound,” he said.

Prices rise at the pump

The impact of Hurricane Katrina in Columbia is being felt at the gas pump, and consumers worry the worst is yet to come. After gas stations around the state raised their prices by 20 or 30 cents per gallon overnight, Attorney General Jay Nixon announced his office would look into instances of gas gouging around the state.

Laparoscopic prostate cancer surgery reduces recovery time at University Hospital

University Hospital has a new surgical option for men diagnosed with prostate cancer: a laparoscopic prostatectomy. The minimally invasive procedure has a shorter recovery time than traditional open surgery.

Spokesman: No votes taken by curators during closed session

The UM System Board of Curators met in closed session Wednesday “to discuss matters of litigation,” spokesperson Joe Moore said. The nine curators spoke from 3:15 p.m. to about 6:15 p.m., via conference phone, Moore said.

County crew helps restore power

Four Boone Electric Cooperative linemen sent to help restore power in southeastern Mississippi in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina are already hard at work. “These guys are working from about 4:30 in the morning to about 9:30 at night,” Boone Electric Manager of Operations Lee Ardrey said Wednesday. Despite the heat, humidity and long hours, “they were upbeat,” he said.

Lane striping to begin on East Nifong

Drivers experiencing problems because of a lack of lane stripes on East Nifong Boulevard should see improvements soon. The city’s Public Works Department, which began an asphalt overlay project July 25, reconditioned Nifong between Providence and Bethel roads. The half-mile overlay project was completed weeks ago, with the exception of lane striping. The staff and patrons of Legends Sports Bar and Grill, 10 W. Nifong Blvd., have noticed the missing stripes. Some motorists have mistakenly driven in the turning lane and on the shoulder.

Groups aid in hurricane relief

Local citizens, businesses and organizations are coming to the aid of hurricane victims in the coastal regions of Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida most in need. Jutta Hopkins, executive di­rec­tor of the Boone County Chapter of the American Red Cross, estimates local donations in excess of $10,000 on Wednesday alone. Others called to say they plan to start fundraisers at their schools, businesses and churches.

Blunt deploys troops from National Guard to disaster area

Between 1,000 and 1,100 troops from the Missouri National Guard, including some from Columbia and Fulton, will be deployed to Louisiana and Mississippi this week to help with security in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. The deployment is part of Gov. Matt Blunt’s response to the states’ requests for help. Troops will provide support to the states’ emergency management departments. The aid comes under an Emergency Mutual Assistance Compact that Missouri has with other states in the southern region.

Missouri schools enrolling refugees from hurricane

Columbia elementary schools have welcomed children relocating from the Gulf Coast. Refugee students have recently enrolled in both Shepard Boulevard and Russell Boulevard elementary schools. Lynn Barnett, assistant superintendent for student support services, said two or three additional families with children will soon enter Columbia schools as well.

Nixon warns Missouri donors against charity scams

The desire to donate to hurricane victims prompted Attorney General Jay Nixon to warn Missouri residents to be aware before they open their wallets. “I encourage Missourians to help these victims in any way they see fit, whether it be through donations of cash, clothing or food, or by assisting on-site with the cleanup,” Nixon said. “But I also want them to use common sense when choosing a charity so they can be sure their donations actually go toward the victims and not the crooks.”

A new kind of fame

Charlie Rosenbury looks and sounds like an average college sophomore. He’s dressed in an obscure band T-shirt, brown corduroy shorts and green flip-flops that look like they’re covered in AstroTurf. His hair is dark and curly, and his face is a little bit scruffy today. Drumming his fingers on his leg and mumbling the tune “Banana Pancakes” by Jack Johnson, he talks about his favorite bands and how living off campus is treating him. The twist is that this MU sophomore majoring in computer science has set a record­­­ — and it is making him famous.