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Man implicated in Tuesday shooting surrenders to police

A 19-year-old Columbia man turned himself into Columbia police Wednesday afternoon after he was implicated in a shootout in a central Columbia neighborhood on Tuesday.

Joshua Lambert of 212 Unity Drive was charged with unlawful use of a weapon in connection with the shooting early Tuesday at the corner of LaSalle Place and Allen Street. He is being held at Boone County Jail on $100,000 bond.

Rally protests cutbacks

Rosanna Cassidy knows what it’s like to be homeless. While living in Springfield in 1994, she and her 2-year-old daughter lived in a shelter for three months before getting a helping hand from the federal government.

While in college, Cassidy was able to study and raise her daughter at the same time thanks to a $485 monthly rent voucher she received from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Section 8 program. After college, she landed a job, and by 2003, she was earning enough money that she no longer required the government’s help.

Reality show sends teacher home

Brook Harlan, culinary arts teacher at Rock Bridge High School, had to relinquish the glow of the spotlight for the warmth of his hometown. Harlan, one of eight finalists in the Food Network’s reality show, “The Next Food Network Star,” was the first contestant eliminated from the series on Sunday.

Finalists on the show compete for their own cooking series on the Food Network. Although Harlan was eliminated from the series, he said he has no regrets.

Columbia worker killed while repairing utility pole

A Columbia Water and Light employee was killed and another injured this morning while repairing damage in Independence from Wednesday's storms.

Steve Ebert, 33, was electrocuted at 8:50 this morning when the boom of an electrical truck he was touching made contact with a 7,600-volt wire overhead, said George Morrow, Independence Power and Light director.

Ebert was working with a team of Columbia Water and Light employees to replace a utility pole that was damaged, cutting power to parts of Independence.

Columbia Water and Light has not had a worker killed since 1954, when Charles Pollack died from injuries suffered while repairing lights on a baseball field.

Ebert worked for Columbia Water and Light since 1993. He is survived by his wife and three children.

Charles Schouten, also of Columbia, was injured in the accident and admitted to Independence Regional Health Center.

- Brian Hamman

Updating a Columbia Landmark

Wabash Station has led a quiet existence for the past 40 years since the shrill whistles of the old iron horses that once shuttled residents to and from McBaine fell silent in 1964.

The grinding of diesel engines now fills the 95-year-old rail depot as Columbia Transit buses carry commuters throughout the city. But the building, which the city bought in 1977 as a hub for its bus system, is showing its age.

IT’S NOT ALL FUN IN THE SUN: A shallow pool of lifeguards

The city needs more lifeguards and could face staffing problems if it cannot find and hire enough certified staff this weekend.

“Right now, we’re understaffed,” Janel Twehous, aquatic supervisor for the city, said on Wednesday. “I am short at almost every facility.”

HARG likely to end Sapp protests

After twice preventing annexation requests by developer Billy Sapp, Harg residents probably will step aside this week and let the city decide whether to add 805 acres to east Columbia.

Renee Richmond, spokeswoman for Harg Area for Responsible Growth, met with Sapp representative Don Stamper on Wednesday to iron out the details of a statement of intent. If both parties sign, which seems likely, Harg residents will not petition a third time to keep the city from voting on the annexation request.

Democrats open new workplace downtown

Last week the Boone County Democratic Central Committee took what it considered to be the best step toward securing its place in Columbia’s ideological landscape by establishing a permanent residence downtown.

The committee thinks that there is an influx of more conservative voters as Columbia grows and attracts new residents.

Real estate value increases by 19% in Boone County

Reassessment this year has boosted the value of Boone County real estate by about 19 percent to more than $1.5 billion, Tom Schauwecker, assessor, said this week.

Schauwecker’s preliminary reassessments of all properties in the county show an increase in value totaling $224 million. He predicts that number will rise even more once the values for personal property and state-assessed railroads and utilities are released at the end of the month.

New funds help repair ragtime musician’s home

For some, the J.W. “Blind” Boone home is just another building on Fourth Street in downtown Columbia. For Lucille Salerno and others, it’s a chance to pass along the history of ragtime music to future generations. “Boone was such a prominent figure during his time, and his influence in the musical world was extraordinary,” said Salerno, president emeritus of the John William Boone Heritage Foundation. “It’s important that we try to protect this history and make it available for the public to see.” In the past four years, the Blind Boone home has seen quite a facelift as part of ...

Book relates an active life

Some people’s lives are so compelling that they preserve their legacies in an autobiography. Ray Cope, 74, has written two.

“Well, the first book wasn’t really an autobiography, because I got bogged down into comparisons between Britain and the United States,” said the Liverpool native. “A lot of people wrote me and said they’d enjoyed the book but were sorry I didn’t include more personal details.”

Variability could produce better corn

More than 6,000 years ago, settlers in the Americas began to domesticate teosinte — the ancient ancestor of corn. Recently a team of scientists from three universities collaborated and now better understand the link between the grass-like teosinte, which is inedible by today’s standards, and its delectable modern-day offspring.

Native farmers and plant breeders have long improved teosinte, which grows naturally in Mexico and Central America, and corn by finding plants with desirable traits, such as a particular size or resistance to disease, said Michael McMullen, research geneticist with the agricultural research service of the USDA and an adjunct associate professor of plant sciences at MU. The seeds from such plants are then used to create the next crop.

Sentencing in Heitholt case postponed

The sentencing for a 20-year-old Columbia man who has pleaded guilty to killing Kent Heitholt, the former sports editor at Columbia Daily Tribune, will be postponed until after the October trial of his suspected accomplice, Ryan Ferguson, Boone County Prosecuting Attorney Kevin Crane said Wednesday.

Charles Erickson was to be sentenced on Monday for second-degree murder, first-degree robbery and armed criminal action in connection with Heitholt’s 2001 homicide. He pleaded guilty to the charges in November and accepted a plea agreement.

MU council to take up e-mail privacy issues

As university faculty, staff and students do more and more work electronically, the possible invasion of privacy has become an issue.

This afternoon, the MU Faculty Council will discuss what can be done about keeping e-mails private.

Hearts healed through art

Russel Hughes says his multiple disabilities used to make him something of a recluse. But that all changed six years ago when he was introduced to Tarzie Hart, assistant director of Ramp Art.

“All of a sudden things opened up for me,” Hughes said.

KU students still weighing lawsuit

Three of four University of Kansas students involved in the March 6 altercation at the MU men’s basketball game said they are keeping their options open for filing a lawsuit against MU or MU Police Chief Jack Watring.

Andrew Wymore, Chris Green and Chris Kaufmann are in the process of filing a formal appeal against the university’s investigation into the actions of Watring and said they might proceed further if necessary.

Gift to fund waterfall at Stephens Lake

Mary Nall and her husband, Russ, always enjoyed the outdoors.

“She loved flower gardens,” said Robert Grant of his late sister, who was born and raised with six brothers and sisters in a two-story farmhouse in what is now southwest Columbia. When the couple went on vacation, he said, “they’d go to a national park.”

Correction

Mildred Webber, deputy chief of staff for U.S. House Majority Whip Roy Blunt, R-Mo., filed six late disclosure forms in early May for trips she took in 2004. A headline May 31 attributed the late filings to the wrong person.

Fulton woman’s death a homicide

Investigators have ruled a Fulton woman’s death a homicide after police found her body in her home Tuesday morning.

Fulton police found the body of 28-year-old Shawnda Reed in her home shortly after 10 a.m. Tuesday.

Need for marijuana defense falls

Marijuana use brings up issues of freedom and justice, but for criminal-defense attorneys, marijuana users and offenders are part of their business — or recent lack of business.

Several criminal-defense attorneys in Columbia said there has been a decrease in business since the passage of the local marijuana ordinance law in November.

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