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MU bridge finds a new haven at peace center

Robin Remington knew she needed a new bridge to complete the renovation of Peace Haven International in Columbia, so she was delighted when she was able to buy one from an MU surplus auction; her landscaper stumbled upon it when looking for a truck.

The pine bridge — 12 ½ feet long and weighing 850 pounds — was built for a national wooden bridge building competition by the Mizzou Timber Bridge Team. It represents more than six months of design and three months of construction work, said Caleb Philipps, an MU civil engineering major and president of the team.

Water utility: Ease up, folks

As temperatures hit the century mark Wednesday, the Columbia Water and Light Department issued its first water conservation advisory in several years. The department is asking residents to voluntarily cut back on their water use.

“The system’s under strain,” said department spokeswoman Connie Kacprowicz. “It’s getting more difficult for us to catch up at night refilling the reservoirs.”

Civil War sites to be marked

While the 150th anniversary of the Civil War remains six years away, the Columbia Conventions and Visitors Bureau is already working with the Missouri Civil War Foundation to make Columbia and Boone County a prominent part of the observance.

The bureau gave $2,000 to the foundation to establish and promote awareness of a driving trail through Columbia that will showcase important Civil War sites.

Choosing courage

A Columbia man and four of his friends rescued two teenagers from a burning pickup truck Tuesday, picking their way over scattered shotgun shells and flowing gasoline to get to the accident victims.

The teens were on their way to work at a gun range off St. Charles Road northeast of Columbia when the driver apparently lost control of the truck and struck a tree about 11 a.m.

Correction

A story in Monday’s special section, “Faith, Ethics & Values in Columbia,” included an incorrect translation of Baha’u’llah, founder of the Bahai faith. The name means “The Glory

of God.”

Cuts feared for anti-drug efforts

KANSAS CITY — A plan to cut money currently provided for local drug enforcement has officials in Missouri and Kansas worried it could hamstring their efforts to corral methamphetamine use.

The Bush Administration wants to eliminate $634 million now provided through the Byrne Grant program for drug task forces and cut funding for the High Intensity Drug Trafficking Areas program, which targets the most drug-infested areas, from $227 million to $100 million.

MU parking developments keep pace with car culture

Recently, Jim Joy, MU director of Parking and Transportation for the last 25 years, retold a story about a prospective student who asked whether he could be guaranteed a covered parking space for his Porsche.

“Making your choice of schools based on a parking space is a very poor decision,” Joy said he told the student incredulously.

Fair draws crowd in spite of heat

“Piggies!” squealed 18-month-old Aylie Haubner of Columbia, pointing at two black and white swine before climbing atop a small green tractor, pedaling only a few feet, scaling down and rushing over to a cage of turkeys.

Aylie made her first visit to the Boone County Fair on Wednesday, toddling around the Children’s Barnyard to introduce herself to the dozens of farm animals on hand.

Bush court pick leans conservative

Despite a pedigree of consistent conservatism that has won him the favor of President George Bush, potential future decisions by Supreme Court nominee John G. Roberts Jr. remain a mystery, Missouri legal experts and politicians said.

“There are still question marks and there are no guarantees,” said Rick Hardy, an MU political science professor and constitutional law expert with a past in Republican politics.

Bridge completion ahead of schedule

The lack of rain clouds over Columbia this summer has had at least one silver lining: speeding up the construction of the East Broadway bridge.

The project is two weeks ahead of schedule, according to Pat Fitzgerald, supervising engineer for the Columbia Public Works Department.

Central city shootings decline

Extra police patrols in several central Columbia neighborhoods seem to be helping curb shootings this summer.

Columbia police responded to more than 20 shootings between May 1 and July 1, with more than half of those shootings coming from Beats 40, 45, 50 and 55, located in central Columbia, Capt. Brad Nelson said.

Private, ‘hands-on’ school threatened by low enrollment

The Board of Trustees for Morningside Community School in Columbia will decide on Aug. 5 whether the school will stay open.

The school, housed in the Unity Center at 1600 W. Broadway, is at risk of closing because of low enrollment.

Food for thought

Gov. Matt Blunt’s Healthy Missourians Initiative wasn’t the only thing being served when he joined Columbians for lunch in Douglass Park on Tuesday. Medicaid and job cuts were also issues that residents such as Reba Newman hoped the governor would consider.

Blunt’s visit to Columbia was part of a statewide tour to unveil the Healthy Missourians Initiative. The program aims to prevent obesity and other chronic diseases by providing training and support for schools, families and other groups.

Too much heat, not enough rainfall

It’s hot. We haven’t had a good rain in a long time. And it’s about to get worse.

The National Weather Service on Tuesday issued a statement warning of an “extended period of dangerous heat” beginning today. Highs are expected to reach the mid-90s during the week and could hit 100 degrees by the weekend.

Survey finds support for tax renewal

A recent survey of Columbia voters shows strong support for renewing current sales taxes but lukewarm interest in new taxes.

Eighty percent of residents told the surveyors they probably would support renewing a one-eighth-cent sales tax for public safety and a one-quarter-cent tax for street and sidewalk projects.

Supply drive to aid foster-care families

The start of the school year leaves many students looking forward to a fresh box of crayons, sharp pencils and new notebooks. But for Boone County’s 302 foster children and their families, buying school supplies can be an extra financial burden.

“The amount of services that are available for our kids for activities like tutoring and day care funds have dried up,” said foster parent Karen Anderson.

Curators to restrict UM employment eligibility

The University of Missouri Board of Curators, the UM System’s governing body, is expected to adopt new legislation at a meeting Friday that would prevent curators, members of the Missouri General Assembly and elected or appointed statewide officials from being employed by the university.

“The policy is designed to prevent any perceived conflict of interest,” said Joe Moore, spokesman for the system.

Improving odds

For American Indians, the odds of getting a college education are not favorable.

“They have the lowest graduation rates from high school, the lowest graduation rates from college and the lowest rates of going on to graduate school,” said Whitney Laughlin, director of Graduate Horizons, a program designed to help the odds.

Saving children from meth homes

When Doug Westhoff walked into a motel-room-turned-meth-lab several years ago, among the chemical containers and other paraphernalia used to cook the drug, he also found baby blankets and a child seat. It was obvious to the Boone County assistant fire chief that children were present while the drug was being made.

In Missouri, almost 500 children were affected by methamphetamine labs in 2003, according to the most recent report by the Office of National Drug Control Policy. About 36 percent of the children were placed in protective custody. However, according to the Missouri Juvenile Justice Association, the numbers aren’t representative of the actual problem because the state lacks a uniform system of reporting the number of children affected by meth.

Mirror reflects youth lives

Journalist-saturated Columbia is becoming even more so, with the addition of a newspaper written for youth by youth.

On Wednesdays, young writers work to produce the Mid-Missouri Youth Mirror, an arm of the city’s Parks and Recreation Department.

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