Local mental health care providers said Tuesday that their clients could be severely harmed by proposed budget cuts to the Department of Mental Health. Agency directors said hundreds of Boone County residents would lose services if Gov. Matt Blunt’s budget proposal is accepted in its current form.
About 80 people crowded into a news conference at the Roger B. Wilson County Government Center commission chambers to listen to local providers and a former drug addict speak about the likely repercussions of the proposed cuts and the benefits the agencies provide to people within the community. After the speakers finished, several people in the crowd also spoke, including a few residents of the Phoenix House, an outpatient substance abuse program.
JEFFERSON CITY — It took a half hour and several tries before the commission, hand-picked by Gov. Matt Blunt to increase the efficiency of state government, could choose its next meeting date.
The commission has 20 members, many of whom have held posts in state government. The creation of the panel was a major plank in Blunt’s campaign platform and a goal he reaffirmed during his State of the State address.
Security personnel at Columbia Regional Airport questioned a recent Missouri honor medalist Saturday after they thought they found explosive material on a cake wrapper in his luggage.
Goenawan Mohamad, a founding editor of Tempo, a weekly Indonesian news magazine, and Bambang Harymurti, Tempo’s editor in chief, received a 2004 Missouri Honor Medal for Distinguished Service in Journalism on Thursday.
JEFFERSON CITY — Opponents of concealed guns joined with supporters Tuesday as the House endorsed legislation that attempts to fix a flaw in a law identified by the state Supreme Court.
In a ruling a year ago, the court upheld the legality of concealed guns but said a 2003 law authorizing concealed weapons could unconstitutionally impose new costs on county sheriffs who process the applications.
JEFFERSON CITY — House members endorsed legislation Tuesday that would provide a free college education to the spouses and children of military members killed or seriously wounded in combat.
Sponsoring Rep. Mike Cunningham, R-Marshfield, said 31 Missourians had been killed in the war in Iraq, but he did not know how many family members would qualify for the scholarships. They could be granted to the families of anyone killed or suffering 80 percent disability from combat action after Sept. 11, 2001.
JEFFERSON CITY — It has been more than 20 years in the making, and on Tuesday, student lobbyists from MU said they are on the verge of successfully gaining full voting rights on the university’s governing board of curators.
“This could be the year we get it done,” MU student lobbyist Charles Stadtlander said.
A 17-year-old piano virtuoso, a Generation-X violinist, a multi-choir community concert and tributes to both the Beatles and Beethoven are just a few of the featured performances scheduled for the Missouri Symphony Society’s summer season.
The society announced its eight-week schedule Monday for the 2005 Hot Summer Nights Music Festival. The series will comprise 17 performances in June and July, held mainly at the Missouri Theatre. This year’s festival is a week longer than last summer’s and includes three additional concerts.
As the bell rings for school to end, Barbara Stratton knows her job. She’s the crossing guard for kids, the greeter for parents and the dismissal coordinator for the school. That, and she’s the principal.
“Is your mom coming to chess (club) tomorrow night?” Stratton asks one student as Cedar Ridge Elementary School is being dismissed. When he says Mom can’t make it, she runs to her office to send home a flier.
JEFFERSON CITY — Sen. Chuck Purgason, R-Caulfield, has a problem with Medicaid.
“The system we’ve got here sucks,” Purgason told a Senate committee Monday. He was there presenting a bill that would eliminate a number of state health services, including coverage for expenses related to dental work, podiatry, wheelchairs, eye care and prosthetic limbs.
With a few strong pushes, Alex Hoffman launches himself into a skateboarding flow.
The 13-year-old Smithton Middle School student speeds down a vertical ramp at Columbia Skate Park, continuing through a concrete half-pipe, gaining momentum and confidence with each successful move.
City and county health officials got the thumbs up to investigate proposed changes to Columbia’s smoking ordinance at Monday night’s Columbia City Council meeting.
The council voted 5-1 to let the Columbia/Boone County Board of Health form a committee to look into a potential indoor smoking ban.
Opponents of Billy Sapp’s 1,000-acre annexation proposal fought and won round one Monday. Now it’s round two, and opponents are ready for another fight.
Harg Area Residents for Responsible Growth spokeswoman Renee Richmond voiced the group’s concerns at a public hearing on the revised Billy Sapp annexation proposal at a Columbia City Council meeting Monday night. The proposed annexation would bring 170 acres into the city limits.
A nationally recognized scientist and author challenged conventional wisdom about the environment and its relationship to the U.S. economy in a speech at MU’s Life Sciences Center on Monday.
Jay Lehr began his presentation by warning, “What I’m going to tell you is not what you’re used to hearing.”
JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri Department of Mental Health opened its books to a Senate committee Monday amid protests against Gov. Matt Blunt’s proposed cuts.
Department director Dorn Schuffman told the Senate Appropriations Committee that the division of alcohol and drug abuse would lose nearly half its funding to Blunt’s proposed Medicaid cuts, which total about $12 million.
The scene Monday in Brady Commons was in ways reminiscent of a junior high school dance — only this time the wallflowers were state legislators waiting to talk with MU students.
Sitting at their own tables in Brady, lawmakers who represent areas of Columbia were there by invitation to meet students and to find out what issues concern them.
JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri’s new director of social services says improving child safety is his top priority.
Gary Sherman, who was named to head the Department of Social Services by Gov. Matt Blunt on Monday, has experience working in Missouri government stretching back to 1974, including two stints as a division director in the 1980s.
By JOE MEYER
A trio of property owners are planning to develop their land to create Richland Crossings, a 250-acre development on both sides of Richland Road east of Columbia.
Developers Garry and Drake Lewis and David Atkins began discussing plans in November to create a commercial and residential development at the intersection of Richland Road and a proposed extension of Stadium Boulevard to be called Highway 740.
It’s hard to function around people in denial. You have to be so careful not to jar them out of their state of bliss.
It’s not so bad when their condition is based only on personal relationship issues. For example, if they are in denial that their mate is unfaithful or that their children are deadbeats. People caught up in that kind of denial are usually harmful only to themselves.
JEFFERSON CITY — With little debate, the Senate gave first-round approval Monday to legislation aiming to make it tough for the adult entertainment industry to operate in Missouri.
The bill, SB 32, would impose a charge of $5 per customer for sexually oriented businesses, from strip clubs to adult bookstores, and a 20 percent tax on their revenues. The provisions are similar to what casinos in the state already must pay.