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Residents scrutinize Blue Ridge Road plans

Residents of Prairie Hills subdivision voiced complaints Thursday about a plan approved by city officials that will route Blue Ridge Road into Creasy Springs Road north of a curve where, according to Boone County Presiding Commissioner Keith Schnarre, 15 accidents have occurred in two years, one of them being fatal.

The city approved the realignment as part of plans for the developing Vanderveen subdivision being built by Steve Herigon of Herigon Construction.

MU Health Care alliance creates space

MU Health Care and the MU School of Medicine are combining money and efforts to construct a $26.3 million building that would provide both with much-needed space.

The Clinical Support and Education Building is expected to be built on the west side of the existing hospital and medical school complex, according to documents prepared for a meeting Thursday of the UM System Board of Curators.

Hollywood veteran heads to Stephens

Ken LaZebnik knows the entertainment business. After nearly 30 years producing film, theater and television across the country, his work will soon bring him back to his childhood home. In June, he will leave Hollywood to be dean of a new school of performing arts at Stephens College.

Rex Stevens, vice president of academic affairs at Stephens College, said he thinks LaZebnik’s success and experience, including work as supervising producer for “Star Trek: Enterprise” and “Touched by an Angel,” will allow him to build a school that combines various entertainment studies such as theater, dance, film, television and radio.

Water Patrol set to target permits

This Memorial Day, on one of the busiest boating weekends of the summer, the Missouri State Water Patrol will be scouting for more than just careless and intoxicated boaters.

Officers will also be checking for boater permits, said Capt. Matt Walz, director of training for the water patrol. A law that took effect on Jan. 1, requires that individuals 21 and younger — anyone born after Jan. 1, 1984 — carry permits while operating boats, sailboats and jet skis. Boats that rely on paddles or oars are excluded.

Talk launches kids’ dreams

Fourth-graders sat scattered around the computer lab at Field Elementary School peering at a big screen on the wall. This was no normal class video about space.

Instead, the 40 students not only watched but talked with astronaut and Missouri native Linda Godwin.

Experts discount tree fungus

Tree experts in Columbia are advising property owners not to worry about a fungus that is affecting the appearance of sycamore and ash trees this spring.

Simeon Wright, coordinator of MU’s Plant Diagnostics Clinic, has heard reports of the anthracnose fungus from colleagues across the state. In affected trees, Wright said, new shoots appear wilted and brown.

Lawsuit aims to save relic

Attorney General Jay Nixon made a bold move Thursday by suing the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and its director to stop plans to relinquish the state’s stake in the historic MKT lift bridge at Boonville.

Gov. Matt Blunt and the DNR want to give the bridge to Union Pacific Railroad, which intends to demolish it and reuse the parts to help refurbish a bridge over the Osage River.

‘In Flanders Fields’ inspired poppies

Memorial Day, which commemorates American soldiers who died in war, was first observed on May 30, 1868. The “National Moment of Remembrance,” signed by President Bill Clinton in 2000, encourages a moment of silence or the playing of “Taps” at 3 p.m.

Wearing red poppies to honor the dead came into fashion following the publication in 1915 of “In Flanders Fields” by Moina Michael:

Summer weather increases fire threat

While fire safety is nothing new, the summer months make fire prevention more critical.

The typical weather during the summer — dry, hot and humid — is a fire hazard itself. According to the National Weather Service Forecast Office, wind speed, temperature, and relative humidity impact the rate and intensity of a fire dramatically.

Seat belt campaign starts this weekend

In an effort to encourage safe driving during the holiday weekend, the Missouri Highway Patrol will be enforcing safety belt regulations with the Click It or Ticket campaign through June 5.

Last year, 76 percent of Missouri drivers were wearing seatbelts, while the national average was 80 percent, said Tim Hull, Missouri Highway Patrol spokesman.

Tip for safe travel: Get lots of rest first

AAA estimates 31.1 million travelers will take to the nation’s roads this holiday weekend, up 2.2 percent from last year. Michael Right, vice president of public affairs for AAA, recommends motorists get plenty of rest before driving —especially if the departure time is late at night or early in the morning — and make frequent rest stops. And, of course, don’t forget to buckle up.

Swimming pools opening for season

Oakland Family Aquatic Center will be the first city pool to open for the season. The pool will be operating on special hours, from noon to 6 p.m., between Saturday and June 3.

“This year’s extended opening is to accommodate the Columbia schools letting out a few days earlier than usual,” said Tammy Miller of the city Parks and Recreation Department.

UM ends investment contract, approves operating budget

The UM Board of Curators voted unanimously to end its contract with one of the University of Missouri System investment managers at a meet-ing Thursday.

DKR Capital Inc., an asset management firm in Stamford, Conn., manages $7.5 million in endowment funds and $25 million in UM’s retirement plan, according to documents presented for the meeting at MU. The documents state that DKR’s performance has been “acceptable,” but Nikki Krawitz, UM vice president of finance and administration, said there were other problems.

Five UM faculty honored for excellence

James Bogan is glad he didn’t have a crystal ball back in junior high school.

“If my eighth-grade self could have looked into the future and seen that he would be in a classroom for 37 years, he would’ve run into the woods,” Bogan said Wednesday after receiving the Presidential Award for Outstanding Teaching in the University of Missouri System. “I’m glad he didn’t.”

Retired lieutenant colonel gives scathing speech on Iraq policy

What was coined as a discussion on real patriotism sounded more like a case for why the Bush administration has failed in foreign policy.

“I will not stand by and watch an appointed president send our sons and daughters around the world to kill terrorists for the oil companies,” Robert Bowman said.

The lengths they’ll go to help out

Mike Wallace, a recent graduate and member of the Pi Kappa Phi fraternity, plans to cap his MU experience by helping cyclists make a more than 4,000-mile trip from San Francisco to Washington, D.C.

The trip, called “The Journey of Hope,” is a program created by Push America, which seeks to improve the lives of people with disabilities by raising money.

Betting devices to go bust soon

Although Boone County residents can still play video gambling machines, after Aug. 1 they will not be allowed to play for pay.

The Boone County Sheriff’s Department is enforcing a state statute established in 1992, which prohibits the use of gambling machines that provide cash winnings to players. The games include video poker, horoscope, coin pusher and pull-tab and are typically located in bars and restaurants.

Woman’s plea entered in shooting death case

The mother of a man charged in the shooting death of a Mexico restaurant owner pleaded guilty to six felony counts Monday.

Donna Doyal, 40, is the mother of Quinton Canton Jr., 18, one of two teens charged with killing Komninos “Gus” Karellas, 60.

Veterans share memories, mementos

Andrew Beckett, a seventh-grader at Lange Middle School, walked around his classmates in the dress uniform jacket of Korean War veteran Adolph Poese.

“This thing is heavy,” Andrew said.

8th-graders receive pins at graduation

Ripples of laughter filled the sanctuary at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church as teachers at Columbia Catholic School paid tribute to graduating students.

On Wednesday, 49 eighth-graders were honored in a pinning ceremony. Before students were pinned, teachers gave short speeches in their honor. Each teacher chose a few students and then shared humorous stories and anecdotes about their years at the Catholic grade school.

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