Group formed to support tax proposals

Columbia Mayor Darwin Hindman has created a committee of 30 residents to inform the community about the six propositions that will appear on the Nov. 8 ballot. Members met Tuesday night for the first time. “We believe (the ballot issues) are a good package for the community and are very important to the community,” Hindman said.

City to send workers to disaster areas

Columbia Mayor Darwin Hindman confirmed Tuesday that the city will send two firefighters and one health department worker to help in hurricane-stricken areas. Hindman also said the city expects to send electric linemen to the area at some point and will provide as many people as necessary in response to further requests.

Postal service urges address changes

The U.S. Postal Service asks anyone unable to receive mail at their permanent address to file a change of address immediately. They can be filed at or by calling 800-ASK-USPS. Beginning Thursday, un- claimed Social Security checks will be sent to the forwarding address. If no change has been filed, checks will be returned to the Social Security Administration.

Columbia-based insurers keep busy

Six thousand claims in Mississippi have been filed with Shelter Insurance Co. in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Joe Moseley, vice president for Shelter in Columbia, is helping out in Mississippi. He said the company has received no claim numbers from Louisiana.

MU class launches $1 fundraiser

By donating $1, the public — in particular MU students, faculty and staff — can contribute to Hurricane Katrina relief. Debbie Dougherty’s Organizational Communication class at MU has started a fundraiser called the Buck a Person Relief Fund. The goal is to collect $50,000, which will be donated to mid-Missouri agencies assisting people affected by Katrina.

Council OKs rezoning of 62-acre tract

Despite concerns about funneling more traffic onto Stadium Boulevard north of Interstate 70, the Columbia City Council approved a rezoning request Tuesday night that will accommodate the construction of 80 to 120 new homes at Stadium Boulevard and Sunflower Street. The council, with the blessing of city staff and the Columbia Planning and Zoning Commission, agreed to change zoning on the 62-acre tract from agricultural and industrial to single-family residential. Current plans call for an average of two homes per acre with 20 acres remaining undeveloped for the time being.

Donations sought for victims

About 2,000 people displaced by Hurricane Katrina are expected to arrive this morning at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport. The former residents of New Orleans will then go to a welcome center before being housed around the state. Agencies from Columbia, including United Way, American Red Cross and Goodwill Industries International, will provide donations of clothes, shoes and books for the welcome center.

Governor welcomes survivors to settle

JEFFERSON CITY — Gov. Matt Blunt on Tuesday invited refugees from Louisiana to make Missouri their new home. At a news conference, the governor and the state’s adjutant general announced that they are expecting around 4,000 victims of Hurricane Katrina to enter the state.

Supply of La. delicacies is pinched

While the full economic implications of Hurricane Katrina remain unclear, the after-effects continue to trickle down through the nation’s economy. Already, Columbia restaurateurs are reporting an impact on the cost of food, liquor and shipping. According to the Louisiana Seafood Promotion & Marketing Board, the Gulf Coast region contributed 10 percent of shrimp and 40 percent of oysters to the American market.

Natural gas prices expected to rise

Missourians will start feeling the effects of Hurricane Katrina when natural gas prices increase. Jeff Davis, Public Service Commission chairman, said customers will soon have to start paying more for natural gas because of the low supply in the Gulf.

It hurts..

Boone linemen restore power, spirits

LUCEDALE, Miss. — In a buggy oak and pine forest a couple of miles shy of the Alabama border, four Boone Electric Cooperative linemen sweated and toiled this Labor Day to restore power — and a sense of normalcy — to thousands of Mississippi residents left without power by Hurricane Katrina. Countless trees across the southern third of the state were left almost bare by the storm’s winds. Many pulled down power lines as the trees were snapped like toothpicks, falling northward in an eerily symmetrical pattern.

A city ‘destroyed’

NEW ORLEANS — A week after Hurricane Katrina, engineers plugged the levee break that swamped much of the city and floodwaters began to recede, but along with the good news came the mayor’s direst prediction yet: as many as 10,000 dead. Sheets of metal and repeated helicopter drops of 3,000-pound sandbags along the 17th Street canal leading to Lake Ponchartrain succeeded Monday in plugging a 200-foot-wide gap, and water was being pumped from the canal back into the lake. State officials and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers say once the canal level is drawn down two feet, Pumping Station No. 6 can begin pumping water out of the bowl-shaped city.

Rain, fuel costs hurt corn harvest

A hot, dry July and a rainy August are changing some central Missouri farmers’ expectations for this year’s corn harvest. “When that rain came, it had high winds with it, and as much as 50 percent of our stalks are lodged (or, beaten down) as we speak,” said Marty Bowne, a farmer with more than 500 acres of corn in Centralia and Sturgeon. “It’s either leaned over or broken.”

Churches open hearts, doors, wallets

Prentice Jones had never met Ralph Williams before Sunday, but that made no difference to Jones. Williams and his family, who fled New Orleans before Hurricane Katrina struck, were preparing to return to their hotel room in Mexico, Mo., after a barbecue Sunday afternoon in Columbia that fed hurricane evacuees. As Williams left, Jones pulled him aside.

Task force ordered to demobilize

Task Force I is coming home. “We received orders to demobilize our task force,” Boone County Fire Protection District Chief Steve Paulsell said Monday at a news conference. “Tomorrow morning at 7 a.m., they’ll be leaving the New Orleans area. They have to be off the site by no later than 7 because a couple of other task forces are coming in right behind them to occupy their space. They’ll be back here probably late Wednesday afternoon.”

Red Cross connects need with resources

The Boone County chapter of the American Red Cross held a four-hour training session Sunday for volunteers who hope to provide relief to areas hit hard by Hurricane Katrina. The chapter, located at 1805 W. Worley St., trained volunteers how to process information regarding family services for evacuees.

A home for history

It came to him through luck. Andrew Wetter and his family happened to be driving down St. Charles Road one day in 2001 when something dramatically changed his life.

Car not necessary for life’s pleasures

Several friends who have moved here from warmer climates tell me every year about how much they appreciate our change of seasons. My artist friends especially appreciate the way the landscape changes its various wardrobes throughout the year. These are the kinds of things that many of us who have always lived here tend to take for granted. As a summer person, I’m not particularly thrilled when the weather turns cold and icy. Still, I’m not sure I’d enjoy having Thanksgiving dinner outside on the picnic table or having a barbecue at Christmas. But I suppose I could get used to it. Most of us are more flexible than we think we are.

Eminent domain examined

Sunset Hills resident Bernice Cenatiempo wants to keep her house. She’s lived in the St. Louis suburb for 36 years, and the thought of selling and moving on doesn’t settle well.