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Three arrested in Wal-Mart fires

Three arrests were made Sunday in connection with the arson fires at two Columbia Wal-Marts on Thursday night.

Police made the arrests after they received a tip about the suspects from the owner of the pick-up truck borrowed for use in the crime, according to a Columbia Police Department report. The owner was unaware of the crimes that were to be committed.

Neighbors, pastimes change with society

If you can envision summer evenings in your favorite small town with family members laid back on the porch swing watching the fireflies drift by, you probably remember when television was in its infancy and you could pop down to the corner and buy an ice cream cone. But flash forward to 2005 and nighttime across America in big cities and small towns usually feature the same scenario — folks gathered round the television set or the home screen, watching a film.

Neighborhoods everywhere have changed a lot since television became the No. 1 family activity.

Searching for a place of their own

Greg Hasseldahl sees starting a school from the ground up as an act of discovery.

As the founding principal of Good Shepherd Lutheran School, he is scouting a site for a school building that could accommodate what he sees as a great demand in Columbia for Christian education.

Unions accuse subcontractor of exploiting workers

Union carpenters sat in lawn chairs Monday afternoon at Stadium Boulevard and Providence Road handing out fliers that read, “Beware Jayhawkers Invade Columbia!”

The flier claims Dynamic Drywall, a subcontractor from Kansas for the construction of the Southwest Campus Housing project, is exploiting workers and squandering tax dollars. These claims are being made by the United Brotherhood of Carpenters Local 1925 and the Carpenters’ District Council of Kansas City and Vicinity.

Tensions rise over abortion proposal

JEFFERSON CITY — The biggest majority in the Missouri General Assembly is neither Republican nor Democrat, neither rural nor urban.

In fact, its members include most Republicans and rural lawmakers, many Democrats and some city lawmakers.

Residents aim to get gun-savvy

They are your neighbors, your friends; they are residents of Columbia. They are people you see at work, in the library and at church. They are lawyers, security guards, MU employees and Rotarians. And they are armed with HK Universal Self-loading Pistols.

About 15 Columbia residents practiced shooting handguns Saturday morning at the Green Valley Rifle and Pistol Club Range near Hallsville. The class was part of the Columbia and MU police departments’ spring Citizens’ Police Academy. Members were directed by five firearms instructors from the Columbia Police Department’s Special Tactics and Response team.

Message to drivers: Park it a few days

It’s a foreign concept to some. Biking or walking to where you need to go? Why do that when you can drive?

Bike, Walk and Wheel Week encourages people to leave their cars at home. The event, in its fourth year, got started Saturday at Flat Branch Park, where people embarked on either a group ride or hike.

Principal is ‘great friend’ to pupils

Bill Williamson always has a smile on his face and a friendly greeting for his students at Mill Creek Elementary School.

Williamson, 55, Mill Creek’s assistant principal, will retire this year after 31 years as an educator in the Columbia Public School District. He has been assistant principal at Mill Creek for six years.

City sets up new rules for grease traps

After the contamination of Hinkson Creek last year, the city has taken an official step to make sure grease traps do their job.

The Columbia City Council voted last Monday to require business owners to keep records of their grease-trap maintenance. They must develop a cleaning schedule and maintain cleaning and maintenance records for grease traps and interceptor devices connected to Columbia’s sewer system.

150 years of faith

People congregated outside Bethel Baptist Church about 7 p.m. Saturday, but they were not there for a sermon. Instead, members of the church came to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the church’s opening.

Bethel Baptist Church’s open house Saturday night allowed people to mingle, see historic documents and roam around the church buildings and grounds.

Columbia teen reports assault, kidnapping

An assault was reported Saturday at Austin and Garth avenues, according to police reports.

A 17-year-old boy was walking in the area when four men, ranging in age from 16 to 25, struck him from behind with a blunt object, according to a release from the Columbia Police Department. The men reportedly continued striking him as he fell.

In for a wild ride

Rachel Schaeffer reached her hand through the gate Sunday morning at the Boone County Fairgrounds and calmly stroked the wild mustang she would train for jumping and dressage competitions.

Rachel, 15, was one of many who adopted horses at the Bureau of Land Management’s wild horse and burro adoption sessions Saturday and Sunday.

Do you know what games your kids are playing?

Before he steals a few cars, hijacks a helicopter and shoots police and innocent bystanders, Alex Cade, 15, pushes his controller and walks past a prostitute. If he wants, he could pick her up, take her to a dark alley and pay her for sex. His health points would go up, and if he felt like it, he could shoot her and get his money back. But Alex is not interested in sex right now, so he merely slaps the prostitute around a little bit.

Alex is not wandering the streets alone or even thinking of engaging in any illegal activity. Rather, this high school sophomore is sitting inside playing “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas” with his friends on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon.

Tumult over tarmac sparks air show suit

With the 2005 Salute to Veterans Air Show fast approaching, Salute to Veterans Corp. is facing a lawsuit about its policies toward political activists.

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed suit in federal court on behalf of two local activists to gain access to the tarmac of the Columbia Regional Airport during the annual event.

Eastside bank robbed Saturday

Boone County National Bank, 5614 E. St. Charles Road, was robbed Saturday morning, Columbia police said.

According to a release, bank personnel said the suspect entered the bank and demanded money. He implied he had a weapon but never displayed one. He left on foot and headed northwest with an undisclosed amount of money. No one was injured.

Puzzling or inspiring?

For several weeks earlier this year, a model of how Carol Fleming’s 12 pillar-like structures would look in Stephens Lake Park was on display at City Hall, inviting public comment on its artistic merits.

The city’s Standing Committee on Public Art and the Office of Cultural Affairs had already recommended the City Council approve Fleming’s project, which would be funded by $18,500 in public money. But by the March 21 vote, public reaction to the piece was less than enthusiastic. Of the 54 comments offered, only 15 were favorable.

Communion dress hunt for granddaughter

It’s every grandmother’s dream, and when I got the call from my daughter-in-law, I had to pinch myself. My 8-year-old granddaughter wanted ME to go shopping with her to pick out her dress for her first Holy Communion.

When I picked her up for our big shopping date, she held a stack of pictures of dresses she found on the Internet. Leafing through them, I noted that most had price tags above $100. I asked her which of the gowns she liked most, and she picked out two. I had my work cut out for me, but I felt I was up to the task of finding the “perfect” dress.

Kewpies earn Merit scholarships

Stefan Novosel and Ben Shelton, seniors at Hickman High School, have been selected as recipients of a National Merit Scholarship worth $2,500 apiece.

Novosel and Shelton, both 18, were selected as winners because of their exceptional skills, accomplishments and potential.

Lending a helping hand

For 150 years, the one-room Claysville General Store has been a lone beacon to southern Boone County travelers, from Missouri River loggers to Katy Trail bicyclists.

The store isn’t calling it quits anytime soon. An additional wing, scheduled to open this month, will double the restaurant’s occupancy — to two rooms.

ON A ROLL

The bowling ball’s sole purpose is to knock down as many pins as possible. So what makes one ball roll better than another? At AMF Town and Country Lanes in Columbia, balls ranging in size, color and weight are used by bowlers who hope for a strike or at least a spare.

But how much do you know about the ball you choose? They can fly down the lane and slam into the pins, or they can inch along with relatively no force at all.

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