Westminster welcomes displaced students

Westminster College in Fulton will open 20 spots to students displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Westminster admissions director Kelle Silvey said the college will cover tuition and housing for up to 20 affected students.

Winner donates his cash prize

When Business Network International member John Corn of Columbia won a $95 cash prize during a drawing at the group’s Wednesday meeting, he decided to donate it to hurricane relief. The network will match the prize, resulting in a donation of $190. Corn is a member of BNI’s Columbia Referral Network Chapter, which meets weekly at the Lenoir Woods Conference Center.

Guide to Local Giving

Many local organizations, businesses and individuals are either contributing to hurricane relief or providing ways for area residents to help. Here’s a list. The Salvation Army is accepting monetary donations. Donations earmarked “Disaster Relief” can be made online at, by calling 442-3229 or by mailing a donation to Salvation Army, P.O. Box 1864, Columbia, Mo. 65205.

Video report

Gas Woes--the long trip down I-55

A Long Day in Louisiana

Chaos erupts; relief promised

NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans descended into anarchy Thursday, as corpses lay abandoned in street medians, fights and fires broke out and storm survivors battled for seats on the buses that would carry them away from the chaos. The tired and hungry seethed, saying they had been forsaken. “I’m not sure I’m going to get out of here alive,” said Canadian tourist Larry Mitzel, who handed a reporter his business card in case he goes missing. “I’m scared of riots. I’m scared of the locals. We might get caught in the crossfire.”


Where do you begin from here?

$70 million street projects approved

A local transportation planning group has identified nearly $70 million in highway and street improvements it wants to complete within the next three years. The projects, approved by the Coordinating Committee of the Columbia Area Transportation Study Organization as part of its fiscal 2006 Transportation Improvement Program, include 59 transportation projects by five government and nonprofit agencies.

Gasoline leak poses hazard

A tractor-trailer carrying explosives sprung a fuel leak Thursday morning on Interstate 70, forcing an emergency crew to drain the remaining fuel. The tractor-trailer was traveling east en route to Alabama when some debris from the road punctured the right fuel tank.

MU breaks ground on journalism institute

Shoveling dirt is rarely a cause for celebration. Yet Thursday’s groundbreaking ceremonies for the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute brought prominent members of Columbia and MU together to begin construction by doing a bit of shoveling. The shovel was in fact the one used in 1919 to break ground for nearby Neff Hall.

UM System considering separate tuition rates

Members of the MU tuition task force anticipate that in the next few years each campus in the University of Missouri System will have its own tuition rate. Called “decoupling,” the idea is being discussed at the same time as Elson Floyd, president of the UM System, is seeking input on guaranteeing tuition rates.

Roomy Reactor lot sees little use

While two MU commuter lots are filling up, a new lot at Reactor Field that cost $1.2 million isn’t getting much use. On Monday morning, about 55 cars occupied the 980-space lot near the Research Reactor Center on Providence Road south of Memorial Stadium.

Finding humor among ruins left by Katrina

SLIDELL, La. — The comedy/tragedy mask tattoo on Mike Durand’s right biceps couldn’t be a more appropriate symbol for how he rode out Hurricane Katrina. The tragedy is everywhere in Slidell, particularly along U.S. 11, a route that parallels the shattered Interstate 10 into New Orleans. At first, it’s just downed trees. Then, it’s downed trees that have chrushed cars crashed into buildings. Speedboats sit on restaurant porches and are suspended above the ground, caught between the wall of a pawn shop and some concrete stumps.

Looters’ shots halt Task Force relief work

The rescue efforts of Task Force I came to an abrupt halt Thursday when armed looters shot at Federal Emergency Management Agency workers. However, the looters did not directly target the Task Force I workers.

From class to chaos

A few days ago, Anthony “Tony” Kovall was sitting in class at Columbia College. Today he is being deployed to Louisiana, where he and other members of the Missouri National Guard will assist with Hurricane Katrina disaster relief. Kovall, 19, graduated from Rock Bridge High School in 2004. He and his family lived in Columbia for about 10 years but moved to Madison, Wis., a year ago. Kovall joined the National Guard the summer after his junior year of high school. He graduated in January from six months of training to be a combat medic.

Gas, oil supply chains strained

Supplies ran dry at a small, but growing, number of gas stations across the United States on Thursday as Gulf Coast refiners and pipelines remained hobbled by Hurricane Katrina and motorists nervous about tightening supplies lined up to top off their tanks. Most of the stations with “out of gas” signs and yellow caution tape draped across their pumps were concentrated along the East Coast and in Midwest states. Station owners said many of the shortages were temporary, exacerbated by panic buying and delayed deliveries.

Uncertainty shrouds deployment

Uncertain of their final destination or when they might return, approximately 50 members of the 128th Field Artillery Battalion were making preparations at the National Guard Armory north of Columbia on Thursday to leave for the area devastated by Hurricane Katrina. “I don’t know exactly where we are going or when we are leaving,” 1st Lt. Farron Fitzpatrick said on Thursday afternoon. “The mission is changing by the hour.”

Displaced La. students enroll in Missouri schools

Students from three New Orleans universities have begun taking classes at MU and the University of Missouri-St. Louis. At least seven other institutions across Missouri are gearing up for additional enrollment as a result of Hurricane Katrina. Ann Korschgen, vice president for enrollment management at MU, said 10 students have already enrolled as undergraduates. The university has received at least 35 undergraduate inquiries as well as inquiries from students considering the university’s professional schools, she said.