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Deputies get new location

After nearly two years of delays, the Boone County Sheriff’s Department’s northern substation is expected to open at the end of June.

“It’s been a slow, painful process,” said Boone County Sheriff Dwayne Carey.

Rebate to reward energy conservation

A rebate program intended to encourage business and industry to install energy-efficient lighting won the approval of the Columbia City Council on Monday night.

The Water and Light Department’s effort targets primarily large commercial and industrial customers and aims to reduce their lighting energy costs by encouraging them to replace aging light fixtures with modern, energy-efficient technologies.

Death investigated in Fulton

FULTON — Police are investigating a possible homicide in a golf community on the northern edge of town.

Police Maj. Roger Rice said the victim was a woman in her 30s.

Sapp plan closer to vote

The Columbia City Council moved a step closer Monday night to approving what would be the largest voluntary annexation in the city’s history.

The council voted to formally introduce a bill on Billy Sapp’s proposed 805-acre development, paving the way for a final vote on June 20. The vote followed a public hearing that included impassioned calls for funding of road work to improve safety on Route WW, which would connect the proposed development to the rest of the city.

Court bolsters federal pot laws

Columbia’s marijuana ordinances could come under fire from the federal government because of Monday’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling on medical marijuana.

In the case Gonzales v. Raich, the court ruled in a 6-3 decision that federal laws prohibiting the use of marijuana under any circumstance override laws that states or cities may have passed.

Columbia ordinance stands

Heather De Mian does not smoke marijuana to fit in with the cool crowd or get high on weekends. She uses marijuana to control her nausea and pain.

“I can’t even get high,” she said. “I have been on opiate (painkiller) since I was 10 years old.”

After war, a heightened sense of thankfulness

When Andrea Hoffelt, 27, found out her husband Zak’s medical residency meant a sudden move to Columbia, she knew what to expect. Growing up in Vermillion, S.D., home of the state’s flagship university, life in a college town was nothing new. She could handle the skateboarding teens on downtown sidewalks, traffic jams on football weekends and other vagaries of life in a college town. Far more difficult was getting used to the eternal calm of the suburbs without mortar shells flying over her head. “When the deployment was over, it felt as though a tornado had picked me up, spun ...

The gift of a garden

Preparing the earth is a labor of love for gardeners in the Community Garden Coalition. For Zackary Riley, it’s also a way to give back to someone who gave a lot to him: his late girlfriend, Autumn Cox.

Earlier in the spring, Riley was moved to donate a strip of land on Seventh Street and 10 acres near the Lake of the Woods, east of Columbia, to the coalition.

House blaze caused by storm

Sunday morning’s storm started a fire that caused about $30,000 in damage when lightning struck the house on Glenn Wesley Court.

Homeowners Dwayne and Lois Baskett awoke about 3 a.m. to a loud “thump” that activated their bedroom fire alarm. The alarm sounded for a few seconds and then stopped. While investigating, Dwayne smelled smoke in an upstairs computer room above the garage.

Woman charged with arson

A woman suspected of trying to set fire to her ex-boyfriend’s third-floor apartment and two cars was arrested Friday by Columbia police.

The cars belong to the ex-boyfriend and his new girlfriend.

Career Center to get more money

Columbia’s Board of Education wants to give the district’s Career Center $100,000 in additional money to expand a computer-aided drafting and design program. The expansion would also include the hiring of a second full-time instructor.

The center, which provides career technical training to high school students and adults, had requested $4,660,825 for the 2005-06 fiscal year. But after seeing an enrollment increase for the second year in a row, Arden Boyer-Stephens, the center’s director, asked for more money.

Summer fun eases pain of icy winters

The big day finally came, and I took a ride out to the old fishing hole to check it out. Within a few moments, the gently rippling water cast its spell on me, and I hurried back home to begin the annual ritual. Time to pull out the rods and reels, check the lines and tackle box and start making plans for the highlight of the season — the first fishing trip. I do this every year, and it never fails to add the touch of excitement that embellishes the substance of my great expectations for the summer.

Road work ahead

Ashley Curry lives and works in Columbia. Lately, it’s often been taking her more than 30 minutes to commute from her home south of Nifong Boulevard to her office at Premier Bank, just north of Clark Lane.

“The construction on the Hominy Creek bridge forces me to leave 15 minutes earlier from my house to get to work on time,” Curry said. “With traffic down to one lane in each direction, it makes for a slow go during morning and evening rush hours.”

Air Force was her ticket out of Fayette

Vicky Weaver still feels a twinge of guilt when she recalls encouraging her daughter Rebecca, now 22, to join the Air Force after graduating from Fayette High School four years ago.

“Being here, she just had bad influences,” Weaver said.

Rebel flag flies at Missouri memorial

JEFFERSON CITY — Hundreds of people turned out for a Confederate memorial service Sunday held under the rebel battle flag as others demonstrated their disapproval outside the Missouri Governor’s Mansion.

The crowd at the annual ceremony at Confederate Memorial State Historic Site in Higginsville was about four times larger than organizers had expected. Site administrator Greta Marshall attributed the roughly 400-person turnout to the return of the Confederate flag.

Battle over bridge gets political

JEFFERSON CITY — For quite a while now, Katy Railroad Bridge 191.1 over the Missouri River literally has been a bridge to nowhere.

The last locomotive crossed its steel frame when Ronald Reagan was president. And it’s not even possible for a train to try it again.

Sierra Club supports lawsuit

The statewide chapter of the Sierra Club on Sunday gave its support to Attorney General Jay Nixon’s legal efforts to prevent removal of a historic railroad bridge at Boonville.

The Ozark chapter’s leadership voted to oppose plans by Union Pacific to dismantle the bridge and use parts of it elsewhere.

Methodist bishop warns of bankruptcy

A $6 million judgment against the United Methodist Church in Missouri is about $500,000 more than the church’s total net assets and could bankrupt the church, the Missouri conference’s new bishop told members over the weekend.

Last month, a Springfield jury awarded $4 million in punitive damages to Teresa Norris, who already had been awarded $2 million in compensatory damages.

Love for lost dog fuels a search

Jianna and Michael Beeson went to work together every day and fell asleep together every night. Their picture is posted in the United Church of Christ album with all of the other families and is mounted on the wall at the home of Beeson’s parents. Beeson brought Jianna almost everywhere, and even his friends became attached to the mixed-breed dog.

“If I was coming, they knew she was coming,” Beeson said.

The heart of war

The sky was clear, the day bright and sunny. Three young men, barely adults, walked into the Centralia Army recruitment office, staring at the brochures and pamphlets that plastered the walls.

Freshly graduated from high school, Jason Blakemore, Gordon Mills and James Pierce took in the scene. Every wall was covered with posters encouraging them to become an Army of One, to sacrifice for their family, their God, their country. The sky was clear.

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