McCaskill to run for Senate

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) -- Democratic state auditor Claire McCaskill announced today that she plans to challenge Republican Sen. Jim Talent.

Getting ready to go

In the car—On our way to Katrina

Big Easy clears out as Katrina roars in

NEW ORLEANS — A monstrous Hurricane Katrina barreled toward New Orleans on Sunday with sustained winds of 160 mph and the threat of a 28-foot storm surge, forcing a mandatory evacuation of the below-sea-level city and prayers for those who remained to face a doomsday scenario. “Have God on your side, definitely have God on your side,” Nancy Noble said as she sat with her puppy and three friends in six lanes of one-way traffic on gridlocked Interstate 10. “It’s very frightening.”

Medicaid recipients swamp clinics

John Young, 60, went to the Family Dental Center last month and had cavities filled. He’s scheduled to return in September, but at his next visit, he will no longer have Medicaid to cover four tooth extractions and the partial dentures that will replace them, all of which will cost $1,433. Instead, he will be paying out of pocket on the sliding fee schedule the clinic offers to those without insurance. Young said he plans to pay for the next visit using the disability check he receives for arthritis and spinal stinosis.

Police investigating car shooting

Columbia police were investigating a shooting on Third Avenue near Garth Avenue on Sunday. There were no injuries or identifiable damage to any property, according to a release from Sgt. Ken Smith of the Columbia Police Department. Shortly after the report of shots fired, police stopped a blue car at about 2 p.m. near Providence Road and Switzler Street. Four men, ages 17 to 20, were taken into custody for questioning. They had been identified as potential shooters by a 911 caller, but police later said they were the target of the shooting.

Columbia man charged with drug trafficking

A Columbia man was arrested Saturday night on a drug trafficking charge after a search of his residence revealed marijuana, cocaine and Ecstacy, according to a release from the Boone County Sheriff’s Department. Adam B. Stutesman, 22, was charged with one count of distribution, delivery or manufacture of a controlled substance. Members of the department’s drug unit served a search warrant at 917 North Cooper Drive, turning up the drugs as well as drug paraphernalia, a digital scale and $730 cash.

Community Band director is fondly remembered

Sitting on the hood of a Model A Ford listening to the Sweet Springs Band, 3-year-old Keith House’s heart was captured. It was his first memory of falling in love with music and he never let go. Years later at Central College in Fayette, Mr. House’s heart was captured once again when he met his wife of 55 years, Ilene, a piano player who began to accompany his trumpet solos.

Tuition plan gets mixed reactions

Whether you like what you have heard about a guaranteed tuition rate floated by University of Missouri System President Elson Floyd, it all comes down to money. “This will be a lot better plan,” said David Fagen, a Marceline father of future college students, at the town’s public forum on Aug. 16. “It will be like a car payment or a house payment. You have a set amount that you know and you can plan ahead for that.

Art out of junk

Creating art from the less-than-mundane is nothing new. In 1917, Marcel Duchamp, combining shock value with a complex intellectual statement, scribbled on a urinal and called it art.

Few appeal Missouri’s Medicaid cutbacks

JEFFERSON CITY — The public outcry over Missouri’s Medicaid cuts seemed significant — Capitol protests, critical editorials, frequent news conferences by advocates for the poor and disabled. But officially, the Department of Social Services reports a mere whimper of objection.

Grass Roots Organizing releases anti-Blunt film

A crowd of protesters with the anti-poverty interest group Grass Roots Organizing chanted loudly outside Gov. Matt Blunt’s Capitol office in April, criticizing his efforts to push Medicaid cuts through the General Assembly. “Matt! Matt! Come on out! See what Missouri’s all about!” the group chanted, but to no avail. The scene is one of the more compelling in “Blunt Trauma,” a 30-minute video that premiered Thursday night at the organizing group’s office on Garth Avenue.

MU 85th on list of universities

MU and Columbia College were ranked among the nation’s best colleges in U.S. News & World Report’s annual Best College List, released online Aug. 19 and in print today. MU placed 85th among top national universities. Its graduate program rankings were 17th for primary care in medicine, 35th in education and 69th in law. Columbia College ranked 35th among Midwestern comprehensive undergraduate colleges.

Hallsville roller hockey league names arena for former member

HALLSVILLE — Although the Hallsville Twisters Roller Hockey League’s biggest fan wasn’t present Sunday, everyone could feel her influence. The Whitney Briggs Memorial Hockey Arena was dedicated to a deceased former league member in a ceremony held before the first face-off.

After the Cuts

Alice and Jeff Vandyke have faced their share of hardships during their 19 years of marriage. Jeff has a developmental disability that’s left him with limited mobility from his neck down; Alice suffers from a back injury.

MU: No O’Neal settlement

MU officials expressed sympathy but indicated they did not feel any blame or responsibility for Aaron O’Neal’s death, according to attorneys representing Lonnie O’Neal, father of the deceased MU football player. Several weeks ago attorneys Bob Blitz and Scott Rosenblum contacted MU officials and asked them to accept responsibility for O’Neal’s death by making a public apology and paying a financial settlement that they termed “reasonable.”

Ashland rodeo: a muddy affair

Bulls, broncs, barrel racers and 150 contestants braved the mud at this weekend’s 29th annual Cattlemen’s Day Rodeo in Ashland. Despite soggy field parking and a soupy arena, rodeo events continued as planned with seven events: bareback riding, steer wrestling, saddle bronc riding, calf roping, barrel racing, team roping and bull riding.

Group holds summit to prepare for ‘06

A political activist group focusing on gay rights issues gathered on the MU campus Saturday to organize legislative, electoral and rural outreach for the 2006 elections. Personal Rights of Missourians, or PROMO, a statewide nonpartisan political organization focusing on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues, convened Saturday’s summit. The program featured a discussion on organizing volunteers for the 2006 elections, a session on reaching out to rural communities in Missouri and a lunch with three state legislators.

Use of new stem cells in doubt

A discovery last week showed that fusing adult skin cells with embryonic stem cells could lead to the creation of stem cells without having to create and destroy human embryos. But the preliminary findings, disclosed Aug. 20 on the Web site of the journal Science by a group of Harvard University scientists, are strictly theoretical, said Michael Roberts, director of MU’s Life Sciences Center.

Debate continues to surround death

On the 50th anniversary of the death of Emmett Till, the 14-year-old black boy whose brutal murder stirred national outrage, his story continues to provoke strong emotion and controversy. The case has been reopened, Till’s body has been exhumed, and an MU professor has become the center of a heated debate about the details of the death — and plagiarism. Clenora Hudson-Weems, an English professor at MU, claims that the upcoming film by Keith Beauchamp, “The Untold Story of Emmett Till,” does not credit her for her contributions to the subject.