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Glass Treatment

Pablo Picasso once said, “Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” The words ring especially true for glass artist Jane Domke. Seven years ago, she was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. At the time, Domke sang and played piano. The disease changed her voice and the mobility of her hands, and she could no longer hold a tune or negotiate the keyboard.

Menopause wreaks havoc on female lives

I hate watching courtroom dramas when the defendant on trial for murder is being cross-examined by the prosecuting attorney. The prosecutor asks an incriminating question such as: “Isn’t it true that you said in a bar last month that you would kill for an ice cream sundae?” “Yes, but-”

Focusing on vision

Mariam Decker and Shaon Fry have the kind of vision where everything is fuzzy in the morning, even a clock sitting inches away on a nightstand. Their first step of the day used to be putting on glasses or contacts. Not anymore. They have joined the approximately 12,000 to 15,000 patients in the United States who are using corneal refractive therapy. By wearing contact lenses overnight, CRT gently reshapes the corneas, or outer dome-shaped window covering the eyes. When the rigid lens is removed in the morning, most patients have up to nine hours of corrected vision.

Twelve-year-old and 8-year-old tied in watermelon-seed spitting contest at Summer Fest

Dozens of mid-Missouri residents competed Saturday morning to find out who can spit watermelon seeds the farthest. On the line was a $15 gift certificate to be used at the Columbia Farmers’ Market and the bragging rights that come along with being Summer Fest’s best spitter.

Medicaid recipients, health providers protest spending cuts

Roughly 30 Columbia health care providers, Medicaid recipients and others gathered Thursday to rally against the budget cuts responsible for Medicaid coverage reductions set to take effect Sunday. Bob Pund said he used to tell wheelchair users they would be able to get on with their lives. Because of Medicaid cuts, he said he’s not so sure any more.

Musician hopes residents get a taste of his craft

Saint Louis Symphony concertmaster David Halen envisions his music to be like fine dining, including his program at this weekend’s 30th annual Missouri River Festival of the Arts in Boonville. Halen said he wants his performance on Friday to be “an experience to be savored.”

Judge blocks part of Web law

A judge on Thursday granted a temporary restraining order to Boone, Cass, Jackson and Platte counties, blocking part of a new state law that would have prohibited the online publication of public officials’ personal information. Section 1 of Senate Bill 420, which would have taken effect Sunday, states no court, state or local agency shall post on the Internet the address, Social Security number or telephone number of any elected or appointed official without obtaining the official’s written permission first. The law would have applied to everyone from Gov. Matt Blunt to police officers.

Meth law fix ends in arrests arrests

A Boone County couple was arrested Wednesday night on suspicion of producing methamphetamine after local pharmacies reported that the couple purchased meth-making ingredients. Their arrests were the first directly resulting from a new Missouri law that lets pharmacies and law enforcement track suspicious sales, Boone County Sheriff’s Sgt. Mike Stubbs said.

Technology adds to safety of roads

The Missouri Department of Transportation wants you driving with eyes wide open and inside the lines. To meet that goal, the Transportation Department began making three major improvements to 2,200 miles of major highways in July as part of the Proposition 3 initiative passed by voters last November. The Transportation Department will lay down a new system of “rumble strips,” new lane marking tape and a revamped mile-marker system.

Liability cases fly in before reforms

Attorney Larry Ferguson thought he was ahead of the game on Thursday. And then he received one more call. “I just took a call from a lady for a malpractice case, and I’m getting her in here tomorrow,” Ferguson said Thursday. “I thought I had all my cases filed.”

Blunt, Harris at odds over gas-tax relief

JEFFERSON CITY — House Democratic Leader Jeff Harris of Columbia called Thursday for Gov. Matt Blunt to consider adding a 10-cent-per-gallon fuel-tax holiday to the agenda of the General Assembly’s special session, which begins Sept. 6. “We anticipate this will be a boom to Missouri’s economy and will give consumers a relief at the pump,” Harris said at a Thursday news conference. “It’s a solution, a two-week trial run to see if we can do something.”

School board OKs drop in tax levy

The Columbia School Board on Thursday approved a proposed tax levy of $4.69 per $100 assessed valuation for the 2005-06 year, a drop from the 2004 levy of $4.94. “The levy is going down by almost 26 cents,” Jacque Cowherd, deputy superintendent, said.

UM hire will promote research

The University of Missouri System has created a job to try to help the state economy by raising Missouri’s profile as a leading state for research. John C. Gardner, a former agribusinessman and an MU administrator, has been named vice president for research and economic development, effective Oct. 1.

Council weighs cheating rules

The MU Faculty Council wants to change regulations about students suspended for cheating. Currently, a student suspended from MU is able to attend another school during his or her suspension, then transfer credit back to MU. Those who have enough credits are allowed to graduate, even if they are found guilty of academic dishonesty.

Dog rescued from fire

A lucky Cocker Spaniel named Shelby escaped a house fire on North Cedar Lake Drive on Thursday morning with the help of the Columbia Fire Department. The owners of the home, Jerome and Carol Van Sambeek, escaped unharmed with one of their two dogs, but they were unable to find the other after it was lost in the smoke.

Cattle tags track meat’s history

A new U.S. Department of Agriculture-funded program aimed at improving the safety of beef and other meat exports is being tested across Missouri. If successful, the program, which will use electronic identification tags to verify the source and age of livestock, could mean more money for the state’s meat producers.

Former substitute teacher files discrimination lawsuit

A former Bearfield School substitute teacher has filed a lawsuit against the Columbia Public School District alleging racial discrimination. In the suit, Mary King alleges former Bearfield School administrator Russell Hardesty made degrading comments about black students and staff at Bearfield. She claims district administrators did not properly investigate her complaints and supported discriminatory hiring.

Tax credits help Rainbow House

Mid-Missouri’s Rainbow House has received $270,000 in state tax credits intended to encourage contributions to the agency, which has been providing services for abused and neglected children in a nine-county region since 1986. Rainbow House plans to use contributions to fund operations at its shelter and child advocacy center.

Drought aid for farmers available

A federal drought disaster declaration issued this week will make many Boone County and Missouri farmers eligible for aid from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Qualifying farmers who have experienced at least a 30 percent loss of a crop essential to their farming operation will be eligible for emergency loans from the department’s Farm Service Agency.

A bigger, better Mizzou rec

At the outdoor christening of the Mizzou Student Recreation Complex on Thursday morning, Diane Dahlmann commented on the rain with appreciation. “The reason it is raining now is because it didn’t rain very much during construction,” said Dahlmann, director of recreational services and facilities.

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