Area Briefly

Trial of Moberly woman delayed

The trial of a 23-year-old Moberly woman accused of killing her two infant children has been postponed after the lead prosecutor’s brother died Friday morning.

Coverage of trials reflects apathy

I find the amount of attention devoted to celebrities these days disturbing. The publicity given to Michael Jackson’s trial is a case in point. I am acquainted with people who followed that trial, week after week, as closely as they would if Jackson had been a member of their family. Michael Jackson, of course, is the latest, following Kobe Bryant in the list of individuals receiving out-of-control media attention that apparently found its beginning in the O.J. Simpson murder trial.

Drivers at I-70, U.S. 63 in less of a jam

In a sight not often seen during morning rush hour at the Interstate 70/U.S. 63 interchange, vehicles moved seamlessly without having to slam on their brakes or honk in disgust, thanks to recently completed construction meant to dispel its reputation as Columbia’s worst bottleneck.

Yet, the question remains: How long will it last?

Council OKs farm development

The City Council unanimously approved development on the old Philips farm Monday night despite objections to the 74-acre Bristol Lake subdivision on the southwest corner of the property.

The proposed development, which will include 51 single- and 44 two-family lots, will use the natural topography of the land to direct water across more permeable areas into retention ponds.

Debtors’ data get dumped

Melissa McKim of Kirksville thought her personal information was safe from identity theft because she shredded her bank statements and credit card bills.

What she never suspected was that hundreds of documents from the office of a Columbia law firm that specializes in debt collection — documents that contained her Social Security and bank account numbers — would be found next to a public recycling bin near Nifong Boulevard and Green Meadows Drive.

ID requirement getting tougher in Mo.

Missourians are now required to present a second form of identification to receive their primary form of ID — a driver’s license.

As of July 1, Missouri will be one of 38 states to require a form of identification validating “lawful presence” when renewing or applying for a new driver’s license.

Accident on I-70 kills five, injures 15

Five people died and 15 were injured when the van they were riding in rolled several times Sunday morning on Interstate 70, west of Columbia.

Passengers identified by the Missouri State Highway Patrol were from Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and California. Most of the victims ranged in age from 16 to 21.

Volunteers aid library with eBay book sales

A new use of technology by a support group for the Columbia Public Library holds the prospect of ushering in a new way of reading.

In addition to its regular book sales, Friends of the Columbia Public Library has been commanding a higher dollar for older, collectible books by posting them on eBay. Of $62,500 the group donated to the library in February, $3,500 was raised by the Online Sales Committee.

UMKC trustees lobby for local control

Associated Press

KANSAS CITY — Trustees of the University of Missouri-Kansas City say they should have more local control over the school — and that the University of Missouri System’s management structure hurts the university’s chances to raise money and improve academically.

A more vibrant Capitol

Since the late 1920s, the walls of the Senate Lounge in the Missouri Capitol have displayed colorful tapestries depicting different parts of Missouri’s past. The main tapestries, about 11 feet tall and 5 feet wide, each have a different theme.

“River Traffic” shows a steamboat chugging its way along the Missouri River.

Volunteer firemen cope with turnover

As a volunteer organization, the Boone County Fire Protection District must cope with a high rate of turnover each year.

Assistant Chief Bruce Piringer, head of the district’s training and education bureau, said the turnover rate is usually about 15 percent annually. The rate, he said, is much higher among those who are with the department for only two or three years.

Trial begins for mother accused of killings

The trial of a 23-year-old Moberly woman accused of killing her two infant children almost a year apart is scheduled to begin today. Randolph County Prosecutor Michael Fusselman said he expects the trial to last a week.

Carla Clay is suspected of killing her 2-month-old son, Randy Bedford Jr., in June 2004 and her 7-week-old daughter, Audrey Bedford, in June 2003.


Retired art professor and curator emeritus Sidney Larson worked at Columbia College. A headline Sunday implied otherwise.

Cigarette tax could return to the ballot

JEFFERSON CITY — Picture a smoldering cigarette left in an ashtray. It’s been discarded, but the potential remains for it to be picked up and puffed again.

So it is with a proposal to raise Missouri’s tobacco taxes.

Inside look at the Pope

Pope Benedict XVI assumed Peter’s throne April 19, leaving behind an extensive paper trail from his years as a theologian in Germany and as the Vatican’s chief doctrinal overseer. The conservative Ignatius Press has issued many of his writings.

So there’s little mystery about the outlook of the man who rules more than a billion Roman Catholics. But there’s a solid, quick overview in “Let God’s Light Shine Forth,” that Robert Moynihan edited.

A commitment to community

Anthony Evans, a 42-year-old Columbia resident and former van driver, went to the “State of Black Men in Columbia Conference” Saturday seeking knowledge and guidance from both the elders in the community and young people.

At the end of the day Evans said he found what he was looking for.

Mural of a mentor

Sidney Larson stands in his modest studio, a diminutive room in his basement that is bursting with sketches, photographs and newspaper clippings. Larson picks up a rectangular box, pries off the cover and fingers through the neatly arranged index cards inside. After a moment, he pulls out two of the cards, looks them over carefully and hands me one.

“What do you think?” says Larson, his baby-blue eyes steady behind his spectacles.

Filtering secondhand smoke

MU fans in Columbia might consider the Kansas Jayhawks to be their biggest rivals, but when it comes to a new smoking ordinance, Columbia residents can look to Lawrence, Kan., for guidance.

Outdoor areas are becoming the new hot spots in Lawrence as downtown businesses add patios and porches to accommodate smokers in the wake of a smoking ban in public areas. Inside Lawrence’s restaurants, bars, bingo halls and bowling alleys, once ubiquitous clouds of smoke have disappeared. Patrons and workers are no longer exposed to secondhand smoke, and their clothes smell fresh after a night on the town.

Student organization opposes fixed tuition

A University of Missouri System student organization opposes fixed tuition rates for undergraduates — a plan under consideration by UM system President Elson Floyd.

Craig Kleine, chairman of the Associated Students of the University of Missouri, said the biggest problem his organization has with the proposed idea is that it could put the burden of higher tuition on incoming freshmen during financially lean times.

Road route fuels debate

Boone County commissioners and Columbia officials will meet Tuesday morning to discuss the reorientation of Blue Ridge Road.

The road has been rerouted from what once was a planned connection that would have taken traffic south of a dangerous curve on Creasy Springs Road, in accordance with the Major Roadway Plan. The new alignment, which has taken shape with city approval of a series of developments by Steve Herigon, will place the intersection of Blue Ridge and Creasy Springs north of the curve. That alignment has drawn the opposition of Prairie Hills subdivision residents, who worry about increased traffic in their neighborhood and on the curve.