Retiring public works director to be honored

The city will host a reception today to celebrate the retirement of Public Works Director Lowell Patterson.

The reception, which will be held at 3:30 p.m. in the City Council chambers, will mark the end of Patterson’s 19-year career as director of the city’s second-largest department.

Q&A: Mike Jeffers

Mike Jeffers, 44, who will take over as principal at Hickman High School on July 1, is ready to immerse himself in the traditions of another school. He has worked at Truman High School in Independence for his entire 21-year career, most recently as head principal. Andy Kohl, associate principal at Truman and recently hired as principal of Rock Bridge High School, told Jeffers about the opportunity at Hickman. The prospect of change intrigued Jeffers, and the culture and customs at Hickman made it an ideal choice.

School district refines budget plans

The Columbia Board of Education identified priorities for unused money in the 2005-06 proposed budget Monday night.

Before Monday, the budgeted revenue for the 2005-06 year was $8,513,424, with expenditures totaling $8,315,000, leaving a total of $198,000 left for unidentified use.

Q&A: Andy Kohl

Beginning July 1, Andy Kohl will take over as the new head principal at Rock Bridge High School. Although Kohl enjoys hunting, sports and cars, his real passion is working with students.

Kohl said he realized his fervor for teaching at Central Missouri State University, where he received his bachelor’s degree in math and education after attending Truman State. He earned his master’s degree and an educational specialist degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in educational administration. Kohl, his wife, Susan, and their three kids are looking forward to the move to Columbia. Kohl agreed to answer a few questions about his future as Rock Bridge’s new principal.

Getting time on your side

If there two things any MU student would say they need more of, they would be time and money.

And during finals week, time becomes the more valuable commodity.

Disasters averted, riding bike proves productive

What could’ve been a disastrous first day on the bike ended up being quite delightful.

I was talking with my parents the night before and explaining to them what I was going to be doing.

“Isn’t it supposed to thunderstorm tomorrow?” my dad asked. Sure enough, I checked the weather, which I never do, and scattered thunderstorms were in the forecast. The thunderstorms held off though, and I awoke to temperatures in the 70s.

Three arrested in Wal-Mart fires

Three arrests were made Sunday in connection with the arson fires at two Columbia Wal-Marts on Thursday night.

Police made the arrests after they received a tip about the suspects from the owner of the pick-up truck borrowed for use in the crime, according to a Columbia Police Department report. The owner was unaware of the crimes that were to be committed.

Neighbors, pastimes change with society

If you can envision summer evenings in your favorite small town with family members laid back on the porch swing watching the fireflies drift by, you probably remember when television was in its infancy and you could pop down to the corner and buy an ice cream cone. But flash forward to 2005 and nighttime across America in big cities and small towns usually feature the same scenario — folks gathered round the television set or the home screen, watching a film.

Neighborhoods everywhere have changed a lot since television became the No. 1 family activity.

Searching for a place of their own

Greg Hasseldahl sees starting a school from the ground up as an act of discovery.

As the founding principal of Good Shepherd Lutheran School, he is scouting a site for a school building that could accommodate what he sees as a great demand in Columbia for Christian education.

Unions accuse subcontractor of exploiting workers

Union carpenters sat in lawn chairs Monday afternoon at Stadium Boulevard and Providence Road handing out fliers that read, “Beware Jayhawkers Invade Columbia!”

The flier claims Dynamic Drywall, a subcontractor from Kansas for the construction of the Southwest Campus Housing project, is exploiting workers and squandering tax dollars. These claims are being made by the United Brotherhood of Carpenters Local 1925 and the Carpenters’ District Council of Kansas City and Vicinity.

Tensions rise over abortion proposal

JEFFERSON CITY — The biggest majority in the Missouri General Assembly is neither Republican nor Democrat, neither rural nor urban.

In fact, its members include most Republicans and rural lawmakers, many Democrats and some city lawmakers.

Residents aim to get gun-savvy

They are your neighbors, your friends; they are residents of Columbia. They are people you see at work, in the library and at church. They are lawyers, security guards, MU employees and Rotarians. And they are armed with HK Universal Self-loading Pistols.

About 15 Columbia residents practiced shooting handguns Saturday morning at the Green Valley Rifle and Pistol Club Range near Hallsville. The class was part of the Columbia and MU police departments’ spring Citizens’ Police Academy. Members were directed by five firearms instructors from the Columbia Police Department’s Special Tactics and Response team.

Message to drivers: Park it a few days

It’s a foreign concept to some. Biking or walking to where you need to go? Why do that when you can drive?

Bike, Walk and Wheel Week encourages people to leave their cars at home. The event, in its fourth year, got started Saturday at Flat Branch Park, where people embarked on either a group ride or hike.

Principal is ‘great friend’ to pupils

Bill Williamson always has a smile on his face and a friendly greeting for his students at Mill Creek Elementary School.

Williamson, 55, Mill Creek’s assistant principal, will retire this year after 31 years as an educator in the Columbia Public School District. He has been assistant principal at Mill Creek for six years.

City sets up new rules for grease traps

After the contamination of Hinkson Creek last year, the city has taken an official step to make sure grease traps do their job.

The Columbia City Council voted last Monday to require business owners to keep records of their grease-trap maintenance. They must develop a cleaning schedule and maintain cleaning and maintenance records for grease traps and interceptor devices connected to Columbia’s sewer system.

150 years of faith

People congregated outside Bethel Baptist Church about 7 p.m. Saturday, but they were not there for a sermon. Instead, members of the church came to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the church’s opening.

Bethel Baptist Church’s open house Saturday night allowed people to mingle, see historic documents and roam around the church buildings and grounds.

Columbia teen reports assault, kidnapping

An assault was reported Saturday at Austin and Garth avenues, according to police reports.

A 17-year-old boy was walking in the area when four men, ranging in age from 16 to 25, struck him from behind with a blunt object, according to a release from the Columbia Police Department. The men reportedly continued striking him as he fell.

In for a wild ride

Rachel Schaeffer reached her hand through the gate Sunday morning at the Boone County Fairgrounds and calmly stroked the wild mustang she would train for jumping and dressage competitions.

Rachel, 15, was one of many who adopted horses at the Bureau of Land Management’s wild horse and burro adoption sessions Saturday and Sunday.

Do you know what games your kids are playing?

Before he steals a few cars, hijacks a helicopter and shoots police and innocent bystanders, Alex Cade, 15, pushes his controller and walks past a prostitute. If he wants, he could pick her up, take her to a dark alley and pay her for sex. His health points would go up, and if he felt like it, he could shoot her and get his money back. But Alex is not interested in sex right now, so he merely slaps the prostitute around a little bit.

Alex is not wandering the streets alone or even thinking of engaging in any illegal activity. Rather, this high school sophomore is sitting inside playing “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas” with his friends on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon.

Tumult over tarmac sparks air show suit

With the 2005 Salute to Veterans Air Show fast approaching, Salute to Veterans Corp. is facing a lawsuit about its policies toward political activists.

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed suit in federal court on behalf of two local activists to gain access to the tarmac of the Columbia Regional Airport during the annual event.