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Excess of attorney ads sparks debate

Open the phone book, and there’s a fair chance you’ll find a lawyer staring at you.

In the 27 years since the U.S. Supreme Court declared it legal, attorney advertising has become a popular, multimillion dollar activity. It has also touched off debate within the legal profession, with some hailing advertising as a way to inform the public and others condemning it for hurting the profession’s dignity.

26 come to public access TV orientation

Hosting two television shows might seem difficult, but Carlton Flowers does it every week in addition to working for the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

Flowers’ shows, geared toward self-improvement in a “fun, quirky but educational way,” have been running on the Jefferson City public access channel for several years. Now that Columbia Access Television is off the ground, he’s ready to spread his message to Columbia. Flowers is not alone in wanting face time on the new station.

He’s no Superman, just supervisor

Mike Thomas walks to the back of a white hallway illuminated by glaring fluorescent light. Plastic and metal machines line the walls.

Then comes Thomas’ office and a shock of color. Taped carefully to the wall are abstract crayon scribblings and jaggedly drawn pictures.

Abuse & the law

Detective Jeff Westbrook of the Columbia Police Department heads to a crime scene in his unmarked Impala. Three days ago, a man bent his girlfriend’s fingers back so far she thought they were broken. Westbrook is on his way to question the victim.

“He was arrested for third-degree assault,” Westbrook says. The woman’s fingers were X-rayed. No breaks.

Violence with guns

Of Missouri’s 56 murders and murder-suicides related to domestic abuse in 2003, roughly half were committed with guns.

In at least 10 percent of the cases, a restraining order was in effect.

All decked out for the holidays

The light taps of a hammer break the silence in the front yard of Linda Wyatt’s Hallsville home.

She and three of her children line up beside the white front porch, piles of garland in hand. It’s 2 p.m. on Halloween, and the family is already putting up winter holiday decorations —12 boxes of tiny white lights and 13 strands of thick, forest-green garland.

Family caught between the winter holidays

My house looks as if it’s been hit by a bomb. This is the “tween” time of the year, with Halloween just passed, Thanksgiving lurking around the corner and Christmas waiting in the wings. I still have a few stray witches to put away, and a Santa I just bought is lounging in a corner of my dining room. I have early Christmas presents piled on my treadmill, which makes using the thing impossible. (That’s my excuse, and I’m sticking by it.)

I’ve decided to do away with my conviction to not decorate for Christmas until after Thanksgiving. This year, our two daughters and their families will be here for turkey day (something that hasn’t happened for at least a decade), and we will celebrate Christmas with them the next day.

Watergate case files donated to MU

Scholars, historians and political scientists studying the Watergate period will now have reason to stop in Columbia to continue their research.

A collection of personal papers from a former Senate lawyer involved in the Watergate investigation was recently donated to MU. The papers belonged to Don Sanders, the deputy minority council for the Senate Select Committee on Presidential Campaign Activities. In 1973, it was Sanders who indirectly asked whether there was a recording system in the White House, perhaps the most important question in the Watergate hearings, the university said in a news release.

Mental Health Board hopes to get property tax passed

In 1994, 72 percent of Boone County residents voted against a tax to advance local mental health service needs. But the Boone County Mental Health Board is mobilizing again, hoping a more specific plan will help the measure pass this time around.

“(The board) didn’t prioritize. They didn’t know how the money would be spent,” Board Chairman Roldan Mienert said. “We will not move ahead this time until we are confident this tax will pass.”

Two teens charged with killing

The mother of one of the two Mexico, Mo., teens arrested and charged in the Tuesday night killing of Komninos “Gus” Karellas, 60, told a Mid-Missouri Major Case Squad detective that she helped the defendants destroy evidence, according to a probable cause statement obtained from the Audrain County courthouse.

Lance Lee Berry, 17, and Quinton O’Neal Canton Jr., 17, were arrested without incident in Hermann at 4:35 a.m. Thursday on warrants in connection with the killing, according to a Mexico Department of Public Safety news release.

Clinton library sketches path from Hope to White House

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Bill Clinton, America’s first baby boomer president, opened his library Thursday with a rock ’n’ roll gala that hailed the $165 million glass-and-steel museum as “a gift to the future by a man who always believed in the future.”

Despite a steady, bone-chilling rain, nearly 30,000 people joined a celebration that included tributes from President Bush, his father and former President Carter. Rock stars Bono and The Edge of the band U2 performed a three-song set before Clinton spoke to the crowd .

The show must go on

Music blares as girls in curlers and half made-up faces scamper frantically across the room singing, dancing and nervously chattering.

Across the hall, anxiety fills the room as boys pace silently, rehearsing lines; a few talk among themselves as they dress. These are the typical scenes before the opening night of a play, but the preparation for this play was missing one key element: Its lead actor.

Wal-Mart plat receives P&Z recommendation

Developers of a proposed Wal-Mart at Broadway and Fairview Road cleared a procedural hurdle on Thursday when the Columbia Planning and Zoning Commission voted unanimously to recommend approval of a final plat for the site.

The plat divides the property into two separate commercial and residential lots and clears the way for the developers to build no matter how the City Council votes on a contentious rezoning request in December.

Schools get high marks

Columbia Public Schools students scored better than national averages on four standardized tests taken during the 2003-04 school year.

Sally Lyon, the district’s director of research and assessment, presented the results to school board members at a morning work session Thursday.

Conference an outlet for coping with suicide

Stories of suicide are often shrouded in secrecy and shame.

A father-in-law buried in the middle of the night. A father’s suicide kept from his son for 10 years.

Promoting sisterhood through high fashion

With Beyonce blaring in the background singing “Crazy In Love” and girls shouting “all right now” and “I like that,” 70 Hickman High School No-Limit Ladies experienced the thrill and entertainment of being runway models.

Junior Ashley Hill, 17, is part of the all-girls club and encouraged her fellow “sisters” as they strutted their stuff upon the faux runway. The club hosted the fashion extravaganza in honor of Laura Wilson, an alumna of Hickman, clothing designer and the owner of the Blackberry Exchange.

P&Z approves new building on Providence

A plan to construct a 13,000-square-foot, two-story building was approved at Thursday’s Planning and Zoning Commission meeting. The building will be used for office space.

The property, called Providence Home Center, is located on the east side of Providence Road and north of Campusview Drive.

Developers propose low-income homes

If two developers get their way, Columbia’s low-income renters will soon see their options increase.

Columbia developer Jeff Smith submitted a proposal for a $1.95 million loan and $624,332 in state and federal tax credits from the Missouri Housing Development Commission for a 72-unit complex for low-income seniors. Located at the northeast corner of Bethel Street and Nifong Boulevard, the units would have estimated monthly rents of between $410 and $450.

Floyd to ask UM for lower fee increase

University of Missouri system President Elson Floyd announced Wednesday at the UM Board of Curators meeting in Rolla that he will recommend a cap of 3.5 percent on educational fee increases for the 2005-06 academic year.

If implemented, this would be the lowest increase for the UM system in the past three years. Educational fees increased by 7.5 percent in 2004-05, by 19.8 percent in 2003-04 and by 14.8 percent in 2002-03.

Family caught between the winter holidays

My house looks as if it’s been hit by a bomb. This is the “tween” time of the year, with Halloween just passed, Thanksgiving lurking around the corner and Christmas waiting in the wings. I still have a few stray witches to put away, and a Santa I just bought is lounging in a corner of my dining room. I have early Christmas presents piled on my treadmill, which makes using the thing impossible. (That’s my excuse, and I’m sticking by it.)

I’ve decided to do away with my conviction to not decorate for Christmas until after Thanksgiving. This year, our two daughters and their families will be here for turkey day (something that hasn’t happened for at least a decade), and we will celebrate Christmas with them the next day.

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