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Brad Pitt to visit MU for Kerry film

Actor Brad Pitt will make an MU homecoming of his own this week.

Pitt will attend a showing of “Going Upriver: The Long War of John Kerry” Wednesday night, hosted by the MU College Democrats.

The ticket master

Jason Heggemeyer has followed his two great loves around the country. Lucky for him, they went to the same place.

Heggemeyer was raised a fan of Detroit sports teams like the Pistons and the Lions and began absorbing sports whenever he could. He graduated from Western Michigan University and was working as a graduate assistant in athletics when he was offered a job at the MU ticket office in 1998.

Community Sketchbook

Conserving history

When he was a boy, Howard Marshall would sit in Latin class and draw pictures of buildings rather than listen to the lecture. After school, he’d play in his grandfather’s barn in Randolph County and listen to his grandparents play fiddle and piano in the parlor of their farmhouse.

Today, Marshall, a professor emeritus of art history and archaeology at MU, is still more interested in studying the vernacular of Missouri than learning a dead language.

Colors of community

Painting a home takes plenty of supplies. In the case of Jo Grady and Mark McGimsey, it meant 12 gallons of paint, 12 paint rollers, seven ladders, hours of hard work and buckets of patience.

Getting the hands and help to do the labor is another story – especially when the going rate for local house painters is about $20 per hour. Plus, Jo is 22-weeks pregnant and has a three-year-old toddler with Mark, who suffers severe back pain.

The painful reality of going under the knife

I’ve been obsessed lately with all of the makeover shows. I love to watch messy rooms magically become havens of calm. I’m enthralled when a team of workers comes to a home that is nearly uninhabitable and in three days puts up walls, lays wood flooring and decorates with tennis balls and bamboo poles.

But it’s the body makeovers that really have me fascinated. Last year my husband and I watched a new show on TV titled “The Swan.” Each week two “ugly” women (called ducklings) were chosen for a makeover. Then one of the two was selected to participate in a “beauty” pageant to become the Swan. These women were suctioned, tucked and lifted. New breasts were implanted. Their faces were lasered, and their teeth were whitened or veneered. My husband was visibly shaken by all of the surgical procedures.

Fighting Youth Depression

A customer pops in to drop off a prescription for the antidepressant Zoloft.

“Do you guys have any?” she asks.

Circles of faith

Dorreen Rardin is deliberately walking in circles. Hands in pockets, she strolls along the winding passages of the labyrinth at Williams and Walnut streets as drivers take an extra moment at the stop sign to observe her path.

The labyrinth constructed at Boone Hospital Center last month looks like a maze engraved into the ground, but it has only one possible route to the center and back. It is 41 feet in diameter and takes about 20 minutes to walk.

Shades of Autumn

It happens every year on the first of October, usually as I cross the street. A breeze overwhelms my senses with a particular combination of crisp scent and temperature.

Then things begin to change. Green leaves give way to gold and red — gradually at first, then all together in a sudden burst. People, too, change colors as they pull on their favorite sweaters.

Teaching in broad strokes

A teapot, a book and two lemons sit on a pedestal in the center of the classroom. Aside from the soft drip of the faucet into a paint-spattered sink and the faint hum of a John Mayer song from an old radio, the class is locked in quiet concentration.

About 20 students sit at two long tables littered with art supplies, staring at their pencil sketches with a mixture of concentration and bewilderment. In moments of inspiration, they make adjustments in a flutter of scribbles and erasures.

Local raid part of nationwide inquiry

The federal investigation into the Islamic American Relief Agency is far more widespread than it seemed at the outset.

Jeff Lanza, a spokesman for the FBI office in Kansas City, said on Saturday that agents with 26 of the agency’s 56 field offices interviewed 80 to 90 people on Wednesday and Thursday in connection with the investigation in Columbia.

Bond makes stop to talk to students

Sen. Kit Bond made an interestingcampaign stop Friday afternoon — speaking to a classroom of about 50 ninth-grade honors students at Oakland Junior High School.

Two students, Cameron Doolady and Ian Arnold, asked the senator to speak to their class as part of a project to acquaint themselves with politi-cal candidates.

Director of Islamic agency also employee of state government

A top economist at the Missouri Department of Natural Resources is also the executive director of an Islamic charity in Columbia that the U.S. Treasury Department alleges is part of an international network providing funds to Osama bin Laden and al-Qaida.

The DNR hired Mubarak Hamed in June 2002 — more than two years after the U.S. State Department withheld government funds from the charity, citing national security issues.

THE CLASS OF 2004: The Campaign Managers

There’s a young Republican and an aging Democrat.

There’s a fresh-faced college graduate and a seasoned political operative.

There’s a kid brother and a political mercenary.

There’s a life-long friend and a doting cat owner.

Plight of the Young Navigators

Get lost. Those were the test instructions science teachers at Oakland Junior High School gave eighth-grade students on a sunny Friday morning. More than 120 Oakland eighth-graders took their final exam on orienteering — a form of land navigation — at Rock Bridge State Park.

Renewable energy plan looks at buying power

The city could purchase nearly twice the power required in the proposed renewable energy ordinance by 2008 while still remaining below the cap on related rate increases.

Columbia’s Water and Light Department has negotiated potential deals to purchase wind power from Kansas and methane from an Illinois landfill.

Losing their hair

In the midst of the energy and spirit of Rock Bridge High School’s homecoming assembly, Principal Bruce Brotzman and 16 teachers and students lost their hair.

The volunteers had pledged to shave or dye their hair based on how much money the Global Issues Club raised for AIDS relief and research. Kept backstage, those who volunteered for new dos were revealed at the end of the assembly.

Proposal tags $20 for cross-state toll

A new proposal to install toll booths on Interstate 70 would charge Missourians $20 for a round-trip from Kansas City to St. Louis, a transportation department official said Friday.

“The concept that we have right now is an open tolls system,” said Kevin Keith, the department’s chief engineer. “Across I-70 there would be five toll plazas. Any time you pass through one of those plazas it would cost you two or three dollars.”

From trash to energy

It stinks.

It’s usually kept out of sight. And most Columbia residents routinely get rid of it each week, happy to discard the stuff by their curbs without much thought.

Call it garbage, waste, refuse or trash. But soon, today’s trash could be generating the electricity that lights your living room or powers your coffee maker. When garbage decomposes, methane gas, which can be harnessed and used for energy, is emitted. Columbia’s landfill currently has enough buried waste — more than 2 million tons — to pursue a landfill gas-to-energy project.

Overseas votes could tip elections

Gregg Louis cast his vote for the November elections on Thursday.

Because he’s 4,000 miles away from his Springfield, Mo., voting precinct, studying abroad here for a semester, he had to jump through some extra hoops to make it happen.

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