Five local legislators fielded questions on issues ranging from Medicare cuts to meth labs Thursday night at the Columbia Public Library.
A crowd of about 50 gathered to attend a town meeting held by the League of Women Voters. The legislators took questions from the audience on a variety of subjects. The common topic in all the legislators’ responses was Gov. Matt Blunt’s newly-proposed budget.
When Columbians flip on the light switch, brew their morning coffee or turn on their televisions, a small portion of the electricity powering those devices now comes from a renewable-energy source.
Columbia began receiving electricity generated by burning landfill gas, or methane, and turning it into electricity on Tuesday. Three megawatts of renewable electricity — approximately 1 percent of the city’s electric needs — flow from electric turbines at the Milam landfill in East St. Louis, Ill., to Columbia homes and businesses.
The public will likely learn today the results of Harg residents’ petition to block the voluntary annexation of 1,000 acres east of town owned by developer Billy Sapp.
Harg-Area Residents for Responsible Growth, or HARG, submitted the 260-page petition with 2,739 signatures on Jan. 28. Since then, County Clerk Wendy Noren and her staff have been reviewing the signatures.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture revoked the license of an animal dealer that supplied animals to MU and other Missouri research facilities.
The USDA charged C.C. Baird of Martin’s Creek Kennel in Williford, Ark., with numerous violations of the Animal Welfare Act, such as selling stolen pets and animal abuse and neglect. The department revoked Baird’s license and fined Martin’s Creek Kennel more than $260,000. Penalties also include a five-year probation and a $250,000 penalty if Baird engages in any of the activities for which his license was revoked.
JEFFERSON CITY — The appointment of a 23-member House committee to examine the state’s formula for funding public schools drew a mix of praise and criticism from legislators Thursday. Some say the committee is necessary if the General Assembly is to succeed in revamping school funding, while others predict it will complicate the search for a solution.
House Speaker Rod Jetton appointed the committee, composed of five representatives from urban districts, eight from suburban districts and 10 from rural districts. The new panel comes after a joint House-Senate committee was named earlier in the legislative session to review education funding.
Red lights appear on the control board, indicating there is a simulated emergency on the mock space shuttle at Hickman High School.
The student astronauts find the problem: a water pipe has burst in the floor. Water sporadically sprays students as they try to fix the pipe, but the directions are in German. The group, under the leadership of space commander Hector May, a Hickman senior, decides to send the directions to their control base for translation as they cover nearby electronic equipment.
The members of Campus Lutheran Church have changed over the years, from a congregation made up of MU students and faculty to its present status as a communitywide house of worship.
The church’s organ, however, has stayed the same.
The next time the three new curators hear the word “foggy,” they might remember their first day as official members of the University of Missouri System Board of Curators.
Doug Russell, John Carnahan III and David Wasinger drove through thick fog Thursday morning to reach University Hall on the MU campus for their orientation. After four hours reviewing 165 years of general policy and duties of the board, the weather might not have been the only thing clouding their minds.
Freezing fog and a faulty traffic light at Providence Road and Broadway delayed Columbia commuters on Thursday morning. The fog descended on the city at about midnight Wednesday and continued until noon Thursday. The conditions caused poor visibility, allowing people to see only a quarter mile. Arno Perlow, data acquisition program manager with the National Weather Service in St. Louis, characterized freezing fog as “a dense fog with temperatures below the freezing mark.”
Perlow said low temperatures cause the moisture from the fog to freeze when it hits surfaces, covering the road with a slick glaze.
Petitioners acquired more than the required number of signatures to halt Billy Sapp's 1,000 acre voluntary annexation proposal.
The Harg Area Residents for Responsible Growth, or HARG, needed signatures from at least 2 percent of qualified Columbia voters and acquired 2.9 percent.
Ninth District U.S. Rep. Kenny Hulshof learned today that he would not be reappointed to the House Ethics Committee, a decision he believes is the result of his role in last year’s investigation of House Majority Leader Tom DeLay.
“I believe the decision to remove me from the Ethics Committee is a direct result of my subcommittee’s findings,” Hulshof said in a written statement Wednesday.
JEFFERSON CITY — Dixie may fly again.
A government board would be given the power to restore the Confederate battle flag to two Missouri memorials under a bill reviewed at a Senate hearing Wednesday.
Organizers of a Wiccan gathering say they will move the event to Columbia this weekend after being told they weren’t welcome in Hannibal.
Rose Wise of the Ozark Avalon Church of Wicca said her group contracted with the Hannibal Inn in August for a “Hibernate in Hannibal” convention to celebrate the pagan holiday Imbolc. On Friday, she said the group received a letter from the Hannibal Inn stating the contract had been “respectfully declined.”
Students participated in a 100-item scavenger hunt, 100-piece puzzles and a 100-themed museum. They also made necklaces out of Cheerios and Life Savers that added up to 100 to celebrate the 100th day of school.
The event began with the scavenger hunt in Judi Schoonover’s class. Each student, armed with a clip-board, a piece of paper numbered from 1 to 100 and a pencil, set off searching the room. The red, yellow and blue numbered stickers were hung at a kindergartner’s eye level (or lower) on things all over the room, including walls, tables, book shelves and even on the cage of Mr. Big, the class pet guinea pig.
Expanded opportunities for free HIV testing will be available as part of the fifth annual National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness and Information Day.
The Columbia/Boone County Department of Health will sponsor the events in Columbia and Jefferson City on Friday and Monday, the actual day of observance. Columbia is one of more than 60 cities in the United States that will sponsor programs.
A crowd of agricultural producers gathered Wednesday for the opening day of the 2005 Show-Me Ag Classic, the largest agricultural trade show in mid-Missouri.
JEFFERSON CITY — Conceding that Missouri’s roads are in sad shape, the director of the Missouri Department of Transportation on Wednesday promised legislators a new day at one of the state’s most beleaguered departments.
Pete Rahn in a State of Transportation address outlined a variety of plans designed to revamp Missouri’s rocky roads. He touted the Smoother, Safer, Sooner plan, a program designed to speed road improvements using money provided by Amendment 3. The constitutional amendment approved by voters in November funnels all transportation-related taxes directly to the transportation department.
The annual Golden Cow lip-sync competition raised $1,441 this year through ticket sales.
The February 2005 issue of Progressive Farmer magazine ranks Callaway County as the fourth-best place to live in rural America.
Health care, education, climate, pollution, crime and taxes were considered in the rankings, as well as factors such as scenery, quality of life and leisure and cultural opportunities. The magazine said the county “can boast of a low crime rate, good school systems and a low cost of living. Though it’s growing fast, the county has kept its warm rural charm.”
WASHINGTON — President Bush Wednesday night called for a historic restructuring of Social Security that would allow younger workers for the first time to invest some of their payroll taxes in the stock market, declaring in his annual State of the Union address that without change, the venerable program is headed toward bankruptcy.
Speaking to a joint session of Congress and a national television audience, Bush sketched out in more detail than before the top domestic goal of his second term but stopped short of providing a complete blueprint to leave himself negotiating room with skeptical lawmakers. Under his plan, workers younger than 55 could divert up to 4 percent of income subject to Social Security taxation into private investment accounts beginning in 2009.