Schiavo death hasn’t ended debate in Missouri over end-of-life issues

JEFFERSON CITY — Nearly three weeks after the death of Terri Schiavo, Missouri lawmakers and residents are trying to sort out where the state should stand on end-of-life issues.

Schiavo died March 31 in Florida after 13 days without food or water. Although Schiavo’s parents appealed to the federal courts to have her feeding and hydration tubes reinserted, those courts upheld the decision by Florida courts to allow Schiavo’s husband, Michael, to decide her fate. Her death came amid a great deal of national protest.

‘Big Mama,’ a blind prophetess, leads missionary church’s revival

Several years ago, a state inspector told LueElla Canton, pastor of All People’s Missionary Baptist Church in Columbia, that if she didn’t construct a larger ramp for her Poplar Bluffs retirement facility, she would lose her license. Canton said she was overwhelmed, and, without the money for construction, feared losing the business and her livelihood.

So she did what she always does — she prayed — and then consulted Prophetess Louise Marshall.

Professor questions chemicals in plastics

MU professor Frederick vom Saal has called into question the safety of a chemical used in manufacturing baby bottles and food and beverage containers.

Vom Saal, a biological sciences researcher, said bisphenol A, or BPA, is harmful to children because it affects the development of reproductive systems and brain function. BPA is used in the manufacturing of polycarbonate containers.

Debate rising over denying prescriptions

A growing number of pharmacists across the country are refusing to dispense prescriptions for birth control and emergency contraception, claiming it is against their religious or moral beliefs to do so.

At some pharmacies, the owners refuse to offer certain birth-control products. At others, there are individual pharmacists who refuse to fill prescriptions or distribute them only to married women. Some believe birth control is immoral and equate emergency contraception, also known as “morning-after pills,” with abortion.

Tickets, please

Morrison is a likeable 21-year-old, unhappily employed as an usher at the historic Hi-Pointe Theater in St. Louis. His search for personal fulfillment in the face of a corporate takeover and his longing for the lovely projectionist Andrea is told in “Diary of a Co-worker,” the first feature-length film by local filmmakers Matt and Amanda McLaughlin.

Morrison tells us his story of wasted effort and misplaced ambition in voice-overs and by addressing the camera. Viewers quickly feel a personal bond with him, and he effectively becomes a small-time hero.

Hickman students discuss Schiavo case at forum

After watching broadcast reporters ask questions about the Terri Schiavo case for weeks, Hickman High School students got their chance to ask questions on Thursday night.

A Speak Your Mind student forum was held in Hickman Commons with a panel of experts in the fields of law, medical ethics and religion on hand to answer questions about the Schiavo case. The forum attracted about 150 students.

Hickman seniors join Presidential Scholar semifinalists

Two Hickman High School seniors are one step away from receiving one of the nation’s top academic honors.

Gov. Matt Blunt announced on Thursday that Vellore Arthi and Benjamin Shelton are among Missouri’s 10 Presidential Scholar Semifinalists.

House passes $19 billion budget

JEFFERSON CITY — Funding cuts to social services and several state departments fueled increases to education in a $19 billion state budget passed through the House on Thursday.

With most of the contentious discussion engulfing the lower chamber earlier in the week, debate remained low-key until Rep. John Burnett, D-Kansas City, went beyond the standard Democratic critique of the Republican budget.

Students stand close to Sting

An MU athletics van waited on Hitt Street on Thursday to whisk away more than the usual players.

Sting, an international pop star, gave an exclusive performance to 30 hand-picked students, five faculty and several staff members from the MU School of Music before being quickly escorted to the waiting vehicle to prepare for his concert at Mizzou Arena on Thursday evening.

Children in car during police chase

A brief police chase involving a car with a man and two children ended when the man crashed the car, according to the Columbia Police Department.

Police Capt. Zim Schwartze said a man fled the scene of a domestic-violence call on Thursday.

Rush to beat the deadline

Les McMillen already knows he won’t get out of the office until midnight tonight.

The tax consultant’s latest appointment is set for 10 p.m. with one of his longtime clients, who said she always procrastinates when it comes to taxes.

Filling a need for funds

When local performer Victoria Day, 41, contacted Kathy Windmoeller to ask if the Mid-Missouri Breast Cancer Awareness Group could use some money, Windmoeller’s thrilled response was immediate.

“Victoria e-mailed me and asked, ‘Would we like to have money donated to our group?’ ” Windmoeller said. “And I said, ‘Yes!’ No one has ever done that before.”

Schools’ last day May 27

Good weather means students attending Columbia’s public schools will greet summer vacation early this year after school officials decided to change the last day of school from June 3 to May 27.

Chris Mallory, assistant superintendent for secondary education and school communications, said this is the earliest school has let out in many years but not the first time school has ended in concurrence with Memorial Day weekend.

Trade office targeted for cuts

In a time of tight budgets, state officials are reconsidering how to spend taxpayers’ money to support the state’s businesses abroad.

To help Missouri businesses compete in international markets, the state maintains trade and investment offices in five countries. Officials, however, hope to save $121,000 in the next budget year by closing the Missouri International Trade and Investment Office in Seoul, South Korea.

Budget policy expert: Social Security plan ‘bad deal’ for young people

When it comes to the Social Security debate, John Irons thinks “facts are good.”

Irons, director for tax and budget policy for the Center for American Progress, presented facts and analysis on Social Security privatization Wednesday night in Conservation Auditorium at MU. Irons also summarized President Bush’s plan for Social Security reform.

Cut to legislators’ health care fails

JEFFERSON CITY — Rep. Trent Skaggs wants Missouri lawmakers to feel the squeeze in this year’s state budget cuts.

Debate erupted in the House on Wednesday after Skaggs, D-North Kansas City, presented an amendment that would cut elected officials’ health insurance benefits in order to save money for other services targeted for cuts.

Harg-area residents, Sapp agree on concerns

Arguments between concerned neighbors and a prominent developer over a proposed development east of Columbia may be coming to an end.

Harg-area residents and Billy Sapp negotiated terms Wednesday that could make his 1,000-acre development proposal a reality.

Possible removal of awning echoes owners’ opinions

Carrie Gartner, the director of Columbia’s downtown Special Business District, said the recent vote in support of removing the canopy that covers downtown businesses between Seventh and Hitt streets reflects a change in the way business owners think about their properties.

“We’re saying we should go with our strengths,” Gartner said.

Senate approves private funding for First Steps

JEFFERSON CITY — A bill placing financial responsibility for the First Steps program into the hands of private insurance providers and families won first-round approval in the Senate on Wednesday.

First Steps provides in-home therapy and services to children younger than 3 who have developmental disabilities. The program could lose its state funding to Medicaid and budget cuts that Gov. Matt Blunt has proposed.

Hindman recognizes victims’ privileges

Mayor Darwin Hindman named this week Crime Victims’ Rights Week for Columbia during a ceremony honoring the 25th anniversary of the National Victims’ Rights Week at the Reynolds Alumni Center on Wednesday night.

“Justice isn’t served until the victims are,” Hindman said.