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Amendment supporters starting to see rewards

JEFFERSON CITY – The real news at the Capitol on Wednesday wasn’t on the House floor – it was in the basement.

That’s where the transportation commission dished out $94.6 million worth of projects paid for by a new constitutional amendment.

Sapp development plans in jeopardy

Harg-area petitioners collected more signatures than required to halt the largest proposed voluntary land annexation in Columbia’s history.

A report signed by City Manager Ray Beck declares the objection to Billy Sapp’s 1,000-acre annexation plan valid and advises the City Council not to vote or hold a second public hearing at Monday night’s meeting.

No contest for board spot

Barbara Weaver’s latest campaign to return to the Boone Hospital Center’s board of trustees will be an easy one. In fact, it’s already over. The filing deadline for what was supposed to be an April 5 election was Jan. 18. Since Weaver was the only candidate who filed, there will be no election. The same phenomenon occurred last year, when Greg Steinhoff also won a five-year term without challenge.

“There is no election because only one person filed,” Boone County Clerk Wendy Noren said.

Columbia is... CLEVER

Clever (klev´er) adj. clev·er·er, clev·er·est

Nimble with the hands or body; dexterous.

Comedy program benefits Bowden

Columbia Police Officer Corey Bowden and his father-in-law David Thomas laughed out loud Thursday night — not an unusual occurrence at the Déjà Vu Comedy Club But for injured Officer Molly Bowden’s husband and father, it was a significant moment.

The two haven’t had much to laugh about, lately. Bowden remained in a drug-induced coma at University Hospital in serious condition after being shot by Richard Evans during a traffic stop the evening of Jan. 10. As of Friday, she was recovering from a serious infection, though a family spokesman said she was continuing to improve.

Citizens back Katy bridge

BOONVILLE — The MKT Bridge, a historic and engineering feat, stood strong Friday night as citizens gathered at a town meeting to discuss future of the bridge.

The meeting, held by the Save the Katy Bridge organization at Turner Hall, brought 54 people to what economic developer Sarah Gallagher referred to as a “gauge for citizen support.”

New tower symbolizes city’s boom

During the past two months, commuters on U.S. 63 couldn’t help but notice a change in the landscape just south of Columbia. What started as four columns of gray steel stretching skyward near the junction of Highway 163 has taken shape.

The new water tower, which will stand 192 feet tall with a capacity of 1 million gallons, is a symbol of more than just engineering bravado. It represents the changes to come in the largely undeveloped area not far from the city’s southern borders.

Legislators respond to community

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.

City flips switch on green power

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.

HARG expects ruling today

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.

USDA closes animal supplier

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.

New school funding panel created

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.

To the moon and beyond

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.

Lutheran church reaches 40 years

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.

MU curators start tenures

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.

Fog, red light slow morning commute

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 halt voluntary annexation proposal

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.

GOP to replace Hulshof on panel

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.

Bill could restore Dixie flag

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.

After Hannibal Inn snub, Wiccans relocate

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.”

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