Awareness increases reports of same-sex domestic abuse

It begins with verbal threats and intimidation. It can move to stalking and physical violence. In rare cases, it ends in murder.

Domestic violence plays itself out every day in well-to-do neighborhoods and East Campus apartments alike. And, according to some domestic violence counselors, the number of cases reported by gay and lesbian couples is growing.

Islamic agency tries to free up funds for bills

The Islamic American Relief Agency is undergoing another government review, but this time it is at the request of the charity itself.

The agency, whose assets were frozen by the U.S. Treasury Department in October, has petitioned for access to funds to pay off creditors. Shareef Akeel, a Michigan-based lawyer representing the agency, submitted the request to the Office of Foreign Assets Control last week.

County reviews gravel road conditions

Two vehicles carrying Boone County government officials wound through hilly gravel roads Tuesday afternoon, kicking up dust and identifying priorities for next year’s road and bridge budget.

“The roads we are looking at today are ones we’d consider for major improvements, not minor maintenance issues,” Northern District Commissioner Skip Elkin said.

Chief says pot law tough to interpret

When Proposition 2 passed overwhelmingly on Election Day, marijuana possession became Columbia law enforcement’s lowest priority.

But it’s not clear to police exactly how they are supposed to adjust to the change in the law.

Students assemble to discuss draft

Under the flags of many nations, 140 high school students and a professional panel gathered in Hickman High School’s Commons Tuesday night to discuss national service and the possibility of another U.S. draft and national service in general.

The discussion was part of Hickman’s Speak Your Mind Forum, which gives the student body a chance to address national and local issues that have an impact on the students’ lives. Hickman English teacher George Frissell said the focus of Tuesday’s forum was shaped by the events in Iraq and by the statements of the presidential candidates.

Farmers brace for first hard frost

With below-freezing temperatures forecast for Thursday and Friday nights, growers are preparing for the winter or calling it quits.

“I’m done,” said Phil Stewart of Fulton, who sells his produce at the Columbia Farmers’ Market. “Last Saturday was my last day.”

Aurora borealis coming into view

A misty light arching up to form a green rainbow with a streak of pink on the end might be visible in the northern horizon later this week.

Thanks to a large geomagnetic storm on the sun that began around 5 p.m. on Sunday, the northern sky will dance with shades of orange, pink and green for the next few nights. The phenomenon is known as the aurora borealis, or northern lights.

A Tiger in the city

ST. LOUIS — When Alpachino Hogue, an MU admissions representative, spoke to 30 juniors and seniors at Soldan High School in the Union-Delmar neighborhood of St. Louis, he got their attention by telling them he graduated from Soldan only five years earlier.

The students knew they were going to meet with a recruiter from MU, but they didn’t know he would be from the world they know.

Summer school focus of discussion

Although it’s nearly the beginning of winter, summer school was the main topic of discussion at the Columbia Board of Education meeting Monday night.

The board voted to give Columbia Public Schools Superintendent Phyllis Chase authority to negotiate a contract with Newton Learning Systems, a private educational company responsible for more than 70 Missouri summer school programs.

GOP tightens grip on Mo.

JEFFERSON CITY — Election Day 2004 was a dream come true for Peter Kinder.

Not only did the Republican state senator from Cape Girardeau narrowly win the race for lieutenant governor, he also saw his party gain control of the governor’s office for the first time in more than a decade, win the state treasurer’s race and increase its majorities in both chambers of the General Assembly.

Whistle-blowing remains a concern

There is a way of knowing when something of value goes out of one’s life. I knew. The moment I realized that 30 years ago, I would never have debated with myself over the issue of whistle-blowing. In those good/bad days, if a person had evidence that people were skirting the law or committing a crime or endangering lives, he/she reported them to the proper authorities.

But when I picked up the newspaper the other day and read the story about Bunnatine Greenhouse, a contracting officer for the Army Corps of Engineers who is attempting to advise her bosses about concerns she had over an extended troop support contract with Halliburton, I felt a griping sensation in the muscles in my stomach. She has publicly alleged that favoritism had been shown toward Halliburton, which was formerly headed by Vice President Dick Cheney. This was an action which I once would have applauded but now only fills me with a sense of dread. Situations like this always take me back to the Karen Silkwood case in 1974.

Election saw rise in values voting

Before the presidential election, Iraq, the economy and health care were the buzz words. Now, much of the political talk has shifted to the impact of values voters.

A widely cited CBS News exit poll showed that 22 percent of voters identified “moral values” as their top issue.

Board to pass or run with turf

The Columbia Public School District will decide today whether to fund half the cost to install artificial turf for football fields at Rock Bridge and Hickman high schools.

The Rock Bridge Booster Club approached Bruce Whitesides, director of physical education and athletics, and other members of the athletic department 18 months ago to request another field for soccer. The athletic department decided it wasn’t a viable option and instead proposed installing artificial turf.

Kidding around

Even though she’s 43, it’s not out of character for Jill Womack to sit at the kids’ table.

“If there’s a big family dinner, you can usually find me sitting with the kids because that’s where all the action is,” she said. “Working with kids is never dull or boring.”

While in college, Womack applied that philosophy to an assignment that required her to design a professional children’s theater. After living in New York for a year as a self-described starving artist, Womack traveled to Los Angeles, where she founded a theater company with friends.

Womack launched TRYPS (Theater Reaching Young People & Schools) in 2000 when she returned to Columbia.

For mid-Mo. artisans, it’s about love of the craft

Harold Uthlaut looked at home Sunday in the Hearnes Center Fieldhouse, though he lives 50 miles northwest in Glasgow. The 76-year-old, sporting blue jeans, suspenders and a contagious smile, couldn’t help but offer a word or two to those passing his stand of wood crafts.

“Go ahead, pick it up … that’s made of tin, this is cast iron … that’s included with it,” he said as three different people glanced his direction.

Hundreds of mid-Missourians sidestepped through aisles with the smell of cinnamon and country candles in the air to browse and buy from the more than 300 vendors like Uthlaut who crowded into the Hearnes Center for the 19th annual Fall Art and Craft Show.

Police looking for suspects in home robbery

Three men broke into a home in the 500 block of West Sexton Road at about 5 p.m. Sunday.

In a press release, Sgt. Ken Hammond said a man knocked on the front door of the house. While he was speaking to one of the residents, the other two men en-tered through the back door, wearing ski masks. One displayed a handgun. The three suspects de-manded an unknown amount of property, and then fled the scene on foot.

Evoking emotion

The artist: Joel Sager, a native Missourian, recently completed his degree at William Jewell College in Kansas City and now resides in Columbia. His mixed-media creations have been described as “smart and moody,” although Sager sees them more as “dark and deconstructive.”

The art: Sager’s work evokes some of the same post-war themes as regionalist painter Thomas Hart Benton, who also focused on middle-American life and the rural landscape.

It’s a kick

Three second graders bounce into a large, white gymnasium and plop onto the gray carpet at Chance Elementary School in Centralia.

“Coach, are we playing soccer again?” one girl asks.

Community Sketchbook

Pastoral heart, Columbia art

He came to Columbia to study art, but it was the city that made Joseph Citro an artist.

“Painting in Columbia reminds me of the ideal isolation van Gogh must’ve felt, living in Arles, while everyone else lived in Paris,” says Citro, 26.