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Technology keeps cars in control

In 1900, Columbia residents inched through town by prodding large, hairy animals. By 1950, they could cruise down Broadway in large, roaring machines of steel. Now they can do so without even touching a pedal.

A new technology called Adaptive Cruise Control is slowly trickling into Columbia’s mid-range car market. By automatically adjusting speeds to sync with traffic, ACC will move the car industry nearer to the renowned “K.I.T.T.” robocar that rid society of evil-doers in the 1980s hit television show “Knight Rider.”

A protest in memoriam

As American military casualties in Iraq surpassed 1,000 deaths, protesters held several demonstrations Wednesday expressing grief and anger at the continuing U.S. military occupation of the country. While reaction to the protests was mixed, political observers cautioned that the significance of the casualty count would depend on media coverage.

“The media doesn’t tell you what to think, but it tells you what to think about,” said John Petrocik, MU professor of political science. “A lot of stories on 1,000 casualties will have people thinking about the Iraq war and that might be consequential.”

Web site helps truckers to vote

Truckers Ron and Jeremy Ellis are finished making excuses for not exercising their right to vote.

And with the help of a Grain Valley-based company, the father-son trucking team that often works 28-day stretches without a break can now get absentee ballots and even cast votes in this November’s election — from the road.

Academy teaches public about law enforcement

Sometime in the next couple months, Columbia police detective Jeff Nichols will smear diluted horse blood on tile and carpet samples. A group of 15 citizens will watch the blood, diluted until it is invisible, glow when he applies a special chemical used to uncover evidence in crime scenes.

“I’ve heard people say, ‘Wow that’s just like CSI,’” Nichols said, referring to the popular TV program about forensic scientists.

MU to take on medical investigations

Between a serene pond and a stolid funeral home is a structure that serves as the medical investigator’s office for Boone and Callaway counties.

The building has been used as the medical examiner’s office since 1997. It’s also attached to home of former chief death investigator Jo Fountain.

Historical society names leader

A Missouri native and longtime state historian has taken the reins of Missouri’s largest historical records collection.

Gary Kremer, who has researched Missouri history since the late 1960s, has been named executive director of the State Historical Society of Missouri and director of the University of Missouri system’s Western Historical Manuscript Collection.

Antibiotic study finds fatal risks

A widely used antibiotic, long considered safe, dramatically increases the risk of cardiac arrest, particularly when taken with some popular drugs for infections and high blood pressure, a study found.

The drug is erythromycin, which has been on the market for 50 years and is prescribed for everything from strep throat to syphilis.

Discovery theme for annual talk

MU launched what it hopes will become a tradition Wednesday night when professor John Miles Foley helped those gathered in Jesse Auditorium rediscover their roots with his lecture on oral tradition and the Internet.

Foley, founder and director of the world’s only Center for Studies in Oral Tradition, located at MU, is also a professor of classical studies and English. He was selected by a committee to deliver the lecture in honor of the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial Commemoration.

No Guinness record for city’s tagline

The city’s new tourism logo — The smart, innovative, artsy, eclectic, clever, savvy, vibrant, too-dynamic-to-fit-into-a-short-tagline city — made its way into the Columbia Convention and Visitor’s Bureau’s history books as part of the most extensive advertising campaign the bureau has ever waged.

Woodruff Communications, the ad agency that worked with the bureau to create the tagline, thought it was worthy of even greater recognition.

Holding knowledge in their palms

Lauren Guillory works on her Palm Pilot m130 with fiery grace. Using a slender 3-inch stick, her hand flicks staccato taps across the half-sandwich-sized computer as she etches a memo to a friend.

In a breath, she clicks on an icon, sends the message into cyberspace and feverishly scrolls down the screen to tackle the day’s next task.

Fall Fest promotes minority involvement

Rushing around a circle of tables, students filled their hands with packets and brochures while a crowd gathered to get a good spot to watch the step show. Others were busy enjoying free barbecue. The atmosphere was busy as students of many different backgrounds interacted with each other Wednesday evening, kicking off the year at MU Black Culture Center's annual Fall Fest.

Heartland Rally

There seemed to be few undecided voters among the 15,000 people who greeted President Bush with loud cheers Tuesday afternoon at the Boone County Fairgrounds.

Among signs reading “Leadership for the Heartland,” Bush delivered a speech highlighting domestic issues such as health care and the war on terrorism to an overwhelmingly supportive crowd. Pauses in the speech were filled by enthusiastic chants of “four more years.”

Rios pleads not guilty in Valencia murder case

Murder suspect Steven Rios pleaded not guilty Tuesday to charges of first-degree murder and armed criminal action in connection with the June 5 death of 23-year-old MU student Jesse Valencia.

Circuit Judge Gene Hamilton did not set a trial date for Rios, a former Columbia police officer. A representative from Hamilton’s office said trial dates are typically set within a few days of arraignment.

Domestic issues focus of speech

President Bush, in a Tuesday afternoon speech at the Boone County Fairgrounds, focused heavily on domestic issues such as health care, education and job creation while reiterating his convention stance that America needs strong, decisive leadership in the war on terrorism.

Though the policy matters of the speech deviated little from his convention address six days ago, Bush started his speech with a plea for help to the loyal crowd of 15,000 sign-waving mid-Missourians.

Bush supporters applaud their man

A crowd of about 15,000 overwhelmingly Republican mid-Missourians gave President George W. Bush an enthusiastic reception as he visited the Boone County Fairgrounds Tuesday. Attendees highlighted the war on terrorism and the economy as their foremost concerns but also emphasized moral integrity and social conservatism.

“Terrorism is a big issue for me,” said Philip Johnson, 62, a retiree of the telecommunications firm TelCo. “I think (Bush is) going after them where they live, and I don’t think this is something you can sit and wait on. I think this is something you have to be proactive about, and I think he’s done an excellent job with that.”

CEOs who outsource Missouri jobs back Bush

President Bush’s campaign is heavily supported by Missouri CEOs who have sent more than 15,000 of the state’s nonfarm jobs abroad since January 2001, according to a report by the Missouri Citizen Education Fund.

The report, released at a news conference at the Boone County Fairgrounds before Bush’s rally Tuesday, said CEOs outsourcing Missouri jobs support Bush over Democrat John Kerry 13-to-one.

Missourians’ personal progress is praised

SEDALIA — Teresa Kelley, 41, of Sedalia sat in a crowd of about 3,000 in the Missouri State Fairgrounds’ Coliseum to hear President Bush on Tuesday, just as she did 20 years ago when former President Ronald Reagan campaigned for re-election in the very same spot.

“They have a very similar style,” Kelley said. “They both spoke with honesty and optimism.”

Quilt aims to raise rape awareness

The Survivors’ Quilt is a Harlequin patchwork of 14-by-14-inch cloth squares made by MU students who have dealt with sexual assault or rape, whether as victims, friends or relatives of victims.

Its scores of squares show diverse colors, symbols and words — from camouflage to crosses and inspirational quotes — but they are united by the theme of recovery.

HIV house approved for funds by council

A group dedicated to helping HIV/AIDS patients in mid-Missouri is one step closer to increasing affordable housing for its clients after Tuesday’s city council meeting.

Following a public hearing, the council unanimously approved an amendment to its fiscal 2004 plan for administering federal housing grant money that will give $125,000 to the Regional AIDS Interfaith Network of Central Missouri, or RAIN.

MU to inform students on safety poles

For MU students walking around campus at night, blue can be the color of safety. Today, the Missouri Students Association and the MU Police Department will show students why.

A mock incident and demonstration of the emergency poles around campus — sometimes referred to as blue lights — will occur at 5 p.m. at the north end of Francis Quadrangle.

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