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Broadway contractor OK’d

The time has come for East Broadway to get a face-lift.

During a meeting that also featured the approval of a few rezoning requests, the Columbia City Council on Monday took the last step in expanding East Broadway to four lanes from Old Highway 63 to U.S. 63 by selecting Emery Sapp and Sons Inc. as the contractor for the $4.78 million project.

County running late on budget

Resigned to the fact that they would not have a draft of the Boone County budget by the Nov. 15 deadline imposed by Missouri law, county officials on Monday buried themselves in a sea of budget documents and worked on the problems that have caused the delay.

“Nobody can move until you get good cost data,” said Boone County Auditor June Pitchford, who is responsible for preparing the budget.

Blunt team won’t rule out health care cuts

JEFFERSON CITY — A spokesman for Gov.-elect Matt Blunt’s transition team said he cannot rule out the possibility of a reduction in Missouri’s health care coverage at a time when another state is dissolving its expanded Medicaid program.

Many Tennessee residents are fretting over the dissolution of their Medicaid program — a cut that will leave 430,000 poor and disabled Tennesseans without health care.

Going to the dogs

Not everyone would view bulldogs as the most desirable or loveable animals, but five English bulldogs taken in by the Central Missouri Humane Society are attracting a lot of attention.

Jason Ramsey, a spokesman for the society, said they could get up to 300 adoption applications for the five animals.

Speaker addresses civil rights experience

Minnijean Brown-Trickey never expected to encounter the hate and discrimination she faced when she entered a traditionally white high school.

During the summer of 1957, officials in Little Rock decided to begin the process of desegregating the city’s public schools. The school board selected nine African-American teenagers, who would go on to be known as the Little Rock Nine, to enroll at Central High School that fall.

National unity still a difficult goal

Since the presidential election, I have not met one incurable optimist. No one has even suggested that the sharp, jagged edges that have divided the country will soon smooth out, allowing us to undergo a great healing. This indicates, to me at least, that few doubt the seriousness of this division.

Folks in my area of concern were either jubilant over the outcome or dismayed and depressed. I never met a single person who was indifferent to the election. In my opinion, attempting to unify the country at this point would be like trying to create new energy sources by combining oil and water or digging a hole in the solar system.

Straight salt might be used to clear county roads of snow

Boone County Public Works might use straight salt to clear snow on heavily traveled county roads this winter, director David Mink said Monday at a meeting with the Boone County Commission.

In years past, the county has used a mixture of limestone chips and salt to melt snow on roads. Mink said that strategy resulted in a lot of rock on the roads, but not much salt.

Curators to discuss renovating MU halls

The construction and renovation of two MU residence halls will be considered by the University of Missouri’s Board of Curators this week.

During meetings Thursday and Friday in Rolla, the board will decide whether to pay Kansas City firm International Architects Atelier $875,000 to develop plans to renovate Hatch Hall, at the corner of Rollins Road and College Avenue.

Monk addresses teens about Tibet

Bundled in a gold-and-magenta robe and a cherubic smile, Tibetan monk Champa Lhunpo told 20 teenagers there are three poisons that could block their enlightenment: ignorance, desire and anger.

It was not an entirely light-hearted morning of learning for George Frissell’s “Classical Ideas and World Religion” class Monday. But as the group listened to the soft-spoken monk, they began to understand some fundamental beliefs of Tibetan Buddhists and the Dalai Lama — and the Tibetan struggle for autonomy.

New businesses add to downtown retail

A spate of new businesses is filling in empty downtown storefronts. Some business owners looking to target specific crowds — be they college students or connoisseurs of the creative — say downtown is the place to be.

Tiger Textbooks opened last week at Elm Street Plaza, 904 Elm St., in the space next to Cold Stone Creamery. The plaza, built early last year, has been mostly vacant since the first store opened early this year.

Ethics group: Blunt ad OK

JEFFERSON CITY — The state Ethics Commission has cleared Gov.-elect Matt Blunt of allegations that he used government money for political purposes by running pro-voting newspaper ads featuring his smiling face.

A Blunt spokesman, learning of the decision Monday, said: “That’s great! That’s excellent news!”

To the Editor

I just read your article “Pinkel’s fate should not mirror Onofrio’s.” Although I understand the trepidation in regard to firing Pinkel, I also think John Miller missed the point.

First, let me point out the obvious. Al Onofrio assumed the head coaching position at Missouri in 1970 and was later dismissed in 1977, amassing a career 38-41 record at Missouri. Although I was not a Missouri fan during that time, as I was too busy learning to walk, the article clearly cites inconsistency as the reason Onofrio was fired. It is nice to have solid recruiting and to win games against ranked opponents. However, the head football coach of any large-conference program is expected to have solid recruiting, and of course, to win games, which also means winning against ranked opponents. In that regard, Onofrio competently, not exceptionally, performed his duties. At the time, Missouri was accustomed to winning, and when the program showed a significant decline, the administration reacted and fired a competent coach. Furthermore, Onofrio’s overall record was not exceptional. After all things considered, it wasn’t much more impressive than mediocre.

Student visa delays affect universities

Amid tighter scrutiny of foreign visitors since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, many U.S. universities are experiencing a sharp drop in the enrollment of international students.

It is an especially troublesome trend for science and engineering graduate schools, which get a large number of students from abroad.

Boys and Girls Town hopes to use Woodhaven site

When the Columbia branch of Boys and Girls Town of Missouri opened five years ago, it promised it would look for better facilities than its two houses and one administrative office scattered around the city.

The Columbia City Council will decide tonight whether the group can keep that promise.

Plan aims to reduce prisoner recidivism

When inmates are released from prison, they often face hurdles that prevent them from leading crime-free lives. Problems with substance abuse, mental health and job placement increase the likelihood that former inmates will return to prison.

A state initiative, called the Missouri Re-entry Process aims to decrease criminal recidivism by addressing such hurdles.

Going public

Laura Meyer is a Hickman High School senior and a National Merit Scholar semifinalist and is involved in the National Honor Society and other service-related activities.

Claire Schaeperkoetter is a West Junior High School freshman who plays basketball and soccer on Rock Bridge High School teams.

Schools aim to empower children vs. abuse

Deep, dark bruises are visible up and down the young boy’s arm. He flinches as the guidance counselor questions him.

“It’s against the law for adults to injure children,” the counselor says on the educational video.

Behind new bars

The road to Algoma Correctional Facility is narrow and winding, beset by dead, brown grass. The prison is on a hill, its rusted barbed wire and paint-peeled watchtowers reminders of the conditions that pushed the state of Missouri to construct a new prison, which sits on 144 acres at the bottom of the hill.

The new Jefferson City Correctional Center, which opened in September at a cost of $128 million, is all concrete and asphalt. The low-slung housing units, with their blue-tiled roofs, contrast starkly with the drab, monotonous gray of the rest of the facility. Inside, from floor to ceiling, everything looks and smells fresh. Inmates, who crisscross the building’s interior in teams of two with mop and bucket in hand, scrub the floors to a white sheen. This is a place that concerns itself primarily with efficiency. Under the circumstances, this means constant vigilance.

The soul of flamenco

It’s hot in the basement of the house on Hendrix Street. The dark room is filled with the smell of corn tortillas and ground beef from the kitchen upstairs. Guitar cases line the wall beneath a poster of the Dave Matthews Band, and musical instruments are strewn about.

A group of men from around the world — Spain, Iran, Morocco, Missouri — have come together to make music. They are artists, students, teachers, professionals and casual philosophers. Seated on benches, stools and anything else they can find in the cramped space, they face each other — and the case of beer they share — and begin to play.

Rooster shots

Just a bit of lube can fix a squeaky hinge or keep an engine running smoothly for thousands of miles. Nowadays, it can do the same for an arthritic knee.

Viscosupplementation, a relatively new treatment for osteoarthritis of the knee, transforms natural rooster comb into a high-tech “motor oil” that can relieve joint pain and delay or even prevent surgery.

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