Enlightened Generation

Barbara Condron knows this world is heading toward peace and happiness, and she knows how it’s going to get there — through the grace of an emerging generation of children born in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

Condron is a member of the faculty at the College of Metaphysics in Windyville and author of “How to Raise an Indigo Child: 10 Keys for Cultivating Your Child’s Natural Brilliance,” in which she describes children who seem to have greater capacities of intuition, talent, intelligence and creativity than their peers.

Taking a different angle by making math a game

David Moore, 11, and his friend, Mason Nistendirk, 11, were getting stickers to put on the cards around their necks.

“That was fun,” David said to Mason about the math game that involved pulling plastic eggs with Velcro off a poster board.

Restaurant owners welcome prospect of sidewalk alcohol sales

As the weather warms, restaurants in The District will start to open outdoor dining areas. Coinciding with some of the recent balmy weather, the Columbia City Council on Monday introduced an ordinance that would permit the sale of alcoholic beverages on sidewalks in front of restaurants and cafes.

Carrie Gartner, director of the Columbia Special Business District, said the ordinance would boost business and foster the type of outdoor atmosphere that makes the downtown a fun place to be.

Small salary draws big focus

Today’s issue of Parade magazine, the annual survey of “What People Earn” includes a face familiar to anyone who knows anything about the Latino community in Columbia — that of Eduardo Crespi, director of the Centro Latino.

Parade says “What People Earn” is one of its most popular articles among readers. But when the phone rang in Crespi’s office, he didn’t know what they were talking about.

Fifth Ward focuses on growth, planning

Candidates for the Fifth Ward seat on Columbia’s City Council discussed issues including city growth, a proposed no-smoking ordinance and Missouri’s Sunshine Law at the Columbia Public Library on Saturday. An audience of about 15 residents attended the forum sponsored by the Trail Ridge-Greenbriar Neighborhood Association.

Laura Nauser, a real estate closing officer; Gayle Troutwine, an attorney; and Joseph Vradenburg, an epidemiologist; are running for election April 5 to fill outgoing city Fifth Ward Councilman John John’s seat.

Bike group pushes for Katy to cross state

The Katy Trail’s 225 miles of hiking and biking paths cut through the heart of Missouri from St. Charles to Clinton. If the Missouri Bicycle Federation has its way, the trail might soon grow west another 75 miles into Kansas City.

That prospect excited Judy Knudson, 63, an active Columbia cyclist whose initial rides on the Katy Trail led to two cross-country biking trips as well as a two-wheel jaunt through France’s Loire Valley.

Residents escape fire that claims pets

Four family pets — three cats and a dog — died in a fire early Thursday morning in the 5400 block of Arrowwood Drive. The fire, which started in the garage, caused an estimated $100,000 in damage, including the total loss of a vehicle inside, fire officials said.

Shortly after midnight, a neighbor noticed fire coming from the garage and called 911, according to a press release from the Columbia Fire Department. The owner of the house and her grandson were both in bed when the fire began. Smoke detectors woke them and they were able to safely evacuate the house before fire crews arrived at scene.

State unemployment declines, but still above national average

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri’s unemployment rate dropped in February but remained above the national average, the state Department of Economic Development said.

Missouri’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell last month to 5.7 percent, the same as it was in December. The national rate last month was 5.4 percent.

Fund-raiser to benefit music teacher

Melissa Guillotte is 22 and a first-year teacher. She started teaching music at Grant Elementary School at the beginning of the school year. In August, she married Andrew Guillotte. In December, she graduated from MU. In February, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Next week, she will have surgery to remove the tumor.

This shocking and difficult news has brought together fellow teachers, students and their parents in a cooperative support effort. In two and a half weeks, a committee of parents planned “Dinner for a Song,” a dinner, silent auction and raffle to raise money to help Guillotte with her medical and living expenses.

Art league showcases winning selections

Works by the winners of the Columbia Art League’s first juried Intercollegiate Showcase went on display on Tuesday at the league’s exhibit space on Ninth Street.

It was the first show open to all mid-Missouri colleges.

Golf course moves ahead

The Planning and Zoning Commission voted on Thursday night to recommend that the City Council approve an amended version of a rezoning proposal for a 110-acre property on Clark Lane, east of Ballenger Place.

Plans for the property include an 18-hole golf course, swimming pool, fitness center with hot tub and tanning beds as well as 700 apartment units and up to 1,400 parking spaces. The commission’s amendments called for upping the minimum green space requirement from 15 percent to 50 percent and requiring a traffic study.

School grant fuels cornucopia

Six-year-old Dreisha Brown scrunched up her face and wiped her hands on her shirt after touching pig lungs wrapped in plastic wrap. The Eugene Field Elementary School kindergartner said the lungs felt “gooey.”

Once the children had their chance to touch the lungs, their instructor turned the organs around to show them where the heart had been connected. The whole room cried out in unison, “Eeewww.”

Public works director retiring

Columbia Public Works Director Lowell Patterson will retire after serving 19 years as director of the city’s largest department and presiding over a period of tremendous growth.

City Manager Ray Beck announced Patterson’s retirement on Thursday. Patterson will remain in the position until May 11. He turns 62 this month.

New home featured on reality show

Sherry Hampton threw open the door of her 884-square-foot Habitat for Humanity home, finding a host of friends and neighbors gathered to congratulate her on the front lawn. She then went back inside and did it again. And again. And again.

Only in the world of reality TV would Hampton have to reenact this scene for cameras, appearing surprised every time. For this shot, the tenth time was the charm.

Proposal aims to relax farm notifications

JEFFERSON CITY — Rural Missourians could be surprised to see chicken or pig barns being built next door under legislation endorsed on Thursday by the Senate. The bill would lessen public notification requirements for all but the largest livestock producers.

The bill also would prohibit counties from enacting local ordinances that surpass the state’s restrictions on animal feeding operations.

Hotel robbery suspect arrested at gas station

A Columbia man suspected of robbing a hotel late Wednesday evening was arrested just minutes later while getting gas. The suspect, Jerry L. Williamson, 57, was charged with first-degree robbery, police said on Thursday in a release.

Williamson was also arrested in 1999 on suspicion of robbing the same Ramada Inn, said Columbia police Capt. Zim Schwartze, the East District commander.

House tackles spam charge

Some state legislators want to permanently delete spam from Missourians’ e-mail in-boxes.

A bill presented to the House Utilities Committee on Wednesday would outlaw the transmission of “deceptive and unsolicited” commercial e-mail. The bill would make it a felony for anyone sending e-mail to put misleading information in the subject or sender fields of a message. Repeat offenders would potentially face prison time.

Former Ecuadorean chief criticizes U.S. policies

Former Ecuadorean President Rodrigo Borja expressed pessimism about Latin America’s future and criticized U.S. policies toward the countries to the south in a discussion at MU on Wednesday.

The Spanish-language palaver with a dozen students, faculty and Columbia residents was the first event in Borja’s two-day visit to MU. Borja, who was president from 1988 to 1992, affirmed his support for forgiveness of international foreign debt and characterized military support for Colombia’s war on drugs as futile.

Stretch of Nifong to close

The Missouri Department of Transportation will permanently close Nifong Boulevard between Grindstone Parkway and Ponderosa Street at noon today, creating a cul-de-sac. This closure will prevent access to Ponderosa Street from the east side of Nifong Boulevard.

Transportation Department crews will shut down the route unless severe weather makes the area unsafe. Although message boards will be in place to alert drivers and residents, customer support from the Transportation Department will be available at 888-275-6636 for further assistance.

Probe targets MU police chief

Complaints filed by University of Kansas students against MU Police Department Chief Jack Watring after Sunday’s basketball game in Mizzou Arena have led to an independent investigation by the MU Office of Administrative Affairs.

KU student Chris Kaufman filed a police report Sunday that said Watring grabbed him by the shirt and shoved him during an argument at the men’s basketball game. Watring was off-duty and out of uniform at the game.