Senators reverse course on protecting Medicaid

JEFFERSON CITY — John Griesheimer was 7 years old when his mother died, his father turned to alcohol and his grandmother took custody of him. They didn’t have much.

Olive Anderson, already in her 60s, cleaned rooms at the Skylark Motel near St. Clair, and her grandson helped make the beds so they could put food on their table.

Short-term cash, long-term issues

Deanna Eubanks had been working hard to make ends meet. She used the paychecks she earned as a patient service representative at a Columbia hospital to support her family and pay bills, but she often would find herself in need of extra money.

Four or five years ago, she saw the large signs on storefronts along some Columbia streets offering instant cash. She decided to give it a try.

How to spot predatory lending

Nine characteristics of predatory lending.

Two-minute read

Downtown fire damages stores

A fire broke out in the basement of the Best of the West store at 27 N. Tenth St. on Saturday evening. Fire officials said three other buildings sustained smoke damage.

Battalion Chief Steve Sapp of the Columbia Fire Department said the original call came from the Ragtag Cinemacafe at about 8 p.m.

Planners suggest rezoning denial

Inadequate roads are being cited by city planners as the reason to deny rezonings for a 250-acre development east of Columbia.

The Columbia Planning and Zoning Commission will hold separate public hearings and read staff reports Thursday on zoning requests for two properties on Richland Road owned by developers David Atkins and Garry and Drake Lewis.

Harg petitioners’ deadline looms

Opponents of Billy Sapp’s development plans east of Columbia intend to submit a petition Monday to block his latest annexation request, said Ellen Wolfe, a member of the Harg Area Residents for Responsible Growth.

The group of neighbors has not counted all of the signatures, Wolfe said on Saturday, but expects to submit more than the 1,500 required to block Sapp’s 169-acre voluntary annexation plan on the south side of Route WW. Environmental concerns about Grindstone Creek as well as traffic problems are among the neighbors’ concerns.

City Council Meeting

Here are highlights of the Columbia City Council meeting that begins 7 p.m. Monday in the council chambers at the Daniel Boone City Building, 701 E. Broadway:

Area briefly

SCHOOL CANDIDATES DISCUSS EVOLUTION, FINANCES: Opinions on evolution as part of school curriculum, and financial equity in schools were the two topics addressed by school board candidates at a Friday meeting of the Muleskinners, a group of Boone County Democrats....

Major intersections plagued by crashes

Even early Saturday morning, there were more cars waiting to turn from Clark Lane onto U.S. 63 than could turn left before the signal changed.

Brian Woodburn, a manager at Steak ’N Shake at the intersection, said flagrant traffic violations cause most of the problems he witnesses from inside the restaurant.

A heritage of dance

Twice a month, Rijutha Garimella, 9, and Sumidha Katti, 10, take part in a 2,000-year-old Indian tradition. They’re learning the art of Bharatanatyam, an ancient style of dance deeply rooted in Hindu spirituality.

The most orthodox definitions of Bharatanatyam say it’s a means of achieving spiritual catharsis. But the students come for a variety of reasons: to learn about Indian heritage, to make friends and, of course, to dance.

Left-handers have tough life

Editor’s note: This is one of Sharon’s favorite columns from the archives.

When my parents discovered that I — their first-born daughter — was left-handed, they were aghast. (I’ve always wanted to use that word.) There had never been a left-hander on either side of the family for as far back as anyone could remember.

Red alert for Red Bull

Drinking Red Bull and vodka may have its perks, but drinkers could be headed for a fall — and not just off a barstool.

Wings are not the only thing Red Bull promises its drinkers. Intense energy boosts and increased alertness are among the other promised effects that entice many to this pick-me-up king. Just add a large dose of caffeine, a dash of vitamins and a ton of sugar, and you have the recipe for vitality packed neatly in an 8-ounce can.

Thieves pillage service company

Four handguns and four vehicles were among the property reported stolen in a burglary Monday night at the American Lenders Service Company.

The guns were not locked in a weapons safe, said Detective Sgt. Mike Stubbs of the Boone County Sheriff’s Depart-ment. All were registered with the National Crime Information Center. The registration numbers are helpful in the recovery of stolen guns if they are recovered in another crime or sold to a licensed dealer, Stubbs said.

Columbia residents voice concerns over cable

More than 200 Columbia residents attended five workshops held earlier this week to provide input on the city’s ca-ble franchise renewal process.

Many voiced concerns about rate increases, the availability of high-definition service and support for local public access channels.

City’s growth is inevitable and beneficial, Nauser says

As the city encroaches more and more on county land through annexations, Laura Nauser said it is important to strike a balance between the desires of those who want to live in the country and the needs of an expanding city.

It is this belief that inspired her campaign slogan: “Balanced growth for Columbia.”

Blunt ends SMSU name game

SPRINGFIELD — Former Southwest Missouri State University professor Pat Pierce received an unusual present for her birthday, a copy of Senate Bill 98 signed by Gov. Matt Blunt.

The university’s president, John Keiser, surprised Pierce with the honor at the bill-signing ceremony that will change the school’s name to Missouri State University. The retired music professor celebrated her 80th birthday with Southwest Missouri State University’s centennial celebration.

Divided Senate backs changes in Medicaid law

JEFFERSON CITY — Senators on Thursday invoked Christian values and compared welfare programs to putting American Indians on reservations in a final debate before passing a bill to reduce the Medicaid program.

The legislation, which legislative staffers estimate would remove about 50,000 people from the program’s rolls, was approved 20-11. Two Republicans — Kevin Engler of Farmington and Robert Mayer of Dexter — voted against the bill. No Democrats supported the proposal; one Democratic senator was not present for the vote.

MU climate study reaches last stage

The last piece in an analysis of MU’s diversity climate includes recommendations for increasing nonminority involvement in steps toward diversity and improving diversity training at the university.

In the fifth phase of MU’s Campus Climate Study for Underrepresented Groups, 60 participants of various races, ethnicities, sexual orientations, religions and genders gathered in focus groups and offered recommendations for improvement, based on the information gathered in the previous four stages of the study.

Columbians meet candidates for City Council

Holding up yellow and red signs and sporting a green sweatshirt for the holiday, Liz Schmidt acted as a stoplight for a Columbia-Boone County candidates forum Thursday night.

Columbia voters met and questioned Columbia City Council candidates for the First and Fifth wards at the forum. The Columbia-Boone County League of Women Voters sponsored the event, which also featured a session with Columbia School Board candidates. The Columbia Public Library co-sponsored the forum.