Gauging the State of the Union

Tonight, President Bush will address Congress, the nation and the world in the first State of the Union address of his second term. The speech serves as the president’s keynote address for the year, an opportunity for him to outline his domestic and foreign policy agendas.

The tradition is rooted in the U.S. Constitution and George Washington’s historic first State of the Union address in 1790, which focused on how to maintain the union of the states and establish the foundation for a successful democracy. Two hundred and fifteen years later, President Bush is likely to discuss the challenges of establishing a democracy in Iraq, the prospect of an independent Palestinian state and the need for Social Security reform.

Filtration Innovation

Wilderness gurus will find the most innovative part of Columbia’s new Bass Pro Shop outside its doors.

IARA waits for ruling on assets

The Islamic American Relief Agency will have to wait at least two more weeks for a judge to determine whether the agency can regain control of its assets and resume its work.

Senator pushes for Reagan day

JEFFERSON CITY — It’s a short list.

George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Harry S. Truman, Martin Luther King, Jr., Christopher Columbus. Those are the men Missouri honors with state holidays.

County purchases prime real estate

As a committee discusses how to ease a space crunch in Boone County government, county commissioners have acquired or contracted to buy several pieces of prime downtown real estate.

Engineers eat fill at free lunch

Whoever said there’s no such thing as a free lunch has not met a member of MU’s American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Hot dogs, chips and chili filled a long table in front of the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering office at MU’s Thomas and Nell Lafferre Hall on Friday afternoon. A warm grill and a bag of charcoal sat outside the building in the cold weather. The scene was more reminiscent of a barbecue than a January school day, but for the society, the two are interwoven.

Donate children’s books at MU games

MU athletics fans are asked to bring books appropriate for children up to age 6 to Tiger men’s and women’s basketball games Feb. 12.

The books will be donated to the Mizzou Tigers Children’s Book Drive, sponsored by the MU athletic department, Boone Early Childhood Partners and the Golden K Kiwanis Club of Columbia.

Booze targeted for tax boost

JEFFERSON CITY — A state representative wants voters to quadruple the tax on beer, double the tax on spirits and boost the tax on wine to pay for a program addressing alcohol abuse and underage drinking.

Trip to prepare officials for disaster

To better deal with everything from tornadoes to terrorist attacks, about 50 officials from Columbia and Boone County met Monday morning to prepare for a trip to a Federal Emergency Management Agency training session in Maryland.

A month of memories


An exhibit on civil rights will be featured through the month of February at Missouri State Museum; contact 751-2854.

Fear could lead us to make changes

Weather has been a major newsmaker for the past several months. Tsunamis, mudslides and snowstorms have made the headlines. People-against-nature stories abound.

People are amazed that others continue to choose to live in places where natural disasters occur almost every year. As one who has lived in an area struck by two major tornadoes, I know that everyone has his or her own reason for choosing to rebuild and hope for the best. Since the terrorist attack on Sept. 11, 2001, there’s been more focus on the desire to “live safe.” Some people actually live in constant fear of being the victim of a terrorist plot. Sadly enough, I know some folks who have given into their fears, thinking that everyday life constitutes a virtual landmine of dangers.

Committee examines cloning, stem-cell ethics

JEFFERSON CITY — The issues of cloning and stem-cell research found themselves under the microscope at a state Senate hearing Monday night.

Sen. Matt Bartle, R-Jackson County, presented a bill to the Senate Judiciary Committee to outlaw human cloning in Missouri by defining the creation of a human as the egg of a human female fertilized by the sperm of a human male.

Power of prayer

The 9:45 a.m. service at Grace Bible Church was missing two of its regulars Sunday.

“That’s where Molly and Corey usually sit,” said Michael Burt, the church’s pastor, gesturing to where wounded Columbia police Officer Molly Bowden and her husband, Officer Corey Bowden, sit when they attend the service.

SMSU nears new name trademark

As lawmakers have spent months arguing over who should own the name Missouri State University, lawyers behind the scenes have nearly finished a process that would grant Southwest Missouri State University rights to the name, angering those who have said it belongs to MU.

In January and February 2004, SMSU filed three federal applications to trademark the names Missouri State and Missouri State University — two for clothing and one for educational services. Now, after nearly a year of processing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, lawyers from SMSU are awaiting word that the name is officially theirs — at least from the standpoint of federal commerce.

Students in running for national honor

Four Hickman High School seniors and one home-schooled Columbia senior have a chance to receive one of the nation’s highest academic honors as a Presidential Scholar.

Vellore Arthi, Stefan Novosel, Benjamin Shelton and Suzanne Wetz, all from Hickman, and Carmen Pettus, who is home-schooled, are the Columbia-area nominees, according to the Presidential Scholars Program Web site.

No-smoking backers to be anonymous

Local business owners can throw their support behind a proposed no-smoking ordinance for Columbia. They just can’t expect to know who those supporters are.

The Boone County Coalition for Tobacco Concerns is quietly circulating a letter of support, asking area business leaders to endorse the measure. That support, though, is strictly behind the scenes.

Video promoting patriotism given to high schools

Schools have not yet decided whether to show the film.

Stoles of Every Color

Amid walls washed in color, a swath of purple stood out. It was a narrow strip of cloth, folded in half and hung on the wall so that both halves showed. On the left side were three people-shaped cutouts, each a different color. The cutouts were connected by a line of black. On the purple cloth, a card described Erik Christensen’s call to the ministry.

“I pursued other forms of ministry, looking for alternate ways to live out my calling, but I have gradually come to know that I will not find satisfaction anywhere else,” Christensen said. He is gay, and the cloth, or stole, was donated by an Atlanta branch of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America to tell his story.

Old lesson, new plan

From the outside, it’s the MU Museum of Art and Archaeology. But for a group of Lee Elementary School second-graders, inside the brick building is a journey into Africa.

“We’re ready to go around the world today,” Ann Mehr says to Brandy Moore-Klutse’s class as they enter the exhibit of masks inside the museum’s first gallery. Mehr, the class’s art teacher, then leads the students on a whirlwind trip through the African continent and its history.

Rule shift benefits parolees

Joey Eads is not used to getting second chances, so when given the opportunity to participate in a new early parole program, he jumped at the opportunity.

Eads is one of six Boone County residents to participate in the program, which was approved in October and initiated in November. In addition, 14 more applications have been submitted for review, said Capt. Warren Brewer, detention director for the Boone County Jail.