Van Buren man considered person of interest in trooper's death

MALDEN, Mo. (AP) - A Van Buren man arrested Wednesday on a charge of leaving the scene of a fatal November accident is considered a "person of interest" in Sunday's shooting death of Missouri State Highway Patrol Sgt. Carl Dewayne Graham, the patrol said.

The patrol said Graham initially investigated the Nov. 26 crash for which the 28-year-old was arrested. The patrol said information gathered in the investigation of Graham's death led to the man's arrest for leaving the scene of the fatal Carter County crash.

Local twist to Fla. case

A Columbia woman attempting to take water to Terri Schiavo was arrested Tuesday afternoon outside Woodside Hospice in Pinellas Park, Fla., for trespassing.

According to Miami Herald reporter Erika Bolstad, a crowd of about 100 protesters watched as Columbia activist Lana Jacobs, 56, was handcuffed and escorted away by officers from the Pinellas Park Police Department and the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Department at 1:45 p.m. EST. Jacobs was charged with trespassing after warning, a misdemeanor in Florida. She was taken to the Pinellas County Jail, where her bond was set a $250. She posted bond about 7:45 p.m. EST.

Rose left legacy of music, insight

Columbia Renaissance man Forrest Rose was by all accounts a prolific musician, writer and thinker. Often characterized as humorous, witty and intelligent, Mr. Rose wrote and performed with passion.

“He was someone who loved to skinny-dip in the fountain of life,” said longtime colleague Irene Haskins.

Providers blamed for most Medicaid fraud

When Gov. Matt Blunt announced plans to drastically reduce Medicaid services in Missouri, he set his sights on “well-documented instances of individuals defrauding the Medicaid system and costing taxpayers millions of dollars each year.”

As it turns out, the actual numbers squash the myth of the stereotypical Medicaid queen sucking most of the money from a broken system.

Sculpture plan approved

Stonehenge-style columns will be added to the list of unusual art that adorns Columbia’s landscape, which already includes alligators playing banjos and flying french fries.

Columbia City Council approved plans on Monday night to add St. Louis artist Carol Fleming’s concept design “Look Out Point” to Stephens Lake Park as part of the Percent for Art program.

Older artworks need restoration

Restoration of the Gentry and Howard buildings on Broadway has ignited discussions about the maintenance of city-owned art.

There is talk to set aside part of the building-restoration costs and use the money to maintain some existing art.

Communication crucial, science journalist says

When Columbia School Board candidate Mike Martin’s mother attended school to get her paralegal’s certificate and private investigator’s license, Martin helped care for his sister, Stephanie, who had muscular dystrophy.

The family’s income was a “cobblestone course” of different avenues: the Supplemental Security Income and Supplemental Security Disability Income helped, as did his father’s child support, his mom’s income, the money Martin earned mowing lawns and taking odd jobs. The Section 8 housing program paid a large portion of his family’s rent for 10 years, and the Muscular Dystrophy Association and the Foster Grandparent Program also gave them financial help.

Blunt spends $75,000 on office gear

JEFFERSON CITY — Gov. Matt Blunt has spent about $75,000 on new computers and phones for the governor’s office, raising the total taxpayer cost for his office makeover to nearly $120,000.

Blunt’s information technology director said Tuesday the old computers dated to the mid-1990s and couldn’t support the latest antivirus programs and operating systems. The phones were last replaced in 1997.

Two Shot Dead on North Side

Lloyd and Deloris Hazell were found dead at their home Monday afternoon in a subdivision north of Columbia, but their teenage granddaughter escaped the house unharmed.

Police said Lloyd Hazell, 66, shot and killed his wife, 68, before shooting himself. The couple had been married for about three years, according to police.

Bond seeks anti-terror money for MU

When it comes to the nation’s increasing efforts to prevent terrorist attacks, mid-Missouri might not be the first place that comes to mind.

But Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo., wants to put MU at the forefront of research designed to prevent what he calls biological and agricultural terrorism, from the poisoning of the food supply to the infection of cattle with communicable diseases.

Sparky statue returns to shop

Similar to the consequence for real dogs when they run away from home, the Sparky statue now wears a collar with a leash that is tied to the tree outside the Ninth Street ice cream shop bearing his name.

After a long absence, Sparky the bulldog has returned home. The original statue of the dog was stolen last fall and never returned.

Harg petition tables annexation

Harg-area residents submitted a petition Monday to halt developer Billy Sapp’s request for voluntary annexation of 169 acres.

Although the petition should have immediately tabled the issue on the Columbia City Council’s agenda, council members debated voting on the annexation Monday evening.

Fire causes $15,000 in damage at MU

A radio left on top of an electric stove caused a small fire at University Village on 601 S. Providence Road, causing about $15,000 in damage, Columbia fire investigators said.

The Columbia Fire Department was dispatched to the scene about 1 p.m. and extinguished the fire in the vacant apartment on the second floor of the building, according to a press release.

With war, fiction better than reality

Flickering images of young men dance across the television set. These are young men at home on leave from serving with the armed forces in Iraq. Some of them are recuperating from injuries, saying they can hardly wait to get back to the action. Their parents are naturally proud, not missing an opportunity to sing their children’s praises. Down the street, a colleague has an uncle who served in another war and is now critically ill. This individual has been going through a frustrating process, trying to get information from Veterans Affairs on the medical services available for a war hero. He was a recipient of several awards for bravery in action. These are the kinds of slices of life triggering emotions that tend to keep me awake at night.

Every now and then, someone asks me if I wouldn’t like some young member of my family to follow in my footsteps and become a nonfiction writer. They are always surprised when I say no. I hope they go into other fields, or if they want to write, I encourage them to become fiction writers. That’s a lot more fun. If you like, you can make all your stories have happy endings.

Governor’s Mansion gets panic buttons

JEFFERSON CITY — Panic buttons have been installed in the Governor’s Mansion to alleviate Gov. Matt Blunt’s concerns about the prison inmates who work in the house.

For at least 100 years, the state has used inmate labor for cleaning, cooking and maintenance at the mansion, the Department of Corrections said. Some inmates even dress in tuxedos to act as waiters and coat checkers at formal events.

Trooper killed outside his home

VAN BUREN — Missouri State Highway Patrol troopers were mourning the death of one of their own Monday and trying to find out who killed Sgt. Carl Dewayne Graham.

Graham, 37, a divorced father of a 4-year-old son, was found shot to death in front of his rural southeast Missouri home about 5:15 p.m. Sunday. A passer-by saw the body and called the patrol, said Roger Stottlemyre, superintendent of the patrol.

Growth brings space crunch for city schools

As residential developments keep popping up throughout Columbia, so do school enrollments.

Concerns are arising from the community, schools and parents because there isn’t enough room. Columbia’s population has grown by about 7,000 in the last five years.

Priorities: Wages, class size, reading skills

Strolling through the supermarket is a task some people find to be a burden, but Donald Ludwig enjoys his everyday trips to the market.

Ludwig, who is running for his second term on the school board, goes to the market each day to purchase all the ingredients to prepare dinner for his family — a chore he gladly takes on in his retirement.

A Sea of Tapes

About 100,000 blank videotapes sit stacked and untouched at Alternative Community Training. Some are marked “rejects” while others are still usable. Either way, almost no one is interested in buying them.

“We’re stuck in a sea of tapes,” said Jim Williams, director of operations and community employment at ACT.

Marching against war

More than 500 pairs of shoes lined the sidewalk in front of the Military Recruiters Office on Second and Broadway as protesters gathered Sunday to mark the second anniversary of the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

“While we didn’t have 1,521 pairs of shoes (the number of U.S. soldiers who have died in the war), we had many hundreds which represented tens of thousands of lives lost,” said Mark Haim, director of Mid-Missouri Peace Works. “I felt like it was a very heartfelt display of grief for the lives lost in this war.”