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Columbia storytellers carry on tradition

As technology continues to replace the need, and in some cases the desire, for face-to-face communication, the future of the oral tradition may appear to be in jeopardy.

But Columbia resident Beth Horner, a nationally recognized storyteller with more than 18 years of experience, has no doubt that the oral tradition will continue to flourish in modern society.

Online 'Odyssey'

For at least 400 years, Homer’s “Odyssey” was passed down through generations of ancient Greeks by poets and storytellers. By the time someone got around to writing it down, the epic comprised about 528 feet of papyrus scrolls, which, today, would make for a very large book.

Fortunately for today’s students and scholars, “The Odyssey” can be accessed instantly by the click of a computer mouse. But downloading Homer’s epic is different from hearing it from a poet or storyteller.

Literary history restored a page at a time

Jim Downey’s office, which sits in the back of his rambling Victorian home, resembles a well-lit torture chamber. On his desk are scalpels, tweezers, scissors, knives, needles and thread. A giant bladed guillotine looms in a far corner.

Downey is a book conservator, one of only three in Missouri. He restores books, documents and maps from the past 2,000 years. The guillotine is used for cutting pages, and the other tools are used to gently piece together tattered documents.

Faces of Ninth Street

Feeling neighborly

When Lynn Rossy moved back to Columbia 13 years ago, she said she drove around town like a maniac.

After living in San Francisco and Los Angeles, cruising casually was not in her nature.

Defining community

‘On Foot’

Two-minute read

NEW CHANCELLOR’S WIFE RETIRES: Anne Deaton, wife of the new MU Chancellor Brady Deaton, plans to retire Jan. 1 as the state director for the Division of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, the division announced this week. Anne Deaton said she wants to spend more time with her family and to devote more time to MU, where she was once an assistant professor.

Corrections

An information graphic on page 5A Wednesday about the transportation development district approved along Stadium Boulevard misidentified one of the property owners that will be affected by the new district. The business is TKG Management.

An article published Friday on about stem-cell research misquoted a source and misspelled her last name. Mary Andersen said, "It is creating human life and using that life for research, and that is wrong."

Take your Pick

Fall’s brilliance is in full force at Hartsburg’s 13th annual Pumpkin Festival.

Despite a slow start to the pumpkin crop earlier this year, Jo Hackman said the pumpkin yield has been very good. Hackman and her husband, Norlan, have produced about 60,000 pumpkins this year for the more than 40,000 people who will pass through the two-day festival, which runs through today.

Buyers, merchants weigh in on tax district

A little extra sales tax would not have separated Steve Shifley from his new television. In fact, Shifley said, he may not have even noticed the difference.

Shifley, who purchased the television Friday at Best Buy near Stadium Boulevard, said a half-cent tax that will soon be charged at stores along that street is a good way to raise revenue for roadwork and will not keep him away.

Valencia’s mom wants

Linda Valencia wants the man charged with murdering her son to be in jail. But four months after former Columbia police officer Steven Rios was put in protective custody, he is still in a mental health facility.

“I don’t think it’s fair that this man’s sitting in a mental hospital,” Valencia said. “I think he’s getting special treatment because he’s a cop.”

Pierpont residents file second petition to ward off annexation

It takes a village to avoid annexation, or so hope Pierpont residents who filed a revised petition for incorporation with the county Friday.

The petitioners redrew the proposed village’s boundaries after Columbia city staff discovered in August that parts of the proposed village fell within two miles of city limits, violating state law. Residents of the small settlement, currently in unincorporated Boone County, fear that as Columbia’s boundaries creep southward, city officials may attempt to annex Pierpont.

A dizzying ride down spin alley

ST. LOUIS — As the lights dimmed and Sen. John Kerry and President George W. Bush wound their way out of the Washington University debate hall Friday night, a political three-ring circus was escalating in the gymnasium down the hall.

Hyper-caffeinated journalists from around the world who were starving for action after being cloistered in the gymnasium during the entire debate swarmed around mobile placards bearing the names of Madeleine Albright, Karl Rove, Sen. Hillary Clinton and other political figures.

Debates disappoint 3rd-party supporters

With a nation polarized by the coming presidential election, some third-party supporters say their voices aren’t being heard.

That was part of the discussion Friday night when a small group of Columbia residents met to watch the second televised debate between President George W. Bush and Sen. John Kerry.

Presidential debate tackles issues in St. Louis

ST. LOUIS Friday night’s presidential debate in St. Louis opened up the dialogue to issues like health care, imported drugs and the environment. But the discussion started right where the last debate left off, with the war in Iraq.

Opening the debate, Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., attacked Republican President George W. Bush for using his campaign as a “weapon of mass deception,” in painting the Senator as wishy-washy on the Iraq war.

Local art gallery nationally ranked in trade magazine

A downtown Columbia art gallery has been ranked among America’s top 100 for the second year in a row.

Poppy, which sells contemporary art and gifts at 914 E. Broadway, made it to Niche magazine’s list of the Top 100 Retailers of American Craft for 2004. Blue Stem Missouri Crafts, 13 S. Ninth St., made the 2003 list.

Farmland rezoning gets nod from P&Z

Columbia’s Planning and Zoning Commission narrowly recommended approval of a permanent zoning request Thursday for 160 acres of farmland east of the city limits that is scheduled to be annexed Nov. 1. In the same meeting, the commission voted unanimously to recommend denial of a request to rezone the property at Providence Road and Third Avenue for commercial use.

The commission voted 4 to 3 to recommend approval of the farmland rezoning plan. Owner Gary Evans has requested permanent, open residential zoning for the land, which would give the city less oversight over future development than if it were not open zoning. The land is currently zoned for residential and agricultural use by Boone County.

Graham questions Ditmore’s ‘pro-life’ rating

Chuck Graham, the Democratic candidate for the 19th District seat in the Missouri Senate, called on Republican candidate Mike Ditmore to release to the public a questionnaire from Missouri Right to Life that led the group to give Ditmore a 100 percent “pro-life” rating.

The rating appeared in the organization’s General Election Endorsement Guide. Graham, however, took issue with the group’s assessment of Ditmore.

Bus tour makes stop to oppose war in Iraq

Peace activists with Wheels of Justice demonstrated Thursday at Speaker’s Circle on the MU campus, speaking in opposition of U.S. military operations in Iraq. The event was co-sponsored at MU by Students for Progressive Action and the Muslim Students Organization.

Wheels of Justice activists visit universities throughout the school year, giving students eyewitness accounts of their experiences in Iraq.

British media torn over hostage coverage

LONDON — In a country where anti-war sentiment is rapidly growing, the British press is facing a daily dilemma: how to cover a British hostage crisis in Iraq amid a torrent of criticism over the country’s role in the global war on terror.

British engineer Ken Bigley was kidnapped on Sept. 16 along with Americans Jack Hensley and Eugene Armstrong. Four days later, members of the Tawhid and Jihad militant group beheaded Armstrong. Hensley, too, was killed within days.

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