A bridge in trouble

The cross-state Katy Trail has once again captured the attention of Columbia Mayor Darwin Hindman.

Hindman, who played an active role in the development of the recreation trail that parallels the Missouri River, wants to save the old railroad bridge at Boonville and make it part of the walking and biking path. He plans on attending a 2 p.m. Thursday meeting at Historic Turner Hall in Boonville to advance the idea.

Summer school program praised

A preliminary report issued Monday on the Columbia School District’s controversial summer school program said the program was nothing but a success for the district this summer.

Cheryl Cozette, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, gave a report at the Columbia Board of Education’s Monday night meeting on the district’s 2004 summer school program, part of which was run by Newton Learning, a private company.

Tiger Hotel sign ready to glow

For the first time in 42 years, the historic Tiger Hotel’s neon sign will put red light back into downtown. The three-month, $20,000 restoration of the five-letter sign was completed early Monday morning in what can only be described as the town’s most precarious spelling bee. All five of the 8-foot tall, 7-foot wide letters had to be raised 150 feet by crane and bolted down before the word “TIGER” could be framed back atop downtown Columbia’s tallest building.

John Ott, one of the hotel’s four owners, said a re-lighting ceremony will be held Thursday at 7:30 p.m. along Eighth Street to celebrate the restoration.

Lesson is taught from half a world away

On Friday, Sept. 10, the call came in at 2 p.m., not 2:20 as planned. Widget Ewing, a geography teacher at Columbia Catholic School, immediately began calling students out of their classes and hustling them into the library. The seventh-graders’ geography class would have a new voice that afternoon.

Half a world away it was already 7 a.m. on Sept. 11 for Nick Cook. On the anniversary of an event that would change the lives of many, Cook shared his own life changes through a speakerphone, providing a personal geography lesson about a distant part of the world.

Columbia resident may have West Nile

A Columbia resident has likely contracted West Nile virus, according to the Columbia/Boone County Health Department.

It is the first probable case of West Nile virus in Boone County this year. Although the identity of the patient is confidential, representatives from the health department said she is a female, older than 50, who lives in southwest Columbia, near the Country Club of Missouri. The woman was hospitalized a few days ago with many symptoms of the virus.

Wireless carriers hope to add cellular towers in town

The Columbia skyline might soon feature two new cellular towers with digital transmitters as wireless carriers work to enhance their digital network coverage here, just as they are doing across North America.

“We perform an extensive engineering analysis to find a spot where we can enhance service,” said Frank Merriman of Cingular Wireless, which is applying for permission to build one of the towers. He said more transmitters in the appropriate locations would make the firm’s digital network more pervasive and consistent.

Mediator to help settle bus contract

Norman Beattie of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service will be in town today to help with the contract dispute between bus drivers of Union Local 833 and First Student Inc., the area’s school bus provider.

The meeting, requested by both parties, will be held at 10 a.m. at the Days Inn Hotel and Conference Center.

Carnahan says let Missouri vote early

Democratic nominee for secretary of state Robin Carnahan said Monday she wants Missourians to be able to vote before Election Day in a speech at the Columbia Public Library.

Citing Iowa’s early-voting program, which allows citizens to vote up to 40 days before the election, Carnahan said the program is one way to ensure that more people will have a chance to vote. The program also allows voters to avoid long lines at the polls that might stop them from voting altogether.

School board plans review of Newton

Summer school might be over, but talking about it is not.

The Columbia Board of Education will evaluate the district’s summer program at its regular meeting tonight. The program has been a controversial topic of discussion for the past few months, board President J.C. Headley said.

Assault weapons ban runs out today

Even though a federal law banning assault weapons is set to expire today, Columbia gun shop owners don’t expect an increase in firearm sales.

Starting out small

Looking at 2-year-old Davonte Carter, one would hardly guess he was born three months premature at a mere 1 pound, 14 ounces, and in this fragile state underwent serious surgery to prevent his esophagus from closing.

Divisions over war growing tiresome

Editor’s note: Beginning next week, Rose Nolen’s columns will move to Tuesday.

I’m taking advantage of the cool weather to do housekeeping chores. I’ve painted the house and am now in the process of installing new floor covering. With any luck at all, the presidential election will come and go while I’m taking care of my responsibilities.

Montessori students share lessons with grandparents

A cool breeze swept through the shaded area of the playground where the audience sat. At the front was a group of young children donning black plastic hats distractedly performing "Five Little Monkeys" on a bed of wood chips.

It was the annual Grandparents Day Friday at the Columbia Montessori School, and nearly 50 parents, grandparents and siblings turned out for the big event.

Lee Elementary celebrates 100 years of history

Hanging lamps and a wet principal were the main attraction Saturday at Lee Expressive Arts Elementary School.

A year of celebration for the school culminated Saturday with one final party; the school's carnival marked the end of Lee's 100thth birthday celebration, which included a silent auction, dunking tank and carnival games.

History classes highlight attacks

Now that the phrase “Since Sept. 11” has embedded itself in the American vocabulary, local U.S. history teachers are making sure their lesson plans don’t gloss over the watershed event.

The Columbia school district’s 11th-grade U.S. history curriculum has been revised to include teaching on Sept. 11.

Former governor back on top

JEFFERSON CITY — Whether you’re betting on poker, pugilism or politics, it always pays to pick a winner.

And nobody in Missouri knows this better than former Gov. Roger Wilson.

Cyclists travel 150 miles for MS

This year, participants raised $1.75 million.

The long steep hill that leads to the finish line of the MS 150 Bike Tour is nothing to smile at, but that’s exactly what cyclists did as they broke the hill’s crest Saturday. Participants trekked 75 miles of Missouri countryside to raise money for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Another 75-mile journey awaits the cyclists today.

Memorial events bring community together

The third anniversary of Sept. 11 went unrecognized by the city, but that didn’t stop the community from memorializing the event.

About 50 people gathered Saturday morning at the post office, flags in hand. Young children wove through the crowd displaying signs reading “Never forget” and “God bless America”; signs they weren’t old enough to read but already beginning to understand. Cars honked their horns in support.

Lessons about Islam continue

The attacks of Sept. 11 caused some people who knew little about Islam and America’s Muslims to turn their attention to this community. While there was suspicion and hostility from some, there was also solidarity and a desire for knowledge about Islam.

“I’m very pleased that people showed their support,” said Rashed Nizam, president of the Islamic Center. On the day of the attacks, several Columbia church leaders expressed their support for Columbia’s Muslims.

Supporting seniors

It’s not every morning that Patsy Perkins gathers in a group to envision little bird eggs under her armpits.

But then again, this is her first time practicing Tai Chi.