Rock Bridge student charged in Hickman vandalism

A Rock Bridge High School senior has been charged with vandalism in connection with damage done to the Hickman High School athletic field in early January.

Aaron Nichols, 17, was charged with second-degree property damage on Feb. 1.

Coping With Cuts

Each morning, Steve Mabbitt helps his longtime friend, roommate and boss, Tammy Jennings, out of bed.

He helps her to the toilet, bathes her, dresses her, feeds her and gives her the pills she needs to treat the cerebral palsy she has had since birth.

Senate committee advances measure against cloning

JEFFERSON CITY — Just before the state Senate Judiciary Committee prepared to vote on anti-cloning legislation Monday evening, Sen. Chuck Graham, D-Columbia, wiped tears from his eyes.

The bill, which passed 7-2, would halt cloning and somatic-cell nuclear-transfer research in humans, which some Missouri scientists say has the potential to cure many degenerative diseases.

Schools refuse cell-tower offer

The Columbia School Board turned down a proposed contract between Cingular Wireless and Columbia Public Schools for a cellular tower at West Boulevard Elementary School at its meeting Monday night.

Board member Elton Fay motioned to deny consideration of the contract and said he had concerns about leasing school property to private companies and the safety of cell phone towers.

Kansas City politician paid for paper’s support

KANSAS CITY — A reporter and columnist for The Call, a newspaper targeted at the city’s black community, accepted $1,500 from the congressional campaign of the Rev. Emanuel Cleaver while also reporting on the election.

Eric Wesson also wrote editorials praising Cleaver and criticizing his opponents, Democrat Jamie Metzl and Republican Jeanne Patterson. Cleaver, a former Democratic mayor, defeated both en route to replacing Democratic Rep. Karen McCarthy in Missouri’s 5th Congressional District.

Diverse beliefs, varied conclusions

I remember as a child that people in my family who raised issues simply for the purpose of causing conflict were accused of fostering “cold water arguments.” Consequently, only visitors were likely to enter a debate in which neither wins nor losses had any validity, and discussion was considered a waste of valuable time. I suppose that early memory of my family’s rules of verbal exchange account for my less than lukewarm response to the creation versus evolution controversies raging in some parts of the country.

After careful listening to all sides of the issue, I came to the conclusion that we don’t all begin our examination of the subject from the same point, and therefore, the possibility of us arriving at the same conclusion is highly unlikely. Personally, I have to begin my investigation of the matter with who I think God is. Since I believe God to be omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent, I can accept that he created human beings and, therefore, understood their capacity for boundless curiosity and provided them with scenarios by which they could pursue various avenues leading toward a natural history. This way they could explain themselves to themselves. I can understand other people not subscribing to this theory in the same way that I can accept people who, without a qualm, board a 747 jetliner firmly believing that they will land safely but disbelieve the possibility of a virgin birth. You see, it all depends on the individual’s concept of what constitutes reasonable belief.

Memory of officers lives within community

Columbia hasn’t grieved for a local fallen law enforcement officer for more than 70 years. It has been that long since an on-duty officer was shot and killed in the line of duty on this town’s soil.

On June 14, 1933, Sheriff Roger I. Wilson, grandfather of former Gov. Roger Wilson of Columbia, and Missouri Highway Patrol Sgt. Ben Booth were killed on what is now Business Loop 70. The officers were shot as they approached two men who had committed a robbery in Mexico, Mo.

Bill touts younger ages in legislature

JEFFERSON CITY —Turning 21 in Missouri might soon mean more than throwing out the fake ID and having a legal beer.

The Financial, Governmental Organizations and Elections Committee heard testimony Monday concerning a bill proposed by Sen. Maida Coleman, D-St. Louis, which would change age requirements for members of the General Assembly.

MU fraternity penalized for opossum prank

MU handed down five sanctions Monday morning to a fraternity for a September stunt involving a collection of opossums. The sanctions require members of Alpha Gamma Rho to complete 640 hours of community service for the Missouri Department of Conservation, which amounts to eight hours per member. They must also develop an animal abuse and cruelty education program for the community.

The fraternity has been placed on social event probation through the fall 2005 semester and university disciplinary probation through the fall 2006 semester.

Two Columbia men are charged in robberies

Two Columbia men have been charged in connection with three robberies and an attempted robbery on Feb. 8 and another robbery on Saturday, police said Monday.

Police said the men were arrested after one of them used a stolen credit card to buy tools at a store at 1910 W. Worley St.

Senators endorse university name change

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — With the blessing of the University of Missouri, senators stood down from an all-night filibuster and endorsed legislation Tuesday that would grant Southwest Missouri State University a more prestigious statewide name.

The 23-7 first-round vote marked a resounding victory for the Springfield school's couple-decade-long effort to become Missouri State University. But the bill still needs a second vote to go to the House, where a different version of the name-change bill was defeated last year.

Columbia Responds

Condolences flood in

When reserve Columbia police Officer David Young and his wife, Debbie, got off their motorcycle at the Columbia Police Department, they stopped to look at the memorial of flowers, cards, bears and candles. They came to the station to buy another magnetic blue ribbon dedicated to Officer Molly Bowden.

Lessons in love

Love actually abounds in Columbia. Valentine’s Day reminds young and old that love makes the world go ’round. But what keeps the prime mover — love itself — going? The Missourian sent four reporters looking for love, and they returned with tales of devotion from four Columbia couples, each doing its best to keep this love-driven globe spinning.

A fire chief’s final call

ASHLAND — The former chief of the Southern Boone County Fire Protection District received full fire department honors at his funeral at Ashland Baptist Church on Sunday. John William Thomas died Thursday of cancer.

Fire trucks and ambulances draped with black cloth in the front and on the ladders lined the street. Hanging against a cold gray sky from two Columbia Fire Department ladder trucks was a 30-foot-by-60-foot flag.

School honors ‘hero’ for his service

Anderson Logan smiled the whole time.

He smiled before the Sunday celebration began. People came out of the rain into the Nora Stewart Memorial Nursery School, filling the small space ornamented with books and toys. Reporters interviewed him, looking to find out why he was the first person the school designated as a “community hero.”

Officer smiled on all life’s challenges

To hear friends describe her, Columbia police Officer Molly Suzanne Bowden was as tough as nails and as gentle as God’s touch.

“When I think of Molly, it always brings a smile to my face, as I think of her constant smile with the little extra bit of life that so few seem to know,” said W.A. Locke III, an MU ROTC instructor who taught Bowden.

Columbia responds

Among the prayers said every Sunday at Calvary Episcopal Church, one is for people in civil authority.

The Rev. Fred Thayer said his church supports these officials because of the nature of their work. On Friday, after learning of the death of Officer Molly Bowden, Thayer sent a letter to police Chief Randy Boehm expressing his personal condolences.

Life of service honored

Columbia police Officer Molly Bowden will be honored with a full police funeral on Tuesday at Mizzou Arena.

The service will include a 21-gun salute and ceremonial last call. A police honor guard will act as escorts and be present during the service.

Difficult times ahead for police

The loss of a colleague can be difficult, even for those whose profession demands toughness and bravery.

“There can be very strong personal reactions on the part of police officers,” said Wayne Anderson, professor emeritus of psychology at MU and adjunct professor of criminal justice at Columbia College.

Columbia schools respond to Bowden’s death

From Mill Creek Elementary to Hickman High School, the death of Officer Molly Bowden has inspired an outpouring of support from students and faculty throughout Columbia.

Handmade cards from elementary classes, banners with student messages of appreciation for the police and weeklong fund-raisers for the Officer Down Fund are some of the contributions that have grown from some of the community’s youngest members.