Six arrested in pedophilia case

Six men, including two from Boone County, have been arrested as a result of a covert investigation into child pornography by the Boone County Sheriff’s Department. The suspects include a former youth ministry volunteer, a commercial airline pilot, a career military man and a business owner.

“It seems from this investigation that some of the people who are the greatest danger are not the people we tend to recognize,” Detective Andy Anderson said.

Prison staff uses video games to baby-sit inmates

JEFFERSON CITY — Although the Missouri Department of Corrections decided earlier this month to ban violent video games from its prisons, Missouri remains one of only three states that allows any such games at all.

A survey by the American Correctional Association lists Missouri, Maine and West Virginia as the only states that allow prisoners to play video games. All three permit inmates to play sports and science-fiction games.

Woman dies after fall from garage

A woman fell to her death from a parking garage on the MU campus Wednesday afternoon.

MU Police Capt. Brian Weimer could not say why the woman fell, but said MU police were conducting an investigation into the death.

‘Out in the cold’

Cries of outrage from residents of the Park Avenue public housing complex, who fear their homes might be razed in a redevelopment project, are a bit premature, city and housing officials said Wednesday.

“We’re not going to tell them to get out on the street,” said Doris Chiles, executive director of the Columbia Housing Authority.

Historical society eyes museum

Downtown Columbia could get another infusion of culture as talks for a new museum in the area continue.

The State Historical Society of Missouri recently asked the city and MU if they would consider allowing it to become a tenant of a proposed archaeology museum on city-owned land in the Flat Branch area.

Rivals ready for rematch over Supercenter site

With 4,600 signatures and the approval of numerous neighborhood associations, a community organization opposed to rezoning land for a Wal-Mart Supercenter on West Broadway is gearing up for a showdown at a public hearing before the Columbia City Council on Monday.

At a Wednesday news conference at the Columbia Activity and Recreation Center, members of Community First urged residents opposed to the rezoning to contact their City Council members and to attend Monday’s meeting.

School district waits for state budget data

The Columbia School District, it seems, is involved in a waiting game.

District officials must wait for information from the state before finalizing the 2005-06 budget.

Finding your own tree

Each year, in the days after Thanksgiving, families flock to the Christmas tree lots to buy the perfect tree.

For the past 14 years, Ann and Wayne Harmon have provided Boone County with a hands-on Christmas tree experience.

Don’t forget to stuff those stockings

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care … empty and cold with nothing to share.

Kind of puts a damper on the Christmas spirit, doesn’t it? Don’t let your stockings hang lifelessly from the fireplace this Christmas. With a wide assortment of great stocking stuffers available, there is no reason that those giant socks shouldn’t be stuffed to the fullest.

Local art a quirky alternative to prepackaged gifts

The day after Thanksgiving avid shoppers rushed to malls and department stores to find the perfect gift for the perfect price.

Vendors in downtown Columbia suggest there is an alternate route for these holiday shoppers.

Holiday Recycling

Bad gifts are as much a tradition of the holidays as mistletoe and menorahs.

Every year, as you eagerly rip open the brightly wrapped gifts in anticipation of the watch you wanted, you are met with an awful sweater, a pair of too-tight pants or a hideous homemade gift.

Blue-collar Past,White-collar Future

For almost 100 years, an aging 3½ -story building has towered above the corner at Wilkes Boulevard and Fay Street. In faded letters painted over its yellow brick, the words “Hamilton Brown Columbia Factory” label the structure’s place in Columbia history since 1907.

Soon, thanks to a federal grant and the optimism of its owners, the building will be remodeled so it can be useful to the community for another hundred years.

... Or consider donating them

Not every gift is the perfect gift.

If Katie Scott, 23, were to be given a pedicure set, she would wonder whether she was being told her feet were “stinky.”

Add a personal touch to your gift basket

There are an overwhelming number of choices involved when choosing the perfect wine for a gift and accompanying it with the correct cheese, sausage and crackers.

Many take the easy way out and buy a prepacked gifts basket, but for the more adventurous, there are some key elements involved to create the perfect basket.

Tenants have mixed feelings about renovation work

Tenants of the Atkins building have mixed feelings about plans to renovate the old factory. Most are excited about the pending changes, but one company feels it has been wronged.

The Atkins building, formerly the Hamilton-Brown shoe factory, has been used for years as an office and commercial building. Recent tenants include an eclectic mix, from a mandolin manufacturer and a recording studio to a janitorial supply company and a church.

What not to give

Everyone has been subjected to a bad holiday gift.

Curtis Wieberg, a student at Moberly Area Community College, knows what to expect from his grandmother.

Sapp plan to cost millions, group says

Residents opposed to a 1,000-acre development in their neighborhood east of Columbia presented estimates Tuesday of what they think the development would cost the city if it decides to annex the property.

Overall, the residents estimate that infrastructure improvements necessary to support the development of homes, stores, condominiums and a golf course will cost the city between $6 million and $7 million.

Giving on the cheap

Christmas is all about giving … giving away your precious, hard-earned money.

From the girlfriend who whines about getting a Tiffany necklace to the people in the red Salvation Army vest repeatedly ringing their bells, people everywhere want your money.

Homemade gifts can be quick and easy

If you’re the type who made a Christmas list and checked it twice all before Thanksgiving rolled around, read no further.

If, like the other 99 percent of the population, you have made a mad, last-minute shopping dash, you might want to keep reading.

Background checks on school employees expanded

Next year, parents of Columbia students may feel a bit more at ease about their children’s safety while at school.

Starting Jan. 1, state law will require all newly hired school employees who have contact with children to undergo a criminal background check and fingerprinting.