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Thousands homeless after hurricane

PUNTA GORDA, Fla. — Rescuers rummaged through a chaotic landscape of pulverized homes and twisted metal Saturday, racing to tally Hurricane Charley’s “significant loss of life” and help thousands left homeless by its vicious winds and rain. At least 13 people were confirmed dead.

As a weakened Charley churned into the Carolinas and was downgraded to a tropical storm, newly sunny skies revealed its destruction in Florida, where emergency officials pronounced it the worst to wallop the state since Hurricane Andrew tore through in 1992. Twenty-six deaths were directly linked to Andrew, which caused $19.9 billion in damage.

Surviving her son's death

BOLYE COUNTY, Ky. — For the 800 residents of Perryville, Ky., life goes on.

The stoplight on Highway 68 — one of two in town — still switches from red to green to yellow and back to red again.

Reliving a journey

Derek Biddle was 11 when he met a mysterious Cherokee woman in his hometown of Rocheport. It was the summer of 1998, and the American Indian was accompanying Glen Bishop, the founder of the Lewis and Clark Discovery Expedition, while he recruited men for the upcoming expedition to mark the bicentennial of the original explorers’ trip up the Missouri River.

“I spent the entire day with her,” Biddle said. “Before I left, she gave me a white mink skin and said that she would see me on the 2004 trail of Lewis and Clark.”

City seeks accessible sidewalks

An increase of more than $325,000 for the development of sidewalks and pedways, particularly downtown and in areas of the First Ward, is part of City Manager Ray Beck’s proposed budget for fiscal 2005.

Bringing the city into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act is a top priority, said John Glascock, chief engineer for the Public Works Department. Even downtown is still missing wheelchair cuts and ramps in some places, he said, adding, however, that the city always has “money in the budget for downtown and the First Ward: They’re the oldest parts of town.”

Attracting new hope

For Danielle Sipi of Jefferson City, life has been all about a yellow ribbon for the past six months.

“We never thought it would be that big,” Sipi said. “It’s taking over our lives.”

Congregating in Carthage

Four years after her divorce, Ha Tran, 50, continues to have trouble trusting people. After 30 years of marriage, she started to lock herself up emotionally. Though she is social, she has difficulty establishing serious relationships. She hadn’t taken a vacation in years.

It took a lot of convincing from her friends to get her to leave Morris County, N.J., and travel more than 1,200 miles to a small city in southwest Missouri. The occasion was a four-day celebration last weekend honoring the Virgin Mary and the Vietnamese Martyrs.

Hair-color crisis made me see red

I’ve written about my hair troubles in the past and as the older I get they don’t seem to get any better. When I spotted the first gray hair I dashed to the beauty parlor (now called a salon) and had the offensive strand dyed (the pc word is colored, but that makes me think of crayons.) I’ve been covering up the gray for almost two decades now, and it’s winning. At first I would have it colored every few months, then every six or eight weeks. Now I have a standing monthly appointment. I hate the process. I sit before the mirror while the stylist sections off my hair with a comb and then with a paintbrush coats each section with a thick paste that turns black almost immediately. By the time she’s finished with the first step I look as if a bucket of tar has been dropped on my head. Then I have to wait for a half hour while the solution “cooks.” About 10 minutes into the cooking part, my head begins to itch, but scratching is a no-no unless I want permanent dye on my fingers. By the time the 30 minutes is up, the stuff on my hair is as hard as a brick. Then it’s time to wash the excess out of my hair. This is also the time she reaches for some potent liquid to remove the dye that has remained on my face and neck. Whatever she uses removes any makeup in its way and leaves bright red blotches on my skin. The final step is cutting and styling my hair. The entire process takes about two hours, and I’ve learned to bring a book and a makeup kit.

Over the years, the hair that isn’t gray has become a mousy brown — not the rich brunette that I hated growing up. So recently I decided that I wanted to be a redhead.

Correction

A story about a genealogy conference on page 7A Thursday should have said consumption is the outmoded name of tuberculosis of the lungs, not cholera.

MU representatives face NCAA

MU officials will appear in front of the National Collegiate Athletics Association’s Committee on Infractions in Seattle today to discuss the NCAA allegations levied against the men’s basketball program in May.

University of Missouri system President Elson Floyd, athletics director Mike Alden, basketball coach Quin Snyder and members of an MU investigatory team are among those who made the trip.

Council weighs plan to add 25 city employees

Three police officers and two firefighters are among the 25 new employees the Columbia City Council should authorize for fiscal year 2005, according to a budget proposed by City Manager Ray Beck.

The new positions, which run the gamut from public safety to vehicle maintenance to public works engineers, would cost the city about $1.16 million, said Robert Ross, spokesman for the city. The city council will consider Beck’s recommendations over the next several weeks as it holds work sessions and public hearings on the budget, a final version of which will take effect Oct. 1.

Park reopens after renovations

Under a hide-and-seek sky of sun and swift-moving clouds, Jennifer Sanders and her family enjoyed the cool weather Thursday as well as changes to Stephens Lake Park.

Sanders came to the lake often as a child, and now that it has reopened, she brought her children, nieces and nephews.

Convention snags trappers’ interest

As customers perused through his finished product, Kenny Cook stitched together a teddy bear made of red fox fur. By the middle of Thursday afternoon, the first day of the National Trappers Association’s 45th Annual Convention, Cook had finished five bears made from raccoon, coyote and red fox.

Cook, who lives in California, Mo., has been sewing fur accessories for more than 22 years. He was a dairy farmer who added fur sales for extra income. But he had a marketing problem.

State fair offers variety

Nicole Lawrent of Columbia leaned against the gated fence Thursday morning surrounding the practice arena for horses at the Missouri State Fair, watching intently as other riders took their steeds through their paces.

Lawrent, 16, was at the fair with her Arabian, Cozmo, to compete later in the evening for Stephens College in the Saddle Seat Arabian Country Pleasure category.

State tax holiday set for weekend

Friday through Sunday a statewide sales tax holiday for some back-to-school items will allow shoppers to take a slightly smaller hit to the pocketbook, but shoppers in Columbia and Boone County won’t save as much as those in some other Missouri cities.

Missouri will lift its 4.22 percent sales tax on clothing items, school supplies and computer software and supplies under a certain dollar amount. Each individual item of clothing cannot exceed $100 to receive the tax break, but there’s no limit on the total for clothing purchases. For computer and school supplies, the total purchased amount cannot exceed $2,000 and $50, respectively.

MU cuts athletic hostess group

Several members of MU’s outbound Tiger Hostess program say its merger this fall with the campus’ Visitor Relations Tour Team might make athletic recruitment too impersonal.

“You make friends with the recruit, you spend a lot of time with them and make them feel comfortable with Mizzou,” said sophomore Alicia Hammond, who would have been a Tiger Hostess this fall. “The change is not necessarily a bad thing, but it won’t have the same effect this year.”

Conference helps dig up the past

When Linda Fisher speaks at the Holiday Inn Executive Center in Columbia this weekend, she’ll be mentioning consumption a lot. But Fisher won’t be hocking the latest fad diet, nor will she be denouncing 21st century excess. She’ll be referring to the outmoded medical term used on late 19th century death certificates to describe cholera.

Fisher, a former chief medical officer for St. Louis County, will be teaching attendees of the 2004 Missouri State Genealogical Association Conference how to interpret death certificates from the late 19th century and early 20th century. The conference, which is held annually in a central Missouri location, is expected to draw almost 200 recreational and professional genealogists to a series of workshops and lectures.

New colors, new lighting, new carousel featured

As you walk into the Columbia Mall’s main entrance you will instantly notice the bright lights reflected off a large apparatus in the middle of the cafe court. Beyond the lights children laugh as they ride a variety of animals harnessed and saddled.

A large 38-foot custom-made carousel is now the centerpiece of the Columbia Mall’s cafe court. On Wednesday, children lined up, eagerly awaiting their turn for a ride on the vibrant fair ride. Designed like a fair carousel, it is adorned with bright lights that gleam off the golden poles from wooden floor to canopy ceiling. Its orange and red paint reflects the lighting, and the intricate craftsmanship is evident even at a glance.

Dynamic duo

Mihai Cernusca and Greg Puzniak had seven hours to reconstruct the human digestive system. The pressure was on. They stretched their fingers and snapped their heads from side to side — a quick release before setting to work.

On the operating table before them were keyboards and mice.

Police arrest suspect in kidnapping

A Columbia man accused of kidnapping his ex-girlfriend was arrested Monday night in Wichita, Kan., after five days on the run from authorities. The alleged victim, Sara Riebold, 25, was safe and set to return to Boone County Tuesday evening.

Wichita police arrested Andrew David Viggers, 34, at 8:50 p.m. Monday after Riebold called 911. Viggers was being held Tuesday at the Sedgwick County, Kan., Jail, awaiting extradition to Boone County, where he faces felony charges of kidnapping, first-degree burglary and second-degree assault. Bond has been set at $450,000.

Rape care becomes hospital priority

As Leigh Voltmer, executive director of The Shelter, looks at how victims of sexual assault have been treated the past four years by local agencies, she can’t help but think Columbia could do better.

The place to start, she said, is with the organizations that victims see first: the hospitals and the police.

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