Tsunami aid is early tax break

The federal government has decided to be charitable with those who have been charitable.

President Bush signed a bill into law Friday that allows taxpayers the option of deducting tsunami-related donations made before this Jan. 31 on their 2004 or 2005 tax return.

Slain scientist recalled as thoughtful, kind

Many of Jeong Im’s friends and co-workers still talk about him in the present tense, as if he might show up any minute at the laboratory where he worked or at a neighbor’s doorstep, vegetables from his garden in hand.

They remember him as a kind and thoughtful man with a sense of humor that reflected his intellect, a hard worker with a passion for science and a respected elder in Columbia’s tightknit circle of Korean immigrants.

Police seek answers in stabbing

Police on Monday were still trying to sift through conflicting stories about what sparked a disagreement that ended in a fatal stabbing at a Columbia convenience store Thursday afternoon.

“At one point, we heard that it involved some type of road rage incident,” said Capt. Mike Martin, investigative commander for the Columbia Police Department. “At another point, we were told it involved some type of money issue.

Suspects sought in violent robbery

Two Columbia residents were robbed at gunpoint Saturday evening in the 1700 block of Monroe Street. One victim suffered serious head injuries and is in critical condition at University Hospital.

The victims reported that they answered the door to a young female who asked to use the phone. Three men wearing masks and armed with handguns then entered the home and stole an undisclosed amount of cash.

One-party system needs one more

Some of my neighbors are absolutely delighted that one of the things we left behind in the old year was two-party government. They are thrilled with the idea that there are no more worrisome checks and balances that have to be dealt with. A concerned friend keeps trying to warn people about the dangers of that kind of situation to no avail. She keeps talking about what happened in Hitler’s Germany, but of course, that’s history and thought to be therefore dead and buried. Still, I’m glad she has the courage to keep trying, even though it seems like a hopeless case.

One party government has always been a mistake, even though it works in favor of some individuals. I remember how thrilled people were in the Reagan era when they felt everything was coming up roses. Personally, I believe that the corporate corruption that we have been experiencing in the past few years has is roots in the deregulation process that symbolized for me, the Reagan years. The reality of a handful of individuals owning the huge chunk of the nation’s wealth, while the rest of the people struggle over a tiny part of it, I find morally and ethically unhealthy.

Suspect charged in cop shootings

Richard Thiel Evans, 23, of Columbia was arrested Tuesday morning and charged in connection with the shooting of two Columbia police officers during a 9½ -hour span Monday evening and Tuesday morning.

Officer Molly Bowden was shot three times while conducting a routine vehicle stop of a 1998 black Mitsubishi Galant at the corner of Forum and Nifong at 9:50 p.m. Monday. Evans, the lone person in the vehicle, reportedly shot at Bowden with a handgun. Columbia Police Chief Randy Boehm said the shot missed Bowden, who then ducked behind Evans’ vehicle. Boehm said Evans walked to the back of the car and shot Bowden. While she was on the ground, Evans shot her two more times at close range, Boehm said. One bullet hit Bowden in the neck and two hit her in the upper torso. All three shots were located above the bullet proof vest she was wearing. Two people driving east on Nifong spotted Officer Bowden lying on the ground and notified police dispatcher of the officer’s injuries. Bowden was She was taken to University Hospital where she is listed in stable but critical condition.

Working to save the farm

John Poehlmann sees a vast expanse of rolling farmland when he goes to work at MU’s South Farm, but he also sees encroaching development.

Poehlmann is superintendent of the South Farm, one of four MU farms around Columbia. MU’s College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources, or CAFNR, uses the farm as an agricultural laboratory for teaching and research.

Police seek leads in death

Police are looking for two sport utility vehicles seen in the Maryland Avenue parking garage around the time MU researcher Jeong Im was found stabbed to death in his burning car on Friday.

MU Police Department Capt. Brian Weimer said in a statement Sunday afternoon that the first vehicle, a blue SUV, was parked in the third-level driving lane of the garage. The second SUV, of unknown color, was parked with its back hatch open. A man and a woman were standing next to it, according to the statement.

Growing need strains Boone County WIC program

At its current rate of growth, a government program in Boone County that assists women and children with nutritional needs could be forced to turn away dozens of people in the next few months.

Carolyn Ezzell, a nutritionist and coordinator for the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, estimates that as many as 100 people per month will be denied assistance if state funding is not increased. WIC will have to wait until the end of February to find out whether it will receive more funding.

Power of stun gun gets another look

The Securities and Exchange Commission has launched an informal investigation of the maker of stun guns, or Tasers, but that is not expected to deter the Boone County Sheriff’s Department from purchasing the product.

“Until someone can come up with documentation that they are dangerous, we’re going to be using them,” Sheriff Dwayne Carey said.

A toast to art

Three Missouri artists have bragging rights to the designs on three new Les Bourgeois wines.

The work of Dinise Mustain and Laura Pintel of Columbia and Bryan Haynes of St. Albans was chosen to grace the labels of the new wines in a competition that ended last month.

More get a shot at influenza vaccine

Missourians previously ineligible for this year’s flu vaccine may get another chance for immunization against the virus.

Gov. Bob Holden repealed an executive order that limited health-care providers to administering flu vaccines to high-risk people only. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services advised Holden to withdraw the order as a result of expanded guidelines issued by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

City hopes to buy land to extend road

A plan to reduce traffic congestion at Providence Road and Nifong Boulevard would require the city to pave over some privately owned land.

Bill Laurie, husband of Wal-Mart heiress Nancy Laurie, and State Farm Insurance own land the city Public Works Department wants to acquire to extend Southampton Drive by three-quarters of a mile.

Games issue challenge to curb growing waistlines

Sixty percent of Missouri adults were overweight or obese in a 2002 study conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control.

And it’s a problem that persists.

Man sought in MU stabbing death

Police were seeking a “person of interest” Saturday in connection with the slaying of a 72-year-old researcher in MU’s Department of Microbiology and Immunology.

Jeong Im was found Friday afternoon in the trunk of his Honda Accord in the Maryland Avenue parking garage. He had been stabbed in the chest and his car was on fire.

Grandmother of stabbing suspect dies after visit

The grandmother of the man charged with second-degree murder in connection with a stabbing that left one man dead and another critically injured Thursday died thatevening after learning police sought her grandson.

Ora Barney, 67, died after police visited her home, 1 Mohawk Drive, sometime between 6 and 7 p.m. looking for Robert J. Barney Jr., who was charged the next day in the stabbing at a Columbia convenience store.

Unexpected snow fell beneath radar

Columbia residents pinning their hopes on Friday’s forecast of zero precipitation, warming temperatures and some sunshine received a surprise when up to 2 inches of snow fell in the area Friday afternoon.

Joe Pedigo, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in St. Louis, said weak weather disturbances, such as the snow Friday, can only be foreseen close to the day they occur.

Sound cause

Columbia resident BeCarr Washington is searching for musicians of all types to participate in a benefit concert in early February for the tsunami victims as well as the troops in Iraq.

After watching the death toll rise to more than 150,000 in South Asia, Washington wanted to help any way he could, and he figured his best efforts would be through a benefit concert.

Roads, water top Beck’s list

Road improvements and water facilities are among Columbia City Manager Ray Beck’s priorities this year.

He also wants to hire a director of Planning and Development and is willing to spend more than $90,000 to fill the vacant position.

Graham snags key post

Sen. Chuck Graham, who was sworn in Wednesday, will now have a say in who Gov.-elect Matt Blunt appoints to the UM System Board of Curators and other state executive positions in the coming weeks.

On Thursday, Graham, D-Columbia, was selected to be a member of the Senate Gubernatorial Appointment Committee, the committee charged with advising and giving approval to Blunt’s appointments to a variety of executive positions including the board of curators and the Coordinating Board for Higher Education.