First-graders demonstrate geography skills

Sixteen first-graders at Mill Creek Elementary School stood in a line at the front of their classroom and sang “We All Live Together,” as their parents watched from around the room.

The song kicked off first-grade teacher Judi Privitt’s annual geography celebration Friday afternoon.

Family-owned Hood’s closing after 17 years

For almost 18 years, Hood’s Warehouse Outlet on Paris Road has been offering discount prices on supplies for the home, from doors to tulip bulbs. By next month, customers will have to find a new place to shop. Hood’s is closing its doors in early February.

The family-owned home supply store offers customers discounted prices on building materials and home improvement supplies. Employee Becky Giessmann said the store’s inventory is made of large quantities of products bought at discounted prices from larger suppliers. Because Hood’s can buy the products cheap, she said, it can offer low prices to its customers.

City, county using Web to sell extras

Boone County and the city of Columbia have started using the online destination to sell their extra materials. Local government surplus for sale on the site ranges from the typical office calculator (which as of Friday was going for $1), to a foosball table (top bid $46.50) to a street sweeper that carries an $18,000 price tag.

The Boone County purchasing office has been using the site for two weeks, while the city logged on a few days ago.

Poet puts King into context

Nikki Giovanni, a best-selling poet, author and essayist who first achieved prominence during the black arts movement of the 1960s, skillfully wove history and current events together to address issues facing the United States during a lecture at MU Saturday evening.

“We are children of the ’60s,” MU Deputy Chancellor Mike Middleton said in reference to Giovanni before she took the stage. “Thoughts that we had then and the principles that inspired us are still with us.”

Digital evolution

In the span of a single generation, how we listen to music has evolved from the vinyl record album to the clunky eight-track, from the handy cassette to the sleek compact disc.

Now, the latest trend in distribution, online digital music, has the potential to render the CD obsolete. In October, Apple announced that consumers had so far purchased 150 million songs from iTunes, an online service that allows users to download music to their computers for 99 cents per song. Apple sells 4 million songs a week through iTunes, and that figure will no doubt increase with a new European Union version of the software, along with the Canadian version Apple recently launched.

Beaded baubles

The artist:

Sheila Hawkey-Page has been a Columbia resident for 20 years and began making jewelry after searching for an art form she could easily pick up and carry.

Family has faith that religious diversity in the home will work

A year ago, Hana Solomon’s son bought her husband a plastic Christmas tree from Wal-Mart.

“It was his Hanukkah present for his dad,” she said.

Columbia is... ECLECTIC

Eclectic (ek·lek´tik)

adj. Selecting or employing individual elements from a variety of sources, systems or styles: an eclectic taste in food

Putting a positive spin on youth

The message to the more than 200 high school students, parents and community members gathered Thursday night in Douglass High School’s gym was simple: There are positive things going on for Columbia’s youth.

The crowd gathered to watch a basketball game between various rap artists from Kansas City and St. Louis and basketball players from the Amateur Athletic Union of Basketball in Columbia.

Relief agency seeks to clear name in court

The Islamic American Relief Agency will have its first day in court today at a hearing in Washington, D.C., on a motion filed by the relief agency to unblock its assets. The Columbia-based charity filed the request in November to the Office of Foreign Asset Control, part of the U.S. Department of Treasury, asking that its funds be released.

Today’s hearing will determine whether the agency’s property will be unblocked and assets will be unfrozen to pay operating costs and possibly allow the charity to resume operations.

Forum criticizes SMSU proposal

The phrase “Missouri State University” weighed on many minds at a legislative forum hosted by the Boone County chapter of the MU Alumni Association on Thursday night.

Six local legislators were on hand at the Stoney Creek Inn to discuss issues related to higher education, ranging from the proposed name change of Southwest Missouri State University to Gov. Matt Blunt’s plans to increase education funding.

Blunt’s cuts affect 90,000 statewide

JEFFERSON CITY — An official for Missouri’s hospital industry warned Thursday that the governor’s budget cuts for Medicaid could cause people with health problems to turn to emergency rooms for primary care — a decision that could adversely affect their health.

Dave Dillon, vice president of media relations for the Missouri Hospital Association, said the newly uninsured will wait as long as possible to see a doctor. If they do, patients will be turning to emergency rooms statewide as their conditions worsen because hospitals are required to care for any patient, regardless of health coverage.

Picket could delay housing work

Unionized plumbers and pipefitters on the Southwest Campus Housing Project construction site at MU are threatening to have a full-blown picket that could delay construction of the $38 million project.

Right now, the union members are taking turns on an “information picket;” that is, telling non-union workers at the site that if they come through the union workers’ gate, a picket will go up that could stop construction. The picket could influence union workers in other trades on the site to stop working as well.

Reichlin ends bid for seat

Stephen Reichlin dropped out of the Fifth Ward race for the Columbia City Council on Tuesday.

Reichlin could not be reached for comment. Candidate Laura Nauser, however, said Reichlin dropped out of the race because he didn’t want to split the vote of the business community.

Outside found indoors

Columbia’s new Bass Pro Shop will serve as more than just a haven for outdoors enthusiasts. The store — set to open March 31 — is designed to educate people on conservation and the outdoors.

The inside of the 82,000 square-foot building on Vandiver Drive is decorated with real trees, stuffed deer, elk and bears and animal tracks set in the floor — all of which create a surreal sense of being outdoors. But such decor is not unique to the Columbia store. Each Bass Pro Shop includes murals and displays that are unique to that region.

Gross serious about sports ban

While Columbians are characterizing it as a political joke, State Sen. Chuck Gross, R-St. Charles County, meant business when he filed a bill last week to prohibit high school sports events in Columbia.

“It falls in my category of a silly bill,” said Sen. Chuck Graham, D-Columbia. “I don’t see any chance it will become law.”

Harg residents to submit petition

Members of the Harg Area Residents for Responsible Growth will present a petition to the city clerk at 3:30 p.m. today to stop Billy Sapp’s voluntary annexation proposal.

The group has actively opposed Sapp’s plan to have Columbia annex the 965 acres he owns east of Columbia.

18-year-old arrested in shooting incident

Columbia Police have arrested a suspect in the Jan. 16 shooting of a 25-year-old Columbia resident.

Timothy Sherrod Ellis, 18, was arrested Wednesday and charged with first-degree robbery, first-degree assault and armed criminal action, according to a press release issued by Columbia Police Sgt. Stephen Monticelli. Bond for Ellis is set at $200,000.

Rocky roads in rearview mirror, MoDOT says

JEFFERSON CITY — Stakeholders in Missouri’s transportation system are starting the year with high expectations.

Missouri Department of Transportation executives met with contractors and state legislators Thursday morning for the annual transportation conference at the Capitol Plaza Hotel & Convention Center.

Spiritual movie premieres

The Missouri Theater will be one of more than 700 venues worldwide hosting the premiere Saturday of an independent film about a child with extraordinary spiritual abilities.

“Indigo” is directed by veteran Hollywood producer and filmmaker Stephen Simon, who said the movie is part of a new genre called “spiritual cinema.” Simon coined the term in his 2002 book, “The Force Is With You: Mystical Movie Messages That Inspire Our Lives.”