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Librarian Greg Reeves has had little room to stretch his legs beneath his desk ever since the 30 to 40 bread-loaf-sized boxes arrived in his office. Their contents: more than 2,000 compact discs.

The CDs, which arrived at Columbia Public Library about a month ago, are part of a settlement in which music distributors agreed to provide $75 million worth of CDs to public and nonprofit organizations in all 50 states. The lawsuit leading to the settlement accused the distributors of price fixing.

Some soldiers unable to vote

JEFFERSON CITY — Some Missouri soldiers stationed in Iraq were unable to vote in last week’s elections because of trouble getting absentee ballots.

As a result, Secretary of State Matt Blunt’s office said Monday that it is exploring whether overseas soldiers could e-mail their ballots for the Nov. 2 general election. Blunt is awaiting a determination from the Department of Defense, spokesman Spence Jackson said.

Try these crumpets with farkles and bats

The warriors wield fat Wiffle bats of bright orange, brandishing them above their heads as they shout their respective team names.

Whether one describes these names as good-natured profanity or politically incorrect, most of these names are not fit for print. This is field crumpets, an offbeat team sport attracting players who aren’t generally drawn to such activities. It’s a loose mix of field hockey and soccer, with a heavy dose of imagination — specifically, Robbie Overton’s — thrown in.

The Rape Solution: How crucial are nurse examiners?

When trying to understand why Columbia’s reported number of sexual assaults is lower than peer communities, one question local experts are asking is whether it matters if sexual assault nurse examiners, or SANEs, are in emergency rooms as part of a cooperative community response.

After the city’s Sexual Trauma/Assault Response Team, or START, ended in 2000, Boone Hospital Center continued many of the protocols it had during the START years. Victims were taken to private areas away from the waiting room, a doctor or nurse would call The Shelter and ask for a rape advocate, and trained doctors would use rape kits to collect forensic evidence.

Fight against cancer drives bracelet trend

While Lance Armstrong was winning his sixth Tour de France title in July, he was also winning over supporters in the fight against cancer and creating a fashion trend at the same time.

The simple yellow bracelets bearing Armstrong’s mantra, “Live Strong,” have been seen on the wrists of politicians and celebrities, including President Bush and John Kerry.

Columbus’ heritage put under scrutiny

Few people question the traditional history lesson: In 1492, Christopher Columbus, an Italian from Genoa, set out to sail the ocean blue. He began a voyage for India with the support of Spain’s King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella — and, in the process, stumbled upon America.

Yet, Charles Merrill, a 1968 Hickman High School graduate, doesn’t accept the traditional story. His research has been incorporated into a prime-time documentary that ran this past week on the Discovery Channel.

From the quilters’ guild with love

The last in line for a show-and-tell, Cindy Bryan waited at a quilters meeting this month to show off six quilts handmade for a special purpose: They will be given to Rainbow House, an emergency shelter for children in Columbia.

Bryan is service project coordinator for the Booneslick Trail Quilters’ Guild, which has made quilts for Rainbow House for six years. The guild’s Starlight and Daylight chapters donate more than 40 quilts a year to the shelter, Bryan said.

Tiger Textbooks to open on Elm Street

Cold Stone Creamery is about to get some company at its Elm Street location. Fred De Marco, owner of the new building, said Tiger Textbooks plans to open there soon, and he’s in discussions with several other businesses.

“Four or five more business leases are being negotiated within the next couple of weeks,” De Marco said.

Bond says early voting lawsuit not necessary

WASHINGTON — Missouri doesn’t need early voting, GOP Sen. Kit Bond said Monday, criticizing a lawsuit filed by St. Louis leaders and Democratic lawmakers.

“I know there’s been some talk about it; I don’t think it’s a good idea,” Bond said.

Best Friends Reunited

When Army Specialist E-4 Jeremiah Smith of Fulton stepped off the bus on July 21 in Fort Leonard Wood after nearly a year in Iraq, he was met by his family, as well as a now-famous friend.

Niki, the black and white Iraqi refugee puppy, has been in the United States since April, a couple months after Smith and members of his Baghdad-stationed unit, the 2175th Military Police Co., befriended the mixed-breed dog. With the help of Military Mascots, Smith shipped Niki back to Fulton, via St. Louis.

Columbia lacks rape response team

The scenario has tragically replayed itself perhaps hundreds of times. A woman is raped, whether by an acquaintance after a party or by a stranger in some unpredictable circumstance. Distraught and disoriented, she wonders what to do.

Should she go to the hospital? Tell the police? Call a sexual assault hot line?

Shooters take aim in competition

At the sound of a buzzer, shooting competitor J.J. Racaza dropped his 007 “martini glass” and attempted to draw his pistol. But as the glass — a slightly modified plastic bottle — bounced at his feet, the weapon held firm in his holster. The holster was still locked, costing him time. Racaza freed his pistol and shells flew from his weapon in two shot bursts. Steel targets fell and he rushed on to finish the stage.

Racaza and other pistol shooters from across the county competed in this and similar contests over the weekend during the United States Practical Shooting Association Area 3 Championship at the Chapman Academy in Hallsville. Match director Emmanuel Bragg said that eight of the top 10 pistol shooters in the world were on hand for the competition, which had a James Bond theme.

Family values different from family influence

Some people seem to think that family values are a set of regulations carved on a stone tablet, handed down through the generations like the Ten Commandments. I think of them as a set of principles passed on, out of which certain behavioral patterns emerge. This subject came up last Sunday when I was visiting with a family member. She suggested that it would be difficult for us to explain to our parents why we were not in church on Sunday morning. Our mothers, after all, attended every Sunday without fail. I disagreed. I replied that I felt like the same set of principles that led my mother to do what she did also leads me to do as I do. My cousin merely looked at me strangely.

When I was growing up, the majority of the children in my neighborhood went to Sunday School. I loved being in Sunday School the same way I once loved being in church. It was one of the few places where I felt at home, as if I belonged there. I think I can truthfully say I have been in churches of virtually every denomination. It has been an experience that has been extremely valuable in helping me shape my own personal theology.

Saying goodbye

Hearts for Valentine’s Day, ducks and bunnies for Easter, angels and trees for Christmas and pumpkins and cats for Halloween. Each holiday, Cheryl Brown and her friend Chelsea would make sugar cookies for family members. Chelsea cut out and baked the cookies with her mom and asked Brown to decorate the first one. Then Chelsea did the rest.

But on Saturday, it was bouquets of pink, red and purple flowers arranged at the front of a room full of mourners and a doll perched on the rim of a small casket.

MU seeks answers from magazine

As MU officials push for more details from a report published in Seventeen magazine, they continue to release more specific plans for the future of the Tiger Hostess program.

The article, published in the September issue of the magazine geared toward female, teenage readers, reports that MU’s athletic department ignored a Tiger Hostess’ claims of sexual harassment. The woman, who is cited anonymously in the article, claims recruits sexually harassed her and coaches joked about her complaints. The article did not say when the alleged incidents occurred.

Kennedy, volunteer fire captain, dies

For 15 years, Mike Kennedy served Boone County as a volunteer with the Boone County Fire Protection District, where he rose to the rank of captain. He was a member of the bomb squad and commander of the fire investigation team.

Fire Chief Steve Paulsell described Mr. Kennedy as “very dedicated to the organization and to fire protection.”

Boundary lines block Pierpont proposal

Boone County Commissioners Skip Elkin and Karen Miller both applauded the initiative of Pierpont residents to incorporate their small piece of land and become a village. But after all the petitions, proposals and attorneys, the residents of Pierpont still have a ways to go — half a mile to be exact.

According to state law, the boundaries of a village must be two miles outside a city’s limit to incorporate. However, the boundaries drawn up in a petition presented by Pierpont’s residents, come within 11/2 miles of Columbia’s newly annexed Phillips Tract. The survey to measure the distance was done by the city after prompting by Fifth Ward Councilman John John.

Cooper’s Landing liquor license hearing ends

It could be weeks or months before Mike Cooper will know if he will be able to sell beer again at Cooper’s Landing, the convenience store he owns on the banks of the Missouri River, south of Columbia. Friday was the final day of Cooper’s hearing before the Administrative Hearing Commission.

A decision will follow a review of the hearing by Commissioner John J. Kopp.

Class reunion rivalry

In the quiet Saturday morning, a sudden burst of drumbeats and rap music awoke the neighbors of Douglass High School as a colorful procession of cars, floats, horses and even a llama paraded around their district.

More than 300 Douglass graduates arrived in Columbia from across the country for the Black and White parade and ball.

Dems seek unity

Democratic winners of Tuesday’s local primary elections carried the national party’s message of unity to the weekly luncheon of the Boone County Muleskinners on Friday.

About 50 people attended, listening to nominees and their representatives talk political strategy while grabbing a plate of fettuccini alfredo.

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