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Clean-up starts for Hinkson Creek

New pollution data on Hinkson Creek have landowners and city officials saying they plan to take steps to protect the stream. Some steps already have been taken.

A study of the creek released Monday by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources shows pollutants such as E. coli bacteria, fertilizers, salt, petroleum, oil and insecticides mixing in the creek at levels high enough to kill aquatic life.

Initiative focuses on energy

An initiative petition filed Tuesday morning would require the city to add renewable energy to its power supply beginning in 2007. Columbians for Clean Energy collected about 2,800 signatures from city voters in the petition drive that began on Earth Day.

The goal of the proposal is to gradually increase over 15 years the amount of renewable energy the city uses and to do so without increasing rates by more than 3 percent. The proposal calls for at least 2 percent of the city’s retail sales of electricity to come from renewable sources by 2007, then to gradually increase to 5 percent by 2012, 10 percent by 2017, and 15 percent by 2022.

Refund decision revised by court

The Missouri Court of Appeals released a modified decision Tuesday in the Henry Lane lawsuit to make clear that only the nine plaintiffs in the case are eligible for a partial refund of their 2001 property taxes. The court also decided not to re-hear the case or transfer it to the Supreme Court.

The two defendants — the Columbia Public School District and Boone County Collector Pat Lensmeyer — now have 15 days to decide whether to directly ask the Missouri Supreme Court to review the case.

Crash Course in Safety

Arresting 40-pound rubber dummies, driving golf carts with “fatal vision” goggles and taking fingerprints are only part of the challenges that 22 local teenagers will face this week in the Columbia Police Department Summer Youth Camp. The bigger challenge is to decide what to do with the information once they graduate at the end of the week.

Charges of campaign violations fly

The race for the Democratic nomination for governor has become mired in a flurry of complaints about alleged violations of state campaign finance laws.

The campaign of Gov. Bob Holden fired a shot Tuesday at gubernatorial challenger and State Auditor Claire McCaskill, announcing it intends to file a complaint with the Missouri Ethics Commission alleging McCaskill has received illegal donations worth more than $575,000 from her husband.

Gov. Holden will debate in St. Louis, Kansas City

Gov. Bob Holden has agreed to two broadcast debates with Democratic primary challenger Claire McCaskill on consecutive nights in mid-July, his campaign manager said Tuesday.

The two candidates will debate in Kansas City on July 19 and in St. Louis on July 20, Roy Temple, Holden’s campaign manager, said. The Democratic primary is Aug. 3.

Exhibit honors educator

In a framed black-and-white photo, C. Brice Ratchford sits with his hunting dogs at his feet. Friends say he loved those dogs and treated them like children.

The photo — part of a commemorative display unveiled Tuesday in MU’s Whitten Hall — shows Ratchford in a casual light. In Missouri higher education, he is remembered as the former president of the UM system. Tom Henderson, interim vice provost and director of cooperative extension, called him “the architect of modern extension.”

Semitrailer crash shuts down one lane of I-70

Traffic was backed up Tuesday evening when an accident occurred on westbound Interstate 70 near the border of Callaway and Boone Counties.

According to state trooper Gary Gundy, a truck with a trailer was traveling east shortly after 6 p.m. when the trailer came unhitched. The trailer, which was empty, crossed the open median and hit a semitrailer in the westbound lane.

Get your gig: It’s frog season

Jeff Briggler, herpetologist with the Missouri Department of Conservation, said abundant spring rains mean a good outlook for frog season for the next few years.

Briggler bases his optimism on the number of tadpoles that were counted this year in different areas of the state. The legal limits this year are unchanged: eight frogs per day and a maximum of 16 in any one person’s possession.

Pierpont set to incorporate

Pierpont took a new step toward incorporation Tuesday night as residents filled the Boone County Commission Chambers to show their support of the proposal and commissioners expressed their eagerness to have the incorporation passed.

Pierpont, the common name of an unincorporated portion of Boone County, lies just south of Columbia at the crossing of Missouri 163 and Route N, next to Rock Bridge Memorial State Park. Three of Pierpont’s residents — Justin John, Bud Frew and Bob Miller — have been working for months to push through a proposal that would make Pierpont an official village with authority to govern itself.

Missouri kegs must have tags

Just in time for Fourth of July celebrations, a new state law is on tap that requires kegs to be registered to their buyers.

Authorities are hoping the law, which takes effect Thursday, will make underage drinking a bit harder.

Rock wall owner requests acquittal

Attorneys for a climbing wall owner accused of second-degree involuntary manslaughter filed a motion for acquittal Monday in Boone County Circuit Court.

Matt Woods and Pat Eng, defense lawyers for Marcus Floyd, 31, plan to call a motion to acquit at a hearing scheduled for 9 a.m. July 7. Assistant Prosecutor Richard Hicks said barring changes, the state plans to retry the case.

Police seek information regarding an East Campus break-in, robbery

Three men entered an East Campus apartment late Monday night, placed tape over the mouth of an occupant, then plundered the residence, police said.

Columbia police said the suspects entered an unlocked apartment at 406 S. William St. about 11:30 p.m. armed with baseball bats and a handgun. The four-bedroom unit was ransacked, with a loss of several thousand dollars reported. Computers, DVDs and cash were taken from the residence, police said. A 21-year-old occupant of the apartment was not injured.

West Broadway business owners, residents invited to forum on I-70

The Missouri Department of Transportation will hold an open house tonight for West Broadway residents and business owners affected by the possible expansion and improvement of Interstate 70 and Fairview Road.

“There will be a brief presentation for those in attendance at 6:30, but it’s an open-house type of meeting,” said Bob Brendel, the department’s outreach coordinator for project development.

Load strains public defenders

The Boone County Public Defender has strained its resources for years. The number of cases assigned to the local office caseload has increased each year since fiscal 2000, and three of the 11 lawyers, including the district defender, are leaving at the end of June to set up their own private practice.

Even though public defenders have help from interns and support staff, handling an average of 150 to 180 cases at a time has pressed some to their limits.

Service welcomes wheelchair users

Jeannette Payne doesn’t measure success by how much money her business brings in. If she did, her latest venture might be considered a disappointment.

Instead, Have Wheels Will Travel Inc. succeeds by filling a niche in the community, she said.

Museum added to Lewis and Clark Trail

The latest stop on the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail is the Walters-Boone County Historical Museum, which received the official designation June 17 from the National Park Service.

The museum’s exhibit about the Missouri River helped it qualify as a trail site. The exhibit has three parts: “Settlement and Exploration,” “Effects of Man and Nature,” and “Commerce and Recreation.”

Iraq is sovereign

BAGHDAD, Iraq — Iraq’s new leaders reclaimed their nation two days early, accepting limited power Monday from U.S. occupiers, who wished them prosperity and handed them a staggering slate of problems. Among them is a lethal insurgency the Americans admit they underestimated.

With the passing of a sheaf of documents and a prime minister’s oath on a red Quran, the land once ruled by Saddam Hussein received official sovereignty from U.S. administrators in a secretive ceremony moved up to thwart insurgents’ attempts at undermining the transfer.

Teenager charged in accidental shooting

The brother of a 17-year-old victim has been charged in her accidental shooting.

Joe Henry Hawkins, 18, was charged Monday afternoon with second-degree assault in connection with the June 13 shooting, Boone County Jail officials said. Hawkins was arrested Saturday afternoon with his girlfriend, Jasmine Amber Paige, 18. Paige was arrested in connection with the shooting on suspicion of hindering prosecution, said Sgt. Tom Reddin of the Boone County Sheriff’s Department.

Source of Hinkson pollution revealed

Hinkson Creek is crippled by a barrage of pollutants, including fertilizers, insecticides, petroleum by-products, oil, salt and E. coli bacteria, a new study by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources shows.

DNR water quality data on Hinkson Creek released Monday evaluate nine months’ worth of sampling from a 1½ -mile portion of the stream spanning north of the Columbia landfill to Broadway just north of downtown. The data are significant because they are the first to detail specific pollutants in the stream, which the EPA has included in its list of impaired waters since 1998.

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