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Cause of canine death a concern

The necropsy report on Seaman, the dog of the Discovery Expedition of St. Charles, found no definitive cause of death, Waverly Police Chief Jesse Coslet said Thursday.

The 20-month-old dog was in the group of re-enactors traveling the Missouri River to commemorate the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark expedition. He was found dead about 6 a.m. June 16, while the expedition was in Waverly.

Health care solutions discussed

Eleanor Wickersham’s experience with the failings of the medical world set the tone for a Columbia forum Thursday on health – care reform.

Years ago, Wickersham said, she was taken to the hospital for a gall bladder emergency. She said that because someone from her health insurance company was unavailable to speak to the hospital, she waited in the hall on a stretcher for eight hours before anything could be done.

Grading MAP tests adds up for teachers

The teacher squints at her computer, her face tight with concentration. She calls over a few of her colleagues, hoping they might have an insight. They lean over her terminal and squint as well, trying to make out the loopy, round handwriting.

“It’s enough to make a person go blind in the morning,” the first teacher jokes.

Pierpont residents want village of their own

In the not-so-far-away countryside, about 30 homes cluster together in small strings along State Highway 163 and Route N, nestled against the backdrop of Rock Bridge Memorial State Park. Where the two highways cross sits the Pierpont store, a relic of earlier times.

Driving south along Providence Road from Columbia, you might notice a road sign that points to Pierpont. Officially, however, Pierpont does not exist. It’s an unincorporated part of Boone County, subject to county laws and regulations.

Southern Revival

Nestled in the rolling green hills and lush foliage of southern Boone County, the Warren-Douglass farm has stood for more than 150 years through war, death and even the beginning of a town named Columbia.

On Sunday, the Boone County Historical Society will be recognizing the farm and its history by dedicating it as a county historic site. The event, open to the public, begins at 2:30 p.m. and will include the dedication ceremony as well as tours of the home.

Carriage rides offer nostalgia for customers

In the midst of classical music from the Missouri Theatre, rock music from the 9th Street Bookstore and crowds of passers-by, longtime volunteer Deb Huffman was carefully organizing the schedule for horse carriage rides at the Downtown Columbia Twilight Festival on Thursday evening.

Beside her, 5-year-old Taylor and 20-month-old Jordan impatiently waited for their turns, busy in the meantime with waving at the horses, running after them and petting them when they stopped for the next ride. Taylor has come to the carriages every year for as long as she can remember, and Jordan went for her first ride last year.

‘Fahrenheit’ heat spikes ticket sales

Michael Moore’s new film “Fahrenheit 9/11,” which has stirred up controversy around the country, appears likely to have a protest-free opening in Columbia today.

The film — which has its first showing this morning at 11:30 at the Forum 8 theaters — looks at an alleged connection between the Bush family and Osama bin Laden.

Liquid paradox

Quinn Long believes a spill in Hinkson Creek nearly cost him his life.

In August 2000, Long, a whitewater paddler and then-student at MU, tipped into Hinkson Creek during a kayak run and got some creek water in his nose. A few weeks later, Long lay nearly dead in a bed in a St. Louis hospital.

16 Missouri soldiers depart for Afghanistan

JEFFERSON CITY - A combination of pride and sadness filled the Missouri Army National Guard Armory in Jefferson City on Thursday as families and community representatives said goodbye to 16 soldiers bound for Afghanistan.

The soldiers - senior officers from a variety of occupational specialties - will be in Afghanistan for 545 days to train the Afghan National Army.

Liquid paradox (<em>Continued</em>)

Seeking Sibley's Fort

Most everyone in Arrow Rock has heard of historic Sibley’s Fort, but no one knows where it was.

“For years in Arrow Rock they had a sign at the end of High Street that said, ‘Sibley’s Fort stood just near here,’” said Tim Baumann, professor of anthropology at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. “We were like ‘OK, where?’”

Prosecutor expected warrant to be issued

Columbia Police Department detectives told Boone County Prosecutor Kevin Crane nearly a week ago that a warrant for the arrest of former officer Steven Rios would be forwarded to the prosecutor’s office.

While no warrant for Rios’ arrest had been issued as of Wednesday evening, Crane cited the information in a formal request for the appointment of a special prosecuting attorney to handle any future charges against Rios, according to a motion filed Friday with the Boone County Circuit Court.

Many complain Section 8 lacks oversight

Many blame a lack of required government oversight in the Housing Choice Voucher program for allowing undesirable landlords and tenants to run amok and ruin neighborhoods, especially for homeowners.

Who is responsible when something goes wrong? The tenant? The landlord? The city? The housing authority? Or is it the federal government? The answer is elusive.

Political group hires felons to sign up voters

JEFFERSON CITY — A Democratic group crucial to John Kerry’s presidential campaign has paid felons — some convicted of sex offenses, assault and burglary — to conduct door-to-door voter registration drives in at least three election swing states.

America Coming Together, contending that convicted criminals deserve a second chance in society, employs felons as voter canvassers in major metropolitan areas in Missouri, Florida, Ohio and perhaps other states.

Cyclists tackle the Katy Trail

By 12:45 p.m. on Wednesday, there was an hour wait for a cheeseburger at the Trailside Cafe in Rocheport. Bicyclists filled the booths inside and sat outside waiting for their lunches.

The population of Rocheport more than doubled as nearly 300 bicyclists passed through on the annual Katy Trail Ride sponsored by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources and the Missouri State Park Foundation. Participants included families, fathers-and-sons, women and bicyclists of all experience levels.

Professor to take institute overseas

Mental health care professionals from around the country have traveled to MU to learn how to treat children and families who have been exposed to trauma. But a group of professionals from Iraq is unable to attend the Summer Institute of Psychosocial Trauma.

The annual Summer Institute, hosted by MU’s International Center for Psychosocial Trauma, is in its 10th year of existence and is headed by Dr. Arshad Husain, professor and chief of child and adolescent psychiatry at MU.

’Alley Oop’ lurks in MU library

In 1920, when V.T. Hamlin was an MU student for a semester, he sketched cartoons. A decade later, he created the comic strip “Alley Oop.” In the late 1980s, his cartoon art passed from the newspaper pages to a unique assembly of comic art at MU’s library.

The collection — tucked in the Special Collections Library on Ellis Library’s fourth floor — preserves a variety of culturally significant comics that show how comic art has been influenced by events of the day. Sometimes, it tells a story different than one you might find in history books.

If charges are filed against Rios, Swingle takes over

Boone County Circuit Judge Gene Hamilton has appointed Cape Girardeau County prosecuting attorney H. Morley Swingle, 49, to prosecute any charges that may be filed against former Columbia police officer Steven Rios in connection with the June 5 death of Jesse Valencia.

Swingle is a 1980 graduate of MU’s School of Law. He was elected prosecuting attorney for Cape Girardeau County in 1987 and has served five terms.

SECTION 8 SHORTAGE

Making it to the top of the waiting list for Section 8 vouchers is only part of the battle for families who need housing assistance. Once they get the vouchers, they have to find landlords who accept them.

That’s becoming increasingly difficult. The shortage of landlords who accept the vouchers and the deterioration of some neighborhoods with a high concentration of Section 8 residents can be attributed to bad landlords, bad tenants or both.

Boone judge taps special prosecutor in Rios inquiry

A Boone County judge appointed a special prosecutor Friday to handle any charges filed against former Columbia police officer Steven Rios, who had a personal relationship with slain MU student Jesse Valencia.

Boone County Prosecutor Kevin Crane said he asked for the appointment to avoid any appearance of a conflict of interest, given Rios’ role as a police witness. “Mr. Rios was a witness in a number of past and pending cases filed by my office,” Crane said.

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