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Columbia reservist is killed in Iraq

A Columbia resident died Sunday in Iraq after his camp came under a mortar attack.

Sgt. Melvin Yamil Mora was killed in action in Taji, Iraq, when he was struck by shrapnel from an attack on his camp. The attack occurred at Camp Cooke, located on the Al Taji air base, a former Iraqi air force facility north of Baghdad. Mora was 27.

An academic answer for sports scandal

A coalition of 200 past or present university personnel from schools across the country, including a member in Columbia, is proposing a plan for reform in intercollegiate athletics.

The Drake Group plan aims to change the relationship between academic institutions and their athletic departments.

New transit routes bustling

Columbia resident Shantel Scott gives a favorable rating to the Columbia Transit System’s modified bus routes. While waiting for the bus at Wabash Station on Monday afternoon, Scott said the new bus stops are closer to her home, her wait for the bus seems shorter and the buses now travel to two movie theaters in the city.

“It’s been better,” she said. “They run by every 20 minutes or so, unlike before when they took 40 minutes to an hour.”

Holden OKs Sunshine Law update

In an outdoor ceremony at the MU School of Journalism on Monday, Gov. Bob Holden signed into law a revision of the 1973 Sunshine Law that’s intended to bring it up to speed with modern technology.

Senate Bill 1020 was the first of three bills Holden signed. He said the Journalism School was a fitting place to expand the right to public information. The bill, he said, “continues our state’s long tradition of open and accessible government to the public while updating our sunshine laws to more accurately reflect changing technology.”

Fulbright Scholars headed abroad

George “Brick” Johnstone, chairman of MU’s Department of Health Psychology, said he never saw disabled classmates in school when he was a boy.

“Today, you see disabled children everywhere, and it’s a wonderful gain,” he said. “Now, we need to do the same with persons with brain injuries.”

Council calls for narrower roads

The residential streets of tomorrow are going to be narrower and lined with 5-foot sidewalks. That was the conclusion reached Monday night by the Columbia City Council, which voted 7-1 to change the city’s current street-design standards.

The proposed changes, drafted by the Street Standards and Planning Group, have taken nearly two years to come to fruition.

Veteran recalls role in D-Day bombings

Is it OK for a grown man to cry? You bet it is! Tears usually flow when things gone by are remembered. Things that make you want to say, "There, but for the grace of God, go I."

I’ve just read a magazine article of a happening of a B-17 that was piloted by a young 23-year-old who gave his life to save the inhabitants of a French village. On D-Day, a few years ago, the descendents of that pilot were influenced to return to the spot where the B-17 crashed in France, to witness the celebration by the townsfolk, thanking a member of the pilot’s family, for the forefather who gave his life to save the village residents. That pilot remained at the controls of his badly damaged plane to head it away from a village underneath him, seeking an open space to land — or crash. Crash he did, and the villagers remembered and dedicated the crash site with reverence and appreciation.

Home Improvement

Lana Wiseman lives at the end of a pitted cul-de-sac amid a sea of aging trailers in a large park in Boone County. Whizzing by on a county road, you might fail to notice that her neighborhood, her community, her world, is there.

But Wiseman is determined to be noticed. Showing up on television sometimes earns her some unwanted attention, but she doesn’t really mind if her neighbors go on about it.

Reagan touched lives in mid-Mo.

As Columbia residents mourned the death of President Reagan, some had more intimate memories to draw on.

Reagan died Saturday. He was 93.

Former president’s death brings tributes

SANTA MONICA, Calif. — Ronald Reagan was remembered with jelly beans, flowers and American flags Sunday at memorials in his hometown and outside the mortuary where the former president’s body lay.

“Thank you for changing the world,” said a handwritten note among the tokens of remembrance left in Santa Monica for the nation’s 40th president, who was 93 when he died Saturday of pneumonia, as a complication of Alzheimer’s disease.

Navigators remember D-Day roles

Hirst Mendenhall of Columbia remembers the invasion like it was yesterday.

As President Bush and world leaders gathered at Normandy, France, on Sunday to mark the 60th anniversary of D-Day, here in Columbia, Ralph Conte didn’t plan to do anything elaborate for the commemoration.

Ragtime festival honors composers

In a nod to ragtime’s importance to modern music, the John William “Blind” Boone Ragtime and Early Jazz Festival began as Boone started his concerts — with a syncopated version of a classic hymn. It also featured a seminar paying tribute to one of the genre’s most noted composers.

A music fair showcasing the styles and talents of the festival’s headline performers kicked off the three-day festival.

Police: MU student’s death was homicide

The death of a young man found Saturday in the East Campus neighborhood is being investigated as a homicide, Columbia police said Sunday.

They have identified the victim as 23-year-old Jesse J. Valencia, a junior majoring in history at MU.

We must face up to new struggles

If we can believe what we see on television, a lot of people have become as polarized on the issue of the war in Iraq as they are about abortion and gay marriage. If this is true, there’s not much use for a national debate on the subject. It would seem that the moment folks line up on one side or the other of the political parties, any chance of agreement on almost any subject is lost, with the possible exception of the high cost of gasoline. No matter what our political preference is, we all seem to love to drive our cars.

I don’t find it at all surprising that many young people I know have chosen not to have children. I have heard several of them say that they fear the next several generations will still be fighting the war started by this generation. Unfortunately, a lot of us feel that they are right. But we’re a country of majority rule, and the majority has chosen to fight this war, so there’s no point in trying to “lock the barn,” so to speak.

Rocheport greets Lewis and Clark

ROCHEPORT — The scent of barbecue and soapmaking filled the air, broken by thunderous cannon shots on Sunday in historical downtown Rocheport as residents and visitors alike met Louis and Clark at Rocheport River Days.

Debris at the mouth of Moniteau Creek in Rocheport nearly prevented the keelboats and two smaller pirogues from docking at the site where Lewis and Clark visited 200 years ago on June 7, 1804. But thanks to modern advancements, a water patrol boat that accompanies the crew cleared the debris.

City bus stop shifts at mall

Wanda Avery travels from her Paquin Tower apartment to the Columbia Mall on a regular basis for a haircut, to use the bank and to buy household essentials. Often times she will use the Columbia Transit System because at 75 years old and in a wheelchair, she finds it convenient. However, a new bus policy at the Columbia Mall is going to make life a little more difficult for Avery and others like her.

Instead of dropping riders at the Columbia Mall entrance, the Columbia transit buses will stop at a new bus stop, which is expected to be completed later this month. Riders will have to travel from the new bus stop on Bernadette Drive, near Dillard’s, through the parking lot to the mall entrance.

Council to discuss street design

Proposed new street design standards will once again go before the Columbia City Council at tonight’s meeting.

The council was originally set to vote on the issue May 3, but concerns over implementation costs and narrower roads led council members to table it for further discussion.

Columbia celebrates the diversity of art

Columbia Art League kicked off its 46th annual Art in the Park celebration

Saturday with an interesting visitor.

History hits Huntsdale

A few hundred people waited ashore as the keelboat and the two smaller pirogues of the Discovery Expedition of St. Charles were slowly approaching Huntsdale on Saturday. On the front line were volunteers dressed in period clothes, some armed with period rifles, others with flowers.

The expedition arrived for the Huntsdale Lewis and Clark River Festival after spending Friday night in Lupus. The crew of re-enactors will continue to Rocheport this morning for the town’s festival, Rocheport River Days.

Ronald W. Reagan

LOS ANGELES —Ronald Reagan, the cheerful crusader who devoted his presidency to winning the Cold War, trying to scale back government and making people believe it was “morning again in America,” died Saturday after a long twilight struggle with Alzheimer’s disease.

“My family and I would like the world to know that President Ronald Reagan has passed away after 10 years of Alzheimer’s disease at 93 years of age. We appreciate everyone’s prayers,” Nancy Reagan said in a statement.

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