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Local

On the long road home

LUAU, Angola —The last of the seven trucks lines up for an hour in front of Luau’s transit camp as the sun sets over Angola’s border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. About 50 refugees are squashed together on the truck’s rear, among them Benson Soneka and six of his family members.

When the back is finally opened, the Zambian refugees grab water cups, soap-size packets of dry food and plastic mats from the aid workers and stumble into the night, searching for a grass hut — their shelter for the coming days.

U.K. paper tries to sway Ohio vote

LONDON — The Guardian newspaper is offering its readers a role as little birds on the shoulder of some Ohio voters in the presidential election. So far, there’s not much to indicate the voters are particularly interested.

On Oct. 13, the British newspaper launched a campaign to give its readers the addresses of voters in Clark County, Ohio, so they could write letters offering opinions on whom to vote for in the U.S. presidential election. The paper, which bought the list of voters, would only give out names of people who had not registered with a political party.

Health fair educates local children

Jane Garrett counted slowly out loud as she poured teaspoons of sugar into a glass of water.

“One, two, three,” she counted up to nine.

Local candidates appeal to voters with disabilities

State senate hopeful Chuck Graham, who uses a wheelchair, had a hard time finding a handicapped parking space Thursday night at the Boone County Government Center. All the spots were taken by people packing in to see candidates for five local races debate issues affecting people with disabilities.

Topics such as how to increase employment among people with disabilities, how to improve transportation availability and whether builders should be offered tax credits for constructing accessible homes were discussed by candidates running for the 21st, 23rd, 24th and 25th districts state House seats and the 19th District Senate seat.

Road management, storm-water maintenance focus of commission debate

Sitting onstage in front of a mostly empty auditorium at Columbia College Thursday night, all four candidates for two open seats on the Boone County Commission attended a debate that lasted no more than 15 minutes and allowed little time for disputation

The event, which followed a 90-minute debate between the candidates for the 9th District U.S. House of Representatives, featured Democratic incumbents Skip Elkin and Karen Miller and their respective Republican challengers, Jerry Carrington and Mike Asmus.

9th District candidates hash out differing views

While many people in the 9th Congressional District were preparing to watch the final game of the Cardinals-Astros series, three candidates vying to represent the district in Washington in the next term were preparing to debate for the first time this election season.

Libertarian Tamara Millay, Democrat Linda Jacobsen and Republican incumbent Kenny Hulshof met at Launer Auditorium at Columbia College to answer questions formulated by a group of journalists and political science professors. The debate was sponsored by the League of Women Voters, KBIA/91.3 FM and the Columbia Daily Tribune.

Lawyer backs Islamic agency

The Islamic American Relief Agency, which was raided last week as part of a nationwide terror investigation, has retained lawyer Shareef Akeel for representation. Akeel, a civil rights lawyer from Detroit, is also leading the class action suit filed on behalf of Abu Ghraib prisoners in Iraq. Akeel states that the Columbia charity is not tied to the Sudan-based Islamic African Relief Agency, which the Department states raised funds to support the terrorist activities of al-Quaida and Hamas.

Practicing Politics

Bianca Aaron said she was born in 1946, went to Yale for her master’s and got an MBA from Harvard in 1975.

Her father had been in politics all her life, she said.

Election observers to return

When a group of international election experts visited Boone County Clerk Wendy Noren in September to look at her office’s election techniques, they liked what they saw.

Now they’re coming back to see those techniques in practice.

Wal-Mart hearing delayed

Hoping to improve their chances of gaining approval for a proposed Wal-Mart at Broadway and Fairview Road, developers asked that a public hearing on the plan be tabled so they could comply with recommendations from city staff.

The Columbia Planning and Zoning Commission agreed Thursday night and postponed the hearing until its next meeting Nov. 4.

Man pleads to lesser charge

Marcus Floyd pleaded guilty Wednesday to a charge of third-degree assault in the death of a 22-year-old Jefferson City woman, a lesser charge after his involuntary manslaughter case ended with a hung jury in June.

The plea came after months of informal discussions about whether to retry the case, Boone County Assistant Prosecutor Richard Hicks said Thursday.

MU Homecoming 2004

MU has come a long way, designing events like Black Family Reunion to increase minority participation. For those minorities feeling excluded from traditonal activities such as house decorating, Homecoming parade and the blood drive, the reunion provides a place to share in the Homecoming celebration.

Ex-employee opens fire at belt factory

A former employee opened fire Thursday at Beltsertive Corp., St. Louis County plant where conveyor belts are made. It happened at 3 p.m. while workers were changing shifts. Although witnesses reported hearing more than a dozen shots, only one person was injured.

A town apart

Gathered around a table early Tuesday, members of the Pierpont Store Coffee Club discuss playoff baseball and lawn care. The possible incorporation of Pierpont, a small settlement nuzzled up against Rock Bridge Memorial State Park in unincorporated Boone County, is absent from the conversation.

Some members of the coffee club might not care about Pierpont’s political future because they live outside the settlement. But in Columbia, officials are paying attention to Pierpont and once again have expressed misgivings about the incorporation of small communities.

Lawsuit challenges Missouri voting laws

In 2000, Steven Prye was a successful attorney and law professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. A year later, after the deaths of his mother and brother, Prye was living on the streets of Memphis, Tenn.

Eventually, Prye, 52, was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, which depletes his concentration and makes it difficult for him to remember to take a bath or comb his hair.

Pitt boosts turn-out for Kerry film

Actor Brad Pitt and Director George Butler II were in attendance for the screening of the film “Going Upriver: The Long War of John Kerry” on the MU campus. The screening took place in front of a full house at Jesse Auditorium Wednesday evening. Reasons for attending the event were diverse, including wanting to watch the film, to support Democrats and to see Brad Pitt. Shari Korthuis and her daughter, Alaina Boyett, are both John Kerry supporters but admit that Pitt’s appearance persuaded them to come to the event.

“I’m a John Kerry supporter. I wanted to see the film and Brad Pitt,” Korthuis said. “She’s loved him since he was five,” Korthuis said of her daughter. “Alaina has seen all of his movies.”

New ballots inspire voter education tour

The rules governing provisional ballots are as confusing as they are dynamic. In five different battleground states, lawsuits over how to count provisional ballots have resulted in five different methods.

Provisional ballots, which enable voters whose names are not on voter rolls to cast conditional ballots, are one of several major federal reforms passed in the wake of the last presidential election. They are supposed to make voting easier — helping those left off voter rolls in error — but election officials worry they may instead turn this November into another fiasco.

Deaton: Research and global outreach are key

MU Chancellor Brady Deaton has a top 10 list, and he’s not laughing when he reads it. But sometimes he does grin with excitement when he talks about his priorities for MU.

“We are all part of a global knowledge base,” he said in a meeting with reporters Wednesday, commenting on MU’s focus on research and global outreach. Deaton has added two priorities to his list: increasing outside research investment and expanding global outreach.

Candidates juggle personal and political lives

Though U.S. Rep. Kenny Hulshof, R-Columbia, was in New York to watch President Bush’s speech at the Republican National Convention, the event kindled fond memories of his hometown.

“It was a great feeling,” he said. “All the protesters were out there, and everyone inside was on the same side. It’s like when you go to Faurot Field and you know that yes, you are in a hometown, partisan crowd. You know you’re a Mizzou Tiger.”

Some might get turned away Nov. 2

In spite of massive efforts that resulted in a record year for new voter registration in Boone County, many residents might arrive at polling places on Election Day unable to vote.

Some independent voter-registration groups came through town, registered people and left — returning registration cards too late, if at all.

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