President eager for Part II

WASHINGTON — In a city brimming with pageantry under fortress-like security, President Bush looked ahead Wednesday to his second inauguration, pledging to forge unity in a nation divided by political differences.

In his inaugural address today, Bush will tell the country that events and common sense have led him to one conclusion: “The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world.”

Candidate eyes school conditions

Gayle Troutwine has filed for the Fifth Ward seat on the Columbia City Council that will be vacated by incumbent John John when his term expires in April.

Troutwine, a lawyer and mother who has lived in Columbia for about two years, said she decided to file because nobody else had.

Benefits reduction discussed

JEFFERSON CITY — A Senate committee considering reducing benefits in Missouri’s workers’ compensation program heard emotional testimony Wednesday from workers who said they felt abandoned by a system one Republican senator called “broken.”

The bill, sponsored by Sen. John Loudon, R-St. Louis County, would redefine when workers’ compensation fees are awarded. The proposed legislation would narrow the definition of injury so that a worker could collect benefits only if his or her job is the “prevailing” cause of an accident. It would reduce benefits when an injury worsens a pre-existing condition and eliminate benefits for injuries that happen en route to work and ailments whose cause cannot be determined.

Grad students open art show on campus

Graduate students in MU’s fine arts program have unveiled their recent work at a group show called “In Transit,” now at the Bingham Gallery on campus. The exhibition features sculpture, painting, ceramics, fibers, photography and mixed media.

Curt Erlinger, one of 14 artists in the show, said the exhibition gives him the chance to get his work out of the studio.

Faculty Council looks at revising promotion policy

MU’s Faculty Council will begin talking today about regulating the procedures for promoting part-time and temporary faculty members.

The council will discuss a resolution that would require each college and school at the university to establish review and promotion guidelines for “non-regular faculty” by the beginning of the 2005-2006 academic year.

Columbian to head state economic development

Columbia native Greg Steinhoff said improving Missouri’s business climate by cutting costs, especially through tort reform and workers’ compensation, will be his main goals as the next director of the Missouri Department of Economic Development.

Gov. Matt Blunt said during a news conference at the Columbia Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday that Steinhoff is his choice to lead the department. While Steinhoff’s nomination is subject to state Senate approval, neither Blunt nor Steinhoff foresees any complications.

Sapp foes address council

Opponents of the largest voluntary annexation in Columbia’s history made their voices heard before the City Council in a heated public hearing Tuesday night.

Now it is up to the council to weigh these concerns and decide whether to annex and zone almost 1,000 acres into Columbia.

Beefed-up rec center now open

Brian Anderson will be the first to tell you that he’s a big guy.

The bulk of his muscles can be attributed to working out three to four times a week. A senior at MU, he was excited to finally have a workout facility on campus that accommodates his 6-foot, 3-inch frame.

Cleaning up streams would cost $300,000

New stream regulations that could clean up streams throughout Missouri could also cost the Boone County Sewer District more than $300,000.

The sewer district disinfects effluent at four of its sites, but if new measures are accepted by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, the district would have to modify 43 more sites to disinfect wastewater with chlorine before it entered local streams, such as Perche Creek, Rocky Fork Creek, Grindstone Creek and Hinkson Creek.

No candidate yet for Fifth Ward seat

The deadline for candidates to file for open seats on the Columbia City Council is Thursday, but no one has filed for the Fifth Ward seat being vacated by incumbent John John.

The terms of John and First Ward Councilwoman Almeta Crayton will expire in April. Crayton has already filed for election to a third term.

Donors flock to Bowden blood drive

Scott Ewing does not like to use the term “law enforcement community.”

For Ewing, a deputy with the Boone County Sheriff’s Department, the society of local police officers and sheriff’s deputies is more like a family.

Remembering MLK

The annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day memorial service at Second Missionary Baptist Church downtown seemed to reach its peak Monday with former Missouri Rep. Lloyd Daniel.

A Democrat from Kansas City, Daniel evoked King’s legacy in the event’s keynote address by speaking of not “biting one’s tongue,” but rather speaking the truth even when it is not the popular thing to do.

Social Security overhaul’s impact on disabled is unclear

WASHINGTON — Social Security disability benefits may not be safe from the across-the-board cuts that are likely in President Bush’s proposal to allow personal investment accounts.

Retirement and disability benefits are calculated using the same formula, so if future promised retirement benefits are cut, then disability benefits also would be reduced — unless the program is somehow separated.

Foreign students run into red tape

Changes in the rules for receiving Social Security numbers could cause problems for some international students.

“Our rules have become more restrictive on who we can issue Social Security numbers to,” said Robert S. Duncan, manager of the Social Security Administration in Columbia.

Providing comfort

As a volunteer in the early 1980s, Stephana Landwehr would often overhear inmates talk about going to hell.

Vietnam veterans serving time at the Correctional Facility in Moberly would talk about their fear of moral condemnation. They were haunted by their actions in the line of duty.

St. Louis teachers close to striking

ST. LOUIS — On the verge of a strike that would violate state law, St. Louis teachers received support Monday from an unlikely source: three members of the school board.

Dissident board members Bill Haas, Amy Hilgemann and Veronica O’Brien met with union leaders over the weekend and then called a Monday news conference to say the majority of the board and the district were not doing enough to avert a strike in the state’s largest school district.

In 37 years, no one has replaced King

In the nearly 37 years since the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., many of us would have believed that several individuals of equal stature would have come on the scene.

Although some have found a few people they have felt worthy of great distinction and monumental praise, none seems to have risen to become the recipient of the kind of universal respect and admiration as did King.

After the tsunami

Rocking her baby in her arms, Muthu was sitting among the remains of a house. Her face seemed painfully ashen and emotionless. When I touched her shoulder, she wept uncontrollably.

Behind her, a girl no more than 12 years old was rinsing clothes in a bucket with water that was gray and murky.

Columbia schools rally to raise money for victims

Columbia students of all ages are working in their schools and with the community to raise funds and awareness for tsunami aid.

“It’s a way to teach our children about empathy and charity,” said Linda Bozoian, a fourth-grade teacher at New Haven Elementary.

Rain proves both boon, bane for area businesses

For Lee Riley, the only thing good about the cold is that it means he can get back to work.

Riley, owner of Riley Contractors, said all the precipitation this month has prevented two of his three full-time employees from working.