It’s probably safe to say these days that most people know at least one problem gambler. Some are addicted to bingo or video poker, while others can’t stay away from lottery tickets or casinos. Like those addicted to alcohol or drugs, these people can’t resist games of chance.
Missouri gamblers were the subject of a recent study by Harvard researchers, who sought to determine the extent of problem gambling in the state. According to their report, about 39,000 Missourians had faced a serious gambling problem in the past year. The study, funded by a grant from the Port Authority of Kansas City, focused on more than 5,000 individuals who had voluntarily excluded themselves from state casinos since 1996. Under the self-exclusion program, these folks subject themselves to prosecution for trespassing if they attempt to enter casinos. These individuals are, apparently, seeking help big time. So far, it is estimated that 13 percent of Missouri’s problem gamblers are seeking that kind of assistance.
With the loss of nearly 47 million doses of flu vaccine worldwide after a British government crackdown on a global supplier, health care providers in Boone County are scrambling to meet demand as the winter flu season approaches.
Heather Baer, a spokeswoman for the Columbia/Boone County Department of Health, said the agency ordered most of its vaccines from Chiron Corp., the British firm that had its license suspended earlier this month over a failure to comply with the United Kingdom’s manufacturing regulations.
For many mid-Missouri residents, fall is the season for hunting.
Although the majority of hunters uses guns, few Columbians channel their inner Robin Hood with the unique sport of bow hunting.
As the cool autumn breeze begins to blow, the Devil’s Icebox cave moans and echoes to the visitors of Rock Bridge State Park.
Some visitors hear this call to walk the unbeaten path and enter another dimension of life that exists in the seven-mile Devil’s Icebox cave.
For the first time since 1992, Boone County Treasurer Kay Murray has an opponent in an election. Republican Fred Evermon has stepped forward to challenge Murray, who has held the office for 28 years.
The Boone County treasurer is responsible for making investment decisions, receiving and disbursing the county’s money, balancing the county checking account with the general ledger and handling all bond issues.
Fishing poles are lazily dipped over the sides of boats, painting radiating rings on the surface of the sparkling water.
A gentle breeze stirs the air causing shallow waves to ripple across the still water. This is the tranquil scene found at area lakes.
Will Waterman, 3, rolled over a pumpkin while his brother Wes, 5, pulled on another to break it from the vine.
The brothers, from Columbia, ran back and forth between their parents during a Sunday afternoon picking pumpkins and apples at Huffstutter Orchards in New Franklin.
On any given day, casual walkers and avid runners trek a highway of dirt and gravel paths through Columbia’s wooded areas.
The Columbia Parks and Recreation Department maintains 25 trails. These range from the quarter-mile trail in Westwinds Park to 4.7-mile MKT Nature and Fitness Trail.
The air is cooling, the nights are getting colder and the plants in the garden are starting to look brown and unattractive.
In other words, it’s time to start winterizing the garden.
West Columbia is growing, and local businesses want to be a part of it. Broadfield Properties made deals with three more businesses this week that will plan to open in the Broadway Broadfield Shopping Center, next to Hy-Vee, 3120 W. Broadway.
Tuesday, the developer signed leases with Chinese restaurant Mandarin House, Mexican eatery Rio Grande and a new University Hospital MRI center, said Roger Thomas, a partner in Broadfield Properties.
Elisabeth Norton, a massage therapist from Columbia, called the three weeks she spent working at the Paralympic Games “definitely mind-blowing.”
Norton was one of 60 international massage therapists who assisted the athletes during the September games in Athens. The Paralympics, like the summer and winter Olympics that precede them, occur every two years. These games, however, showcase athletes with disabilities.
Candidates for the 19th District seat in the Missouri Senate are embroiled in a debate about whether it’s a good idea to “trade” MU’s name for a bond issue that would pay for construction of a health-sciences research center and other projects.
Democrat Chuck Graham and Republican Mike Ditmore debated the issue at a forum last month at Broadway Christian Church. Moderator and former state senator Joe Moseley asked whether each would support switching the name of Springfield’s Southwest Missouri State University to Missouri State University in exchange for a life-sciences bond issue.
The spirit of MU’s Homecoming festivities spread to downtown Columbia on Sunday.
Eighteen student organizations participated in Decorate the District, a contest to decorate the storefronts of businesses near the parade route that will weave through downtown Columbia on Saturday.
Columbians heard a first-hand perspective of the war in Iraq on Sunday from two seasoned journalists.
Chris Hedges, a former war correspondent for The New York Times, and Octavia Nasr, head of Arab affairs for CNN, spoke on campus to a group of journalism students and faculty. The pair also spoke before a showing of “Control Room,” a movie about Al-Jazeera’s war coverage, at the Missouri Theatre.
ASHLAND - On Friday, the faithful, about 1,000 in all, sat on the stadium’s stainless steel bleachers, and others flowed over to the ones made of rotting wood.
Dressed in school colors for the Southern Boone Eagles’ first football homecoming, many wore black caps, red sweatshirts, black-and-red beads and face paint. A few upperclassmen known around school as “the cowboys” wore no shirts.
Ashland isn’t a town that appreciates change. People like things the way they are. Families who leave Ashland tend to return. Parents send their kids to the school where many of them also went. Some attended college and graduated; others did not; a few never went.
Actor Brad Pitt will make an MU homecoming of his own this week.
Pitt will attend a showing of “Going Upriver: The Long War of John Kerry” Wednesday night, hosted by the MU College Democrats.
Jason Heggemeyer has followed his two great loves around the country. Lucky for him, they went to the same place.
Heggemeyer was raised a fan of Detroit sports teams like the Pistons and the Lions and began absorbing sports whenever he could. He graduated from Western Michigan University and was working as a graduate assistant in athletics when he was offered a job at the MU ticket office in 1998.
When he was a boy, Howard Marshall would sit in Latin class and draw pictures of buildings rather than listen to the lecture. After school, he’d play in his grandfather’s barn in Randolph County and listen to his grandparents play fiddle and piano in the parlor of their farmhouse.
Today, Marshall, a professor emeritus of art history and archaeology at MU, is still more interested in studying the vernacular of Missouri than learning a dead language.
Painting a home takes plenty of supplies. In the case of Jo Grady and Mark McGimsey, it meant 12 gallons of paint, 12 paint rollers, seven ladders, hours of hard work and buckets of patience.
Getting the hands and help to do the labor is another story – especially when the going rate for local house painters is about $20 per hour. Plus, Jo is 22-weeks pregnant and has a three-year-old toddler with Mark, who suffers severe back pain.