Big Brothers Big Sisters gets grant

More children of Missouri inmates will be teamed with mentors in the coming months thanks to a federal grant announced last week.

The Big Brothers Big Sisters of Boone County, in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Jefferson City and Kansas City, has received a $382,000 grant — part of $35 million in grants nationwide — from the U.S. Department of Health and Human services to expand a program for children of incarcerated parents. The organization will continue to receive the same amount for the next three years.

GOP moves into headquarters

Bumper stickers for Bush/Cheney 2004, Matt Blunt and Kenny Hulshof adorned a cluster of cars in the parking lot of Rock Bridge Shopping Center Tuesday afternoon as Republicans gathered inside a storefront to open the Boone County Republican Headquarters.

The Boone County Republican Central Committee organizes a central headquarters every four years for the presidential election. This year’s location at Providence Road and Nifong Boulevard was selected in late July.

MU gets $190,000 grant for incubator

The Columbia Life Sciences Incubator received a boost Tuesday as community and state leaders met to track the project’s progress and explore its potential for paving the road to further economic and entrepreneurial development in mid-Missouri.

Assistant Secretary of Commerce David Sampson was joined by Sen. Kit Bond, U.S. Rep. Kenny Hulshof and UM system President Elson Floyd at the Columbia Chamber of Commerce. The luncheon was one of three stops in Columbia, Mexico and St. Louis, during which Sampson presented Economic Development Administration investment checks.

Missouri Democratic Party sues secretary of state

JEFFERSON CITY — The Missouri Democratic Party has sued Republican Secretary of State Matt Blunt, claiming voters who cast provisional ballots in the August primary at the wrong polling places should have had their votes counted anyway.

The party claims that state law, which Blunt enforces as the state’s chief elections official, conflicts with the federal Help America Vote Act.

Wal-Mart gives MU four minority scholarships

Four MU journalism students will receive $2,500 scholarships starting in fall of 2005, courtesy of Wal-Mart.

Wal-Mart said Thursday it would award $500,000 in minority scholarships to be divided among 10 journalism schools across the country — including MU — over three years. “The scholarship program is an effort to increase the level of diversity in newsrooms around the country,” said a news release from Wal-Mart.

State Fair books various performers

The Missouri State Fair in Sedalia will be brimming with all kinds of performers, rides and attractions this year.

The fair, which last year attracted almost 350,000 fairgoers, starts Thursday and ends Aug. 22.

First suspect to be tried Nov. 2 in Kent Heitholt murder case

Trial dates have been set for the two suspects in the death of Columbia Daily Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt.

Boone County Circuit Judge Gene Hamilton set a Nov. 2 trial date for Charles Erickson, 20, who is charged with second-degree murder and first-degree robbery in connection with Heitholt’s death.


Librarian Greg Reeves has had little room to stretch his legs beneath his desk ever since the 30 to 40 bread-loaf-sized boxes arrived in his office. Their contents: more than 2,000 compact discs.

The CDs, which arrived at Columbia Public Library about a month ago, are part of a settlement in which music distributors agreed to provide $75 million worth of CDs to public and nonprofit organizations in all 50 states. The lawsuit leading to the settlement accused the distributors of price fixing.

Some soldiers unable to vote

JEFFERSON CITY — Some Missouri soldiers stationed in Iraq were unable to vote in last week’s elections because of trouble getting absentee ballots.

As a result, Secretary of State Matt Blunt’s office said Monday that it is exploring whether overseas soldiers could e-mail their ballots for the Nov. 2 general election. Blunt is awaiting a determination from the Department of Defense, spokesman Spence Jackson said.

Try these crumpets with farkles and bats

The warriors wield fat Wiffle bats of bright orange, brandishing them above their heads as they shout their respective team names.

Whether one describes these names as good-natured profanity or politically incorrect, most of these names are not fit for print. This is field crumpets, an offbeat team sport attracting players who aren’t generally drawn to such activities. It’s a loose mix of field hockey and soccer, with a heavy dose of imagination — specifically, Robbie Overton’s — thrown in.

The Rape Solution: How crucial are nurse examiners?

When trying to understand why Columbia’s reported number of sexual assaults is lower than peer communities, one question local experts are asking is whether it matters if sexual assault nurse examiners, or SANEs, are in emergency rooms as part of a cooperative community response.

After the city’s Sexual Trauma/Assault Response Team, or START, ended in 2000, Boone Hospital Center continued many of the protocols it had during the START years. Victims were taken to private areas away from the waiting room, a doctor or nurse would call The Shelter and ask for a rape advocate, and trained doctors would use rape kits to collect forensic evidence.

Fight against cancer drives bracelet trend

While Lance Armstrong was winning his sixth Tour de France title in July, he was also winning over supporters in the fight against cancer and creating a fashion trend at the same time.

The simple yellow bracelets bearing Armstrong’s mantra, “Live Strong,” have been seen on the wrists of politicians and celebrities, including President Bush and John Kerry.

Columbus’ heritage put under scrutiny

Few people question the traditional history lesson: In 1492, Christopher Columbus, an Italian from Genoa, set out to sail the ocean blue. He began a voyage for India with the support of Spain’s King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella — and, in the process, stumbled upon America.

Yet, Charles Merrill, a 1968 Hickman High School graduate, doesn’t accept the traditional story. His research has been incorporated into a prime-time documentary that ran this past week on the Discovery Channel.

From the quilters’ guild with love

The last in line for a show-and-tell, Cindy Bryan waited at a quilters meeting this month to show off six quilts handmade for a special purpose: They will be given to Rainbow House, an emergency shelter for children in Columbia.

Bryan is service project coordinator for the Booneslick Trail Quilters’ Guild, which has made quilts for Rainbow House for six years. The guild’s Starlight and Daylight chapters donate more than 40 quilts a year to the shelter, Bryan said.

Tiger Textbooks to open on Elm Street

Cold Stone Creamery is about to get some company at its Elm Street location. Fred De Marco, owner of the new building, said Tiger Textbooks plans to open there soon, and he’s in discussions with several other businesses.

“Four or five more business leases are being negotiated within the next couple of weeks,” De Marco said.

Bond says early voting lawsuit not necessary

WASHINGTON — Missouri doesn’t need early voting, GOP Sen. Kit Bond said Monday, criticizing a lawsuit filed by St. Louis leaders and Democratic lawmakers.

“I know there’s been some talk about it; I don’t think it’s a good idea,” Bond said.

Best Friends Reunited

When Army Specialist E-4 Jeremiah Smith of Fulton stepped off the bus on July 21 in Fort Leonard Wood after nearly a year in Iraq, he was met by his family, as well as a now-famous friend.

Niki, the black and white Iraqi refugee puppy, has been in the United States since April, a couple months after Smith and members of his Baghdad-stationed unit, the 2175th Military Police Co., befriended the mixed-breed dog. With the help of Military Mascots, Smith shipped Niki back to Fulton, via St. Louis.

Columbia lacks rape response team

The scenario has tragically replayed itself perhaps hundreds of times. A woman is raped, whether by an acquaintance after a party or by a stranger in some unpredictable circumstance. Distraught and disoriented, she wonders what to do.

Should she go to the hospital? Tell the police? Call a sexual assault hot line?

Shooters take aim in competition

At the sound of a buzzer, shooting competitor J.J. Racaza dropped his 007 “martini glass” and attempted to draw his pistol. But as the glass — a slightly modified plastic bottle — bounced at his feet, the weapon held firm in his holster. The holster was still locked, costing him time. Racaza freed his pistol and shells flew from his weapon in two shot bursts. Steel targets fell and he rushed on to finish the stage.

Racaza and other pistol shooters from across the county competed in this and similar contests over the weekend during the United States Practical Shooting Association Area 3 Championship at the Chapman Academy in Hallsville. Match director Emmanuel Bragg said that eight of the top 10 pistol shooters in the world were on hand for the competition, which had a James Bond theme.

Family values different from family influence

Some people seem to think that family values are a set of regulations carved on a stone tablet, handed down through the generations like the Ten Commandments. I think of them as a set of principles passed on, out of which certain behavioral patterns emerge. This subject came up last Sunday when I was visiting with a family member. She suggested that it would be difficult for us to explain to our parents why we were not in church on Sunday morning. Our mothers, after all, attended every Sunday without fail. I disagreed. I replied that I felt like the same set of principles that led my mother to do what she did also leads me to do as I do. My cousin merely looked at me strangely.

When I was growing up, the majority of the children in my neighborhood went to Sunday School. I loved being in Sunday School the same way I once loved being in church. It was one of the few places where I felt at home, as if I belonged there. I think I can truthfully say I have been in churches of virtually every denomination. It has been an experience that has been extremely valuable in helping me shape my own personal theology.