Housing Authority to pare jobs

A significant change in leadership roles at the Columbia Housing Authority should save the agency $150,000 and ensure more efficient performance, Executive Director Doris Chiles said. The shift would eliminate nine positions, including three that would be displaced by hiring an outside company to handle agency finances.

The restructuring will also help prepare the authority for Chiles’ departure, she said, though she wouldn’t say how soon that might come.

All-natural festivities

MU’s Peace Park was a whirl of activity on Sunday as hundreds of people thronged the streets for the city’s Earth Day 2004 celebration.

For seven hours, parts of Elm, Seventh and Eighth streets were closed to traffic. According to organizers, this year’s events included more than 230 booths and two stages showcasing local musical talent.

Search for closure

Her story is familiar to doctors from Washington, D.C., to London, from Houston to Melbourne, Australia.

Yet, most of the more than 25 million Americans who have tried the Atkins Diet have probably never heard of Rachel Huskey.

Cheney to discuss Iraq issues at Westminster

Vice President Dick Cheney is scheduled to deliver what is being described as a significant foreign policy announcement at 11:30 a.m. Monday in Fulton, the same site of Winston Churchill’s famous “Iron Curtain” speech in 1946.

Westminster College officials confirmed Friday that Cheney will give a 45-minute speech Monday morning in the Westminster College Historic Gymnasium. About 500 to 600 people are expected to attend.

Experts differ on merits of open search

The level of openness is a decision administrators must make as MU gears up to search for its next chancellor.

MU Provost Brady Deaton, who is slated to become interim chancellor Sept. 1, was recently in the race for president at the University of Tennessee, a search more open than average. Deaton will serve as MU interim chancellor until the end of the year, when UM system President Elson Floyd expects to announce the campus’ 20th chancellor.

Hearing delayed for Heitholt suspect

The trial of one of the men accused of murdering Kent Heitholt, former Columbia Daily Tribune sports editor, will advance to the circuit level.

During a court hearing Friday, Charles Erickson, 19, waived his right to a preliminary hearing. By passing on a preliminary hearing, Erickson will not contest that the state has enough evidence to warrant a trial. His lawyers also will pass on an early chance to review the prosecution’s evidence.

West chooses principal

Vickie Robb is looking to fall in love all over again.

Robb was announced Friday as the new principal of West Boulevard Elementary, the school designated by Columbia Public Schools administrators to be restructured into a model for increasing student achievement.

Stephens celebrates new attitude

At least six decades of alumnae returned to Stephens College Saturday to witness Wendy B. Libby’s installation as the 23rd president of the college.

The ceremony was part of the college’s Reunion 2004 weekend. It provided an opportunity to invite all alumnae back, rather than just those classes scheduled to celebrate a reunion this year.

MU given herd data

MU received a donation of intellectual property Friday valued at $5.6 million, but many experts consider it priceless.

Chancellor Richard Wallace announced that the Dave Gust family, who owns Circle A Ranch, has donated what is thought to be the world’s most complete set of livestock production data and matching DNA samples from approximately 6,000 cattle to the “For All We Call Mizzou” fund-raising campaign.

MU Alumni Association appoints interim executive director

The MU Alumni Association announced Friday the appointment of Todd McCubbin as its interim executive director.

McCubbin, an MU alumnus, will be in charge of the operational and financial activities of the association. He received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Truman State University in 1993 and earned a master’s degree in education from MU in 1995.

Police release bank robber sketch

Police released a composite sketch of a man suspected of robbing the US Bank at Broadway and Tenth Street on Wednesday.

He is described by police as a white male with dark features and a “weathered appearance.” Police said he is about 5 feet 9 inches tall and in his late 30s or mid-40s with short, dark hair and dark eyes.

Sheriff opens new gun permit office

Beginning Monday, Boone County residents will be able to apply for conceal-and-carry permits in Ashland.

Maj. O.J. Stone of the Boone County Sheriff’s Department said the application process at the Ashland Police Department will mirror the system set up in Hallsville, which began processing applications March 19. The Hallsville Police Department has accepted 204 applications so far, the department said.

A bullying habit hard to give up

There have been several stories on television lately about bullies and bullying. And thinking back to my childhood, I can remember some incidents that remain painful even a half-century later.

I think we all have bully tendencies depending on where we are in the family lineup. It’s kind of a domino effect. The oldest picks on the next in line and so on. My older brother targeted me early on and I, of course, set my sights on my younger sister. As toddlers, I would take away a toy if she looked like she was having too much fun. And in school, I didn’t want her to play with my friends. But I could make her cry every time I told her her lips were too thin.

Family Fishing Day

Near the bank of a fishing pond in Columbia, an epic battle is taking place. Thrashing and fighting, straining against the limitations of being a toddler, Kalea Zielinski is struggling to fish.

Kalea wants to catch the fish. Not Dad. Kalea.

Cheney to speak in Fulton

Vice President Dick Cheney is scheduled to visit Westminster College in Fulton on Monday.

Sgt. Paul Reinsch of the Missouri Highway Patrol confirmed that troops will be assisting the U.S. Secret Service in transporting the vice president to Fulton on Monday.

Energy center helps homeless

Two years ago, Mark Bernier was homeless, living day to day on the streets of Springfield. Then, he met the Rev. Larry Rice and found his salvation in the form of renewable energy.

Bernier is using scrap materials and other low-cost innovations, such as “papercrete” — a highly efficient insulation made from newspapers and concrete mix, to build his own house.

Leaving big footprints

Richard H. Knipp came to Columbia around 1938 as a carpenter with nothing but a car, a shovel, a shirt on his back and a lot of determination.

With no formal education and through hard work and frugality, he became the owner of a major construction company that has left its indelible mark on Columbia.

A troubling forecast

An abrupt climate change caused by global warming — long thought to be centuries away — could take place in a few decades. That’s one of the scenarios proposed by a new Pentagon report that stirred European public opinion earlier this year.

The report, published earlier this year in the British newspaper The Observer, has raised eyebrows among environmentalists because it is one of the first times the threat of global warming has been tied to national security.

Gas bags

Have you heard? Gas prices could reach $3 a gallon this summer, forcing Americans to radically rethink the SUVs they drive and causing politicians to expend enormous amounts of political capital reshaping the country’s energy consumption.

Please. Sockdolager has a request for those spouting such nonsense: Stop patronizing us. The current angst over rising gas prices will not result in any substantive changes to the country’s energy policy. Paying next to nothing for fuel has become as American as tax cuts for the filthy rich. That said, Thursday was Earth Day, and we can’t resist ranting a bit about the country’s dependence on black gold.

Columbia airport will get new evening flight

AmericanConnection will add an additional evening flight from Columbia Regional Airport to St. Louis beginning June 1.

The 30-passenger plane will depart Columbia at 5:12 p.m. and arrive in St. Louis at 5:57 p.m.