Columbians are drawn to rally

Thousands of people lined the streets outside the Capitol building on Thursday, waiting for the chance to hear presidential candidate John Kerry speak. Their reasons for coming were as diverse as the parts of Missouri they represented.

“I’m a big supporter of Kerry,” said Lisa Bogdon of Mexico, Mo. “But, I brought my daughter here to hear Teresa because she’s great, and I believe that behind every great man there is a woman.”

Protesters say Kerry flip-flops on issues

A man wearing a giant waffle suit stood across the street as John Kerry spoke in Jefferson City on Thursday, symbolizing the Republican message that the Democratic presidential candidate has been known to change his mind on a variety of issues. The man standing next to him held a sign that read “Waffles are for breakfast — not presidents.”

The men, who identified themselves only as Missouri Republicans, were part of a small protest demonstration as Kerry addressed a crowd of thousands by the steps of the Capitol building. An hour before Kerry was scheduled to speak, about seven protesters had gathered across the street from the campaign event. By the time Kerry took the stage — two hours behind schedule — the number of protesters outside had increased to about 15.

McCaskill seeks to unite Democrats

KANSAS CITY — Operating on barely two hours of sleep after a stunning primary victory, State Auditor Claire McCaskill quickly set out Wednesday to unite the Democratic Party behind her gubernatorial candidacy — reaching out to defeated Gov. Bob Holden for his supporters’ cash and commitment.

Her new rival, the well-funded Republican Secretary of State Matt Blunt, immediately went on the offensive with TV advertising and a cross-state campaign tour.

Transition game

A thin layer of dust and the penetrating smell of paint fills 325,000 feet of encased concrete and steel. Bright yellow insulation peeks out from behind steel rods in the 30-foot-wide main concourse while mustard yellow tiles line the walls of the south concourse. With just under two months before its planned Oct. 1 completion date, the Paige Sports Arena is on schedule.

“We are on time, on budget, and besides a few inevitable last minutes things, it’s looking good,” said Chad Moller, MU athletic department spokesman.

Hostess program revised by MU

Top MU officials decided Wednesday to revamp the Tiger Hostess program, following allegations of sexual harassment and other illicit behavior made in a national magazine by a former hostess.

Effective the start of the fall semester, volunteers who assist with welcoming student athletes will be under the direction of the more general welcome service for all prospective students.

Kerry coming to mid-Mo.

Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry and running mate John Edwards will stop this afternoon in Jefferson City for a rally at the Capitol as part of a statewide tour that includes stops in Hannibal and St. Louis.

“Democrats are fired up. This is historic for Jeff City. I can’t remember the last time the president and vice president candidates both showed up at the same time,” said Jim Gardner, communications director for the Missouri Democratic Party.

Gay marriage issue can still go to court

Missouri voters showed overwhelming support to ban gay marriage Tuesday, but the issue may yet face challenges in the courts. Same-sex couples in Missouri have legal recourse to challenge Amendment 2, which says “a marriage shall exist only between a man and a woman.”

MU law professor Carl Esbeck outlined several potential scenarios that could play out in the courts. If a same-sex couple tried to obtain a marriage license from the state, they would be denied. They could then argue in court that the state constitution violates the 14th amendment of the federal constitution, which guarantees equal protection of the law to all citizens.

Free help makes free lunches

When 10-year-old Katie Paul was told she was too young to volunteer at a Columbia food bank, her determination to lend a hand wasn’t squelched.

“My mom just kept looking for places I could help out, and we found this,” she said.

Dunscombe named REDI chairwoman

Regional Economic Development Inc. announced its new officers at a Tuesday meeting.

Outgoing board Chairman Joe Moseley announced the new officers. Taking over as chairwoman is Vicki Dunscombe, vice president and COO of Boone County National Bank.

Dems dump Holden

KANSAS CITY — Democrats dumped embattled Gov. Bob Holden from their ticket Tuesday in favor of State Auditor Claire McCaskill, who held herself out as the best hope to swing Missouri — and the White House — to Democrats in November.

Holden, derisively dubbed “One-Term Bob” by opponents from the beginning of his term, became the first Missouri governor ever to lose in a primary and the first nationally in 10 years.

Voters favor Carey

Dwayne Carey won the Democratic nomination for Boone County sheriff on Tuesday, earning 60 percent of the vote in a field of three candidates, all of whom have current or former employment ties with the sheriff’s department.

Carey will face Republican Mick Covington in the November general election. Maj. O.J. Stone, chief deputy of the sheriff’s department, came in second, followed by former sheriff’s narcotics officer Ken Kreigh.

Senate race goes to Graham

In a tight race, Chuck Graham edged out Tim Harlan for the 19th District state Senate nomination in Tuesday’s Democratic primary. Graham will now face Republican Mike Ditmore in the general election Nov. 2.

Graham was all smiles at his post-election party at Boone Tavern. He said he looks forward to unifying the Democratic Party and getting ready for the November election.

Ban on gay marriage passes in a landslide

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri voters were headed toward easy passage of an amendment Tuesday that would add a ban on gay marriage to the Missouri Constitution.

Amendment 2 had garnered 69.9 percent of the vote, with 91 percent of precincts reporting, according to unofficial results.

Primary results

Statewide election results from 94% of precincts were available at press time. For final numbers, go to .

Hendren to focus on her work with clients

Discussing her career goals, Boone County public administrator Connie Hendren often adheres to a cliché — what’s not broken, there is no need to fix.

As she prepares to face Republican challenger John Sullivan in November’s general election, Hendren’s campaign platform will focus on her ability to continue to work with clients the same way she has for the past 12 years.

Field is set across Missouri

Former Secretary of State Bekki Cook won the Democratic primary for lieutenant governor and will square off against Republican Senate President Pro Tem Peter Kinder in the general election. Libertarian Mike Ferguson will also appear on the November ballot.

“I’m excited about where we are at this point,” said Cook, who won the race over 19th District state Sen. Ken Jacob of Columbia. “Now, it’s going to be about getting ready for November.”

Baker clinches 25th District Dem vote

Democrat Judy Baker emerged the winner in the highly contested Democratic five-way primary for the 25th District Missouri House seat on Tuesday. She will face Republican Joel Jeffries in the November general election. Meanwhile, Democrat Travis Ballenger and Republican Ed Robb will vie for the 24th District seat.

The primary primary race for the 25th District House Democratic primary seat proved a challenge to voters in distinguishing like-minded candidates.

Rockaway Beach casino sunk

ROCKAWAY BEACH — Hopes for a casino slipped away Tuesday as voters across the state rejected an amendment to the Missouri Constitution that would have allowed a casino in Rockaway Beach.

The amendment’s supporters said allowing the casino on Rockaway Beach’s downtown waterfront would breathe new life into a fading tourist town, and they pledged to funnel the resulting state revenue toward teacher salaries and struggling schools.

Farmer, Bond look forward to campaign

KANSAS CITY — Republican Sen. Kit Bond and his likely challenger, Democratic state Treasurer Nancy Farmer, weren’t worried about Tuesday’s primary opposition — they were focusing on each other and on the November general election.

Bond won the U.S. Senate nomination with 90 percent of the GOP vote, with 5 percent of precincts reporting, according to unofficial results. Farmer was leading with an overwhelming 78 percent of the Democratic vote.

Liquor license appeal begins

JEFFERSON CITY — The hearing for Mike Cooper — owner of Cooper’s Landing — before the Administrative Hearing Commission began Tuesday afternoon in Jefferson City. The appeal will continue Friday morning.

The Administrative Hearing Commission is a neutral, independent administrative court that decides disputes between state agencies and another party.