Osco prepares to close Nov. 5

The closing of the Osco Drug downtown will bring more than just inconvenience for some shoppers.

“They were fair, they were kind, they were reputable and they were a good neighbor,” said Geoffrey Gunnell, a regular customer. “That’s why people are so sad.”

Jeffries pulls out of House race

Joel Jeffries withdrew as the Republican candidate for state representative in the 25th District on Tuesday to accept Gov. Bob Holden’s appointment to the Board of Probation and Parole.

“This was a remarkable opportunity that kind of dropped out of the sky,” Jeffries said.

Education of the soul

Fourteen-year-old David Churchill wakes up at 5:30 a.m. each weekday.

The teenager has to get an early start to tackle a full day of high school — and a grown-up commute to get there.

Rios asks for change of venue

Lawyers for former Columbia police officer Steven Rios have filed a motion requesting a change of venue for his trial in the death of an MU student.

The motion argues that the extensive media coverage of the case could prevent Rios from receiving a fair trial by Boone County jurors.

International election monitors pay visit to county

A four-member team of international election experts will observe election procedures during a Thursday afternoon meeting with Boone County Clerk Wendy Noren.

Sponsored by Global Exchange, a San Francisco-based international human rights organization, the group has been in Missouri since Friday. Its itinerary also includes visits to Kansas City, St. Louis and Jefferson City.

Mothers question war

Before the war in Iraq, Becky Sommerhauser was a shy housewife from a St. Louis suburb who had never spoken publicly.

Now that her son may be deployed to Iraq in the coming months, the mother of seven is speaking out.

Missourian captures 18 awards in state contest

The Columbia Missourian nabbed 18 awards in this year’s Missouri Press Association’s Better Newspaper Contest.

The Missourian won first place in general excellence among newspapers with similar circulations. The category evaluates the newspaper’s entire package including news and sports content, advertising, photography and layout.

Candidates decry using absentee list

JEFFERSON CITY — The Democratic and Republican candidates for secretary of state each proposed Tuesday to end a campaign practice used by incumbent Secretary of State Matt Blunt in which candidates can get the names of people who have requested absentee ballots.

Blunt, a Republican running for governor, has asked county clerks to submit the names of people requesting absentee ballots to a staff member at the Missouri Republican Party. A Blunt spokesman said the intent is to target campaign information at the absentee voters — a tactic other candidates have used in the past.

Road funds debate intensifies

JEFFERSON CITY — On Nov. 2, Missouri voters will decide the fate of a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would guarantee revenue raised by transportation-related taxes goes directly to the Missouri Department of Transportation.

Advocates on each side of the issue, however, agree the measure will be insufficient to significantly improve Missouri’s ailing roads, which federal highway statistics indicate are the third worst in the nation.

One smashing good time

As the cymbal-like sound of a clashing wine filter mixes with the funky rhythms of a Wilco CD, Cory Bomgaars and Jacob Holman weave between large silver tanks, mashing dark red grapes and flushing out slippery white fluid.

For the past six weeks, Bomgaars, 33, and Holman, 27, have devoted their lives to harvesting grapes at Les Bourgeois winery in Rocheport.

Plane with smoking engine returns safely

A Trans States Airlines flight was forced to return to the runway minutes after takeoff from Columbia Regional Airport on Monday morning after a low-oil-pressure warning light activated.

The 21 passengers aboard flight 5505 to St. Louis deplaned safely after the landing and there were no injuries, Trans States Airlines spokesman Bill Mishk said.

$1.3 million Philips purchase OK’d

Despite a long and bitter public debate about the rezoning of the Philips farm, residents were silent Monday as the Columbia City Council unanimously approved the purchase of 77 acres of the 489-acre farm for development of a new city park.

The city will pay $1.3 million for the land and will accept developer Elvin Sapp’s donation of 63 additional acres, including 40-acre Bristol Lake.

Freedom lives in more than fashion

The other day, I read that women’s fashions in the near future will cover more of the body. I certainly hope that is true. In fact, I can hardly wait. I’m really tired of looking at women’s bare midriffs, hip lines, breasts and knees. I just don’t find that kind of information about women’s bodies useful. The main reason I’m fond of old movies is because the women in them are usually well-dressed.

I know a lot of women think getting dressed up is old-fashioned. They prefer casual dress on every occasion. Sometimes I think it’s unfortunate that women’s advocate Amelia Bloomer, who began her campaign to change women’s dress in the 1840s, didn’t live to see women’s attitudes become more in line with her own. Bloomer, who published a temperance newspaper called The Lily, thought women’s garments were too restrictive and favored shorter skirts and knee-length underpants that became known as bloomers. Most women rejected her ideas, however, favoring looking nice over being comfortable and continued to dress in the fashions of the day.

MU alumna named to Mo. high court

Mary Rhodes Russell, an MU School of Law alumna, was named Monday to the Missouri Supreme Court.

Gov. Bob Holden appointed Russell, a judge on the Missouri Court of Appeals, to fill a vacancy on the seven-member court. Russell said she is considering joining the court in mid-October, although she has not yet made definite plans.

Growing pains

MILLERSBURG-Quint Huffman recalls a time last year when he and some friends sat outside his auto, truck and tractor repair shop counting the cars that cruised by between 5 and 6 p.m. They stopped counting at 500.

While that would have been unheard of 10 years ago, Huffman said the growth Millersburg has seen in recent years was inevitable.

Council approves rise in utility rates

Changing the temperature on your thermostat and running the water while you brush your teeth will cost a bit more next month.

The Columbia City Council on Monday unanimously approved its $277 million budget for fiscal 2005, including rate increases for electric, water and sewer service.

Left with no home

Over the past several years, the number of home foreclosures in Boone County has nearly quadrupled. In 1997, banks and other lenders foreclosed on 38 homes, according to county records. In 2003, lenders foreclosed on 151, nearly four times as many. In one year alone, from 2002 to 2003, foreclosures rose 53 percent.

A host of factors likely contribute to the rising numbers, but two reasons seem to emerge above the rest: More people are borrowing themselves into trouble, and at least in some cases banks and mortgage companies are helping them do it.

Eagles soar at home

The road to Southern Boone’s football field runs through town, past the American Legion and community swimming pool, next to the high school, then into a parking lot with enough asphalt for a few hundred cars.

On Friday night, about 1,000 spectators, nearly half of Ashland’s population, rushed to Southern Boone County High School’s first varsity home game.

Truth gets stretched in race for governor

Propose, rebut. Attack, counterattack.

In the coming weeks, voters are likely to become weary of this pattern of political campaigns. Yet many will end up basing their votes on the candidates’ proposals and criticisms.

This was quite a task in the Missouri governor’s race last week.

Supporters of Republican Matt Blunt and Democrat Claire McCaskill accused each other of being soft on criminals, harmful to schoolchildren and in violation of election laws.

Policing in central city could get more muscle

The Columbia Police Department plans to re-establish a central-city community policing program in January if the City Council approves an increase in manpower in the 2005 fiscal budget. The council is expected to vote on the budget today.