Alumnus donates $7.5 million

The building that houses the heart of MU’s engineering programs will be renamed and renovated in the wake of a $7.5 million gift from an alumnus and his wife.

Engineering Building East will be renamed Thomas and Nell Lafferre Hall. The announcement came Friday at a meeting of the University of Missouri Board of Curators in Rolla.

Blunt begins appointing for gubernatorial term

JEFFERSON CITY — Gov.-elect Matt Blunt announced appointments Tuesday to the Department of Revenue, the Public Service Commission and his gubernatorial staff.

Blunt said he would nominate Trish Vincent as director of the Revenue Department, which he said is one of the state’s most important agencies because its work affects every resident. Vincent has served as the deputy secretary of state for business services for four years.


A story on page 3A Sunday included an incorrect date for Komninos “Gus” Karellas’ emigration from Greece to the United States. He moved here in 1965.

Giving thanks, bridging divides

With no turkey, no dressing and no cranberries, more than 40 international students at Smithton Middle School celebrated no less a Thanksgiving.

English is their second language.

County begins plotting means to clear snow

Getting ahead of the snow, Boone County officials are considering improvements to the county’s “snow fight” strategy. The Boone County Commission and laborers, however, are questioning some of the changes Public Works operations manager Chip Estabrooks said are necessary to improve snow removal.

“We have a pretty good track record in regards to snow removal,” said Northern District Commissioner Skip Elkin, whose concerns have been shared by Southern District Commissioner Karen Miller at previous work sessions.

Attorney cites conflict in asking for split cases

Public defender Michael Hamilton told the Audrain County Court on Friday that there is a conflict of interest in his representing all three people charged in connection with the killing of Mexico restaurant owner Komninos “Gus” Karellas.

Quinton Canton Jr., 17, and Lance Berry, 17, were each charged with first-degree murder, first-degree robbery and two counts of armed criminal action. They are being held without bond at the Audrain County jail.

When it can never be taken back

There is no one kind of abuser. A National Institute of Justice study of a batterers’ counseling group from June 2003 described the participants as ranging from 19 to 71 years old, with monthly salaries ranging from $250 to $10,000.

“We have to be careful we don’t categorize our abusers in a certain fashion,” says Detective Jeff Westbrook of Columbia Police Department. “When it comes down to relationship stuff, people go berserk.”

Abuse program fails to track men ordered to class

Boone County victims’ advocate Mark Koch says men haven’t been the primary focus of domestic violence programs. “It wasn’t men calling hotlines saying ‘Help me stop being an abusive bastard.’ It was women saying ‘I’m going to die if I don’t get out of here.’ What we’ve been dealing with is the ways in which women can change. Men have to change, too.”

Most domestic violence offenders in Boone County are ordered by the court to supervised probation for two years and counseling, according to Boone County probation and parole officer Julie Florence.

Racer imparts life advice

Carl Edwards usually sends a clear message to his NASCAR opponents by passing them at 170 mph. On Monday, Edwards slowed down to give Oakland Junior High students a different message: “Follow your dreams.”

A former student at Oakland, Edwards spoke at the school Monday at an assembly.

Cooper’s liquor license reinstated

After 144 days of fighting to regain his liquor license, Mike Cooper has won.

The Missouri Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Control reinstated Cooper’s license on Monday afternoon, allowing him to sell beer at Cooper’s Landing south of Columbia. The division decided not to appeal last month’s ruling from the state’s Administrative Hearing Commission, which sided with Cooper.

More flu vaccinations to be available today

The Boone County Health Department will offer flu vaccinations from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. today at its Columbia clinic to anyone who meets the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s high-risk guidelines.

High-risk candidates include children aged 6 to 23 months, adults 65 or older, women who will be pregnant during flu season, nursing-home residents, health-care workers, those who work with children and anyone with a chronic medical condition.

Sincere apologies can save time, cash

It really doesn’t surprise me that people in certain professions, including the practice of medicine, need to be taught the value of apologizing when they make an error. This is an idea being fostered by some who are urging malpractice reform.

I’ve been noticing this trend of refusing to apologize for a long time, especially among politicians. I’ve been convinced for years that many conflicts might have been avoided if people could have brought themselves to apologize for their words or actions. Still, I’d have to say, in my experience, this phenomenon tends to be more prevalent among men than it is among women.

Students charged in opossum abuse

MU sophomores and Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity members Zachary Famuliner and Adam Thomas will appear in court on charges of animal cruelty and holding opossums without a permit following an incident early Friday morning.

At 1:47 a.m. Friday the Columbia Police Department responded to a complaint from a neighbor.

Retirement center sold in auction

A local retirement center has been sold in an effort by its owner to get out of bankruptcy.

The National Benevolent Association of the Christian Church, a St. Louis-based nonprofit that filed for bankruptcy Feb. 16, sold the Lenoir Retirement Community and 10 other senior-living facilities to Fortress Investment Group for $210 million Friday at a New York auction. Judge Ronald King of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of the West District of Texas in San Antonio must still approve the takeover on Nov. 30.


A story on page 4A on Sunday misidentified who could vote in an involuntary annexation of a large portion of the Harg community. Only Harg residents who live on the land that will be annexed will have a vote.

Adopting a tradition

While Rocio Madrigal is not usually fond of what she calls typical American food such as hamburgers, the turkey feast she shared with more than 100 others at Fairview United Methodist Sunday was a different story.

Madrigal and 11 others from the new Iglesia Metodista Unida Hispana, or Hispanic United Methodist Church, celebrated a meal that followed a bilingual service led by the Rev. Edgar Lopez. Lopez and his wife, Maribel, hosted the first church service in their home on Oct. 10 with about 15 in attendance.

Council decision draws ire

The Monday decision by the City Council to allow machine shop owner Tom Kardon to build an auto-parts store at Third Avenue and Providence Road slipped under the radar of residents.

“I thought the issue was dead,” said John McFarland, president of the Ridgeway Neighborhood Association. “If the neighborhood would have been notified of the final hearing, everyone would have been present.”

Blunt to decide on ‘fair-share’ fees

JEFFERSON CITY — Gov.-elect Matt Blunt has until Dec. 15 to decide whether to publish a rule in the Missouri Register that would force new state employees to pay their “fair-share” union fees or to continue his resistance and appeal a Cole County court ruling ordering him to publish it.

The rule must be published in the register before it can take effect.

International Cafe closed after fire

International Café owner Mohamed Gumati said he will have to wait for a Fire Department investigation and inspections by the Health Department and insurance agency before he will know when his cafe will re-open following Saturday morning’s fire.

“It could be a week, it could be two; we don’t know yet,” Gumati said.

Study a possible step for Stadium

Slowly but surely, local officials are working to take the first step in extending Stadium Boulevard east of U.S. 63 to Interstate 70’s Lake of the Woods exit.

Earlier this month, Columbia City Manager Ray Beck sent a letter to the Boone County Commission asking if it would be interested in joining the city and the Missouri Department of Transportation in paying for a purpose-and-need study to look at extending the road, also known as Missouri 740.