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Politics brings influx of ads on TV, radio

Robert Totsch, director of sales at St. Louis’ KMOV-TV, said the city is a “Gettysburg” of political advertising. He said early estimates hint the St. Louis market could garner $35 million or more. He said that is up 5 percent from the 2000 election when St. Louis was the No. 1-market for political advertising in the United States, according to The Brennan Center for Justice.

Kansas City ranks No. 3 in the national market for political advertising, The Brennan Center for Justice reported, and the rest of the state is full of potential targets.

Future voters spread anti-Bush message

During the Twilight Festival on Thursday nights, political campaign headquarters move to downtown Columbia in an effort to reach out to as many voters as possible.

Outside the Democratic headquarters on Walnut Street, the College Democrats of MU pass out lollipops and stickers endorsing Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts. Just a few feet away, Lucia Bourgeois and Jennifer Good hand out bumper stickers that say, “My Child Is A Future Voter Against Bush.”

Police gatherings on HQ roof concern chief

Former Columbia police officer Steven Rios attended a “social gathering” the night Jesse Valencia was killed, according to an affidavit used to search his home, and some of those in attendance were later questioned by a homicide detective.

What the document doesn’t say is that the gathering occurred on the roof of police headquarters at 600 E. Walnut St.

Prosecutor told to expect arrest warrant for Rios

Columbia Police Department detectives told Boone County Prosecutor Kevin Crane nearly a week ago that a warrant for the arrest of former officer Steven Rios would be forwarded to the prosecutor's office.

Housing voucher future in question in Columbia

Sonya Wright credits the Section 8 program with helping her children and herself lead a better life. With a housing voucher, she and her three children moved to Columbia three years ago from an apartment in Boonville. They live in a three-bedroom brick duplex on Bethany Street with Wright’s mother.

Wright said this choice helps her provide a better home for her family. Because the vouchers are transferable throughout the country, she was able to move her family to Columbia, where she said there are better opportunities for education and more activities for her children. If she had to live in public housing downtown, Wright said, she probably wouldn’t want to be in Columbia. She enjoys sitting on her front porch on a Sunday afternoon in peace and quiet.

Sept. 11 license plates get few takers in Missouri

It has been more than nine months since Connie Stephens helped unveil Missouri’s “Fight Terrorism” license plate, but she has yet to see it anywhere apart from her own garage.

Since Missouri introduced the personalized plate last year on the second anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, the demand has been low. Only 27 have been ordered, said Keith Bohl, bureau manager of the Driver and Vehicle Services Bureau of the Department of Revenue.

Ruling in river case favors Army Corps

WASHINGTON — The Missouri River can operate without changes sought by environmentalists to save endangered fish and birds, a federal judge ruled Monday.

U.S. District Judge Paul Magnuson ruled in favor of the Army Corps of Engineers on Monday on all counts. His 51-page order came nearly a year after a different federal judge ordered the changes and, when corps leaders refused to act, cited them for contempt.

Cheney touts Bush economy in Mo.

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Vice President Dick Cheney said Monday that America is on a solid path to prosperity, with new jobs being created and great strides being made in the war on terror.

But he warned during a campaign stop in Springfield that the country could be derailed from that path if President Bush does not win re-election in November.

Hulshof will help decide DeLay’s fate

It’s been seven years since the U.S. House of Representatives has seen such a serious, public ethical charge as the one recently filed against Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas. Among the allegations, DeLay is accused of taking money for political action and using federal agencies for political gain — all of which he has denied.

Now, Rep. Kenny Hulshof, a Republican from Missouri’s 9th District, will be among the 10 House members to decide what happens next. Hulshof sits on the Committee on Standards of Official Conduct, or the ethics committee, which investigates all possible ethics violations by House members. The committee is evenly divided among Democrats and Republicans.

Council approves 152-room hotel

The CenterState Crossings development between Vandiver Drive and U.S. 63 will now include a four-story, 152-room hotel as well as another 45,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space.

The Columbia City Council voted unanimously Monday night to approve plans for a Hilton Garden Inn that will sit near Bass Pro Shops, though several members did express concern over the number of signs that will adorn the new hotel.

Suspect arrested in Friday shooting

Police have arrested a suspect in a Friday evening shooting on McBaine Avenue.

Officers took Garrett Murray, 24, into custody early Saturday morning following a traffic stop on Vandiver Drive near Paris Road. He was charged on felony counts of armed criminal action and first-degree assault. He remained in Boone County Jail Monday with bond set at $100,000.

City Council puts Stadium plans on hold

Plans for a $15 million overhaul of Stadium Boulevard between Interstate 70 and West Broadway have been stalled for at least another 30 days.

Part-time shift questioned at MU

A change in makeup in the numbers of MU faculty, administrators and staff to fewer full-time employees and more part-time is raising concerns of cheaper but possibly less effective education.

“The popular view is that there has been some acceleration” in the hiring of part-timers, said Gordon Christensen, chairman of MU’s Faculty Council.

Let’s try to learn from mistakes

No one could have been kinder to me when I was growing up than the couple who lived next door. She was my Sunday School teacher and taught me my Bible lessons. He was my adult playmate, who always saved a sandwich for me in his lunch pail and brought me a big basket of candy bunnies for Easter. I spent a portion of every day in their household, and I loved them dearly. Still, I knew they both had feet of clay. The lady of the house often gossiped about her neighbors, and the man of the house was the neighborhood drunk.

I’ve repeated this story several times over the past few weeks. I usually have told it to people who couldn’t stop singing the praises of the former president. As you might notice, I do not respond well to hero worship. I have chosen not to enter any discussions about Ronald Reagan during a period when the country was mourning his death. In spite of the occasion, I had to say that I’ve never had a problem staying clear of idolatry. In my lifetime, I have met many people I’ve admired, but never anyone I’ve idolized.

Rhythm of the Summer

By 10 a.m., Dan Beck has already begun walking his mail route, his feet beating out an inconstant but rapid rhythm against the pavement. Beck weaves his way down Ninth Street each week. He travels the grid of retail stores, restaurants and offices that constitute downtown Columbia.

He gradually alleviates the heft of his mailbag as he stops in at each store, quickly dropping off the envelopes and packages with a cursory wave to store owners.

First Ward simmering

As a young police officer patrolling the streets of the First Ward in the mid-1980s, Capt. Marvin “Moon” McCrary was often met with wary eyes, insults and indifference from residents.

He remembers people accusing him of being a sellout, calling him “Uncle Tom” and saying he was a black man obeying his master’s orders.

Groups seek police review board

Even if Columbia had a Civilian Review Board to assist in investigating complaints against police, Columbia Police Chief Randy Boehm said it would not play a role in the current investigation of former officer Steven Rios.

Rios is currently being investigated in connection to the murder of MU student Jesse Valencia, whose body was found on East Campus on June 5. Boehm has repeatedly said Rios is not a suspect in the case at this time.

Town on the mark with tourists

Arrow Rock bustled in the 1800s as a political and economic hot spot in Missouri. It boasted wealthy plantation owners, prominent doctors and Missouri governors.

Today the town, which was once populated by 1,000 people, is inhabited by only 70. A day trip to this place offers visitors a glimpse of what mid-Missouri was like a century ago.

Group plans to restore WPA-era art

The Pony Express rider who has watched over the City Council chambers from the canvas of Edward Buk Ulreich’s painting for the past 21 years is fading — his paint is slowly chipping and his fabric is beginning to fray. And soon, he won’t be there at all.

Next week, conservators from Page Conservation, working on behalf of the U.S. General Services Administration, which owns the mural as part of its Fine Arts Collection, will remove it from its place behind the council dais in the Daniel Boone Government Building and take it to Washington, D.C., to preserve it for posterity. There, it will be cleaned and restored to look as crisp as it did when Ulreich painted it in 1937. The mural will also be reunited and refurbished with its pair, “Indians Watching Stage in Distance,” currently housed in the old Federal Building. The Health Adventure Center sought to preserve this mural when it bought the Federal Building in September 2003.

Funding tops Senate debate

Democratic state Senate candidates Chuck Graham and Tim Harlan agree on many issues. They both want affordable health care, plan to increase emphasis on higher education, think the funding formula for K-12 needs to be reconsidered and support worker’s compensation.

The two butt heads on one issue, however. In 2001, the Missouri General Assembly approved a bill to allocate $35 million to finance the building of a new basketball arena at MU. Bill and Nancy Laurie, private donors, had given $25 million for the building. Both Graham and Harlan were then House representatives. Graham sponsored the bill; Harlan opposed it on the floor.

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