Cher’s ‘Farewell’ tour to open MU’s new arena

Paige Sports Arena will host Cher and the Village People as the venue’s first concert, representatives from MU’s Department of Intercollegiate Athletics announced Wednesday. The show, set for Nov. 11, will kick off a series of big-name acts aimed at bringing diversity and quality entertainment to Mid-Missouri, officials said.

“This is the biggest event in this category in Columbia in a long, long time,” said Mike Alden, director of athletics. He compared the concert to the Rolling Stones’ Voodoo Lounge Tour of 1994.

Effort to save lawsuit limits blocked

JEFFERSON CITY — On a near party-line vote, the Missouri Senate sustained Gov. Bob Holden’s veto of a bill to impose restrictions on lawsuits against home builders.

The measure fell two votes short of the two-thirds majority necessary for an override: 21 senators favored the override, 11 opposed it, and two were absent.

Gubernatorial candidate talks to MU Republicans

Matt Blunt described Missouri as a state with “tremendous potential” on Wednesday night, as he addressed a full house of MU College Republicans on the MU campus.

Blunt spoke only briefly about his platform in the gubernatorial race and spent most of his time answering questions from his young supporters. His address was heavily laced with promises of delivering tangible results.

Auditor: Private files still on old computers

JEFFERSON CITY — Sensitive materials may be accessible to the public on computers donated by the state government, according to a report released Wednesday by the state auditor’s office.

According to the report, information erased from 37 of 56 computers could be accessed using software easily available. Auditors were able to retrieve sensitive data such as Social Security numbers, bank account information and medical data from 23 of the 37 computers.

Missourian captures 18 awards in state contest

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

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

‘Miracle workers’ build prayer labyrinth

Volunteers from the Northeast Area of the Christian Church office, as well as from Rock Bridge Christian Church, gathered Saturday to work on repair projects at the church on Green Meadows Road.

Coordinators planned the event, called “Miracle Day,” for the third anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Attacks kill scores, cut electricity in Iraq

BAGHDAD, Iraq — Guerrillas bombed a Baghdad shopping street full of police recruits and fired on a police van north of the capital Tuesday in attacks that killed at least 59 people and struck at the heart of the U.S. strategy for fighting Iraq’s escalating insurgency.

In Kirkuk, saboteurs wrecked a recently repaired pipeline junction Tuesday, and the fire set off a cascade of power blackouts that underlined the frustrations faced by U.S. engineers trying to upgrade northern Iraq’s creaky oil facilities in the face of relentless bombings.

City is cited for sewage overflow

State environmental regulators have slapped the city of Columbia with a clean water violation over a raw sewage spill into Hinkson Creek.

In a report issued Monday, the Missouri Department of Natural Resources found the city liable for two violations of the Missouri Clean Water Law. The violations involve a sewage overflow behind the Wal-Mart Supercenter on Conley Road.

Missourians pitch in to aid hurricane victims

It has been anything but quiet after the storms.

Within the past month, two major hurricanes have struck Florida. Hurricane Ivan, a Category 4 storm with sustained winds of up to 160 mph Tuesday night, now menaces states on the Gulf Coast. Ivan has left thousands of victims in its wake and follows hurricanes Charley and Frances, which mobilized a national response that has included donations and local volunteers.

Mental health board pushes for new tax

Mental health advocates in Boone County are gearing up for another attempt to pass a tax to help fund mental health needs, such as a lack of services for children and adolescents or additional programs for mentally ill inmates in the county’s correctional facilities.

Though it has not been determined how much the proposed tax would be or how exactly it would be divided among mental health providers and agencies, the Boone County Mental Health Board of Trustees set a goal to hopefully have the tax on a ballot within the next 18 months. However, not everyone is convinced of its necessity.

High holy days begin this evening

A new year means bidding farewell to the past and looking forward to the future with hope. Tonight, the Jewish community celebrates the beginning of the Jewish new year, Rosh Hashana, and prepares for a 10-day journey that culminates with Yom Kippur, a day of atonement.

“They’re like Easter and Christmas for the Christian religion,” said Casey Goodman, administrator for Congregation Beth Shalom, explaining the importance of the holy days. Beth Shalom serves about 150 families.

FFA students have a field day

Thin, plastic, shoulder-length gloves were all that stood between the arms of hundreds of students and the inside of a steer’s stomach complete with digesting grass.

“I liked sticking my hand in the cow because it made it more fun and active than just sitting around,” said Rachael Shields, Columbia FFA chapter president.

Students nationwide to pray at school flagpoles

The sun rises at 6:51 a.m. today. Nine minutes later, some Columbia-area students plan to pray around their schools’ flagpoles, seeking God on behalf of their nation, their schools and their families and friends.

“My prayer for this Wednesday is that it will be a day of fellowship and evangelism,” Hickman senior Daniela Dupree said.

Takeout boxes used for compost, art

Columbia’s Main Squeeze restaurant has long cultivated an earth-friendly image with organic foods and treats. But now the downtown eatery wants customers to take home that ideal in compostable takeout boxes.

The boxes, made from corn and wheat starch, can be thrown right on the compost pile when the leftovers are gone. The eco-friendly boxes will be featured at Recyclebration during the Columbia Festival of the Arts.

Suspect sought in sexual assault

A 16-year-old reported being sexually assaulted in the parking lot of Hickman High School on Tuesday morning.

The girl told the school’s resource officer that a man approached her and sexually assaulted her in the lot around 10:30 a.m.

Memories of railroad resonate

Wayne Lammers can still feel the shudder of the massive steel bridge, the powerful gust of wind and steam spilling from the locomotive. He can still hear the rattling of the tracks and the piercing engine whistle. He remembers how the camera was shaking, how scared he was and how he was close enough to touch the engine.

That was 18 years ago, when Lammers videotaped the last train to cross the Missouri River railroad bridge at Boonville. Now the bridge is still. Overgrown with foliage and overtaken with rust, the only sound comes not from train whistles but from the traffic on the nearby highway bridge.

Head start on road of science

When Columbia’s Daniel Tse reaches Ohio State University this week, he will probably be the only student there with an asteroid named after him.

The honor was one of the fruits of an international science competition in which Tse, 18, placed second in the biochemistry division. His research centered on prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and was among thousands of projects entered in the Intel competition.

A bridge in trouble

The cross-state Katy Trail has once again captured the attention of Columbia Mayor Darwin Hindman.

Hindman, who played an active role in the development of the recreation trail that parallels the Missouri River, wants to save the old railroad bridge at Boonville and make it part of the walking and biking path. He plans on attending a 2 p.m. Thursday meeting at Historic Turner Hall in Boonville to advance the idea.

Summer school program praised

A preliminary report issued Monday on the Columbia School District’s controversial summer school program said the program was nothing but a success for the district this summer.

Cheryl Cozette, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, gave a report at the Columbia Board of Education’s Monday night meeting on the district’s 2004 summer school program, part of which was run by Newton Learning, a private company.

Tiger Hotel sign ready to glow

For the first time in 42 years, the historic Tiger Hotel’s neon sign will put red light back into downtown. The three-month, $20,000 restoration of the five-letter sign was completed early Monday morning in what can only be described as the town’s most precarious spelling bee. All five of the 8-foot tall, 7-foot wide letters had to be raised 150 feet by crane and bolted down before the word “TIGER” could be framed back atop downtown Columbia’s tallest building.

John Ott, one of the hotel’s four owners, said a re-lighting ceremony will be held Thursday at 7:30 p.m. along Eighth Street to celebrate the restoration.