Heading south on U.S. 65 toward Branson, huge billboards tout the headline acts on stage at the live show capital of the world: Dolly Parton’s Dixie Stampede. Andy Williams. Presley’s Country Jubilee.
There are no billboards after the exit for Rockaway Beach. But nine curving miles east of the highway, as the two-lane blacktop enters the dried-up resort town on the White River, visitors are greeted by an assembly of signs with a singular message: “Yes on Amendment 1.”
The Rev. Bill Smart of Evangelical Free Church in Columbia said he intends to deliver a sermon this morning about gay marriage but will not tell congregants how to vote on the issue.
“I’m going to remind them that while we should all be involved citizens who vote with godly wisdom, that it’s more important that we show love to homosexuals,” he said Friday.
On Tuesday, Missouri voters will be asked the following question, in the form of constitutional Amendment 2:
Shall the Missouri Constitution be amended so that to be valid and recognized in this state, a marriage shall exist only between a man and a woman?
Health care is a hot topic for both 19th District state Senate Democratic candidates, Tim Harlan and Chuck Graham. It has been the source of conversation at forums, in radio and television ads and at stump speeches.
Although the two candidates set to face off in Tuesday’s primary share similar views on many aspects of health care, they are split over what issues warrant the most concern. While Graham has campaigned on expanding his personal-care assistance program, Harlan’s focus has been on providing health care to small-business employees and farmers.
If the number of absentee ballots being cast is any indication, Tuesday’s primary is going to be a wild one for the Boone County Clerk’s office.
The office set a record Tuesday when it processed 323 absentee primary ballots. Boone County Clerk Wendy Noren said she and her staff processed between 250 and 300 absentee ballots every day last week.
Of more than 4,500 volunteers running the country’s biggest air show this weekend, one Columbia man is doing double duty during what he considers a vacation.
Greg Heifner is filling two roles when he travels to Experimental Aircraft Association’s Airventure Oshkosh in Wisconsin. He volunteers as a staff photographer for the EAA and supplies primary Internet connections for the association and a flight management software company.
Adonna Mason has been going to Oakland Plaza Lanes since she was 12. “I can remember my sister and I playing downstairs, while my parents would bowl upstairs during the Skater Bowls,” she said. “There used to be a skating rink downstairs.”
Mason, 37, used to bowl at least twice a week. On Monday nights, she would bowl for an MU faculty and staff league. One afternoon a week she would bowl with a not-for-profit agency that provides support for people with disabilities.
Retiring Ashland Police Chief Mel Rupard has some advice for the incoming chief — come in with an open mind, get to know the people, find out what the citizens want and see what you can do to provide those services, and be fair, honest and neutral.
Rupard wrapped up his career with a reception at the Ashland Senior Center on Friday evening. Wearing his dark blue Ashland Police Department uniform, he received thanks, congratulations and well wishes. Several people who he had helped during his career came and shared stories.
Janice Cobb is a big film fan. But she never goes to a movie theater.
Cobb, who is deaf, misses the day when, thanks to open captioning, she could go to theaters with her husband, Donald, and her son, John, and see the latest releases.
Paintings, photos and cross-stitch samplers on the walls of the Rev. Fred Brandenburg’s tidy study reveal the closeness of the relationships he has with his congregation. Nearly each one was made by a member of Columbia United Church of Christ.
“I appreciate their creativity,” he said. “If you encourage it, people’s talent comes out.”
It’s the end of a sweltering day, and the air conditioning in Hartsburg Baptist Church isn’t quite up to the challenge. Marjorie and Carl Thomas arrived early to turn it on before the 6:30 prayer service, but it’s more or less futile in the face of a summer heat advisory. It’s Tuesday night, though, and that means there will be a prayer service, hot weather or not.
The Thomases settle in next to each other toward the back of the church and wait for others to arrive.
The Democratic National Convention was winding down with one final night of speeches Thursday in Boston, but some local delegates said that the real work — getting their man elected — was just about to begin.
“I think that it’s incredible to be here, with all of the excitement and color, but basically, I think that the deeper on-going purpose has to do with energizing the people that work at the grass-roots level and inspire our Missourians with a hopeful message that we have the power to restore our faith and confidence in government,” said delegate Elizabeth Kerry of Columbia, who is not related to Sen. John Kerry.
Secretary of State Matt Blunt spent almost $48,000 in public money on statewide newspaper advertising that includes his name and picture, urging voters to turn out for Tuesday’s primary.
The ad is to make a return appearance in Missouri’s daily newspapers on Monday — the day before Blunt faces five little-known opponents in the Republican primary for governor. Blunt used federal funds to pay $47,984 to the Missouri Press Association to place the ads twice through Tuesday’s primary in 295 daily and weekly newspapers across the state, said Mike Sell, MPA’s advertising director.
This year at MU football and basketball games, you will hear the high-pitched toot-toot of a Wienerwhistle: Oscar Mayer is now the official hot dog of MU athletics.
John Felver, senior account executive with Mizzou Sports Properties, a private company that contracts with the university, said the company was looking to make more money for MU. The arrangement is part of a larger consumer promotion deal with Kraft Foods, which owns Oscar Mayer.
During public debates and in personal statements, the four candidates for Boone County Sheriff say that reducing methamphetamine use and increasing the presence of deputies in communities will be priorities, if they are elected.
Combating methamphetamine production in Boone County is a major issue say Democrat Ken Kreigh, a former sheriff’s detective, and Republican Mick Covington, a former captain at the Columbia Police Department. Both Kreigh and Covington have a background fighting drugs. Before he resigned from the department this year, Kreigh was a supervisor of the drug enforcement unit. Covington was an undercover narcotics agent for two years.
In the end, it was not a question of whether Boone County sheriff candidate Dwayne Carey lied. It was whether it mattered.
Allegations that Carey, a captain with the Boone County Sheriff’s Department, lied under oath to cover an affair with a former subordinate were dismissed Thursday. Investigators from the Missouri State Highway Patrol concluded Carey’s testimony was not relevant to the dismissal of a discrimination lawsuit filed in 1999.
Temporary utility rate increases, which cost Columbia residents an average of $5.90 per month, may become permanent in the next fiscal year as a result of sewer, water and electric revenue adjustments in the proposed 2005 city budget.
With Columbia’s power costs on the rise, the city anticipates the need for a 9 percent overall increase in electric revenue, City Manager Raymond Beck said at a press conference Thursday morning. The increase will replace a temporary 9.5 percent increase that will be effective until Oct. 1.
Dressed in shades of yellow, four groups of children and adult volunteers at First Presbyterian Church attempt to pop up in unison when it’s their turn to sing, “Hallelujah! Praise ye the Lord!”
The result is less than unified — they look almost like popcorn, bursting up with energetic randomness — but that just adds to the fun. Off-tempo shouts and giggles punctuate the familiar Sunday school song, adding to the excitement.
The North Central Columbia Neighborhood Association is working with an independent planning consultant to create a compatible and consistent master plan for its challenging blend of business and housing.
Linda Rootes, the neighborhood association’s founder, said the planning project will explain the area’s vanishing investments and fading residential development.
West Nile virus has been found in three different mosquito pools in Boone County, according to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services. The mosquito-borne disease has yet to appear in birds or humans in the area. One human case of West Nile has been confirmed in St. Charles.
Boone County is one of three Missouri counties with West Nile-positive mosquitoes, according to the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As of Tuesday, St. Louis County had 72 infected pools and St. Charles County had two.