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Cemeteries worth a visit

John Sappington, prominent doctor, plantation-owner and resident of Arrow Rock, donated land for two cemeteries just outside of downtown prior to his death in 1856.

The Sappington Cemetery contains gravestones for Arrow Rock residents, several Sappington family members and two Missouri governors — Meredith Miles Marmaduke and Claiborne Fox Jackson. Marmaduke was Missouri’s eighth governor and served in 1844 after the death of Gov. Thomas Reynolds.

A town in the middle

For a few seconds, I stood on a sun-burnt bronze circle planted into the ground to mark the country’s “center of population,” a few feet to the right of the cemetery in Edgar Springs.

For those few seconds on April 19, I stood in my black Adidas sneakers, put my feet as close together as I could, looked down and pictured myself balancing the United States on my finger — half the population to my left, half to my right.

Dad’s belt loops fond memories

Today we honor all of the Dads. My husband is the BEST Dad ever. And I have four sons and two sons-in-law who are showing signs of greatness. Every year around this time I start reminiscing about when my father was alive.

My Dad wasn’t the “Leave it to Beaver” kind of father. He was a gruff man who seldom smiled. That made it all the more magical when he did. He could curse like a sailor (although he was a career Army man) or be as gentle as a lamb when he held my infant son.

Touched by a tattoo

Seated comfortably at his station as doorman at Columbia’s Eastside Tavern, Josh Windle lifts the sleeve of his black shirt to reveal an image of an agonized Jesus tattooed upon his right upper arm. The Christian savior’s hair tangles around a gnarled crown of thorns from which blood drops to a wreath of roses around his neck.

Windle’s arm is so large, his skin is so white and Christ’s face so anguished that the effect is stark, even startling.

Judge declares mistrial in climbing-wall case

Boone County Circuit Judge Gene Hamilton declared a mistrial Thursday when jurors returned deadlocked after nearly nine hours of deliberations in the second-degree involuntary manslaughter trial of Marcus Floyd.

Assistant Prosecutor Richard Hicks said if there is a new trial, he imagined it would be a couple of months after a July 5 hearing date set by Hamilton.

Tutoring one focus of sports reforms

Academic reform could hit MU’s athletics department hard this fall.

Both the MU Faculty Council and the National Collegiate Athletic Association are working on measures to increase graduation rates among student athletes.

‘Fahrenheit 9/11’ booking dashes Ragtag’s hopes

The sun isn’t the only thing causing temperatures to rise this summer. Filmmaker Michael Moore’s latest production, “Fahrenheit 9/11,” is likely to set opinions ablaze across the nation and will soon be kindling reactions in mid-Missouri.

Based on the book “House of Bush, House of Saud” by Craig Unger, the movie critiques President Bush’s war on terrorism and alleges Bush family ties to Osama bin Laden. The title is meant as a further jab at Bush because it invokes “Fahrenheit 451,” Ray Bradbury’s novel about government censorship. Goodrich Quality Theaters confirmed the movie will come to the Columbia Forum 8 on June 25. Currently there are no plans for advance ticket sales, though sales for a Friday release typically start Tuesday or Wednesday before opening night.

New stores turn mall inside out

The Ann Taylor Loft opened Thursday in the Columbia Mall, the fifth and final store to settle into the shopping center’s new Fountain Court.

Chico’s, Coldwater Creek, Jos. A. Bank and the Ann Taylor Loft recently joined an existing Talbot’s store as part of the mall’s new “lifestyle” area, a current trend in the mall industry that features upscale stores in an open-air setting, said Leslie McKay, the Columbia Mall marketing coordinator.

Changes in speed limits to proceed

Despite concerns by some county residents, the Boone County Commission approved changes to speed limits on seven roads Thursday after hearing the proposal for the third and final time.

The roads under contention were Obermiller, Roemer and Blackfoot. Community reaction to the changes had been mixed, with some citizens calling the commission to voice their concerns, but no formal public comment was presented at any of the three meetings.

Going for green

A flower corresponds to each letter of the alphabet in a section of Barb and Dan Devine’s garden designed especially for children.

‘A’ is for aster, ‘B’ is for Barbara’s buttons, and ‘C’ is for clematis.

Galloping toward success, teen ropes in rodeo

Christy Smith’s family teases her about her rodeo skills when they tell about her mom falling off a horse when she was just a few weeks pregnant with Christy. Since then Christy has taken her fair share of tumbles, but has improved from each one.

The 18-year-old Christy Smith from Clark is one of 90 high school-age competitors taking part in this weekend’s Missouri High School Rodeo State Finals, also known as MHSR, at the Boone County Fairgrounds.

New degree to focus on benefiting Mo. farmers

This fall, MU will become the first educational institution in the Midwest to offer an undergraduate degree with an emphasis in sustainable agriculture.

The sustainable agriculture degree program “is structured more toward a holistic approach to agriculture that includes the farm, environment and community and incorporates the social, environmental and economic components of food production and consumption,” said Tom Payne, MU vice chancellor for agriculture and dean of the College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources.

How safe is your favorite restaurant?

When we sit down to a restaurant meal, we aren’t usually thinking about the temperature of our meat or the presence of rodents or bacteria.

But a Missourian analysis of inspections shows that several Boone County restaurants have a history of critical violations, even after repeated warnings.

Police seize items from Rios’ home

An investigative report released Wednesday said police searched the home of Columbia Police Officer Steven Rios on Friday for a folding knife, clothing and “trace evidence to include blood, hairs, fibers, or any other evidence related to the murder of Jesse Valencia.”

Police found clothes and trace materials, according to an inventory of the search, but no folding knife. Valencia, a 23-year-old MU student, was found dead on June 5 with his throat cut.

Ex-owner labels wall as unsafe

Early in a contentious second day of testimony in the Marcus Floyd involuntary manslaughter trial, prosecutors projected a photograph onto a large, white screen.

Members of Christine Ewing’s family drew an audible breath and turned their eyes away.

City trains employees to save lives

The city of Columbia this year has completed training 250 employees in cardiopulmonary resuscitation and the use of defibrillators.

The most recent training session, for eight employees, was held last week at the Parkade Center. The training began in January.

Chest compressions alone slightly increase heart-attack survival

The American Heart Association says 911 callers unfamiliar with CPR should be instructed to use only chest compressions when dealing with heart-attack victims. The AHA came to that determination after two major studies indicated that doing only chest compressions slightly increases survival rate among heart-attack victims.

The University of Washington’s study conducted from 1992 to 1999 surveyed the difference between cardiac-arrest patients who were treated with chest compressions only and those who had received chest compressions and mouth-to-mouth. The UW researchers discovered that 14.6 percent of those who received only compressions survived, while 10.4 percent of those who received both survived. The second study, from the University of Arizona, Tucson, showed that pigs had higher survival rates when receiving chest compressions only.

Organizers on soap box over delay of mid-Missouri derby

After building and practicing for months, Columbia’s racers might not be able to compete for the annual Mid-Missouri Soap Box Derby Race in downtown on Sunday.

The derby for 8 to 17 year olds was scheduled for Sunday, but was postponed. The Mid-Missouri Soap Box Derby Association had not sought or received approval from the city to close Broadway, the site of the race for the past 11 years, and had to be delayed, said Danny Lindsey, president of the Mid-Missouri Soap Box Derby Association.

Center comes to life

If there’s no place like home, then the new Life Science Center comes pretty close.

At least that’s the idea that officials with the new building kept getting across during a tour Wednesday of the center. The center is intended to bring several research disciplines under one roof to encourage collaboration in a comfortable environment.

Screening scheduled for ‘Killer Diller’ film

It will be more than just a regular movie screening when “Killer Diller” arrives in Columbia next month.

The movie, which was filmed in Fayette, will be shown at a special screening at 7 p.m. July 12 at the Missouri Theatre.

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