Adjusting without stressing

Depression. Anxiety. Sleep deprivation. Homesickness.

The first few weeks of college can be fraught with pressure as students struggle to balance busy schedules filled with classes, homework, jobs and social events. Some keep their struggles inside. Others seek help from alcohol or drugs.

Potentially toxic mercury levels limit Missouri fish supply

Most natural-foods store owners clamor to stock their shelves with food from local sources. But when it comes to fish from Missouri waterways, Walker Claridge, the owner of the Root Cellar on Providence Road, isn’t interested.

Since 2001, all of the state’s waterways, from the Missouri River to Hinkson Creek, have been under a fish advisory because of mercury content. And while the advisory only warns certain people — including small children and women of childbearing age — not to eat certain types of fish, Claridge isn’t taking any chances.


A cutline on Page 1A on Friday incorrectly stated the high temperature for Thursday. The high temperature was 93.

A story on Page 8A on Friday about the Columbia Area Transportation Study Organization’s hearing on proposed roadway extensions misquoted Ron Walkenbach and misidentified the neighborhood in which he lives. Walkenbach, a resident of Broadway Farms subdivision, said he thought new interchanges on Interstate 70 would only shift traffic problems. “I think we’re trading one traffic congestion at Stadium and I-70 for traffic congestion at Fairview and Broadway,” he said.

Fire safety emphasized for Greeks

Fraternity and sorority houses at MU have until Oct. 1 to schedule and pass fire-safety inspections conducted by the Columbia Fire Department, according to Kerry Fleming, Greek Life coordinator.

A fire at the Alpha Tau Omega fraternity house at the University of Mississippi early Friday left three of its members dead, tragically reminding college students across the country of the importance of fire prevention.

Learning their lessons

As the clock ticked down the last hour of the first week of school Friday afternoon, Blue Ridge Elementary School teacher Mary Auck stopped to get popsicles for her first-grade students before popping into their gym class.

“They were hyper in the library yesterday, so I said I’d keep an eye on them,” Auck explained.

Students overflow Columbia College

Growing numbers are causing growing pains at Columbia College because of an increase in the number of students living on campus.

Barb Payne, director of public affairs, called it a great problem to have.

Opponents slam Blunt’s record

JEFFERSON CITY — Former Missouri Governor Roger Wilson criticized GOP gubernatorial nominee Matt Blunt’s record on education Friday.

“If you ever want to see someone’s true priorities see how they vote on the budget,” Wilson said.

Swift-boat ads stir up local veterans’ partisan feelings

Although they have been largely discredited by several national news organizations, the recent attacks on Democratic presidential nominee John Kerry by the group Swift Boat Veterans for Truth have evoked strong feelings from local veterans, who remain divided on the attacks’ appropriateness as well as Kerry’s anti-war activism upon his return from Vietnam.

Reaction to the campaign, including television ads and a book, falls along partisan lines. Some of those who support Kerry were quick to contrast the Democratic nominee’s military service with that of President Bush, who served with the Texas Air National Guard during the Vietnam War.

Farm-scene painting chosen for art festival

From Monet’s “Wheat Field” to Grant Wood’s “American Gothic,” farming culture has long been an inspiration to artists. And this year it’s the inspiration behind the poster for the 13th-annual Columbia Festival of the Arts.

The poster, featuring a painting by Columbia artist Joel Sager, was unveiled Saturday evening at a festival fund-raising party at Quin and Helen Snyder’s house.

The healing power of faith

Inside the doors of a nondescript office in building 3 at Doctors’ Park, more than 250 cases as varied as rotator-cuff injury, toothache and depression have been treated. The 36 people who volunteer in the office did it all without using one X-ray, dental drill or prescription drug.

But the difference between this office and other medical practices is that the people who work inside aren’t medical doctors. They are Christians from Columbia churches, and for nearly a year, they have worked at the Columbia Healing Rooms using prayer to help make people well. Dennis Sievers, the office’s director, has been involved with healing ministry for 25 years. He started the local healing center because he said he believes God wanted the ministry in Columbia. The practice is based on the Bible and its promises that God is a healer, he said. The Bible, he added, sees the human as having three parts: body, soul and spirit.

Welcome to another school year

I’m happy to report that 12 of my 14 grandchildren are in school this year. The oldest grandson is starting ninth grade where his grades will be written down and follow him for the rest of his life. Wanting him to understand that his future depends on how well he does academically, I sat him down a few weeks ago and tried to have a serious discussion about life.

I went on and on about how important it is to take courses that would prepare him for his career. Up until now, I pontificated, he was just “playing” school. But, beginning this fall, everything changes. He sat there listening semi-attentively, mostly avoiding eye contact. But when I told him that one bad grade and there goes West Point, he looked at me as if I had just sprouted two heads.

Columbia cashes in with sales tax

Seventy miles isn’t enough to keep Sedalia resident Jim Larson from the movies and coffee he desires.

Larson, who was shopping at Columbia Mall on Wednesday afternoon with his wife, Donna, and their two children, said he makes the drive to Columbia twice a month because Columbia has a better selection of DVDs and coffee.

City looks to use salt to melt ice on streets

Columbia is one step closer to abandoning cinders as its primary means of combating snow and ice on its streets.

The city’s proposed budget for fiscal 2005 includes $30,000 to fund a site plan for a salt-housing facility. In late July the city paid $300,000 for a 6-acre tract, formerly owned by Columbia Ready Mix, at the east end of Big Bear Boulevard, where it plans to build a facility that would shelter salt and liquid calcium chloride.

Book critical of Kerry in short supply

Columbians who want to read the controversial book behind the controversy surrounding presidential candidate John Kerry’s war record might have trouble finding a copy.

That’s because the book, “Unfit for Command” by Jerome Corsi and John O’Neill, is absent from all Columbia bookstores and other retailers that stock books. Its Aug. 15 release has been plagued with production and distribution problems nationwide. Only about half the 625,000 orders have been met.

Submarine vets claim part of I-70

Baseball star Mark McGwire got his stretch of highway a few years back. Now U.S. submarine veterans will get theirs.

At 10 a.m. today, a ceremony will be held to commemorate the renaming of 54 miles of Interstate 70 as U.S. Submarine Veterans Memorial Highway. The ceremony — to be held in MU’s Jesse Hall — will include remarks by submarine veterans as well as city, county, state and federal officials.

Medicare firm opens new office

There’s a new federally designated Medicare quality improvement organization in town.

After 20 years in Jefferson City, the Missouri Patient Care Review Foundation, also known as MissouriPRO, opened a new office on 200 N. Keene St. in mid-July.

Meet-up provides site for Kerry supporters

When John Kerry received the Democratic presidential nomination last month, it brought together different factions of the party. Since then, groups that once supported candidates like Howard Dean and Wesley Clark have been heading to the Boone County Democratic Headquarters to back Kerry.

This unity was put on display Thursday at the first Kerry Meet-Up since the Democratic National Convention. Jim Windsor, the event's coordinator, describes a Kerry Meet-Up as a monthly meeting for people who haven't yet been involved in the campaign. He stresses that meet-ups can be used to organize any group of people with similar interests.

Rejuvenating Ellis Library

Jim Cogswell, director of MU Libraries, has a dream that breaks tradition: He wants the library to become a campus hot spot.

Libraries have long been regarded as places big on serious thought and sober behavior. This aura comes through particularly in some of Ellis’ older sections, dominated by worn, marked furniture, dusty windows and books, books, books.

Off-campus treks forge freshmen bonds

While many freshmen spend their first days at college touring the grounds and visiting the bookstore, some first-years at Columbia College spent last Saturday getting to know each other away from campus.

Through the school’s “Explorientation’’ program, participating students spent “Cougar Day’’ — named for the Columbia College mascot — with campus life staff members at the Lake of the Ozarks, on a float trip in Steelville, at the state fair in Sedalia or in downtown St. Louis.

Road chief promises value

JEFFERSON CITY — As he was introduced Thursday, Missouri’s new transportation director said that he has no immediate solutions to the state’s highway problems.

Pete Rahn, former chief of transportation in New Mexico, was presented as the Missouri Highways and Transportation Department’s new director Thursday.