All seven members of the Columbia City Council serve three-year terms and volunteer their time and efforts.
Voters in each of the city’s six wards elect one council member each, and the mayor is elected by voters citywide to serve as an at-large council representative with no more real power than any other member.
Twenty-nine-year-old Stefan Freund snaps his fingers as 38 pairs of eyes follow intently for their cue. “Short, long. Short, short — long,” Freund sings, raising the baton. After a few more stanzas, the Columbia Civic Orchestra is done with Czech composer Antonin Dvorzak’s “New World Symphony.”
“All right, we kind of got through it. We’ll run through it again the coming two weeks,” Freund says before turning to Igor Stravinski’s “Suite No. 2.” Freund snaps his fingers or whistles the melody at times; his expressive mouth and eyebrows sets the mood for the piece.
As a voice on the loudspeaker boomed their names, 10 boys clad in identical royal blue T-shirts and bright orange jerseys charged through a silver tunnel made of wire and paper that stretched out in front of them.
They leapt over a cloud of gray smoke that billowed in wisps at the tunnel’s exit and then darted onto a basketball court surrounded by their cheering families.
Gerri Moore is a little sick of having lambs all over her kitchen floor.
“At first they’re kind of cute, but after you get four or five in here, it gets a little old,” she says. She raises her voice slightly to be heard over the bleating practically underfoot.
Almost 50 staff positions will have to be cut next year if teachers are to remain on their current salary schedule, school administrators told the Columbia Board of Education on Thursday.
The board decided to continue operating the district salary schedule — that is, incremental payments for teachers based on experience and education — but said raises beyond that are not feasible with a predicted budget shortfall of $8.7 million for the next school year.
Not long ago, it wasn’t unusual for young women attending college to say they were going to get an M.R.S. degree, better known as the “Mrs.” degree.
Christine Pierson, now 32, was not one of those women. When she attended college in California, she said, many people in her circle of friends weren’t looking for future husbands and wives and were not engaged until about five years after college.
City officials have nothing to hide in their dealings with would-be Philips farm developer Elvin Sapp, City Council members said Thursday.
The Sierra Club and some residents have accused the council of trying to conceal details of its business dealings with Sapp, which include the possibility of the city buying part of the Philips farm for a park. Council members contacted Thursday said those accusations are unfounded.
Members of the Columbia School Board said Thursday that they want any additional state money to be spent on teachers. And their commitment to that philosophy may well be tested in the future.
Under a House education funding bill, the Columbia board — as well as hundreds of other school boards across the state — may have to face one of the most unpleasant choices a school board can face: whether to pay for a federally mandated test or satisfy the needs of their district.
Regular snowfall and temperatures hovering below freezing for the past month have led to slick sidewalks and roads this winter in Columbia.
For drivers, this means being extra careful on the roads and relying heavily on city officials to keep the roads drivable.
The park planned for the Philips property just south of Columbia might include an extension of Rock Bridge Memorial State Park, city officials said Thursday.
The city has held preliminary talks with representatives of the Missouri Department of Natural Resources about extending Rock Bridge park to include at least part of a 320-acre tract owned by Sue Crane just south of Gans Road and west of Highway 63.
Take a look at several of the high-profile projects on the MU campus and you’ll notice they have something in common: They’re all being built by River City Construction. The Illinois-based construction company has picked up so much new business in mid-Missouri that it’s decided to establish a Missouri headquarters in Ashland.
John Sutherland, Missouri project manager for the construction company, said the proximity to projects and availability of space in the Ashland area led to the decision to build a branch there.
The Columbia Housing Authority must make up $200,000 of its $9 million operating revenue this year.
Its top accounting manager resigned Wednesday due to the administration’s dissatisfaction with his work.
Leigh Fleck decided to go back to college for a day to help her middle school students learn more about DNA and new research.
Fleck, a science teacher at New Franklin Middle School, was part of a group of four teachers who participated in the first of a series of six workshops organized by the MU Plant Genomics Research Experience for Teachers Program.
Technology used on the battlefield in Iraq is slowly making its way into the hands of officials who oversee U.S. homeland security, an Army general said Thursday.
Maj. Gen. John Doesburg, commander of the Army’s research and development engineering command, was in Columbia to discuss how police and firefighters can take advantage of military technology.
As some states rebel against the federal No Child Left Behind Act, the Columbia Public School District is looking to implement one of its central programs.
Today, the Columbia Board of Education will vote on whether the district should apply for a Missouri Reading First grant. Reading First gives money to schools and districts to use science-based reading research in instruction and assessment, according to the No Child Web site.
It might be 25 years before the Boone County Fairground is fully developed as the sports and recreation complex envisioned by city and county officials, Boone County Northern District Commissioner Skip Elkin said Wednesday.
On Monday night, the Columbia City Council ended four years of deliberation on the future of the fairground by endorsing a master plan known as Option III. That $5.5-million plan calls for trails, shelters, a dog park, concession stands, parking lots and numerous athletic fields on the fairground and the adjoining 80-acre Atkins tract, which is jointly owned by the city and county.
What police and fire investigators said might be the makings of a methamphetamine laboratory inside a Sexton Avenue house were nothing more than old welding equipment, chemistry textbooks and radioactive warning stickers, according to an MU student who rented the house last year.
Around 10 a.m. Tuesday morning, police and firefighters arrived at a vacant house at 707 W. Sexton Ave. after two maintenance workers reported finding suspicious materials that could be used for radioactive explosives inside the house.
Wayne and Doris Shoemaker keep a small airplane in a hangar at the Jesse Viertel Memorial Airport near Boonville. The Columbia couple can make it from their home off of Scott Boulevard to the Boonville airport in 20 minutes — considerably faster than the time it would take to drive to Columbia Regional Airport.
It’s not just convenience that attracts the Shoemakers to the Boonville airport. They know most everyone by sight and enjoy the friendly atmosphere.
JEFFERSON CITY — U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft returned to the state capital Wednesday for the first time since he joined the Bush administration in 2001.
Ashcroft took his staff on a surprise tour of the Missouri Capitol while he was in town to speak to the state’s business leaders.
Spring cannot be found through the wisdom of a groundhog, a creature that lives in the cold, dark, stale air of a hidden lair. To find hope of winter's passing, we must look beyond feet caked with cinder-stained slush and roadside sand. Hope is above in the sunlight, the blossoms of trees and the voices of birds. Creatures of flight bring us the renewed sounds of spring's refreshing warmth and beauty.