Second new tax area gets go-ahead

With the approval of another special tax district along Stadium Boulevard, it appears shoppers in that area will soon have to open their pocketbooks a bit wider.

The new district, which has the power to levy an additional sales tax of up to one cent on the dollar, was approved by the Boone County Circuit Court on Monday. It will envelop five properties on Stadium Boulevard, all owned by local developer Raul Walters. These properties include Best Buy, Taco Bell, Circuit City and Ruby Tuesday.

County space evaluated

County government department heads made sales pitches Tuesday as to why their offices deserve — and need — more space. They addressed the Boone County Space Needs Task Force, which was touring offices in the Roger B. Wilson Government Center, the Boone County Courthouse and the Johnson Building.

One of those department heads was Circuit Clerk Cheryl Whitmarsh, who described her office’s struggle to find space to store its case files.“There is a little space in our bathroom, and I thought, ‘Hey, maybe we can use this,’” Whitmarsh said. “You have to use all the space that you can.”

Attending debate not high on candidates’ to-do lists

Several Missouri statewide candidates plan to avoid the spotlight of the presidential debate at Washington University in St. Louis on Friday — for what one political analyst says is a good reason.

The two major candidates for governor, along with other statewide candidates, say they do not plan to attend the debate.

Vice presidential candidates clash in debate on war, jobs

Sen. John Edwards accused the Bush administration Tuesday night of bungling the war in Iraq and presiding over a historic loss of jobs. “Your facts are just wrong,” Vice President Dick Cheney shot back in a crackling campaign debate.

In a clash at close quarters, Edwards accused Cheney of “not being straight” with the American people about the war. He said U.S. casualties are rising monthly and the United States is bearing 90 percent of the cost and suffering 90 percent of the dead and wounded.

Hearing set today for suspect, 24, in statutory rape

A preliminary hearing is scheduled today for a former employee of the Front Door Program, a youth residential community in Columbia. He is accused of having sex with a 16-year-old girl who was staying at the facility.

Marcus Fisher, 24, was arrested Aug. 22 on suspicion of second degree statutory rape and endangering the welfare of a child. The police learned that the victim told friends about her involvement with a staff member at the facility.

Area Briefly

Voting reforms spark lawsuits

Despite significant reforms following the legal standoff of the 2000 presidential elections, court battles over voting processes have not only persisted but have actually strengthened.

With less than a month remaining before the Nov. 2 election, the nation’s courtrooms are bustling with legalese about how to count votes. In battleground states such as Missouri, where different interpretations of election law could mean different winners, the fights are reaching a feverish pitch.

Developer backs off rezoning plan

Residents who went to the Columbia City Council meeting Monday night to protest a rezoning request for land off Green Meadows Road got a surprise when the developer’s lawyer withdrew the request instead.

In front of a packed, tense crowd, Dan Simon, a lawyer representing developer Don Stohldrier, withdrew a request that would have put a mix of homes and townhouses on about 16 acres. Simon said his advice to develop townhouses in the area had been in error.

Black Panther founder calls for revival of activism, progressivism

Bobby Seale, a founding member of the Black Panther Party and the keynote speaker of MU’s Cultural Discovery Week, spoke at Jesse Auditorium on Monday night to a crowd of about 250 people.

In his lecture, Seale outlined the history behind the founding of the Black Panther Party and its princi-ples. Seale used the formation of the party as a parallel for how commu-nities should organize themselves today.

Cyclist group aims for better roads

Bicycling is Laura Vie’s ticket to freedom. Since childhood, riding has been the 43-year-old’s escape from daily life’s responsibilities.

“When I ride, my mind is free to think clearly,” said Vie, an exercise physiologist at Progressive Spine Care & Rehab in Columbia. “It’s very satisfying being able to travel miles down quiet rural roads.”

Academy honors its old cadets

Students in the Missouri Military Academy’s junior school had an opportunity Saturday to outshine older cadets. The event: handmade homecoming decorations.

Karen Youst is an expert when it comes to barracks decorations. Youst, one of four judges, has been doing this since she married her husband, the academy’s Alumni Association president, 22 years ago.

Mo. considers drug cost relief

JEFFERSON CITY— Missouri is considering whether to join Illinois and Wisconsin in a new Internet program that will help residents buy cheaper prescription drugs from Canada and Europe.

The I-SaveRx program, launched Monday, works through a Canada-based clearinghouse to deliver about 100 prescription medicines at claimed discounts of up to 50 percent off U.S. retail prices.

Car crashes through gas station

Joanna Jacobs was inside the Phillips 66 convenience store at 101 E. Nifong Blvd. paying for a tank of gas Monday afternoon when she saw her Ford Crown Victoria coming straight toward the building.

The car, driven by her friend Janice Hooker, jumped a curb and ripped through the two front doors of the gas station. The car slammed into shelves full of snacks before crashing into the soda fountain on the back wall.

Bad food points to societal problems

The latest reason I’m grateful that I’m underweight is the low-carb craze.

  Because the two slices of bread that wrap any delicatessen sandwich are the only part I consider worth eating, I’m not willing to give them up. For me, homemade deli sandwiches involve baking a ham, a beef roast and a turkey to get meat that can’t substitute for shoe leather. Of course, my vegetarian friends would suggest I eliminate the meat altogether and order veggies, which would be all right, provided I could find decent vegetables.

Springfield mosque linked to terrorism

Muslims are fighting to keep their mosque as the federal government investigates a link between the Islamic Center of Springfield and a benefactor accused of financing terrorism around the world.

Greene County real estate records show the prayer house was deeded to Saudi-based Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation in June 2000. But supporters of the center claim the Saudi charity was simply a one-time donor whose name ended up on its property title.

Speaker stresses importance of social interaction

Compelled by concern about fast-paced consumer culture and its impact on the environment, about 300 people attended the second annual Sustainable Living Fair on Saturday at the Unity Center of Columbia.

The main attraction was a lecture by Mark Lakeman, the project coordinator and board director of the City Repair Project of Portland, Ore. His lecture, “The Village Lives,” focused on the importance of social interactions between community members in creating more sustainable communities.

Green Meadows proposal up for City Council action

The Columbia City Council will hear public comment tonight on proposals to rezone land in southern Columbia to accommodate high-density residential development.

The rezoning requests for three tracts of land off Green Meadows Road have led to discussions between developer Don Stohldrier and concerned residents of the Greenbriar and Trailridge neighborhoods since May. Despite multiple meetings, the two sides haven’t agreed on how development should proceed.

Green machines

With oil prices rising and gas mileage hovering in the single digits for sport utility vehicles, more local consumers are going electric.

Hybrid vehicles, which combine a gasoline engine with an electric motor to increase gas mileage and decrease emissions, are gaining popularity.

Fewer disabled referral options at MU

Jamie Stober planned to study journalism in college and said he knew MU was the place to be. But after transferring from State Fair Community College in Sedalia and spending only three days on campus, Stober had to leave.

“As a disabled student, I’d heard good things about (MU) — that the campus was accessible and they were very helpful,” he said.

Show leaps from radio to Internet

Tom Hutchinson had a large wood lathe to sell. So when he got up Sept. 25, he tuned his radio to KFRU/1400 AM for “The Trading Post,” the call-in show on which he had bought and sold countless items over the years.

The retired MU anthropology professor and 36-year Columbia resident was surprised and disappointed to hear another show in its place.