Landfill now has compost available

Columbia’s community compost can provide citizens with an alternative to commercial fertilizers and individual backyard compost piles.

According to Cynthia Mitchell, the landfill superintendent, individuals can buy up to a cubic yard of compost for $12 plus tax. Since July 1, 14 people have taken advantage of the compost, which comes primarily from yard waste, sawdust, drywall and cellulose casings.

Police: Man injured when friend drives over him

A Columbia man suffered extensive internal injuries when his girlfriend allegedly ran over him outside their home in north Columbia late Wednesday night, according to Columbia police.

The driver, Victoria Lynn Wampler, 47, of 1902 Cedar Cliff Drive faces charges of first-degree assault and armed criminal action, police Sgt. Stephen Monticelli said in a news release. She remained in the Boone County Jail with bond set at $200,000.

Airport to give kids flying start

Look skyward on Saturday morning, and you might see some of Columbia’s children being chauffeured across the horizon at 120 mph in a local pilot’s private aircraft 2,500 to 3,000 feet above your rooftop.

A Day at the Columbia Regional Airport on Saturday will include free plane rides for children ages 8-17, seminars for pilots given by the Federal Aviation Administration and exhibits of small aircraft.

Senate candidate criticizes Bond on overtime revisions

Democratic candidate for U.S Senate Nancy Farmer visited Columbia to express disapproval with her opponent’s stance on changes in federal law regarding overtime pay

Revisions in the federal Fair Labor Standards Act will take effect Monday. The revisions define the pay level and types of duties that qualify for overtime pay.

40-acre tract approved for homes

Citing concern that Columbia was “oozing to the south,” the Planning and Zoning Commission approved one of two requests for new suburban neighborhoods south of the city.

The commission voted to recommend to the City Council a plan to rezone 40 acres south of Route K and the Cascades neighborhood for residential use and voluntary annexation into the city of Columbia.

Rios waives preliminary hearing

Murder suspect Steven Rios waived his right to a preliminary hearing Friday morning, while appearing in front of Associate Circuit Judge Christine Carpenter.

The case of the 27-year-old former Columbia police officer, who is charged with the murder of MU student Jesse Valencia on June 5, will proceed to circuit court for arraignment on Sept. 7.

Seniors question foreign medicine

Gloria Hay of Columbia doesn’t know anyone who fills prescriptions in Canada. The retired professor of management at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and acting senator in the Missouri Silver Haired Legislature has no pharmaceutical coverage and pays for her medications out of pocket. But the idea of drug importation does not appeal to her.

“I have never considered such a thing,” Hay said, echoing the predominant attitude among Columbia’s seniors.

Gay activists to organize involvement

Near the corner of Again Street and West Boulevard, an upended “No on 2” sign rests against a wooden fence. Inside the house, Heidi Murphy helps paint her friend’s entry.

The sign was up two days ago, she explains, but then the lawn mowers took it down. Gardeners also took down the sign in front of her house.

Studying Powerball winners pays off

Despite winning $25,000 in the Powerball lottery, George Clark of Columbia doesn’t believe in luck.

Instead Clark has developed a system to winning the lottery. And so far, it’s working for him.

Students unpack at halls

The corner of Hitt and Rollins streets looked like a cross between a garage sale and a weightlifting competition on Wednesday morning as MU residence halls opened their doors to students. Nervous parents stood guard over bags and boxes as students and volunteers lugged baggage to their new homes.

Cindy Konczak and Sheree Connor watched over a sizable mound of their sons’ belongings at the entrance of Wolpers Hall. High school friends from St. Louis, Nick Konczak, 18, and Brennan Connor, 18, will room together during their freshman year.

Nifty gadgets hold court at state fair

If the soles of your sneakers have begun to separate from the rest of the shoe, you might want to step into the Varied Industries Building at the Missouri State Fair. Someone will offer to fix the problem — using aviation-strength glue from Germany.

Billed as “the last glue you’ll ever need,” this German marvel is just one of the nifty products on display at this year’s fair.

Ride makes its debut at fair

The Techno Jump is making its Missouri debut this week at the state fair in Sedalia. Located in the middle of the Midway, the red, purple and orange jeweled creature has 14 flailing arms. At the end of each arm is a three-person seat. The arms spin in a circle and toss riders up and down at varied heights and speeds.

“It was awesome,” said 17-year-old Wendy Dickey of Fayette. “But don’t eat ice cream before you ride.”

Church lends facilities for resource center

Carol Snively dreams of a resource center for Columbia’s gay and lesbian community, with offices for staff and meeting rooms for local groups. For now, she’ll settle for a remodeled elevator shaft.

After working out of their cars for nearly a year, the Center Project working group is set to move into a temporary office in a remodeled 10-by-12-foot elevator shaft at the Unitarian Universalist Church.

Catholics split on issue of abortion-rights vote

Jackie Cook-Eberle sports a purple button on her bag that reads "Abort Bush in the first term." As a Catholic who supports abortion rights, she disagrees with a recent statement made by Archbishop Raymond Burke of St. Louis.

"Catholics teach of love and compassion," Cook-Eberle said. "Burke's statement teaches of contempt and damnation."

New kindergarteners show their skills

They sit squirming in front of her, kicking feet that don’t quite touch the ground, gazing in awe at walls covered with brightly colored pictures and letters of the alphabet. The woman across the table carefully asks her audience to name the letters in front of them. As they stare down at the paper with their faces twisting in concentration, the interrogator smiles when they don’t know the answer.

“We’ll learn that when you come to school,” says Nancy Amelunke, a kindergarten teacher at Cedar Ridge Elementary School.

Lunches lure teens off campus

It’s all about freedom for 16-year-old Taylor Morrow.

On days when the Hickman High School junior has a few extra dollars in his pocket, he and his friends spend their 40-minute lunch break not in the Hickman cafeteria, but at the Sonic or Subway a few hundred feet from the school doors.

Sheriff quiet on suspect’s transfer

A Columbia man has sat in a Sedgwick County, Kan., jail cell since Aug. 9, and authorities will not say exactly when he will return to Boone County to face charges of kidnapping, first-degree burglary and second-degree assault.

The one thing the Boone County Sheriff’s Department can say for certain is there are no remaining legal obstacles to his return.

City land to open to archers

Although the Columbia City Council approved an ordinance allowing archery hunting of deer on four city property sites, one expert said the only place you are likely to see a hunter is in the parking lot.

The council unanimously approved the measure Monday night amid the safety concerns of nearby nonhunters, particularly regarding the Grindstone Nature Area, a frequently visited park. John George of the Missouri Department of Conservation said deer hunting occurs far from trails and open areas.

Fair spotlights Columbia artists

The Missouri State Fair draws prize sheep, dairy cattle and swine from across the state to compete for ribbons, but a small building away from the livestock barns and the midway houses paintings, sculptures, and photographs from some of Missouri’s top amateur and professional artists. Few towns are better represented than Columbia.

The Fine Arts Building spotlights artists from Columbia in four competitive divisions, including the Missouri 50 Exhibition, the top 50 pieces submitted to the Fair’s Fine Arts Department.

Chainsaw sculptors keep crowd guessing

Standing side by side, Stacey Robinson and his son, Clint, start their chainsaws. Each approaches a chest-high log and begins carving.

Audience members stare, point and nudge each other.