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Wild ride

Driving into oncoming traffic, jumping curbs and cutting off other motorists. It sounds like a chase scene from an action movie, but for Linda McBride, it’s sometimes just an ordinary day at the driver examination station.

For 15 years, McBride, driver examiner No. 3 for the Missouri State Highway Patrol, has administered road tests. For five years before that she conducted written driving tests as well as vision tests.

The Lone Ranger

Rosanna Arens was in the grocery business for 18 years. Five years ago, she made a midlife career change which ultimately led her to become Columbia’s first and only park ranger, a new position created by the city Parks and Recreation Department.

Workers return to 3M

Hoping to expand its business in the electronics and communications markets, 3M has rehired almost all of the manufacturing plant workers the company laid off last fall.

Marty Ingels, human resources manager for 3M, said all workers who were laid off were recalled, and most have chosen to return to work.

House nixes new name for SMSU

JEFFERSON CITY — Southwest Missouri State University’s name-change bid took a major step backward Wednesday when it was defeated in the House by a vote of 81-70.

Republicans — including one of the major House Republican leaders, Rep. Jason Crowell, R-Cape Girardeau — joined the opposition to the measure.

House committee recommends restrictions on liability lawsuit awards

JEFFERSON CITY - Missouri's House Judiciary Committee has sent to the full House a measure that would restrict liability lawsuit awards similar to the measure vetoed by the governor last year.

Bill would require photos for licenses

JEFFERSON CITY — Women would be prohibited from wearing veils for Missouri driver’s license photographs under a measure approved by the state Senate on Wednesday.

The bill would require all Missouri driver’s license applicants to have their photographs taken. Currently applicants may abstain for religious reasons.

Desegregation case's impact examined

On Wednesday night at the Gaines Oldham Black Culture Center, Dr. Phyllis Chase, superintendent of Columbia Public Schools, addressed an audience of more than 50 people about the lingering impact of the 1954 Brown vs. The Topeka Board of Education court case.

Panel applies Bible to ‘just war’ theory

United Methodist Church Bishop Bruce Ough is asking some tough questions in a study guide from the church’s four-part series, “Seeking God’s Heart in Time of War.”

“Where is the voice of the church? Have we lost our voices?” the opening segments of the guide ask.

City to build subsidized housing on McBaine

With federal money granted to it a year ago by the city, the Columbia Housing Authority will build subsidized homes on two central-city lots it bought for $60,000.

Two neglected houses with aging white siding and yards littered with old tires and other debris stand on property on McBaine Avenue, just north of Ash Street. The houses and the wood fence that surround them stick out on a street of mostly well-kept small houses in the First Ward neighborhood.

Columbia College exceeds goal by raising $11 million

Large gifts from prominent donors created the momentum needed to make Columbia College’s capital campaign a success, school officials said this week.

Columbia College has received nearly $11 million in its largest fund-raising effort to date, surpassing the campaign’s original aim of $10 million. The campaign commemorated the college’s 150th anniversary, celebrated during the 2000-2001 school year, and increased the size of the college’s endowment.

Paperwork

Don’t throw away price tags — they can be turned into a work of art.

M. Laine Wyatt of DeLand, Fla., used old price tags to create a jacket for the annual “Paper in Particular” art exhibit under way at Columbia College.

Watershed protection

Columbia officials have agreed to make significant changes to their storm-water management program in the midst of controversy over land-disturbance permits in the Hinkson Creek watershed.

City Manager Ray Beck, Assistant City Manager Bill Watkins and other city representatives met Tuesday with officials from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to work out problems with the city’s permit process.

Tainted city sites

While the EPA deemed Hinkson Creek impaired in 1998, neither the federal government nor the state has done enough study to determine what the pollutants are or where they are coming from. Those questions contributed to a Department of Natural Resources decision to sit on 27 construction permits out of fear that further development could pollute the creek even more.

The Biological Assessment Report on Hinkson Creek done by the DNR in 2002, however, sheds some light on the pollutant problem. According to the report, the DNR tested eight sites along Hinkson Creek through Columbia and cited five sites suspected of being major contributors to pollution that compromises the creek’s ability to sustain aquatic life. Those sites include:

Building collapse leads to fines

Two local contractors that were constructing a steel frame building when it collapsed in September have been cited for serious violations of federal worker-safety codes. The collapse killed one worker and injured two others.

Prost Builders and J.D. Builders failed to maintain the structural stability of the building — the future Columbia Transload Terminal at 6501 Brown Station Road — according to a report issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Police tell public of date rape dangers

A man drives home from a bar after drinking three beers. He knows this amount of alcohol should not affect his driving ability, but he has to pull over halfway home because he feels ill. This is an example Sgt. Danny Grant gave of how “club” or “date-rape” drugs have affected people in Columbia.

Grant was unable to give exact numbers to show increased use of the drugs at a Tuesday press conference. But as supervisor of the Columbia Police Department’s Community Services Unit for the past eight years, he said that he has encountered many informal reports of date-rape-drug victims during the last three or four years.

Ramada party accounts vary

Saturday night at the Ramada Inn, Marlon Ward, who says he was a bystander when fighting broke out at an overcrowded sorority party, was arrested.

“I was just watching, and they (the police) just came up and maced me,” he said. By the time the Mace wore off, he was at the police station with the other seven people arrested.

Reynolds institute to link journalists, public

The dean of the Missouri School of Journalism is not ashamed to admit journalism has gone astray from the public it is supposed to serve.

“One of the accusations is that we (journalists) might have become too arrogant in relation to our audience,” Dean Mills said Tuesday, a day after the Journalism School was given

Poor sales force gallery to close

In a sculpture toward the center of the room, at least a dozen heads erupt from a metal base. Oils, pastels and acrylics line the walls, and blown glass vases of every color create rainbows in giant windows. The scene is colorful, eclectic and powerful, to say the least.

However, at the end of May this unique element of downtown Columbia and the city’s art community will close.

Renovations to force Young Life out of office

For the third time in a year, the Columbia chapter of Young Life, a nondenominational Christian organization that ministers to teens, will have to move, and its director is searching for a permanent home.

This time, in about two weeks, renovations will force the ministry from its home on Cherry Street.

Mental health insurance bill enters House

JEFFERSON CITY — Edward Duff says his mental health treatment cost him his job. He’s urging Missouri lawmakers to prevent that from happening to others.

Duff, who suffers from bipolar disorder, declared his condition during a health examination at the end of his probationary period — a disclosure Duff says led to his termination.

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