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Economy taking toll on U.S. society

Those who use the stock market as a barometer to test the economy for signs of recovery are jubilant. Those who use the job market as their measuring tool are depressed. Some of us are wondering if these two segments of the population will ever find common ground again.

It’s perfectly understandable why we don’t feel that we are all in this economic morass together. If you happen to tune in on business news and view most of these experts on the economy, you can quickly observe their smugness and arrogance, as if they are looking down their noses at viewers who don’t seem to be able to get it through their heads that this slump is practically over and we’re all going to be home free. You can easily get the impression that being out of work at the very moment when they are putting forth their theory is downright un-American. While these folks are contending that as many jobs are being brought into the country as are being sent out, they are having a problem getting unemployed workers to believe it. Others seem to take offense that some folks are not interested in training for jobs that no longer exist in America. And while it’s certainly possible that the free market will create millions of new jobs, most folks won’t believe it until they see it. In other words, not only are many of us not on the same page, we’re not even reading out of the same book.

New Sunday

DEAR READER,

Please doodle. Inside today’s Missourian you’ll find an insert with something editors generally don’t allow — blank pages.

Conceal-and-carry still not clear

While some counties began to issue concealed weapons permits Friday, Boone County gun owners will have to wait a while longer to get their permits.

Boone County Sheriff Ted Boehm will wait until after he meets with his staff, the county’s legal advisor and the chiefs of the Ashland and Hallsville police departments Monday before he will issue permits in Boone County.

Sapp's offer final on Philips tract

Elvin Sapp has made a final pitch to city officials regarding his plan for developing the Philips tract and is prepared to walk away from the project if the Columbia City Council fails to approve it, his representatives say.

“Either what is proposed ... is acceptable or it isn’t,” said Sapp attorney Dan Simon in a Thursday letter to City Attorney Fred Boeckmann. “It is time to vote this matter up or down.”

Someone's trash, everyone's burden

Brenda Tucker didn’t mind her new neighbors at first, provided they left soon. But four years later, they haven’t left. In fact, they’ve grown in number.

“It’s disgusting,” said Tucker, who lives on Big Rock Drive northwest of Millersburg in Callaway County. “I don’t even like to go in my front yard.”

School board candidates

The Columbia Missourian asked the candidates for the Columbia Board of Education to tell readers in about 100 words what goals they would have as a board member. Five people are running for two seats. The election will be held April 6.

Home show continues today

Safety and relaxation are two of the themes represented at the Home and Garden Show that began Friday at Hearnes Center. The show begins at 10 a.m. today and ends at 4 p.m.

Vendors are showcasing wares such as hot tubs, tornado shelters, cabinets and gutters.

Public comment sought on I-70

The footprint is nearly in place, so planners are taking three small steps forward.

In order to encourage communication between project consultant CH2M Hill and people possibly affected by plans to improve Interstate 70 in Columbia, the Missouri Department of Transportation will be hosting neighborhood meetings throughout the upcoming week.

Details about the school board position

The role of the Columbia Board of Education extends much further than the classroom, although the classroom is where all of its concern lies.

The School Board helps the district meet local, federal and state statutes, keeping in mind the requests of its constituents and the district’s fiscal needs, according to the Columbia Public School District Web site.

Bond issue would not hike property tax rates

The Columbia Public School District will ask voters to approve a $22.5 million bond issue in the April 6 election. Bonds affect all property owners but may not be completely understood, so the Columbia Missourian has attempted to clarify the issue.

General obligation bonds are bonds the school district sells to a pool of investors to create revenue. The school district uses these proceeds as immediate funding for projects such as construction, maintenance and equipment.

The vision of father Charlie

It’s 5:30 on a Thursday evening, and as usual, a group of 15 to 20 students is gathered in the Aquinas Room of the Newman Center for head pastor Charlie Pardee’s weekly Scripture study. Sunday’s Bible passages are written on the chalkboard, and a tattered and frayed scroll-like historical timeline — one of Pardee’s trademarks — hangs from the ceiling, nearly reaching the floor.

Pardee takes a seat at the head of the room, but don’t expect him to stay put for long. It’s not uncommon for him to spring from his chair numerous times to point out locations on the map hanging on the wall or dates on his timeline, providing context to the passages. When it comes to Scripture and getting college students to think critically about its meaning and historical context, Pardee’s energy is boundless.

Extra day fashions bonds

Diana Selken remembers her 21st birthday with a smile. On that day, she entered the liquor store with an air of confidence — she was finally old enough to buy alcohol for herself and her twin brother Dale.

She approached the counter with a bourbon bottle in one hand and proudly flashed her ID with the other.

Truckers unite for progress

Booths showcasing the latest in tires, truck beds and water-pressure sprayers lined the perimeter of the Columbia EXPO Center this weekend, standing small in stature to the 18-wheeled dump trucks that stood on display.

The 34th Annual Missouri Dump Truckers Association held its convention for the fourth year in Columbia, where dump truck owners and vendors gathered to browse, sell and discuss industry issues.

By George bar closes after losing its lease

A downtown legacy ended Saturday as By George dance club shut its doors after 25 years.

The closing comes just before the bar’s seven-day suspension for violations related to underage drinking was scheduled to begin. The suspension would have been in effect March 1 through 8.

Riding high

Every morning, Kim Krieckhaus pushes a wheelbarrow out of her garage. She stops, sets down seven buckets and carefully fills them with different mixes and different amounts of grain. Pulling her ear-warmer down over her ears against the bitter cold, she loads up the buckets and wheels through the sand arena and up to the outdoor paddocks.

Hungry horses whinny to greet her, the seven heads swinging from side to side as they follow her movements and wait for their morning feed. With a gentle hand, she strokes them good morning, delivers the food and leaves.

Lent does not make time easy

I apologize to all of you who celebrated your birthday this month (that includes one son, a daughter-in-law, my youngest grandson and a sister) but I hate February. I think that whoever decided to make it the shortest month of the year knew what he was doing. Oh sure, St. Valentine tried to distract us from the dull, dreary monotonous days with talk of love and hearts and flowers, but it’s only a momentary diversion. I have friends who walk around staring at light boxes to avoid depression. Others take to their beds to wait for spring. I go about my normal routine, but I’m in the state of perpetual grouchiness. Then to add salt to my wounds, Lent begins.

Being raised in a strict Catholic family (that means my mother was in charge) these 40 days and nights were to be spent fasting, abstaining and repenting. I never quite got the fasting part. I was told that two of the meals each day should not equal the third. The idea one patient nun informed our class was to experience hunger. Heck! I experienced it every day. I was always starving when I got home from school. The church has never pushed the fasting part of Lent, but my mother did. She told us that during Lent we couldn’t eat between meals. That was fairly easy between breakfast and lunch. I even made it until dinner, but going to bed without a snack really hurts.

Columbia Transit hosts hearing on proposed bus route changes

Columbia Transit held its first public information hearing on the proposed bus route changes Thursday night. A small group of residents attended the hearing to learn more about the route changes and discuss their concerns.

High court upholds concealed gun law

JEFFERSON CITY — Missourians won the right to carry concealed guns Thursday, but it’s unclear whether they will be able to do it anytime soon.

That’s because the Missouri Supreme Court said the state’s concealed weapons law could amount to an unconstitutional, unfunded mandate — a state-imposed program that requires county governments to pick up the tab.

Guilty verdict in local murder

After deliberating for less than three hours Thursday, a Boone County jury found Lucille Faith Duncan guilty of first-degree murder and armed criminal action in the shooting death of her ex-boyfriend, James Pruitt.

During closing arguments, Boone County prosecuting attorney Kevin Crane stood near the bloodstained car seat Pruitt was occupying when he died and told jurors that Duncan, 37, showed “cool reflection and deliberation” in planning and carrying out the murder with her brother, Gerald Alan Duncan. He has been accused of shooting Pruitt as he sat in the front seat of Lucille Duncan’s car and is scheduled to stand trial for first-degree murder in April.

New city logo draws mixed reaction

Almost two years and $45,000 after it began, the quest for a new city of Columbia logo has ended. Framed as an attempt to capture the spirit of today’s Columbia, the Convention and Visitors Bureau hopes the logo will help attract people by representing the city’s “cosmopolitan appeal.”

At Tuesday’s unveiling, Mayor Darwin Hindman said, “Will people make fun of it? I hope they do. If people are talking about it, that’s good.”

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