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Budget cuts could slow judicial process in Missouri

No court on Fridays. Longer delays for pending cases. Even a "get out of jail free" card for those accused of nonviolent misdemeanors. All these practices have become solutions to the budget woes of state court systems around the country - and some of them might be coming soon to Missouri.

This was the message delivered Friday by Bill Corrigan, president of the Missouri Bar Association, at a breakfast meeting in Columbia. Since 2001, Corrigan said, the Missouri court system has endured $10 million in budget cuts. Meanwhile, traffic tickets aside, caseloads in Missouri courts have increased by 59 percent over the last 20 years. In 2003, courts heard 879,000 cases, involving 15.5 percent of the state's population.

MLK celebrations end with panel discussion on police-community relations

The final event of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. celebration, a panel discussion on police and community relations, was held on the second floor of the Reynolds Alumni and Visitors Center on the MU campus Friday afternoon.

Discussion focused on the history of civil rights and the relationship between minority communities and their local police departments.

Representatives tout merits of presidential hopefuls

Representatives from the campaigns of retired Gen. Wesley Clark, former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean, North Carolina Sen. John Edwards and Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry appealed to the Boone County Muleskinners in a final push for support before the Tuesday primary.

Viewers differ in reasons to watch the Super Bowl

Men and women alike will be parked in front of televisions on Super Bowl Sunday, but not all of them will be watching for the same reasons.

A nationwide on-line survey conducted by comScore in January 2003 found that one out of six viewers said they watched the Super Bowl only for ads, and most of the viewers interested in just the ads were women.

Hinkson Creek sites to be inspected

State and local officials plan to visit as soon as possible each of 23 sites within the Hinkson Creek watershed where construction projects are on hold while they await land-disturbance permits.

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources is sitting on the permits out of fear the projects could further pollute Hinkson Creek, which is on the EPA’s list of impaired water bodies. DNR representatives said Friday they plan to visit each site to determine how construction can begin without damaging the creek. Columbia officials will join in the tour.

City park offer in the works

Columbia officials want to make an offer to buy part of the 489-acre Philips tract for a new city park.

City Manager Ray Beck said Friday that the Columbia City Council has directed city staff to begin negotiations for the purchase of more than 450 acres in southeast Columbia for a new regional park. The targeted land comprises 153 acres of the Philips farm, including the 40-acre Bristol Lake and 320 acres across Gans Road owned by Sue Crane.

Fayette High School teacher quits amid accusations

While returning from the State of the State in Jefferson City, Larry Leech, the superintendent of Fayette Schools, was stunned by a call from the local high school principal.

The principal told him a popular and well-liked teacher and coach at Fayette High School might have inappropriately groped a 15-year-old student. And he said he had evidence to back his accusations.

Columbia man arrested in robbery

A Columbia man remained in Boone County Jail on Saturday afternoon in connection with the Jan. 20 armed robbery of the Ultra Mart on Monroe Street, police said.

Randy Fullerton, 45, was arrested Friday morning on suspicion of first-degree robbery and armed criminal action. A Columbia Police officer found evidence in Fullerton’s blue 1991 Mercury Tracer during a traffic stop that police said linked him to the robbery. The Tracer, which had some body damage, matched the image of a car captured on surveillance video during the robbery.

New campaign style used

At least one candidate for Columbia’s upcoming mayoral election is ready to voice his stance on the issues. But Arch Brooks’ campaign style might not be what voters are used to seeing.

Brooks, CEO of Brooks Computing Systems Inc., recently announced the creation of seven public discussion forums made available via the Internet. Columbia residents are able to go online and voice concerns or pose questions to Brooks, who is able to respond to posts as he receives them.

Rocheport man wins trail sign contest

The winning design for the Boone’s Lick Trail sign contest was inspired by an engraving based off of Alonzo Chappel’s 1861 painting of Daniel Boone.

Rocheport resident Gene Baumann found a rendering of the original artwork in a computerized clip art file, altered the image into a line drawing and added the name of the trail in an antique font. His design, one of more than 30 submitted, was chosen as the winner Thursday by a panel of four judges. It is on display at the Walters-Boone County Historical Museum.

In the end, reality TV isn’t so real

Since I became a couch potato a few years back, I consider myself somewhat of an expert TV watcher. I have never liked slapstick sitcoms, but I did enjoy watching “Friends” in its first few seasons. I stopped watching when all of the friends became too friendly and started bed hopping. I don’t know about you, but I never had friends like that! Ditto for “Sex and the City.” I never bothered tuning in when the title said it all. If shows like those reflect our modern-day morals, I think we’re in deep doo-doo.

My favorites are detective-, doctor- and lawyer-type shows. But within the last three years, they have become more like soap operas. The writers spend more ink talking about relationships than resolving the plot. I don’t care that detective Joe is secretly in love with Capt. Brown but she isn’t interested. I just want a good whodunit. I say bring back shows like “Dragnet.”

Wrestling for real

Six-year-old Coltan Adkisson roams the bullpen with other wrestlers at a tournament in Hannibal. Some of the young wrestlers cling to their coaches or parents or nervously straighten their singlets. Others congregate according to their hometowns, eyeing the competition, perhaps guessing which one they’ll wrestle.

Not Coltan. On this Saturday in mid-January, he doesn’t need a hand to hold, and he doesn’t need other 6-year-olds to give him moral support — which is a good thing because he’s the youngest wrestler from Centralia at the meet.

House fire kills woman

The first time employees at the Humane Society of Central Missouri heard of Elouise Sipe was when they received a call Wednesday from a woman who had bought a puppy from her. The caller said her puppy died shortly after she made the purchase.

When a Humane Society investigator went to Sipe’s rural residence later that day, they found dozens of dogs with no water, not enough food and minimal shelter.

Initial talks on merger concluded

Northwest Missouri State University is one big step closer to becoming the fifth campus of the University of Missouri system.

On Thursday, the UM system Board of Curators approved a 15-point memorandum of understanding addressing some of the concerns related to bringing the Maryville school into the system. The UM system currently has four campuses — Columbia, Kansas City, Rolla and St. Louis.

$200 million name deal rejected

JEFFERSON CITY — A deal that would give the University of Missouri system roughly $200 million for building construction fell through Thursday morning on a technical ruling.

Sen. Ken Jacob, D-Columbia, attempted to strike a deal Wednesday night that would have given UM roughly $200 million to help finance the construction of a hotel, convention center and performing arts center on the MU campus.

Detective plans to quit

Boone County Sheriff’s Detective Ken Kreigh has accused Sheriff Ted Boehm of “political subterfuge” related to an investigation of an October drug bust and said he plans to resign from the department.

Kreigh, who announced his candidacy for Boone County Sheriff last September, claimed Thursday that Boehm went against departmental policy when he convened an outside review panel to investigate an Oct. 23, 2003, drug operation.

Subdivision proposal raises concerns

Plans for a 940-home subdivision and golf course east of Columbia are taking shape, and a representative for developer Billy Sapp said neighbors will get to see drawings of the proposed development within the next few weeks.

Sapp spokesman Don Stamper said the project will have a “country club feel” and a mixture of single-family homes and condominiums.

Chasing Kerry, Dean takes on role of aggressor

Howard Dean supporters in central Missouri will finally get to rally for their candidate as the Vermont Governor will make a brief appearance in the St. Louis area today.

Mid-Missouri Dean campaign organizers said about 22 volunteers from Columbia and Jefferson City will attend a 2:30 p.m. town hall meeting at the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park. Dean will participate in the event.

MLK views frame events

The Rev. Martin Luther King began his quest for civil rights for all Americans a half century ago. This week, MU is revisiting King’s legacy and discussing his past and future influence on American public policy.

On Thursday, MU hosted two events that focused on education and public policy. The Rev. L. Charles Stovall, a former King colleague and United Methodist Church leader from Texas, played a key role in both presentations.

Construction stops due to pollution fear

Twenty-two developments — including a Wal-Mart Supercenter planned for south Columbia — are on hold while the state sits on land-disturbance permits out of fear the projects could further pollute Hinkson Creek.

Hinkson Creek has been considered impaired by unknown pollutants since 1998 by the Environmental Protection Agency. While construction in the watershed has continued unabated until now, officials with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources are worried that further development could compromise the creek. Until a solution is found, land-disturbance permits are on hold.

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