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Time spent at library still brings joy

I’ve never walked into a library that I didn’t like. And I was especially pleased last week with my first visit to Columbia’s new library, where I talked to some of my readers. I was reminded of the day as a teenager when I first set eyes on the Kansas City Public Library and thought I was in heaven. While touring the juvenile section in the Columbia library, I remembered how anxious I was when my son got his first library card and the number of times I prevailed on him to check out children’s mystery books for me to read because I was embarrassed that I still enjoyed them long after I grew into adulthood. Since I have spent a major portion of my life in libraries, I have a lot of those kinds of memories, and I’m convinced that people I meet in libraries are some of the most interesting people in the world.

As if I needed an excuse, my next visit to my local public library was to attend a book sale. Now, the last thing I need, of course, is one more book. But I found several that I couldn’t live without. My favorite in this stash was a reprint of a book called “The American Frugal Housewife” by Mrs. Child, otherwise known as Lydia Maria Child. According to the introduction written by Alice Geffen, Child published her first novel in 1823. She wrote the “Frugal Housewife” in 1829, and it went through 35 editions. This facsimile edition was reprinted from a copy found at an old book auction. In addition to her success as an author, In 1833, Child also wrote a book against slavery entitled, “An Appeal for that Class of Americans called Africans.” Later, she edited with her husband the “Anti-Slavery Standard” in New York.

Half a century of Stormin’ Norman

He was running out of time, but Norm Stewart had never called a timeout in the final seconds of a game, and he wasn’t about to start.

  It wasn’t his style.

Psychiatric care limited for inmates

Donald Dale Clark Jr. was drunk and on sedatives the night of Feb. 24, according to police, when he stole a car from the parking lot of a bar on Business Loop 70, crossed the median at Interstate 70 and U.S. 63, and struck a pickup. He then walked to the nearby Wal-Mart Supercenter, where officers said they found him trying to shoplift several items.

Clark, 41, had spent years in the Boone County Jail on charges of driving while intoxicated, stealing, writing bad checks and strong-arm robbery.

‘Passion’ brings many issues to public thought

"The Passion of The Christ,” which has attained blockbuster status since it opened Ash Wednesday, is causing some people of faith to take a fresh look at their beliefs and try to make sense of the conflicting emotions the movie raises.

On the one hand and generally speaking, Christians are deeply affected by the gruesome death of the man they view as their Savior; on the other, Jews are troubled by what they see as Gibson’s intent to overlook their persecution under Roman rule and to cast them collectively as Christ-killers.

Unmasking absurdity

At 75 years old, the love for writing — and teaching — still burns in Edward Albee.

A fervent supporter of the arts, the three-time Pulitzer Prize winner has no problem sharing his knowledge with students.

Bond backs life sciences

When Sen. Christopher “Kit” Bond arrived with Utah Sen. Robert Bennett for a tour of MU’s Life Sciences Center on Friday, Bond assured researchers and administrators, “We’re going to try to provide as much help as we can for the things that show the greatest promise.”

Later, Bennett, the newly appointed chairman of the Senate Agricultural Appropriations Subcommittee, said he also thought the researchers’ work showed promise and pledged he would help get them more space — by supporting MU’s efforts to get $30 million to $35 million needed for an additional wing on the Life Sciences Center.

School board to hear latest budget plans

Money management is something children begin learning at an early age with their piggy banks and allowances. One group in charge of children’s education is now learning just how small their allowance can get.

The Columbia Board of Education will meet Monday night, and discussions will continue to focus on funding — or, more painfully — the lack of it.

Annual show revs Corvette fans

The sun glimmered off hoods and doors Saturday as Corvette fans gathered to check out more than 100 polished examples of a classic American sports car.

People from throughout Missouri traveled to the Quality Inn to participate in the Mid-Missouri Corvette Club’s 10th Annual Corvette Cup. The cup is a car show and a charity fund-raiser.

Together in Culture & Belief

It was an atypical Sunday in Columbia on Jan. 25. An early morning outburst of wintry fury had covered the city in a thick layer of ice. After the ice storm, a heavy snowfall blanketed the streets and sidewalks, leaving them virtually forsaken.

As the flakes fell fast, almost like a hard rain, a woman hurried across Locust Street to the safety of a small gray building. Inside, she found warmth and a kind man waiting for her.

Yard signs protest new Wal-Mart

Things aren’t all smiles for Wal-Mart in Columbia lately.

In fact, some might say “no smiles,” or at least that’s what the yard signs say. Community First, a group of residents who oppose the building of a Wal-Mart Supercenter in the Park De Ville neighborhood, made themselves known Saturday when they handed out yard signs protesting the new building.

Falling logs cause I-70 accident

A Friday afternoon accident on Interstate 70 at Stadium Boulevard that involved four vehicles sent one person to the hospital with minor injuries and closed the highway to all traffic for more than an hour.

The accident happened at 12:41 p.m. when several logs fell off an east-bound logging truck, and two semi-trucks behind it tried to avoid hitting the logs. One semi, traveling in the right lane and driven by Evan Mckee, 26, of Spanaway, Wash., hit one of the logs, causing him to lose control and hit the semi traveling next to him in the left lane, which was driven by Ronald Bickel, 61, of Livonia, Mich. Both semis crashed into the concrete median and sent debris flying, police said.

Leaking chemical barrel poses no threat

A block of Locust Street between Eighth and Ninth streets was closed for more than two hours Friday while Columbia firefighters and hazardous material workers plugged a leaky barrel in the back of a pickup truck.

Shortly before noon, a barrel, labeled “Health Hazard,” was discovered in the vehicle by a Columbia city employee. The worker, who noticed something leaking from the rear of the green Chevrolet pickup, called 911. Columbia firefighters and a hazardous materials response unit arrived to stop the leak and clean up a small spill with absorbent pads, said Lt. Amy Barrett, assistant fire marshal.

Cooking School in Session

Some might say there are too many cooks in the kitchen. They crowd around what would have been a spacious kitchen — light and airy, walls the color of yellow squash — if it weren’t for the mass of bodies negotiating the space. Washing hands, bumping into each other, clinking elbows as they chop the vegetables, mix the polenta and reach for ingredients, 18 hands share the dinner preparation.

But that’s not too crowded for Dixie Yates.

First time is a charm, I’ll bet you

When the boats came to the state, I didn’t care. Friends asked me to go to either Kansas City or St. Louis to gamble, but I wasn’t interested. But when the boat came to the tiny town of Boonville, my interest was aroused. And one day a friend called, and I agreed to check it out.

On the ride over, we made a pact. We would each put up the same amount of money, $50, and if one of us won, we would split the loot. Driving up to the “boat,” I was unimpressed. I’d certainly seen bigger casinos out West. Once inside, I still had thoughts that this was penny ante compared to the huge rooms I’d been in out East. And unlike the establishments on both coasts, we had to “sign up” to become a member of the club. We each got a plastic card with our names and assigned numbers. We were also given a small bungee cord to attach to the card. The other end was to be attached to some part of our clothing (I passed on that).

Semi-truck accident snarls traffic on I-70

A Friday afternoon accident on Interstate 70 at Stadium Boulevard that involved four vehicles sent one person to the hospital with minor injuries and closed the highway to all traffic for more than an hour.

The accident happened at 12:41 p.m. when several logs fell off an east-bound logging truck and two semi-trucks behind it tried to avoid hitting the logs. One semi, traveling in the right lane and driven by Evan Mckee, 26, of Spanaway, Wash. hit one of the logs, causing him to lose control and hit the semi traveling next to him in the left lane, which was driven by Ronald Bickel, 61, of Livonia, Mich. Both semis crashed into the concrete median and sent debris flying, police said.

Reaching new extremes

Adrenaline junkies love it. It might give you a natural high, but it’s the last activity most people would ever choose to do.

The sport is adventure racing, best described as a triathlon, and then some, and then some more.

Stiff new identity theft law passes

JEFFERSON CITY— Identity thieves would risk increasingly harsh penalties — up to life in prison — under legislation given final passage Thursday.

The House approved the bill on an announced vote of 126-3 and sent it to Gov. Bob Holden. The sponsor, Republican Rep. Jason Brown of Platte City, said more than 2,500 Missourians were victims of identity theft in 2002.

Parking meters take cards

Change may be good, but on the streets of Columbia, plastic is better.

Since Monday, some parking meters downtown have been accepting prepaid cards in addition to quarters, nickels and dimes.

Some businesses voluntarily stamp out smoking

Linda Cooperstock said she’s looking forward to the day when Columbia has smoke-free restaurants. Her wish may soon become reality if the early results of an ongoing survey are an indication of things to come. So far the survey shows 50 restaurants have already voluntarily banned smoking.

Cooperstock, co-director of the Boone County Coalition for Tobacco Concerns and a member of the Board of Health, is in charge of the survey that is asking the owners of about 300 local restaurants and bars whether they would consider going smoke-free.

Play takes racial stereotypes to court

On Wednesday night, the cast of “The Trial of a Short-Sighted Black Woman vs. Mammy Louise and Safreeta Mae” debuted to perhaps their toughest critiques: 35 girls from the No Limit Ladies, a support group for young African-American women at Hickman High School.

“I don’t get why the girl is suing the two ladies,” said one student.

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