Historic playhouse razed at Stephens

A trip down College Avenue by Stephens College on Friday gave travelers a different view of the campus. A cloud of dust rose steadily. Sitting atop a pile of splintered wood, large wooden trusses and faded orange theater seats was the source: A 35,000-pound hydraulic excavator was stripping down the red brick walls of one of the college’s oldest buildings.

Built in the late 1890s, Old South Auditorium had been used as the playhouse and theater until the mid-1980s, but it had not been used since. Sagging beams, a leaking roof and safety issues prompted the college’s decision to level the building, said Amy Gipson, a Stephens spokeswoman.

Carnahan’s book speaks volumes

Former U.S. Senator and First Lady Jean Carnahan was in town the other day on a book tour. Her recent book “Don’t Let the Fire Go Out” was published by the University of Missouri Press. I had met Mrs. Carnahan several years ago, had read one of her previous books and was looking forward to the opportunity to visit with this remarkable woman.

Those who have met Mrs. Carnahan already know about the charm and grace of her presence. She really is one of those people who makes you feel as if you’re the most important person she has spoken with that day. She makes you wish that someone could bottle her personality and distribute it to every politician on the planet.

Inspiration Strikes

Surrounded by flowers, a bowling ball is suspended a foot off the ground in front of the house. About 60 more have been placed on the porch, on the lawn and in the flowerbeds.

Only local bowling alleys can compete with the quantity of balls owned by Meg Gibson. Gibson, however, rarely sets foot in a bowling alley. She uses her bowling balls to decorate her home near Stephens Park. Some are faded from the sun, weather beaten and cracked. The longer the balls are exposed to the elements, the more they blend in with the landscape.

Veterans go for gold

With detailed play-by-play of unforgettable, against the odds victories , Rudy Kelley talks about the National Veterans Golden Age Games the way most men talk about their glory days on the high school football team. With one exception: He can return each year to create more memories.

Kelley and three other local veterans are representing Truman Veterans Hospital in the 18th annual games next week in Fresno, Calif. The group of athletes prepares and trains for about six months prior to the games and typically they bring home top medals, said Kelley, who is in his 10th year as coach and coordinator of the team.

Fair gallops toward 58th annual opening

Andreya Evans sat on her horse, Kaypasa, her teal English daycoat flashing brightly on top of the horse’s dark brown, shiny coat. Kaypasa pawed the ground and shifted his weight, impatient for the event to begin. Andreya rode him out of the arena to get him ready to go into the ring, but she was not nervous as he was.

“I’ve been riding for so long,” she said. “I look at it more as a practice.”

Candidates set for TV showdown

As cartoon boxing gloves smack and animated flames spurt, a mid-Missouri TV announcer hypes next week’s Democratic debates between Gov. Bob Holden and primary challenger Claire McCaskill: “Don’t miss the Show-Me State Showdown!”

But who will actually tune in to a political debate on a warm summer evening, with sunshine casting long golden slants across baseball diamonds, swimming pools, soccer fields and patio parties?

Hopefuls differ on state’s economic needs

JEFFERSON CITY — Their diagnoses are different, and so are their proposed remedies.

The three leading candidates in Missouri’s gubernatorial race hold divergent beliefs on whether the economy is good, bad or mediocre. And they promote varying plans to strengthen it.

Democratic incumbent Bob Holden views Missouri’s economy as improving, citing the job-creating policies and actions of his administration as part of the reason. He wants another four years in office to work toward a rather lofty goal.

Lieutenant governor candidates differ on fund-raising techniques

The disparity in campaign contributions collected by the Republican candidates for lieutenant governor is reflective of their different campaign styles.

“My campaign is very much a grass roots kind of campaign,” said Pat Secrest, a Republican from Manchester. “I’m out there on the road and going door to door.”

Search proves unnecessary

After responding to reports of a possible abduction, the six-hour search for a transient man and a young girl was called off early Friday evening once authorities found the subjects in question -- and learned that the female involved was a small-framed, grown woman.

Shooting inspires Falun Gong supporters' trip to South Africa

Sara Effner of Jamestown sat on the floor of the Boone County Commission Chamber on Friday with four other Falun Gong practitioners. With slow-moving hands, they demonstrated the exercises of Falun Gong after announcing Effner's planned trip to South Africa.

The reported shooting of Falun Gong practitioners in South Africa inspired her to make the trip to raise awareness in the South African government about the Chinese spiritual practice of meditation called Falun Gong.

Life-changing routes

Alexander sees his mother only in pictures. Jessica Owen’s warm smile and gentle blue eyes are frozen on a framed piece of photographic paper pressed behind a thin sheet of glass.

With Alexander’s growing vocabulary he says “night-night” at bedtime, “water” when he’s thirsty and “cracker” when he’s hungry. He looks at the photograph of Jessica and says, “Mama.”

Lumber firm set to host Cheney visit

The story line couldn’t be any better for the Bush-Cheney campaign.

A thriving family-owned small business in central Missouri. Politically active co-owners grateful for the business-friendly policies of the current administration. A founder who has given generously through the years to Republican candidates.

Police: Mother talked of killings

A Moberly woman remains in the Randolph County Jail on $1 million bond in connection with the separate deaths of her infant son and daughter. The deaths occurred just more than a year apart.

Carla Clay, 23, was arrested by Moberly police on Thursday morning on suspicion of two counts of first-degree murder. She was arraigned Thursday afternoon before Randolph County Associate Circuit Judge Scott Haynes.

Council to define logging, penalties

More than two years after the Environment and Energy Commission first complained about loopholes in Columbia’s tree-preservation ordinance, the Columbia City Council on Monday night will have the chance to approve or reject recommended amendments.

The first would alter penalty provisions of the law to base fines for violators on a per-acre rather than a per-tree assessment.


A headline on Page 7A in Friday's Missourian incorrectly listed the defendants in a school property-tax lawsuit. Attorneys for the Columbia School District and the Boone County Collector Pat Lensmeyer filed an application to have the case transferred to the Supreme Court.

Democrat Jim LePage stands against abortion

Jim LePage proves the terms “conservative” and “Democrat” are not mutually exclusive.

LePage, a candidate for the Democratic nomination for governor, has views that conflict with those typically held by Democrats. He opposes abortion, and gay marriage. In the Democratic gubernatorial primary, LePage said he will be an option for Democrats the party has abandoned over right-to-life issues.

Jeff Emrick boasts leadership abilities, mass-transit plan

If Jeff Emrick is elected governor, he would fund affordable housing programs for senior citizens, open forums for discussion of a mass-transit rail system and fight the high cost of prescription drugs.

Emrick, a Democrat from Blue Summit, is a full-time candidate for governor. He registered late for the governor’s race because he was moving, he said.

Sheriff candidate, Boehm deny perjury allegations

Last week’s allegations that a candidate for Boone County Sheriff had an affair with a subordinate — then lied about it under oath — originated from court documents a judge sealed from public view three years ago.

Affidavits submitted to county prosecutors by Columbia attorney Dennis Murphy allege that candidate Dwayne Carey, committed perjury in 1999 to hide an affair in 1996 and 1997 with former deputy Edith Homan.

Lawyer contributions pose possible conflict

Ideas for campaign finance reform have taken numerous shapes, from lowering caps on contributions to letting contributors donate as much as they want.

Republican lawyer Chris Byrd of Kansas City believes the attorney general and those running for the office, including himself, should not accept contributions from attorneys or law firms. Byrd criticizes incumbent Attorney General Jay Nixon for doing so.

’Realville’ imitates poverty’s realities

The people of “Realville” are just like everyone else: They work, send their children to school and pay bills. The town has a bank, a supermarket, a school and a police department. The only difference is that all of Realville’s residents are at or below the poverty level.

Realville and its residents may be fictitious, but the situations they find themselves in are very real. That’s what participants from all over the community — ranging from the homeless to CEOs — learned during the “Walk a Mile in My Shoes” poverty simulation Friday.