Awareness key goal of poverty game

Participants in the “Creating our Future Together” forum will be playing with fake money, a utility company and a jail this weekend, but they will not be sitting around a Monopoly board. Instead, they will be role-playing in the “Walk a Mile in My Shoes” poverty simulation hosted by the Columbia/Boone County Community Partnership.

To the more than 13,000 Boone County residents the 2000 U.S. Census says are living at or below the federal poverty level, however, being poor is much more than a game.

Finance disclosures reveal Holden leading by millions

JEFFERSON CITY — Gov. Bob Holden outspent Democratic challenger Claire McCaskill and yet had 10 times as much money in the bank heading into the final month before the Aug. 3 primary elections, according to campaign finance reports released Thursday.

A McCaskill spokesman said the cash discrepancy was due partly to the fact her campaign already had paid for TV ads to run through the election.

A taste of medicine

The smell of formaldehyde hung thickly in the warm afternoon air in the lab.

Kody Finstad concentrated intently on his patient, scalpel hovering over the foot. The room grew hushed except for a few good-natured jabs from the crowd surrounding him.

Teacher salaries rank 43rd

JEFFERSON CITY — The average salary of Missouri teachers ranks 43rd in the country, below all of Missouri’s neighbors except Arkansas and Oklahoma, according to a survey by a teachers union.

The American Federation of Teachers found the national average salary for the 2002-03 school year, the latest data available, was $45,771. In Missouri, the average salary was $37,641. By comparison, the average median household income in Missouri was $43,955 as of 2002, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

Senate hopefuls debate

Democratic candidates for the 19th District State Senate took off their gloves Wednesday night in a Boone County debate.

Tim Harlan, former 23rd District House representative until 2002, began the jabs against State Rep. Chuck Graham when responding to a question about plans to minimize the undue influence of corporations on the political process.

Hamming it up: preparing for the fair

People from all over the county are expected to bring their carefully crafted projects to the fairgrounds today for the Boone County Fair. The 58th annual event kicks off Monday. They’ll enter their items — everything from displays on cake decorating to the ideal country cured ham — for judging in three different fair contests.

Camp promotes positive choices

The steady sound of marching echoes throughout the parking lot.

“Left, left, left right left,” bellow the campers, their foreheads and cheeks coated with green and black face paint. Serious, determined expressions line their faces.

State tax credits help local charities

For 11 Boone County charities, finding donations from businesses became easier Tuesday when the Missouri Department of Economic Development announced they would receive about $2.5 million in state tax credits.

The 11 charities were among 107 in the state that received a total of $16 million in tax credits to provide incentives for businesses to donate.

DVD outlines treatments for farmers

You’ve heard it before: No pain, no gain. For farmers living with arthritis, the cliché often becomes a way of life. But it doesn’t have to be.

Many farmers with arthritis perform physically demanding work daily, despite debilitating aches and pains. The doctors who treat such farmers now have a new resource to help them to better understand their patients’ lifestyle and provide more comprehensive treatment.

Naturalists program combines outdoors study, volunteerism

Mid-Missourians who want to expand their knowledge of the natural world will have the opportunity through a new program being offered this fall.

The Master Naturalist program, sponsored by the Missouri Department of Conservation and the University of Missouri Extension, is a nine-week course in ecology and natural history. Participants who complete the course, which includes 40 hours of class sessions and field trips, eight hours of advanced training in a specific field and 40 hours of volunteer service, can be certified as master naturalists.

Flat Branch Park plans to add a water plaza

Columbia’s Flat Branch Park may get a little more interactive.

Mike Snyder, park planner for Columbia Parks and Recreation, said the plan is to create a water plaza with fountains that children can play in. Often called “spray-grounds,” the fountain will feature water that shoots out in designs, such as arches. Plans include smaller fountains for children who may not like playing in the larger fountain. The plaza will be constructed with brick or cobblestone, which Snyder said will be more attractive in winter, when the water is turned off.

Bird’s-eye view of Boone

New aerial maps available online can help Boone County residents find a new home or a piece of property. The maps can be found at, where users can type in an address, zoom in and out on a particular parcel, identify who owns the property, measure distances and print the maps at no cost.

The aerial photos of Boone County were taken in March 2002 to assist local government officials. But, since becoming available to the public Feb. 6, the photos have also helped local realtors, surveyors and title companies research property and tax information.


A map on page 8A Wednesday showing Columbia College’s campuses omitted the Jefferson City campus.

A story in Wednesday’s Missourian incorrectly implied that the smoke detectors in older residence halls are not hardwired, as opposed to battery operated. Smoke detectors in all campus residence halls are hardwired.

Suite Living

Beginning Aug. 15, students will move into four new residence halls, named for the four core values. They are MU’s first since the completion of Gillett Hall in 1967. Construction costs totaled about $45 million; a little over $35 million was paid by Residential Life. Campus Dining Services, which will operate Plaza 900, the dining facility, contributed a little more than $9 million.

Local Democrats set up headquarters

One morning in early June, a truck driver parked his rig in the middle of Walnut Street. While traffic backed up behind the truck, the driver ran into Columbia’s Democratic headquarters and requested two John Kerry bumper stickers.

Providing bumper stickers, yard signs and general information about the Democratic candidates are some of the functions of the headquarters, said Bill Clark, a volunteer at the Boone County Democratic Central Committee office in Columbia.

Shoppers face inconsistent sales tax breaks

JEFFERSON CITY — Shoppers looking for back-to-school bargains could save more in some parts of Missouri than others due to the patchwork application of a sales tax break next month.

Under a one-time state law, Missouri will waive its sales tax Aug. 13-15 for school-related items such as clothes, backpacks and computers. But cities, counties and other tax districts can choose to charge their local sales taxes anyway. And many will be doing so.

County awards service funds

After one amendment to increase funding possibilities for Centro Latino, the Boone County Community Services Advisory Commission approved its 2005 funding recommendations Tuesday night. Five commissioners favored the plan, two opposed and one abstained.

The decision came after a public hearing held by the commission about its recommendations for social service funding. More than $21,000 in new money was available to social service agencies this year, for a total of $843,350. Thirty-eight agencies made requests totaling $988,976. Therefore, some commission recommendations were for significantly less money than what agencies had requested.

Building locations checked by EPA

Inspectors from the Environmental Protection Agency last week scrutinized eight area construction sites, including the Bass Pro Shops on Vandiver Drive.

Inspectors Lorenzo Sena and Margie St. Germain visited the sites to ensure developers are sticking to federal standards for storm water management.

Future of median on Range Line debated

Following the Missouri Department of Transportation’s decision to postpone approving plans for construction on Range Line Street at the request of property owners, the North Columbia League adopted its own formal plan Tuesday to present to MoDOT.

The North Columbia League, an association of business and property owners with frontage along Range Line, was initially formed to lobby the government to accelerate expansion and improvement of Range Line. Now that those improvements are on the horizon, the league wants to ensure the work has a positive impact on the area, league Chairman Cris Burnam said.

Device eases seizure severity

Twenty-year-old epileptic Michelle Botteron of California, Mo., used to have 20 to 30 seizures a day. The number of seizures was reduced to less than half following a one-hour outpatient surgery.

With two minor incisions, Vagus Nerve Stimulation Therapy was attached to a wire that is connected to the vagus nerve in the left side of the neck. VNS therapy works through a small pacemaker-like device that is implanted under a muscle in the chest, said Dr. Nitin Patel, pediatric neurologist at University Hospital. VNS therapy helps to reduce the strength and the number of seizures a patient would normally experience.