There is only one human case of West Nile Virus waiting to be confirmed in Missouri, a sharp decrease in the number infected at this time last year. However, the government and experts warn people to stay alert as the peak season for the virus begins.
Spread by mosquitoes, West Nile was first found in the United States in 1999 and reached Missouri last year. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most people show no symptoms when infected. However, about one in 150 people infected will develop a severe illness, with symptoms that may include a fever and lead to a coma.
Last spring the Columbia City Council, prompted by child safety advocacy group Safe Kids and the board of health, passed a city ordinance requiring children to wear protective helmets when biking or skating. To date, no enforcement measures have been taken on the ordinance. Local lawmakers say they never intended to enforce it.
Columbia’s helmet ordinance requires children 15 and younger to wear protective helmets when riding bicycles, inline skates, skateboards or scooters within the city limits. The ordinance gives officers the power to fine the guardians of children without helmets between $5 and $25 for the infraction. It also allows officers to temporarily impound the items from children who violate the ordinance.
Missouri Aptitude Test scores for 2003 fell in more areas than they improved.
“I am disappointed,” said Kent King, Missouri’s education commissioner. “We didn’t see the kind of growth that I would have hoped and anticipated that we would see.”
A man suspected of a string of robberies Wednesday in Boone and Callaway counties remained at large Wednesday night, police said.
Police said he same man who robbed the United Security Bank in Kingdom City on Wednesday afternoon may also have stolen a car from a dealership in northeast Columbia and may have snatched the purse of a 61-year-old Columbia woman in front of the Wal-Mart Supercenter at 415 Conley Road.
Alzheimer’s disease will spread more rapidly than previously believed, according to a new national study on the disease that destroys brain cells and leads to memory loss and dementia.
“Unless things change dramatically, we are going to have 12 to 14 million Alzheimer’s patients in the country,” said Dr. Armon Yanders, director of the Alzheimer’s Disease and Related Disorders Research Program at MU. “It is one of the major health crises facing the country over the next 50 years.”
As a new school year approaches, families are crowding stores searching for school supplies. Each year, to make back-to-school shopping easier, Columbia elementary schools and two junior highs distribute lists of school supplies to local Wal-Marts, Targets and Kmarts.
“Having a list means I don’t have to rush,” said Carla Hensley, a mother of three school-aged children, including two in middle school. Although Oakland and Jefferson junior high schools provide supply lists, West Junior High does not. For its opening day, West tells students to bring pens, pencils, notebooks and paper, leaving it to teachers to give students a concise list of required materials.
Children at Columbia Montessori School might go barefoot in their daily activities today, or they might sit together observing nature on the playground.
“The child is encouraged to take care of as many things as they are capable of doing themselves,” said school director and MU psychologist Nancy Davis.
Some are moving across town and others are moving across the country. Five local high school students have chosen different paths, but are sharing some of the same mixed emotions and experiences as they prepare for the next step in their lives — college.
The transition from high school to college can be a challenge. Uncertainties about the future and goodbyes to family and friends can be overwhelming. Some high school graduates will be hours from home. Others will be only minutes, choosing one of the several options for higher education that is offered in Columbia.
Joseph Fighting Bear Hodge carries a photograph of his great-great-grandfather Manuelito in his shirt pocket. The last war chief of the Navajo Nation, Manuelito described education as a ladder and urged his people to climb it. His words inspired Hodge, who is Navajo and Apache, to teach in Colorado.
Now Hodge will help educate people here about the Lewis and Clark expedition and the history of the Missouri River. Hodge is one of several AmeriCorps volunteers working on the new Lewis and Clark Bicentennial AmeriCorps project, spearheaded by the Missouri River Communities Network in Columbia.
The bodies of former patients at Ashland Healthcare were exhumed in search of more evidence in the months before murder charges against former nurse Richard Williams were dismissed.
Eddie Adelstein, acting Boone County medical examiner, said that after attempting to get records of the Ashland investigation he was given only a half-page summary on a previous patient-care analysis done by the Missouri Board of Nursing.
COLUMBIA — Boone County authorities have given the FBI more than two dozen hours of recorded jailhouse phone conversations of former Missouri basketball player Ricky Clemons, Sheriff Ted Boehm said Tuesday.
The FBI declined to comment about why it gathered the phone recordings and incoming mail for Clemons, who is serving a 60-day sentence after pleading guilty to false imprisonment of his former girlfriend.
Trying to put to rest questions of whether Columbia’s section of Interstate 70 could go up instead of out, another major design for the corridor will be shown at a public meeting Thursday.
A drawing of a stacked interstate will be on display at the meeting, along with more detailed options for another plan to widen Columbia’s corridor to eight lanes, said Buddy Desai, an engineer for the consulting firm CH2M Hill.
It’s not easy staying cool when the mercury is rising. Not even for the iceman.
“We’re not wearing ice suits,” said Sean Brown, a Tiger Ice delivery man. “It’s a cooler job, but it’s still an outside job.”
The three-alarm fire that gutted The Olde Heidelberg restaurant early Monday caused $1 million in damage, fire and insurance officials said Tuesday.
That’s up from an unofficial $250,000 estimated Monday by Battalion Chief Steven Sapp of the Columbia Fire Department. Sapp said then that the figure was on the conservative side.
The Columbia Housing Authority voted on Tuesday night to build a fence around the Loaves and Fishes soup kitchen.
The fence was first brought up as a possibility in May and is meant to address complaints by residents and businesses near the soup kitchen at 616 Park Ave. CHA commissioners said they have been told that some of the people who visit the soup kitchen litter, loiter and harass customers.
Mediacom wants its franchise renewed by the Columbia City Council, but there are two key questions that need to be resolved before the renewal can be approved.
The first involves the free family cable service currently provided to the residents of Oak Towers and Paquin Tower, facilities for low-income elderly and disabled people. Since 2001, when Mediacom took over the local cable franchise, residents have received free family cable. Now Mediacom is requesting documentation to show that they must provide the free service.
A higher property tax in the Special Business District will pay for new street lights and other projects downtown.
Property owners in the district, which is bound by Providence Road and Waugh, Elm and Ash streets, will pay an extra 6 cents per $100 assessed valuation beginning in fiscal 2004. That means the owner of a building worth $100,000 would pay an extra $60 per year.
Class registration over the phone is once again possible at MU.
Christian Basi, MU spokesman, said there was a capacity overload in the computer registration system on Monday. The overload was caused by a combination of the newly installed security measures and an increased number of students registering at the four UM campuses.
Throughout her 18 years as a parent educator, Carol Koenig has guided hundreds of families in the Columbia community. Recently, her reputation grew when she was named one of five top parent educators by the Parents as Teachers National Center.
“She really gets invested in a family,” said Jerri Deming, coordinator of the Columbia Parents as Teachers program. “It becomes personal to her — it’s not just a job.”
A fire that destroyed The Olde Heidelberg restaurant Monday was preceded by a series of apparent electrical problems, according to interviews with workers and customers, but Columbia fire officials say it might take several days to determine the true cause of the blaze.
Don’t worry, however. The ’Berg will be back.