Meeting seeks to stop violence against women

Community members discussed what Columbia needs to prevent violence against women at a meeting Monday night.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services presented its plan to prevent violence against women so it can be evaluated by Columbia residents.

Philips tract will be developed

It's a done deal. The 489-acre Philips farm will be developed.

Despite some fervent public opposition over the past year, the farm's fate was sealed Monday night as the Columbia City Council voted 5-1 to approve Elvin Sapp's controversial annexation and zoning request.

A campaign for kids

Since the Sept. 11 attacks, many not-for-profit organizations have had trouble maintaining an adequate level of financing. But thanks to “Bowl for Kids’ Sake” and other programs like it, Big Brothers Big Sisters keeps rolling along.

“This is our biggest fund-raiser for the year,” said Rebecca Gordon, director of development and public relations for the group. “This is the 35th anniversary of our first bowling fund-raiser, and we’re on target to have our best event ever.”

Small-town life has gotten bigger

I was doing a walk-through in my garden the other day, checking for signs of new growth, when my neighbor came over for a visit. Abrupt fellow that he is, he announced right off the bat that now that the robins were signaling spring, he was through sitting around the house, listening to hour after hour of dismal national news. He was ready, he said, to return to the life of a normal, retired mid-Missourian, anxious to pursue his own interests. He was ready to garden, fish, take nature hikes and roam the countryside in search of antique furniture.

I certainly appreciated his attitude. I have a hard time dealing with people who stay glued to the tube year-round and never come up for air. It’s difficult finding a common thread on which to string a conversation. I think the national political polls are right. Eight months prior to the election, most people already have made up their minds about whom they will vote for and why. And while events can radically change the landscape in the meantime, I doubt that many voters will change their minds. Most of the people I know are absolutely polarized. They know exactly where they stand on issues such as joblessness, outsourcing, immigration, the situation in Iraq and the myriad other problems we face. Everything that can be said on both sides of the issues has already been said thousands of times. Most folks would just like to spend a few hours a day renewing their spirit, surrounded by peace and contentment.

Making sense of the merger mystery

Taylor Barnes loved geography so much that he thought his MU bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the field were not enough. He would have stayed in Missouri for a doctoral program, but there weren’t any. So he jumped ship to the University of Illinois-Urbana. That was 30 years ago.

Today, Barnes is provost at Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville and hopes that by merging the school with the University of Missouri system, Northwest will be able to offer some doctoral-level programs not available in the state — including geography.

Changing roles of journalism examined

In the days after Sept. 11, 2001, billowing clouds of smoke and ash rose above New York, then fell on silent streets like dark-gray snow. Across the nation, people gathered around televisions and read newspapers as they attempted to make sense of the chaos.

But by 2002, according to the Project for Excellence in Journalism’s first State of the News Media report, released this morning, the outcry for credible journalism had subsided. The high degree of public trust in journalism inspired by news coverage of the Sept. 11 attacks fell to normal, lower levels, which had begun to decline in 1986 and continue to decline today, the report states.

State aims to stop violence against women

Lanell Younger Jackson of Columbia knows too well the cycle of emotional and physical abuse suffered by victims of domestic violence. It begins with words — “stupid,” “idiot,” “pathetic.” Then, as the words become louder and harsher, the grabbing and pushing starts.

“It got worse after he realized I was afraid of him,” Jackson said. “One thing led to another until he was beating me.”

Guard battalion sent to Utah

Jacqueline Richmond had 30 days to say goodbye to her husband, Maj. Ryon Richmond, who will be gone for at least the next year.

“From a personal point of view, it’s hard, but once I learned about his mission, I’m proud of it, and I’m proud of him,” she said.

State program brings owners and lost goods back together

Dan Stookey, an owner of Cooper Travel Service Inc., has just received a nice surprise — $79 he didn’t even know about.

Stookey is one of more than 1.5 million Missourians who own property or are owed money but don’t realize it.

MU researcher studies alcohol, liver

Alcoholic liver disease affects nearly 2 million people each year and is the third-leading preventable cause of death in the United States. Right now, there is no cure, but an MU researcher was recently awarded a $1 million grant to begin searching for one.

Shivendra Shukla has put together a team from the MU School of Medicine to study the effects of alcohol on liver cells. Although Shukla’s goal is to eventually produce a drug that will prevent and treat liver damage from alcohol, the researcher’s first priority is identifying how alcohol damages the liver.

Fetch, Fido

Pictures of Leo, Carly, Kilts, Socks, Spook and others were lined up on a table for members of First Presbyterian Church to admire Sunday.

This public display of animal affection was all part of “The Pet Event,” one of five New Horizons Dinners where church members 50 and older eat, meet and mingle.

Protesters decry lack of diversity support

Senior Amber Flournoy was one of 100 MU students, faculty, and Columbia citizens gathered in front of Jesse Hall at 6 a.m. this morning to protest the lack of support for diversity on campus.

An article written by student Jenny Marinko in the most recent edition of MU Student News was cited as the "straw that broke the camels back," said many students.

Country jams

Betty White didn’t know what she was getting into 30 years ago, marrying a fiddler.

A few weeks after they were married, she went to the bathroom to find her husband locked inside, refusing to come out. She grew alarmed.

Selling off realty can be a fiasco

My husband and I decided that it is time to sell our lake house. With three levels and five bedrooms it was the perfect place for our children and their children to visit. But now that most of the grandkids are in school, they’re far too busy to spend time at the lake away from their friends and activities.

Putting a house on the market is a pain in the neck. First we had to fill out a six-page disclosure that I didn’t have a clue as how to answer some of the questions.

Philips plan assessed before final vote

The Columbia City Council will have its final vote Monday on Elvin Sapp’s proposal to develop the 489-acre Philips farm just southeast of the city limits. Sapp wants to annex and zone the land to allow for more than 750 homes and a mix of office buildings and shops, which, if built according to current plans, would be one of the largest developments in Boone County history.

Sapp’s spokespeople have repeatedly said he will pull the project if the council doesn’t approve it Monday.

Limbo Queen

About halfway through any given skating session at Empire Roller Rink, the first eight beats of the Limbo Rock snap the attention of dozens of children and even some adults. They stop what they’re doing and rush to the skate floor to claim their spots in line.

Once in line, the competition becomes intense as participants try their best to get as low as they can on skates to maneuver under the bar. This limbo differs from the on-foot style in that contestants don’t have to bend backwards. Instead, they bend forward over their legs, sometimes in positions similar to doing the splits, to get under the bar. The goal is still to be the lowest and to become that session’s limbo champ.

Graham resigns from committee

JEFFERSON CITY — Columbia lost a vote on Missouri’s House Budget Committee when Rep. Chuck Graham, D-Columbia, resigned from the committee Wednesday.

Graham’s resignation from the committee, which determines the House’s budget proposals, came just before the committee votes on its budget for next year.

Hopefuls’ opinions debated in forum

Incumbent Mayor Darwin Hindman and challengers John G. Clark and Arch Brooks sounded off against each other Friday at the Boone County Muleskinners meeting. Issues that will play a large role in the upcoming election, based on the Democratic club’s forum at Stephens College, are police-community relations, city growth, the Philips tract and unemployment. Each candidate had a chance to critique or praise city government and to share their opinions on each issue and ideas for future change.

Asked what the “biggest challenge” facing city government is now, each candidate had a different response.

Healing through prayer

Every Sunday morning, in the sun-filled foyer of the First Church of Christ, Scientist, Columbia, visitors and church members are warmly welcomed by both a smiling usher and an inspirational message from the religion’s founder, Mary Baker Eddy, in bold block letters on the front wall: “Divine Love always has met and always will meet every human need.”

The congregation is small — about 30 to 50 people attend services at the church’s chocolate-colored building on Broadway — which might make it easier for members to develop loving and familial relationships with each other, churchgoers said.

What’s next in the delegate process

As in other states, the results of Missouri’s Feb. 4 primary election are represented to the national Democratic Party by delegates, those who officially anoint the party’s presidential nominee at the Democratic National Convention in July. Missouri will send 88 delegates and 13 alternates to the convention, most of whom are bound to represent the state’s popular vote. The process is a lot like tryouts for a baseball team:

Feb. 26