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Faulty wiring linked to Sturgeon fire

Investigators believe that a fire that severely damaged a Sturgeon home Thursday morning started in the ceiling and was probably caused by faulty electrical wiring.

Firefighters with the Boone County Fire Protection District responded to the blaze, at 411 W. Canada St., at around 10 a.m. The fire was under control in about 35 minutes, said Rob Brown, chief of staff for the fire protection district.

Wheels roll on in bad weather

The roads may be clear, but slick sidewalks and driveways were a challenge to navigate Thursday as volunteers for the Meals on Wheels program made their rounds.

In the morning, when the temperature remained below 20 degrees, Cherie Campbell picked up four hot meals going to Meals on Wheels clients and set off on her route.

Loosening stress' grip

Lania Knight used to feel powerless over the stress in her life.

Her busy schedule as an MU graduate student, graduate instructor, writer and mother was the main contributor to her stress. Then Knight began to experience trouble sleeping. She would toss and turn at night.

Muslims observe Celebration of Sacrifice

Sunday marks the end of a holy time in the Islamic faith. Muslims all over the world are taking part in the celebration of Eid al Adha, a festival that commemorates the sacrifices and hardships faced by the prophet Abraham.

Heart Fair will offer free health exams

Boone Hospital will hold the third edition of the Heart Fair on Feb. 5, during which community members can receive four free screening exams, such as glucose and total cholesterol screening, blood pressure check and Body Mass Index calculation.

A historic future

There’s been talk for several years in Hartsburg about creating land-use guidelines for the small town in the Missouri River bottoms.

“Things don’t happen very fast in Hartsburg,” said Jeff Kays, a lawyer who lives in the town of just more than 100 people.

Filibuster centers on renaming

JEFFERSON CITY — The University of Missouri system could gain roughly $190 million under an agreement between two top state senators.

The agreement, still being discussed, was brokered after a six-hour filibuster by Sen. Ken Jacob, D-Columbia, and Senate President Pro Tem Peter Kinder, R-Cape Girardeau.

Wal-Mart traffic worries neighbors

When Mary Paxton Keeley Elementary School opened its doors in the Park De Ville neighborhood in fall 2002, the area was a quiet, residential section of Columbia.

That’s changing quickly.

Democrats swarm into Missouri

ST. LOUIS — Almost immediately after Tuesday’s primary election wrapped up in New Hampshire, three candidates for the Democratic nomination flew to St. Louis on Wednesday, underscoring Missouri’s importance in the Feb. 3 primaries.

John Kerry came into St. Louis as the front-runner Wednesday evening in his last-minute campaign rally here, showcasing powerful endorsements and slanting his speech against President Bush and toward his own electability.

A grant to grow

After three years of hard work, La Escuela Latina, a consolidation of Centro Latino’s eight education programs, is coming to fruition.

Currently, the programs are run in a room flanked on one side by a row of computers and on the other side by two folding tables. The free space in the room is not much wider than an average hallway.

Republicans break ranks in Senate

JEFFERSON CITY — Some Senate Republicans have expressed support for revenue increases to help balance the budget.

Sen. Matt Bartle, R- Lee’s Summit, introduced bills that would increase gambling boat admission fees and court fees with the proceeds earmarked for education.

MU law student to run for office

Lara Underwood, an MU law student from Columbia, has thrown her hat into the ring to become the fourth Democratic candidate for the 25th District seat in the Missouri House of Representatives.

“I’ve always had an interest in politics,” Underwood said Wednesday. “I knew I wanted to enter public service.”

Tax bill cleared for passage

JEFFERSON CITY — A bill that would close a corporate tax loophole was cleared for final passage in the House on Wednesday. The loophole is on Gov. Bob Holden’s hitlist, but the resulting bill doesn’t fall quite in line with his recommendations.

The loophole allows national corporations to transfer revenues to holding companies in other states and write them off on Missouri tax returns as franchise costs such as trademarks and copyrights — which allows them to avoid Missouri taxes. It’s named the “Geoffrey Loophole” after the mascot for Toys “R” Us, one national corporation operating in Missouri.

Groundwater slows ’Berg construction

A few trucks are the only things standing in the space where the Olde Heidelberg restaurant burned down and where the new restaurant will stand.

Construction of the Olde Heidelberg was expected to start in November, and Rusty Walls, general manager of the restaurant, had anticipated re-opening in February or March. But plans have been pushed back due to groundwater problems.

MU recalls King’s art legacy

Three days late, MU began its celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. on Wednesday with “The King Legacy on Art and Public Policy.” The university’s celebration of King, “The Legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on American Public Policy,” was supposed to be a weeklong series of events; however, this week’s snap of cold, ice and snow forced the cancellation of events on Sunday and Tuesday.

Wednesday’s panelists were Norree Boyd, executive director of the Missouri Arts Council; Marie Hunter from the city’s Office of Cultural Affairs; Teresa Unseld, former chairwoman of the art department at Winston-Salem State University; Jean Brueggenjohann, an MU professor of graphic design; and Eduardo Díaz, former director of cultural affairs for San Antonio.

Highway chief calls for more road money

JEFFERSON CITY — More money topped the list of recommendations Missouri’s Department of Transportation director presented to a joint session of the General Assembly on Wednesday.

“It is time to make constructive plans for the critical transportation needs of this state,” transportation director Henry Hungerbeeler said in the first State of Transportation address.

Fire critically injures Boone County woman

Shortly before 2 a.m. Thursday morning the Boone County Fire Protection

District responded to a fire at 5660 Liddell Lane, about seven miles east of Columbia between Route PP and Route Z. Lt. Carl Giacchi, investigator for the county fire department, said the fire started in a fireplace flue. Owner Penny Sipe was believed to be near the fireplace when the fire started. Lt. Giacchi said Sipe had burns over more than 90 percent of her body. Sipe was taken to University Hospital.

Coach accused of bartering tickets

A house painter has accused MU assistant basketball coach Tony Harvey of giving him free MU basketball and football tickets as partial payment for painting sections of Harvey’s Columbia home. The painter is suing Harvey for nearly $5,000 still owed.

Ken Hensel of 2605 Oak Gate Court, who lives around the block from Harvey, filed the lawsuit Jan. 16 in Boone County Circuit Court claiming Harvey defaulted on their “oral contract” in which Hensel would paint interior sections and the pool house of Harvey’s residence at 2605 Chambray Road in exchange for MU football and basketball tickets.

Bringing Iraqi dog home no easy trick

Army Pfc. Jeremiah Smith had just finished his shift guarding a gate to a U.S. military compound in Baghdad when he saw a starving, lost and homeless Iraqi refugee. Smith’s humanitarianism kicked in, and he took the refugee back to camp, where she was fed a steady diet of Spam, Vienna sausages and other leftovers.

Now, Smith, a National Guard reservist from Fulton, wants to bring the refugee — a black-and-white puppy — back to the United States. In an e-mail from Baghdad to the Missourian, Smith said that his unit is scheduled to leave Iraq in early June and that he hates the thought of leaving the Middle East without the dog, whom he and his unit have named Niki.

Educational gift

MU Chancellor Richard Wallace said Tuesday morning that he found it difficult to keep his composure while announcing the largest gift ever presented to the College of Education. The $2 million contribution, made by MU alumni Harold Hook and Joanne Hunt Hook of Houston, will create the first endowed dean’s chair at MU, as well as a center for educational leadership.

At a press conference in the Reynolds Alumni Center, Harold Hook corrected Wallace, saying the $2 million was not a gift.

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