Semitrailer crash shuts down one lane of I-70

Traffic was backed up Tuesday evening when an accident occurred on westbound Interstate 70 near the border of Callaway and Boone Counties.

According to state trooper Gary Gundy, a truck with a trailer was traveling east shortly after 6 p.m. when the trailer came unhitched. The trailer, which was empty, crossed the open median and hit a semitrailer in the westbound lane.

Get your gig: It’s frog season

Jeff Briggler, herpetologist with the Missouri Department of Conservation, said abundant spring rains mean a good outlook for frog season for the next few years.

Briggler bases his optimism on the number of tadpoles that were counted this year in different areas of the state. The legal limits this year are unchanged: eight frogs per day and a maximum of 16 in any one person’s possession.

Pierpont set to incorporate

Pierpont took a new step toward incorporation Tuesday night as residents filled the Boone County Commission Chambers to show their support of the proposal and commissioners expressed their eagerness to have the incorporation passed.

Pierpont, the common name of an unincorporated portion of Boone County, lies just south of Columbia at the crossing of Missouri 163 and Route N, next to Rock Bridge Memorial State Park. Three of Pierpont’s residents — Justin John, Bud Frew and Bob Miller — have been working for months to push through a proposal that would make Pierpont an official village with authority to govern itself.

Missouri kegs must have tags

Just in time for Fourth of July celebrations, a new state law is on tap that requires kegs to be registered to their buyers.

Authorities are hoping the law, which takes effect Thursday, will make underage drinking a bit harder.

Rock wall owner requests acquittal

Attorneys for a climbing wall owner accused of second-degree involuntary manslaughter filed a motion for acquittal Monday in Boone County Circuit Court.

Matt Woods and Pat Eng, defense lawyers for Marcus Floyd, 31, plan to call a motion to acquit at a hearing scheduled for 9 a.m. July 7. Assistant Prosecutor Richard Hicks said barring changes, the state plans to retry the case.

Police seek information regarding an East Campus break-in, robbery

Three men entered an East Campus apartment late Monday night, placed tape over the mouth of an occupant, then plundered the residence, police said.

Columbia police said the suspects entered an unlocked apartment at 406 S. William St. about 11:30 p.m. armed with baseball bats and a handgun. The four-bedroom unit was ransacked, with a loss of several thousand dollars reported. Computers, DVDs and cash were taken from the residence, police said. A 21-year-old occupant of the apartment was not injured.

West Broadway business owners, residents invited to forum on I-70

The Missouri Department of Transportation will hold an open house tonight for West Broadway residents and business owners affected by the possible expansion and improvement of Interstate 70 and Fairview Road.

“There will be a brief presentation for those in attendance at 6:30, but it’s an open-house type of meeting,” said Bob Brendel, the department’s outreach coordinator for project development.

Load strains public defenders

The Boone County Public Defender has strained its resources for years. The number of cases assigned to the local office caseload has increased each year since fiscal 2000, and three of the 11 lawyers, including the district defender, are leaving at the end of June to set up their own private practice.

Even though public defenders have help from interns and support staff, handling an average of 150 to 180 cases at a time has pressed some to their limits.

Service welcomes wheelchair users

Jeannette Payne doesn’t measure success by how much money her business brings in. If she did, her latest venture might be considered a disappointment.

Instead, Have Wheels Will Travel Inc. succeeds by filling a niche in the community, she said.

Museum added to Lewis and Clark Trail

The latest stop on the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail is the Walters-Boone County Historical Museum, which received the official designation June 17 from the National Park Service.

The museum’s exhibit about the Missouri River helped it qualify as a trail site. The exhibit has three parts: “Settlement and Exploration,” “Effects of Man and Nature,” and “Commerce and Recreation.”

Iraq is sovereign

BAGHDAD, Iraq — Iraq’s new leaders reclaimed their nation two days early, accepting limited power Monday from U.S. occupiers, who wished them prosperity and handed them a staggering slate of problems. Among them is a lethal insurgency the Americans admit they underestimated.

With the passing of a sheaf of documents and a prime minister’s oath on a red Quran, the land once ruled by Saddam Hussein received official sovereignty from U.S. administrators in a secretive ceremony moved up to thwart insurgents’ attempts at undermining the transfer.

Teenager charged in accidental shooting

The brother of a 17-year-old victim has been charged in her accidental shooting.

Joe Henry Hawkins, 18, was charged Monday afternoon with second-degree assault in connection with the June 13 shooting, Boone County Jail officials said. Hawkins was arrested Saturday afternoon with his girlfriend, Jasmine Amber Paige, 18. Paige was arrested in connection with the shooting on suspicion of hindering prosecution, said Sgt. Tom Reddin of the Boone County Sheriff’s Department.

Source of Hinkson pollution revealed

Hinkson Creek is crippled by a barrage of pollutants, including fertilizers, insecticides, petroleum by-products, oil, salt and E. coli bacteria, a new study by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources shows.

DNR water quality data on Hinkson Creek released Monday evaluate nine months’ worth of sampling from a 1½ -mile portion of the stream spanning north of the Columbia landfill to Broadway just north of downtown. The data are significant because they are the first to detail specific pollutants in the stream, which the EPA has included in its list of impaired waters since 1998.

Initiatives to reform marijuana laws filed

Two initiatives seeking to change the way Columbia deals with those who possess small amounts of marijuana were filed Monday with City Clerk Sheela Amin.

Members of the Columbia Alliance for Patients and Education collected nearly 5,000 signatures on each of two petitions, though they needed only 2,276 apiece. The members now must wait up to 10 days while Amin tries to verify whether enough of its signatures are valid. In the meantime, they will continue to gather signatures just in case.

Comic book dream fulfilled

When Scott Ziolko was growing up, he wanted to become a dinosaur hunter, an astronaut or a comic book artist. He said his family supported his childhood dreams but never thought he’d actually chase one of them.

Five candidates pick up garbage to pick up votes

The 25th District Democratic Candidates for the Missouri General Assembly met to pick up trash Sunday evening in hopes of meeting some voters. They also foundbeer cans, car parts, cigarette butts and part of a toilet.

The five candidates met in East Campus for a “Trashegiatto,” a play on the Italian “passegiato,” a social custom where neighbors visit with one another. The event was hosted by local attorney Anna Lingo, who wanted to give the candidates a chance to work together toward something positive and constructive.

Detainees can challenge treatment in U.S. courts

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court dealt a setback to the Bush administration’s war against terrorism Monday, ruling that both U.S. citizens and foreigners seized as potential terrorists can challenge their treatment in U.S. courts.

The court refused to endorse a central claim of the White House since the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001: that the government has authority to seize and detain terror suspects or their protectors and indefinitely deny access to courts or lawyers while interrogating them.

Court rules double-questioning improper

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday warned police away from using a strategy intended to extract confessions from criminal suspects before telling them of their right to remain silent.

The court, on a 5-4 vote in a case from Missouri, said that intentionally questioning a suspect twice — the first time without reading the Miranda warning — is usually improper.

Groups gather across nation to discuss ‘Fahrenheit 9/11’

The movie just hit theaters but one local family didn’t need to wait for the DVD release to host a party for it.

Kevin and Elizabeth Allemann’s home in Harrisburg was one of more than 2,000 homes across the United States in which Americans gathered Monday night to hear Michael Moore speak about how to put his latest movie, “Fahrenheit 9/11,” into action.

Health center gains support

The Health Adventure Center gained the support of the Convention and Visitors Advisory Board Monday to receive $250,000 in funding from a city tax on lodging.

In making its recommendation to the Columbia City Council, the convention and visitors board also will ask the council to wait until there is a public hearing on the Attraction Development Committee’s recommendations before reviewing or voting on the request to help finance development of a health center in the former Federal Building on Cherry Street.