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

Mayoral candidates’ fund-raising varies

Darwin Hindman isn’t taking the upcoming mayoral election lightly. He’s just spending lightly.

Hindman, who is opposed in the race by John G. Clark and Arch Brooks, raised only $800 through Feb. 21, according to a campaign finance report on file at the Boone County Clerk’s Office. Nearly half that amount came from a single contributor.

Carbon monoxide deaths ‘accidental’

The deaths of the two Columbia women and a 10-year-old girl were classified as accidental Friday after police said they found no sign of foul play.

The Columbia Police Department issued a press release stating that Pelagia “Peggy” Cuellar’s car had been running inside her closed garage for “quite some time,” causing carbon monoxide to accumulate within the house and the garage, which was located under the residence.

Film fest returns to its roots

The Rural Route Film Festival, born in New York City, is the brainchild of former Columbia resident Mike Schmidt and his friend Alan Webber.

But the festival’s subject matter takes viewers a long way from the Big Apple: cattle auctions and oil wells, prescription drug abuse in Kentucky, Texas camel treks and a farmhouse in rural West Virginia that doubles as a “pay-as-you-go” dental clinic.

Hunter gathering

With the deer hunting season officially over, hunters gathered at the 16th Annual Missouri Deer Classic to extend the season by comparing trophies and techniques.

Continuing today, it features seminars and more than 200 exhibits, including trophy and taxidermy displays, hunting equipment and apparel, a kid’s archery range and a pellet rifle range.

Center promotes religious diversity awareness

For a Muslim woman, a routine visit to a doctor or a stay at a hospital can become an unpleasant ordeal if the physician treating her is unfamiliar with the customs of Islam.

A request for a nurse to point out the direction of Mecca could be dismissed as the effect of painkillers.

Mo. guard to serve across United States

More National Guard members are being deployed to active duty, but they’re not going to Iraq.

Three units of the Missouri National Guard, totaling about 170 soldiers, will be deployed this weekend to various locations in the United States.

New laundry agitates some residents

Last summer, Kathy Williams sat outside watching construction begin on a new laundry facility across the street, something she said would make her life easier.

Six months later, she now finders herself wiping the top of a shiny white front-load washing machine with a stainless-steel industrial dryer spinning behind her. A Columbia Housing Authority resident, she has been hired part time to keep up the building.

Three found dead in home

Two women and a 10-year-old girl were found dead in their beds in a northwest Columbia home Wednesday night, the victims of carbon monoxide poisoning.

“Evidence at the scene clearly indicated that carbon monoxide poisoning caused the deaths,” said Sgt. Steven Monticelli of the Columbia Police Department. “We have questions that we’re still getting answers to before we can make a final ruling on whether it’s a homicide or accidental.”

From sidelines to the spotlight

JEFFERSON CITY — Pete Adkins, legendary high school football coach. Melissa Etheridge, Grammy award-winning musician. Two paths that seemingly would never cross, but they have in Etheridge’s newest music video.

Adkins coached the Jefferson City Jays football team from 1958 to 1994, racking up the highest winning percentage in history for a high school football coach in the United States, with a final record of 405-60-4. When Etheridge began the process of figuring out a concept for her latest single, “Breathe,” she had football on her mind.

Iraqi uses talents to aid his homeland

Sewage floods the streets as Rahim AlHaj struggles to walk through the filth and stench in a ruined neighborhood southeast of Baghdad. These are the same streets where he used to play as a child.

“I was heartbroken,” said AlHaj in a phone interview. “Kids don’t even have a place to play outside.”

Bombings stun Spain

MADRID, Spain — In the most devastating terrorist attack in Spanish history, 10 bombs that detonated minutes apart ripped through crowded commuter trains at three Madrid stations early Thursday, killing nearly 200 people, wounding 1,400 and sending the capital into convulsions of shock and horror three days before a national election.

Authorities immediately blamed the Basque separatist group ETA for the deadliest wave of terrorism seen in Europe in almost two decades. But the scale of carnage went far beyond anything the separatists had ever carried out and led to speculation that other groups might be responsible.

Spain’s tragedy hits home

The Spanish community in Columbia was in shock Thursday after learning that terrorists had blown up three trains in Madrid killing more than 190 people.

Arturo Guillen Moreno, an MU doctoral student in computer sciences from Madrid, was listening to the radio Wednesday night when he first heard.

Suspects arraigned in local slaying

Boone County Prosecutor Kevin Crane said he will wait until the preliminary hearing to decide whether or not to seek the death penalty for Ryan William Ferguson, one of the two suspects charged in the murder of former Columbia Tribune sports editor Kent Heitholt.

Ferguson, 19, and Charles Timothy Erickson, 19, were arraigned Thursday in Boone County Circuit Court by video link from the Boone County Jail, where they are being held without bail. A preliminary hearing has been scheduled for March 30, when the men will have an opportunity to enter a plea.

Timeline of events since Heitholt’s death

Nov. 1, 2001

Deaths ruled accidental

After the Medical Examiner's Office found signs of carbon monoxide poisoning, Columbia Police have classified the death of three women found Wednesday night as accidental.

3 people found dead in northwest Columbia

Three people were found dead last night in northwest Columbia. The cause of death was unknown as of 9 a.m. Thursday, and Columbia Police have turned the investigation over to the Major Crimes Unit.

A relative called police at about 11:30 p.m. Wednesday because she was concerned about her sister and her niece who had missed work and school respectively. Police found the sister, 34, and her daughter, 10, dead at the home. The female owner of the residence, 71, was also found dead.

Teens charged in '01 killing

Since Kent Heitholt was murdered on Nov. 1, 2001, in what detectives described as a “sloppy crime,” Columbia police have followed hundreds of leads, coming up empty handed at each turn.

Until now.