Watershed protection

Columbia officials have agreed to make significant changes to their storm-water management program in the midst of controversy over land-disturbance permits in the Hinkson Creek watershed.

City Manager Ray Beck, Assistant City Manager Bill Watkins and other city representatives met Tuesday with officials from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to work out problems with the city’s permit process.

Tainted city sites

While the EPA deemed Hinkson Creek impaired in 1998, neither the federal government nor the state has done enough study to determine what the pollutants are or where they are coming from. Those questions contributed to a Department of Natural Resources decision to sit on 27 construction permits out of fear that further development could pollute the creek even more.

The Biological Assessment Report on Hinkson Creek done by the DNR in 2002, however, sheds some light on the pollutant problem. According to the report, the DNR tested eight sites along Hinkson Creek through Columbia and cited five sites suspected of being major contributors to pollution that compromises the creek’s ability to sustain aquatic life. Those sites include:

Building collapse leads to fines

Two local contractors that were constructing a steel frame building when it collapsed in September have been cited for serious violations of federal worker-safety codes. The collapse killed one worker and injured two others.

Prost Builders and J.D. Builders failed to maintain the structural stability of the building — the future Columbia Transload Terminal at 6501 Brown Station Road — according to a report issued by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

Police tell public of date rape dangers

A man drives home from a bar after drinking three beers. He knows this amount of alcohol should not affect his driving ability, but he has to pull over halfway home because he feels ill. This is an example Sgt. Danny Grant gave of how “club” or “date-rape” drugs have affected people in Columbia.

Grant was unable to give exact numbers to show increased use of the drugs at a Tuesday press conference. But as supervisor of the Columbia Police Department’s Community Services Unit for the past eight years, he said that he has encountered many informal reports of date-rape-drug victims during the last three or four years.

Ramada party accounts vary

Saturday night at the Ramada Inn, Marlon Ward, who says he was a bystander when fighting broke out at an overcrowded sorority party, was arrested.

“I was just watching, and they (the police) just came up and maced me,” he said. By the time the Mace wore off, he was at the police station with the other seven people arrested.

Reynolds institute to link journalists, public

The dean of the Missouri School of Journalism is not ashamed to admit journalism has gone astray from the public it is supposed to serve.

“One of the accusations is that we (journalists) might have become too arrogant in relation to our audience,” Dean Mills said Tuesday, a day after the Journalism School was given

Poor sales force gallery to close

In a sculpture toward the center of the room, at least a dozen heads erupt from a metal base. Oils, pastels and acrylics line the walls, and blown glass vases of every color create rainbows in giant windows. The scene is colorful, eclectic and powerful, to say the least.

However, at the end of May this unique element of downtown Columbia and the city’s art community will close.

Renovations to force Young Life out of office

For the third time in a year, the Columbia chapter of Young Life, a nondenominational Christian organization that ministers to teens, will have to move, and its director is searching for a permanent home.

This time, in about two weeks, renovations will force the ministry from its home on Cherry Street.

Mental health insurance bill enters House

JEFFERSON CITY — Edward Duff says his mental health treatment cost him his job. He’s urging Missouri lawmakers to prevent that from happening to others.

Duff, who suffers from bipolar disorder, declared his condition during a health examination at the end of his probationary period — a disclosure Duff says led to his termination.

Modest start at MU led to newspaper fortune

The late Donald W. Reynolds — the man behind a $31 million gift announced Monday to build a journalism institute at MU — was born in Texas, raised in Oklahoma and schooled in Missouri.

Until his graduation from MU’s School of Journalism in 1927, Reynolds paid for his education by working summers at a meat-packing plant in Oklahoma. In 1940, he bought three newspapers, creating the Donrey Media Group. By the time he died in 1993, Reynolds owned more than 50 newspapers, including the largest of them, the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

More tax revenue, more criticism

JEFFERSON CITY — Another month of unexpectedly high revenue collections has led to another round of Republican criticism that Gov. Bob Holden should release education withholdings.

House Budget Committee Chairman Carl Bearden, R-St. Charles, said he expects the governor won’t release the money until May, if at all, to allow passage of local tax levies for education planned for April ballots. Voters are less likely to approve a tax increase after additional funds have just been released, Bearden said.

Mobile home dwellers seek fair warning

JEFFERSON CITY — Dozens of mobile home residents came to Missouri’s Statehouse on Monday to tell legislators that mobile homes aren’t so mobile.

The residents are promoting legislation to give more rights to residents of mobile home parks.

Massive gift for MU

With $31 million, the Missouri School of Journalism will create a hub where citizens, journalists and educators can shape the future of media, MU leaders and others said Monday.

The gift, announced at an afternoon press conference, will be used to establish the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute — a move that will not only bring cutting-edge media technology to campus but also reshape a portion of Francis Quadrangle, MU’s historic heart.

Bronze inspiration

An artist can capture aspects of ordinary events and bring them to the surface for others to see. For local artist Don Bartlett, one of his last sculptures was inspired by the visual impact of a single photograph.

Bertrice Bartlett said her late husband’s bronze sculpture of four basketball players reaching for the ball was “inspired by the dynamic but fluid forms created during their action.” The work, simply titled “Basketball Players,” was created by Don Bartlett in 1984, two years before he died of cancer at 58.

Objections to UM bond measure melt

JEFFERSON CITY — The chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee said Monday that the University of Missouri system may well be able to secure its prized construction money.

Sen. John Russell, R-Lebanon, had been one of the $190.4 million bond’s most vocal critics.

Bush visits Springfield auto plant

President George Bush’s drive to manufacture another win in Missouri began in a warehouse in Springfield this year.

Bush defended his economic polices Monday, speaking to about 600 supporters and workers of SRC Automotive Inc. at an economic forum held at the plant. Five local workers and business owners joined Bush on stage, explaining how they benefited from tax cuts.

Ramada Inn investigated after party

After a disturbance Saturday night that led to the arrest of eight people, Columbia police and fire officials will meet today to determine if a local hotel violated city fire codes during a private party.

Fire Battalion Chief Steven Sapp said the two departments are investigating whether the Ramada Inn Conference Center, 1100 Vandiver Drive, filled its banquet room with more people than legally permitted during a style and fashion show thrown by MU’s Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc.

Farm fresh

It’s Saturday afternoon, and Sam the Turkey is proudly strutting around the gravel parking lot of Sho-Me Farms Market, greeting customers with a blue and red wattled smile and a puff of his feathers.

“(My husband) says he’s our mascot,” store owner Marylou Mayse said as she gently guided him out from behind a red truck so a customer could leave.

World Harvest introduces an array of international foods

There’s a new hotspot in town for Columbians with a taste for eclectic foods and international flavor.

Nestled behind Gerbes supermarket on Nifong Boulevard is a new specialty foods store, World Harvest International and Gourmet Foods.

Columbia school board focuses on dilemma of raising salaries

Raising salaries to keep teacher morale high at the Columbia Public School District would come at the price of losing teachers.