Bigger home park OK’d

Rogers Mobile Home Park will be expanded at 10221 E. I-70 Dr. NE, the Boone County Commission decided Tuesday night in its monthly meeting with the Boone County Planning and Zoning Commission.

A crowd gathered in opposition to the park’s expansion, citing problems with sewage, traffic and limited recreation areas. Despite the concerns, the expansion was approved 2-1, with Skip Elkin, District II commissioner, casting the dissenting vote.

Second driver in fatal crash named

Police on Tuesday identified the second driver involved in Saturday morning’s fatal two-vehicle accident on U.S. 63.

John Lillard, 40, of 4718 Knox Drive, was named as the driver of a vehicle traveling south in the northbound lanes of U.S. 63 that collided head-on with a vehicle driven by Aldredo Camacho, an Army recruiter in Columbia.

Health department settles in new, bigger home

The Columbia/Boone County Department of Health opened a new building at 1005 W. Worley St. Tuesday.

The new Sanford Kimpton Building has more than double the square footage of the department’s former location, which had housed the health department since its construction in 1933.

Overhaul proposed for Stadium

Columbia developer Raul Walters has filed a petition with the Boone County Circuit Court to form the city’s third transportation development district. If approved, the measure could mean a $15 million overhaul of the Stadium Boulevard corridor between West Broadway and Interstate 70.

According to the Feb. 27 petition, the proposed transportation development district would consist of five tracts along Stadium Boulevard, each owned by Walters or one of his companies. The district would finance a series of improvements to Stadium Boulevard and several adjacent side streets. Either the district or the city would issue bonds to raise the estimated $15 million needed to carry out the improvements. The transportation development district would then pay off the bonds over time by imposing up to a 1 percent sales tax on all retail transactions completed inside the district.

Students, workers can relate to book

Book jacket photos of author Barbara Ehrenreich in a waitress uniform cover the entrance display shelf at University Bookstore. The image is about to become a familiar one in Columbia.

Ehrenreich’s book “Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting By in America” has been selected as the 2004 pick for the One Read program sponsored by the Daniel Boone Regional Library. It also will be part of the summer reading programs for incoming freshmen at MU and Stephens College, said Kris Farris, public relations coordinator of the Daniel Boone Regional Library.

Busier days for Boys and Girls Club

Giggles escape the lips of 12-year-old Carlos Lee as he leans across the black-and-red checkerboard.

His opponent, Thomeana Porter — or Miss Porter as the children call her — stares him down suspiciously.

Columbia man killed in car accident

A Columbia man was killed in a single-vehicle accident early Monday morning on Scotts Boulevard. It was the fifth traffic-related fatality since Friday.

A news release from the Columbia Police Department said the driver, Francisco Garcia Patino of Columbia, lost control of his vehicle while traveling north on Scotts Boulevard at 12:30 a.m.

Love of one sort or another

Even if you ignore the amorous kids at the drive-in on a Saturday night, love of one sort or another is everywhere in small-town mid-Missouri. Most everyone is part of something bigger, something like a school, a team, an improve-our-town drive, or a square-dancing club. And no matter where they go, someone recognizes them from somewhere else.

You see that guy over there? You should probably say, “Hi.” He’s the parent from school, and you know him from church, too. You saw him last week at the bank, or maybe it was the newspaper … No, wait …

Victims of F-4 tornado identified

WEATHERBY — The conditions of four children injured when a tornado cut a destructive 50-mile path across northwest Missouri continued to improve Monday as more details emerged about the twister that left three people dead.

Storms pummeled the state during the weekend, leaving thousands without power and damaging or destroying dozens of homes, outbuildings and cars. Gov. Bob Holden flew across northwest Missouri to view the damage Monday after delivering a Memorial Day speech at Liberty Memorial in Kansas City.

Venerable veterans

Steve Lubbering and his son Tanner, 6, smiled Monday as a tall bike from the beginning of the 20th century rolled down Broadway as part of the Memorial Day parade. Its front wheel was taller than Tanner.

“This bike is not like yours,” Lubbering said to his son. “You’ll fall a long way if you ride this.”

Program gets youth off to running start

On a sunny Memorial Day morning, people from age 2 to 72 gathered to run in the ninth annual Boone Hospital Center Wellaware 5K run/walk and the new youth running program, the Kids on Track summer marathon.

“This is the first year for (the Kids on Track program), and we’re hoping for 300 kids to participate over the summer,” said Dana Fedenia, a supervisor at Wellaware.

Miss Missouri USA designs a future at Stephens College

Ashley Litton’s crown of jewels has become her new trademark, but the Stephens College senior considers herself “just a college girl” despite her one-of-a-kind title.

Litton, 20, recently became Miss Missouri USA after the former Miss Missouri USA, 25-year-old Shandi Finnessey of Florissant, was crowned Miss USA. Finnessey was the first Miss Missouri USA to win the national title.

Wordsmiths wage ‘war’ at Scrabble tournament

A hush fell over the Ragtag Cinemacafe as 22 Scrabble players took a first look at their tiles. The murmur of soft voices was accented with the tinkling of tiles in cloth bags. Players reached into the bags, hoping for the best combination of letters.

The players were competing in the first winner-take-all Scrabble competition Saturday at Ragtag.

Storms menace Missouri towns

WEATHERBY — A line of severe thunderstorms stretched across Missouri on Sunday, dropping hail and threatening to spawn tornadoes a day after three people were killed and at least eight were injured when a tornado hit near this northwest Missouri town.

A man was killed shortly before 5:30 p.m. Sunday when strong winds snapped off part of a large tree and dropped it onto the sport utility vehicle he was driving in the St. Louis suburb of Berkeley, the Missouri State Highway Patrol reported. Darren Clark, 39, of Ferguson died at the scene.

Safety in neighbors

The residents of small-town mid-Missouri insist on telling you this again and again: Despite rumors to the contrary, they do lock their doors at night, if for no other reason than they’d rather you not encourage people to make unwelcome visits.

After all, beneath the veneer of that homespun cliché, their reality isn’t much different from people in Columbia. One morning in March, USA Today told us that even if only 11 percent of people in rural areas have been touched by violent crime, that’s just 2 percent less than in so-called suburban areas.

Effect changes by taking a stand

As a former member of Communication Workers of America, I was proud of the fact that this group went on strike to protest the outsourcing of American jobs by SBC. As far as I’m concerned this represents one of the few efforts designed to address government trade policies that are putting people out of work. Too often these days the country’s leaders behave as if they are an autonomous body who have to be accountable to no one and too many citizens behave as if they are powerless children who have no choice but to obey their “head honchos.”

The labor culture, like everything else, has changed dramatically since I belonged to a labor union. The “all for one and one for all” attitude inherent within the process of collective bargaining hardly seems to appeal anymore since employees, nowadays, believe that their personal skills and talents will entitle them to the best wage and benefits companies have to offer. I guess one has to arrive at a certain maturity and have accumulated years of experience in the labor market before one learns how vulnerable the individual employee is against a barrage of company “brass.”

Big Oil tightens grip on federal leases

WASHINGTON — A single New Mexico family and a dozen big oil companies, including one once headed by Commerce Secretary Don Evans, now control one-quarter of all federal lands leased for oil and gas development in the continental United States despite a law intended to prevent such concentration, federal records show.

Since 1997, mainly as a result of mergers and acquisitions, six companies have exceeded the legal limit of 246,080 acres in lease holdings on public lands in states other than Alaska. But the Bureau of Land Management, in charge of enforcing the 1920 law, has chosen to extend compliance deadlines for years.

Iraq war revives Memorial Day meaning

LOS ANGELES — On Memorial Day, Stacy Menusa will head to a cemetery with her 4-year-old son Joshua, who thinks every American flag waves for his father, just like the one that was draped over his coffin.

Menusa’s husband, Marine Gunnery Sgt. Joseph Menusa, was killed in an ambush on March 27, 2003, the day his battalion arrived in Iraq. She hopes one day she will be able to explain the war to Joshua.

Back to the 1800s

When a wooden keelboat with 11 men pulled in near Bonnots Mill on Friday afternoon, locals who witnessed the arrival were a bit confused. The expedition wasn’t scheduled to stop there, but had to make the unplanned landing because of debris in the Missouri River.

The crowd at River Ratz Beer and Burgers on the Osage River became impromptu overnight hosts to half of the Lewis and Clark expedition — or at least their 21st-century equivalent.

Few cell users opt to switch numbers

Wanda Northway is looking to change her cell phone service. She has done so twice in the past. Each time she picked a different provider, she had to surrender her previous phone number. Northway, co-owner of House of Brokers Realty, has never listed her cell number on business cards as she saw it as a hassle to get her new numbers out to the people who needed them.

“The ones I very much wanted to know, I called immediately,” Northway said. “The others were informed as the opportunity provided itself.”