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.

Aim of technology should be new jobs

A few weeks ago I turned down the opportunity to learn how to use the Automated Postal Center that was installed recently at the post office. It’s probably a great technological wonder allowing folks to have 24-7 access to a full range of mailing services. I’m sure over the next few years it will save the government a lot of money by replacing postal clerks with machines. But frankly, until somebody comes up with some new technology to replace machines with people, some that create jobs instead of taking them away, I’m going to remain far from enthusiastic about our great advances.

Every time I have to fill up my gas tank I’m reminded of how we were all going to save money by pumping our own gas, checking our own oil and cleaning our own windshields and eliminating the jobs of service attendants. I never wanted to grow up to pump gas, but the thing I resent most is the fact that it is getting increasingly more difficult to find a station that offers full service. And I haven’t reached the point where I have to prove my worth as a woman by trying to perform tasks for which I’m ill-suited.

Two Wal-Mart proposals outlined

Developers who want to build a Wal-Mart at West Broadway and Fairview Road have asked city staff to review their plans and are warning that neighborhood residents can either accept a large store with accompanying amenities or a smaller store they say would be “an inferior result.”

On Wednesday morning, Van Matre and Harrison P.C., legal representatives for the Wal-Mart developers, submitted a packaged request for a concept review to the city’s Planning and Development Department. The package outlined details of two options for the proposed Wal-Mart Supercenter; both have met with serious opposition from neighbors.

Columbia businesses mull new alliance

Local, independent shops and cafés line downtown streets. But the owners of some of these independent businesses worry that the atmosphere created by Columbia’s local stores will be displaced by corporate chains. As a result, several Columbia shop owners hope to form an independent business alliance that would strive to improve business and advertising for local stores.

In the footsteps of Lewis and Clark

The same path William Clark followed to get a view of the Missouri and Osage rivers is now open to the public.

Clark’s Hill/Norton State Historic Site opened at the end of May. From the bottom of the hill to the top, there are 10 interpretive panels that explain historical and environmental aspects of the paths. At the end of the path you can see out over the rivers. You can also see a rock where Meriwether Lewis and Clark carved their initials.

GRO registers voters in low-income areas

Members of Grass Roots Organizing canvassed low-income neighborhoods Satuday asking residents if they were registered to vote.

GRO, whose membership is about 75 percent low-income, has organized several voter registration drives in historically low-income neighborhoods.

Coaches sign legal settlements

COLUMBIA — MU paid more than $136,000 to two basketball coaches who are accused of breaking NCAA rules in exchange for their resignations and pledges never to sue, documents show. Missouri had no legal obligation to pay anything to Associate Head Coach Tony Harvey or Assistant Coach Lane Odom; Quin Snyder, Missouri’s head coach, confirmed that neither had a contract and both served at his pleasure.

The university president’s office referred questions about the payments to Mike Alden, athletic director of the Columbia campus. Alden declined comment Friday through spokesman Chad Moller, who said the payments were tied to the NCAA investigation and that Alden is bound by confidentiality rules.

Wild horses find new homes

Twelve-year-old Megan Parks perched on the bar of a fence, her arms looped around a horizontal metal rung, rocking back and forth on her worn white cowboy boots as she pointed eagerly to a brown horse that stood near the back of the pen.

“I wonder why some horses have such long tails,” she said. “Seems like they could have some Appaloosa in them.”

Veteran attorney noted for integrity

Morley Swingle is a storyteller. And the law, he says, is all about being able to tell a story; to have 12 men and women on the edge of their seats, awaiting what the Cape Girardeau County prosecutor calls “The Perry Mason Moment.”

“I love trying cases,” Swingle said. “I wanted to be Perry Mason.”

Many moved by Fahrenheit 9/11

Bill Monroe of Columbia stood in line at the Forum 8 movie theater Friday evening shielding his eyes from the sun with a clipboard that included the words “register to vote.” Monroe was waiting to see Michael Moore’s new controversial film “Fahrenheit 9/11.”

Moore’s film, which initially had trouble finding a distributor in the United States, looks at President Bush’s administration and its reaction to the terrorist events of Sept. 11 and the move toward war with Iraq. It also looks at business connections between the Saudi royal family and the Bush family.

Aiming for fellowship at Senior Games

At Stephens Lake Park, a long line of men and women were trying to puncture a number of golden circles no bigger than the face of a clock from 60 yards away. They held completely still, with their hands drawn back by their ears, until the bow string was loosed, and they reached for another arrow from their quivers.

The sport is one of concentration, but amid the thumps of bow strings and whooshes of air, talking and laughter prevailed as the athletes in the archery competition of the Missouri State Senior Games joked and shared stories with each other.

Having a Konniption — sci-fi lovers gather

A war was waged Saturday afternoon on the second floor of the Stoney Creek Inn. Across a table-top covered in green cloth, jagged terrain and wispy trees, Casey Clark and Jason Dubbert squared off to battle in a game of Warhammer 40,000.

With the roll of a handful of dice, Dubbert showed signs of distress.

Missouri trooper kills man wanted in Florida

The California man who was fatally shot Thursday by a Missouri State highway patrolman was being sought by a Florida sheriff’s office in connection with a double homicide.

The patrol said Friday morning that the Hillsborough County, Fla. sheriff’s office was seeking 63-year-old Michael Melberg of Solana Beach, Calif., for questioning in the double homicide of his ex-girlfriend, Lorelei Fairall, and her boyfriend, Michael Moore. Hillsborough County deputies found the victims shot in their apartment.

Sheriff asks for arrest warrants

The Boone County Sheriff’s Department has applied for warrants for the arrests of two individuals involved in the accidental shooting of a 17-year-old woman on June 13, Sgt. Tom Reddin said Friday.

The shooting occurred north of Columbia at 501-A Mauller Road when an occupant of the house fired a handgun through the floor. The bullet struck the woman in the back as she was making a bed in the lower floor of the home.