Power plant to sell credit for pollution

The Municipal Power Plant began negotiations Thursday that will bring it more than $1.2 million in revenue, all from selling pollution rights.

Plant Supervisor Tad Johnsen formalized negotiations with the Ameren Energy division of fuels and services, a gas and electric provider, to use it as a broker for the power plant. It will sell the right to generate 6,071 tons of sulfur dioxide allowances, according to a report Johnsen wrote.

Judge blocks state’s new weapons law

Local stakeholders expressed mixed reactions to a judge’s ruling on Friday that blocked Missouri’s concealed gun law.

St. Louis Circuit Judge Steven Ohmer issued a permanent injunction against the conceal-and-carry law, saying it violates a provision of the Missouri Constitution that says the right to bear arms “shall not justify the wearing of concealed weapons.” The ruling blocks a law passed by the Missouri General Assembly to override Gov. Bob Holden’s veto.

New chapter in textbooks

Last fall, MU senior Andrew Zumwalt read an article online about buying textbooks overseas.

“I thought ‘This is something I can use,’” he said.

Director dreams big for Kemper property

When Boonville’s economic development director, Sarah Gallagher, thinks of the shut-down Kemper Military School, she sees it as the center of Boonville’s economic activity for the next 100 years.

Gallagher has endless ideas for the use of the property, which the city purchased for $480,000 in April.

A matter of time

Andrew Spain and his fellow paramedics sit in the University Hospital emergency room, making small talk, when their handheld radio crackles: “Medical emergency.” Details follow as they rush to their ambulance, Medic 20, hop in and flip on the sirens.

Spain’s partner grabs a road map and gives directions as Spain tries to balance medical urgency with safe driving. The heavy ambulance corners well but the ride is bumpy.

A paradise lost

When I stepped out of the battered minivan in Bukit Lawang in northern Sumatra, Indonesia’s largest island, I had a huge grin on my face, and not just because I had survived a hair-raising drive.

Word had it that the village was actually illegal, situated as it was inside the supposedly protected Gunung Leuser National Park. The idea of an illegal village appealed to the closet Indiana Jones in me — hence the grin.

Flood potential hits home with lax regulation

Fred Stolle paints a bleak picture of Indonesia’s forests.

Stolle, a research associate with Global Forest Watch at the World Resources Institute, said logging in Indonesia is rampant. “Basically, everyone with a chainsaw is cutting the forest,” Stolle said. In recent years, government officials have linked deforestation to devastating floods in areas ranging from Mexico to the Mekong Delta. A flood in Indonesia, widely attributed to logging, killed more than 200 people.

Enns earned acclaim for MU museum

Dr. Wilbur R. Enns had a passion for insects.

Enns, a professor emeritus of entomology at MU, was a world authority on mites and blister beetles and focused most of his research on these two groups of invertebrates. Dr. Enns also worked extensively with insect systematics and insect taxonomy, the classification of insects.

Child support scofflaws face state action

Parents who neglect their child support can now fear for the security of their professional licenses.

“If noncustodial parents don’t pay what is owed their children, the state has an obligation to take whatever legal action it can to recover that money,” Attorney General Jay Nixon said in a press release Friday.

Pastor celebrates 30 years

The Rev. John Prenger credits a vision for leading him four years ago to “a little white country church in a grove of trees — a real fixer-upper.”

With two assistants, Prenger preaches at Saints Francis and Clare Church in Hatton Chapel and presides over about 25 members. Prenger said the church, which is just northwest of Columbia off Route E on Hatton Chapel Road, is one of three Charismatic Episcopal Churches in Missouri. This type of church embodies a convergence of liturgical, charismatic and evangelical components of the Christian church.

Plaintiff awarded $325,000 in surgery lawsuit

The simple act of baking Halloween cookies with her young daughter this year brought 26-year-old Carrie Ratliff of Higbee to tears. Because she has reflex sympathetic dystrophy, a debilitating nerve condition, she could not hold the mixer needed to make the holiday treats.

In a civil trial that began Tuesday in Boone County Circuit Court, Ratliff charged Dr. Ronald D. Carter, a surgeon practicing at Columbia Orthopaedic Group, with causing her RSD by performing an unnecessary carpal tunnel surgery on Dec. 11, 1997. Ratliff’s cookie-baking experience is just one example her attorneys gave of how RSD affects her everyday life.

Fighting hunger from afar

The Rev. Zacchaeus Masake’s return to Kenya will mark one more step in winning the fight against food insecurity in his country, and Boone County residents can take some of the credit.

Masake and community members from Columbia, Centralia and Hartsburg are integral links in a chain of aid organized by the Foods Resource Bank.

Survival chances drop 7 percent each minute

In a medical emergency, every second counts.

“Any time someone has to wait longer for an ambulance, the risk of something severe happening increases,” said Andrew Spain, a University Hospital paramedic.

Decades of worship

In a back bedroom, Joan Hahn has filled bookshelves with her work on genealogy and now she has a new project: copying old documents to help organize the history of Columbia’s First Presbyterian Church, which celebrates its 175th anniversary today.

Boxes of black and white photos, some too old to identify, sit on a bed in Hahn’s guest room. Crumbling receipts, yellowed newspaper clippings and handwritten correspondences between church members dating to the 1800s cover a card table.

Exercising, one step at a time

I don’t like to exercise. In fact, my dislike borders on hate. What’s the use of sweating for no good reason? When I lift weights, my muscles ache. I never got into “the zone” when I ran, I just got out of breath. And riding a bike hurts my derrière.

I used to be into sports. I played racquetball and even won a couple of trophies. I was a dynamite catcher on our softball team. I had a mouth that would intimidate even the most fearless wannabe hitter. If I didn’t catch the pitch with my mitt, my thighs were large enough to stop even a zinger — and I have permanent bruises to prove it.

A workout for the kids

Two lifeguards sit perched in five-foot-high watchtowers over the pool at the Activity and Recreation Center in Columbia. Their red suits stand out against the expanse of blue water and dark glass that dominate the indoor landscape.

The lifeguards watch closely as a group of children joke with each other as they race up a staircase to the top of a waterslide. Across the pool, a girl investigates the spouting waters of a fountain. And a mother leads her daughter under an archway of thin liquid streams.

Door-to-door Democrats

Calling Republicans "masters in the art of deceit...who only serve one master--the Fortune 500 club," Sen. Ken Jacob, D-Columbia, led a handful of Democratic volunteers through Columbia neighborhoods on Saturday morning. The volunteers were part of a statewide canvassing event designed to raise the party's awareness prior to next year's elections.

Going door to door, volunteers distributed literature explaining the Democrats' position on the economy, education and health care and asked voters what issues they cared most about. More than 300 volunteers canvassed a total of 1,000 hours in 22 cities across the state.

Power plant makes $1.2 million pollution deal

The Municipal Power Plant began negotiations Thursday that will bring it more than $1.2 million in revenue, all from selling pollution rights. The City Council gave permission for the sale at its meeting Monday.

Plant Supervisor Tad Johnsen formalized negotiations with the AmerenEnergy division of fuels and services to sell the right to generate 6,071 tons of sulfur dioxide allowances. The money from the sale will finance the first stage of a four-part, eight-year plan to improve one of the power plant's two coal-fueled boilers. The boiler has most of the same parts as when it was installed in 1965.

Plan calls for linking sewer lines, trails

Sewer lines and trails should be like peas in a pod, city officials believe, and an effort is under way to better coordinate the two.

Legislators ready bills for session

Columbia’s legislators are gearing up to tackle bills on issues ranging from toll roads to gay rights, from rock climbing to science research. With the Dec. 1 deadline for pre-filing bills for the next legislative session approaching, senators and representatives are putting the finishing touches on bills they plan to introduce.