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.

Summer bites when ticks attack

I lived almost three decades before I saw my first tick. And the first sighting happened in a dramatic fashion. The children had been outside playing in the yard for the entire afternoon. I fed them dinner and then proceeded to start the baths. As I started scrubbing, I noticed that my 5-year-old had several moles that seemed to have miraculously appeared overnight. I had him stand to inspect the new flaws, and then one of the spots started wiggling. I had worked in the nursing field for more than a decade. I had assisted on amputations. I had even helped with a man who was literally eaten up inside with a staph infection, but when I saw that “nasty, flat, black thing” wiggle and realized what it was, I lost it.

I screamed for my husband and fled the bathroom.

NCAA pattern hints at MU’s fate

MU appears to face charges of major violations in its men’s basketball program, based on how the NCAA has behaved in recent similar cases and on the views of a former longtime investigator for the college athletics authority.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association defines a major violation as one that provides “an extensive recruiting or competitive advantage.”

Red Cross throws out sorority’s donations

All blood donations rounded up by an MU sorority were quietly destroyed after a student organizer urged fellow members to lie about their health to qualify as donors, according to an American Red Cross spokesman quoted in local news reports.

Jim Williams of the American Red Cross told the Columbia Tribune the organization didn’t announce its destruction of the 81 units of blood because it didn’t want to raise undue concerns about the safety of its supplies.

Cause of canine death a concern

The necropsy report on Seaman, the dog of the Discovery Expedition of St. Charles, found no definitive cause of death, Waverly Police Chief Jesse Coslet said Thursday.

The 20-month-old dog was in the group of re-enactors traveling the Missouri River to commemorate the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark expedition. He was found dead about 6 a.m. June 16, while the expedition was in Waverly.

Health care solutions discussed

Eleanor Wickersham’s experience with the failings of the medical world set the tone for a Columbia forum Thursday on health – care reform.

Years ago, Wickersham said, she was taken to the hospital for a gall bladder emergency. She said that because someone from her health insurance company was unavailable to speak to the hospital, she waited in the hall on a stretcher for eight hours before anything could be done.

Grading MAP tests adds up for teachers

The teacher squints at her computer, her face tight with concentration. She calls over a few of her colleagues, hoping they might have an insight. They lean over her terminal and squint as well, trying to make out the loopy, round handwriting.

“It’s enough to make a person go blind in the morning,” the first teacher jokes.

Pierpont residents want village of their own

In the not-so-far-away countryside, about 30 homes cluster together in small strings along State Highway 163 and Route N, nestled against the backdrop of Rock Bridge Memorial State Park. Where the two highways cross sits the Pierpont store, a relic of earlier times.

Driving south along Providence Road from Columbia, you might notice a road sign that points to Pierpont. Officially, however, Pierpont does not exist. It’s an unincorporated part of Boone County, subject to county laws and regulations.

Southern Revival

Nestled in the rolling green hills and lush foliage of southern Boone County, the Warren-Douglass farm has stood for more than 150 years through war, death and even the beginning of a town named Columbia.

On Sunday, the Boone County Historical Society will be recognizing the farm and its history by dedicating it as a county historic site. The event, open to the public, begins at 2:30 p.m. and will include the dedication ceremony as well as tours of the home.

Carriage rides offer nostalgia for customers

In the midst of classical music from the Missouri Theatre, rock music from the 9th Street Bookstore and crowds of passers-by, longtime volunteer Deb Huffman was carefully organizing the schedule for horse carriage rides at the Downtown Columbia Twilight Festival on Thursday evening.

Beside her, 5-year-old Taylor and 20-month-old Jordan impatiently waited for their turns, busy in the meantime with waving at the horses, running after them and petting them when they stopped for the next ride. Taylor has come to the carriages every year for as long as she can remember, and Jordan went for her first ride last year.

‘Fahrenheit’ heat spikes ticket sales

Michael Moore’s new film “Fahrenheit 9/11,” which has stirred up controversy around the country, appears likely to have a protest-free opening in Columbia today.

The film — which has its first showing this morning at 11:30 at the Forum 8 theaters — looks at an alleged connection between the Bush family and Osama bin Laden.

Liquid paradox

Quinn Long believes a spill in Hinkson Creek nearly cost him his life.

In August 2000, Long, a whitewater paddler and then-student at MU, tipped into Hinkson Creek during a kayak run and got some creek water in his nose. A few weeks later, Long lay nearly dead in a bed in a St. Louis hospital.