A matter of choice

When you walk around small town Missouri and see all the buildings that have managed to survive floods, tornadoes, fires and every other cataclysm, it’s easy to get wrapped up in how old everything is.

Truth is, this is a fairly young country. Just ask the Chinese or the Egyptians. Or don’t. Just looking at the people we choose to remember will tell you how we view things.

Heidelberg block sees retail change

When the Old Heidelberg reopens its doors in early August, it will be just one change occurring on the section of Ninth Street between University Avenue and Elm Street.

Lion’s Choice, a roast beef sandwich restaurant, opened May 13 next to the Heidelberg in what used to be Osama’s Coffee Zone. Less than 50 feet away, a realty sign has been posted in MU parking lot WC-14.

School district leaders get new posts

Beginning July 1, Sally Lyon will be the focal point of student achievement for Columbia Public Schools. Lyon was recently named director of research, assessment and accountability by Superintendent Phyllis Chase.

In the newly created position, Lyon — currently assistant principal at Gentry Middle School — will coordinate the district-wide efforts in student progress and achievement, providing support for district faculty in improving student performance in all aspects.

Hickman, Rock Bridge to honor graduates

Hearnes Center at MU will fill with caps, gowns and emotional families Saturday as Rock Bridge and Hickman high schools say goodbye to another senior class.

Hickman will graduate 630 seniors at the 2 p.m. ceremony, and Rock Bridge will graduate 436 seniors at 7 p.m.

St. Louis airport gets funds for expansion

ST. LOUIS — The Federal Aviation Administration on Wednesday announced $48.8 million in funding for expansion project and noise abatement at Lambert Airport.

The grants will help fund the $1.1 billion expansion project at Lambert, a project aimed at allowing the airport to handle more traffic and reduce flight delays. Part of the money will also buy out homes near the expansion project and help reduce the impact of noise on homes that remain.

Twilight fest starts tonight

No one can say there’s nothing to do in Columbia on Thursday evenings in June.

Downtown’s Twilight Festival begins at 6 this evening, and there will be some added attractions to go along with the usual mix of local artists, musicians and family activities.

The Discovery Expedition of St. Charles: Lewis and Clark Re-enactment

Lewis and Clark in Flat Branch Park: Music, dancing, exhibits and hands-on activities related to the Lewis and Clark expedition in conjunction with the downtown Twilight Festival.

Details: 7 p.m. today, Flat Branch Park, 101 S. Fourth St., contact 442-6816

City groups assess foreign-trade zone

If everything falls into place, Columbia might have it’s own foreign-trade zone by mid-2005.

“We’re in exploratory stages at this time,” said Bernie Andrews, president of Regional Economic Development, Inc. “If survey and evaluation results come back positive we could file an application as early as this fall.”

Re-enactor takes the helm as Capt. Lewis

The modern-day Capt. Meriwether Lewis lives in Alton, Ill., works as a teacher in St. Louis and is a staff sergeant in the Montana Army National Guard.

Scott Mandrell won the role as Meriwether Lewis in 1996 because of his background in the Army, history and drama, said Larry McClain, executive director of the Discovery Expedition of St. Charles.

Jobs give small hope to sluggish economy

The creation of 20,000 additional jobs throughout Missouri in April appears promising for the state’s economy. But job creation is only one indicator of economic growth — one that some economists find misleading.

Missouri was third in the nation in job growth, the U.S. Department of Labor announced May 26. While the labor statistics are encouraging, they tend to fluctuate quickly and are not necessarily a true sign of economic development, said Ken Troske, MU associate professor of economics.

Cabin remodeling under way

Columbia’s historic Pop Collins Cabin is getting a face-lift and a new home, and it is doing a bit of traveling in the process.

As part of the Department of Parks and Recreation’s master plan for the Stephens Lake Park area, the cabin has been dismantled. It is in the process of being restored before being moved to Nifong Park.

City gives out computers

Sharon Pearl’s children began yelling with excitement when they learned their family was getting a computer.

“I had both of my kids jumping up and down saying, ‘We’re getting a new computer, we’re getting a new computer,’” she said.

Unveiling working-class struggles

Barbara Ehrenreich put aside her status as an acclaimed essayist featured in such diverse publications as Time magazine and The Guardian. She put aside her Ph.D. in biology from Rockefeller University. She put aside everything except for a car, a laptop and $1,300 to immerse herself in the lives of the working poor.

Going on the road to get low-paying jobs and attempting to survive based solely on the income was something Ehrenreich said she never would have considered for herself. That is until Lewis Lapham, her editor at Harper’s Magazine, cornered her into taking the assignment.

A bit of history for all

Jim Goodrich has always loved to engage people in the history of Missouri. As director of the State Historical Society of Missouri and director of its Western Historical Manuscript Collection at MU, he has delighted in making that history as real today as the day it was made.

Goodrich retired in April at age 64 for medical reasons after almost 19 years leading the society. He was the fifth director in the society’s 106 years.

Schapira edges by for alderman

The old adage is that every vote counts. That proved to be particularly true Tuesday night in Rocheport as Todd Schapira was elected Ward One alderman by two votes.

It was the second election for the board seat this year after the April election ended in a tie. Then, the two candidates, Schapira and Helen Easley, each received 19 votes. Tuesday’s final tally was 21 to 19.

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.