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First Night adds new venues, acts

Eight state champion fiddlers, free cake and four hours of old-time fiddling — all in a church on New Year’s Eve.

The Missouri United Methodist Church at 204 S. Ninth St., along with the Missouri Traditional Fiddle and Dance Network, is hosting a traditional fiddle exhibition as part of Columbia’s First Night 2004. The fiddle music, along with other entertainment and activities, begins at 6 p.m. in the church with a cake walk.

City wants borders to keep expanding

Voters’ rejection of five involuntary annexation proposals in August 2002 hasn’t prevented Columbia from expanding its borders.

In the 17 months since that vote, the city has approved 24 voluntary annexations encompassing nearly 400 acres. Much of that land is within the 8.6 square miles of territory targeted by the ballot issues. The vast majority has been zoned for single- or multi-family homes.

Columbia is ranked high for accessibility

The National Organization on Disability has named Columbia one of 11 finalists in the third annual Accessible America Contest.

“All of the finalists have gone way beyond the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act. They have been very creative with their accessibility programs and do a good job at welcoming people with disabilities into their community,” Brewster Thackeray, vice president of the national group, said Saturday.

City plans to donate computers

The city of Columbia used to dispose of its outdated computers at monthly auctions held at MU’s surplus property warehouse. Recent auctions, however, have brought as little as $10 per computer. City Finance Director Lori Fleming said a recent auction of more than 50 monitors brought the city less than $200.

A new Homes for Computers program offers a better way to discard the city’s outdated computers — by giving them away.

Thank children’s teachers

Editor’s note: Sharon Harl shares one of her favorite columns, along with a reminder to thank those who teach.

I never realized how much a teacher could affect the life of a young person until I became a teacher myself. When my kids were young they would come home with statements like “Miss Smith says we should brush our teeth twice a day.” With an in-house dentist who was constantly nagging the kids to brush more often, I was amazed that the “teacher” got through with the message where he had failed.

Nativity interpreted in local clay

Sue Gerard points a slightly shaky finger at the matronly figure of Mary in her Nativity scene.

The girl, made of cream-colored clay, stands behind a manger and cradles a bundle. Gerard explains that her minister told her Mary was probably only 14 when she gave birth to Jesus.

Holiday duty in Iraq is felt at home

This Christmas, Centralia’s Jason Blakemore will not take the presence of his family for granted. Unlike many of his comrades still in Iraq, Blakemore, of the 101st Airborne Division, will get to spend the Christmas holiday with his family, possibly watching the movie “Christmas Vacation.”

According to Blakemore, being away from his family was harder on them than it was on him.

Mo. experts, industry insist beef is safe

Despite the discovery of mad cow disease on a dairy farm in Washington state, Missouri’s beef supply of 4.5 million cattle is safe, veterinary and beef industry experts say.

Missouri’s $1 billion-per-year beef industry ranks second in the nation, behind Texas. There are 40,000 cattle in Boone County alone. Dr. Jeff Tyler, professor of food animal medicine and surgery at the MU School of Veterinary Medicine, who recently co-authored a research paper on mad cow disease, wasn’t surprised to hear about the Washington case. However, he said people should not be concerned about contracting the disease, which is officially known as bovine spongiform encephalopathy.

Beth Shalom serves cookies, thanks

This Christmas Eve, members of the First Baptist Church of Columbia were to have been greeted by smiling faces and large tables adorned with festive Christmas tablecloths and filled with homemade cookies, fudge and pastries. Hot apple cider was to have warmed them before they stepped out into cold December air.

This wasn’t the ladies’ Sunday school class or a youth ministry bake sale at work. This dessert reception after the 11 p.m. service was planned by Congregation Beth Shalom Synagogue in Columbia.

Woman spreads spirit of Kwanzaa

Nia Imani’s name is a testament to the message of Kwanzaa.

More than two decades ago, she changed her first and last name to glorify the Kwanzaa principles that most inspire her.

Applicants sought for city positions

The city of Columbia has made applications for city boards and commissions available. The applications are available from the city clerk’s office or on the Internet at www.gocolumbiamo.com.

There are seven vacancies.

Charity still needs donations

Some of Maj. George Windham’s hopes of reaching his holiday goal lie with the people who have been ringing Salvation Army bells for the past few weeks.

By Jan. 15, Windham, the commanding officer for the Salvation Army in Boone County, wants to have raised $250,000 — $7,000 more than last year. Through bell ringers and private donations, the Salvation Army has raised about $170,000 so far.

Red Cross seeks blood donations

The American Red Cross is predicting that by Jan. 1 its blood supply will be gone.

According to the Red Cross, blood supplies typically decline during the holidays and deplete regional supplies. The Red Cross has already issued a community alert asking for blood donations because patient needs might be compromised.

No newspaper Friday

The Missourian does not publish a newspaper the day after Christmas. Normal delivery will resume with the Sunday edition. Merry Christmas.

Holden plan aims to create jobs

Mike Chippendale envisions Columbia as the next Silicon Valley. Only instead of developing microchips, Chippendale wants to develop a cure for cancer. Or perhaps a plant that removes pollutants from contaminated soil. Or perhaps something so extraordinary, it has yet to be imagined.

Chippendale’s vision for Columbia might have moved one step closer to reality Tuesday.

Decision to hush rumbling trucks on north side

Construction trucks that have routinely rolled through the Lake of the Woods subdivision during the past several months were halted Tuesday when Boone County commissioners voted to close Teton Drive and block access to the Eastport Village construction site.

Commissioners voted 3-0 to close the road Tuesday.

Rezoning OK’d on Route WW

After slogging through a slew of obstacles, Prime Development gained approval Tuesday to start platting development in eastern Boone County.

The Boone County Commission approved the company’s request to rezone about 47 acres of a 200-acre plot at 4750 E. Route WW. The area will be zoned as planned commercial and planned residential areas instead of single-family residential areas.

Animal abuse cases reported

On average, the Central Missouri Humane Society receives one or two phone calls of suspected animal neglect each day. On Tuesday, it received four or five.

Since two severely malnourished horses were found at a Hallsville farm on Sunday, public awareness about animal neglect has sparked increased phone calls to the Central Missouri Humane Society about suspected animal neglect, said Karen Stix of the Central Missouri Humane Society.

MU reaches deal in reactor case

MU has reached a deal with federal regulators that settles a case of employment discrimination and retaliation at the school’s research reactor.

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission told University of Missouri system President Elson Floyd in a letter dated Friday that the agency would not pursue further enforcement actions in the case. Commission investigators already had found that a former senior research scientist faced discrimination and retaliation for “protected activities.”

Comfort and joy at Girls Town

CALWOOD — Ask the residents of Missouri Girls Town what their favorite aspect of Christmas is, and the result is unanimous.

“Presents!”

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