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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.

New health building means expanded services

The inside of the old Nowell’s Food building is nothing more than a maze of wall frames, but by mid-April the transformation of the former grocery store at Worley Street and West Boulevard into a modern, comprehensive health facility will be complete.

And baby makes three

When expectant mother Tabitha Ndegwa finally goes into labor, she’ll be able to give birth in the same building where she receives her prenatal care.

Ndegwa receives prenatal care at Columbia Regional Hospital. Starting Monday, birthing services will be offered at Columbia Regional Hospital instead of University Hospital. The newborn intensive care unit has moved there, too.

Coalition seeks sewer panel

Groups that opposed Tuesday’s city sewer bond issue are still longing for an oversight committee to eventually give the public more say in Columbia’s expansion.

That committee would oversee sewer line extensions — long regarded as the most important factor in regulating growth. By helping determine where sewers are extended, members of the Boone County Smart Growth Coalition argue, residents could have more input in development on Columbia’s fringes.

Foster father denies shaking toddler

A foster father accused of murder testified Thursday he never abused his foster son and does not believe he did anything to cause the brain damage that allegedly killed the boy.

Speaking softly to jurors, John Wesley Dilley said a police officer put words into his mouth during a videotaped interview, during which Dilley acknowledged shaking 2-year-old Dominic James on several occasions.

Former victim battles against abuse in Russia

If he hits you, it means he loves you.

A question of periods

Beginning this month, women can obtain birth control pills that have been FDA-approved to serve a dual purpose: suppressing menstruation and preventing pregnancy.

But the arrival of Seasonale, an oral contraceptive that limits women’s periods to four times a year, has rekindled debate over whether or not it is natural or even healthy to menstruate.

Take your workout cues from Navy ROTC

For those who don't have a lot of time and don't have access to a gym, consider the Navy way. Of course, you don't have to do it at 6 a.m.

Diabetes education could save lives

About 17 million people in the United States have diabetes, and many more might not realize they have the disease. Tomorrow is National Diabetes Day, and experts at University of Missouri Health Care encourage everyone to learn more about the condition and assess their risk level.

‘Under God’ under review

JEFFERSON CITY — Every day at elementary schools across Columbia, students stand facing the flag to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.

However, a decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to review the constitutionality of the words “under God,” could affect a Missouri law requiring the pledge in schools.

Decision would affect 9 states, 9.6 million kids

The words “under God” pack a punch when it comes to the Pledge of Allegiance.

The latest round of controversy arose in June 2002 when the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled 2-1 in a California case that the words “under God” violated the First Amendment because they constituted government endorsement of religion.

Audit says tax dollars not secure

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri taxpayer dollars are not as secure as they should be, a state audit has found.

The state’s accounting system, known as Statewide Advantage for Missouri or SAM II, is not adequately secure from access by outsiders and the department in charge does not have a proper plan to resume business in case the system goes down, the audit reports.

Stadium extension study next

Before city and state officials can even think about buying right of way for an extension of Stadium Boulevard, they’ll have to complete an environmental impact statement that could cost up to $1 million and take up to two years.

The problem is, no one knows yet where money for the study will come from or who will do the work.

Public-access channel available

In an effort to appease local groups pushing for a public-access television channel, Mediacom, Columbia’s largest cable provider, has announced its intent to begin accepting pre-produced programming this month.

Gary Baugh, director of operations, said Mediacom has decided to “take the initiative” because of an increase in interest from residents who want to use the public-access channel and the Columbia City Council’s slow pace in addressing the issue.

Christmas family sponsors needed

When the Voluntary Action Center began its Christmas basket program 20 years ago, it provided for about 200 families. This year, more than 1,100 families are ready to be adopted.

Now they just need sponsors.

Helping athletes advance

Grade-point averages, tests, homework — the average college student has plenty to worry about. But when you’re a college athlete, add training, practice and the all-important NCAA eligibility requirements.

In order to balance the worlds of athletics and academia, many college athletes turn to athletic tutoring programs such as MU’s Total Person Program. The program was cast in a negative light this summer when MU point guard Ricky Clemons’ ex-girlfriend said that Clemons had received improper academic assistance from the university.

Holden’s right to cut public school funding challenged

JEFFERSON CITY — An attorney for several school districts argued Wednesday that the governor has no authority to withhold money from public schools even if revenues fall short.

The state countered the governor has an obligation to balance the budget, and the Missouri Constitution expressly grants the governor the ability to withhold funds from any area of government when finances dictate.

Program watches over academic integrity

If students want to cheat, they’ll find a way to do it, said Bryan Maggard, the director of MU’s athletic tutoring program. But the program is designed to stop cheating before it starts.

Since Maggard joined the Total Person Program in 1995, no tutor has been charged with academic dishonesty.

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