Lewis and Clark event planning begins early

Their journey up the Missouri River on a 55-foot keelboat is the symbol of the great American odyssey. Next year, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark’s 1804 expedition of the American West returns to Missouri, where it began 200 years earlier.

St. Louis and Kansas City will hold major ceremonies for the Lewis and Clark bicentennial, but even in smaller cities like St. Charles, preparations are under way for what is expected to be a colossal event.

Airline trims daily flights from 5 to 2

Trans States Airlines will offer three flights out of Columbia Regional Airport beginning Dec. 15, but only after it cuts its current schedule of five flights to two beginning Saturday.

Audit faults Missouri contracts

JEFFERSON CITY — State agencies are not doing a good enough job when it comes to supporting minority- and women-owned businesses, according to a state auditor’s report released Monday.

Up for debate

Debate was sparked on the MU campus Monday by an exhibition near Brady Commons that included graphic images of aborted fetuses.

MU student Jennifer Ortega said she hasn’t made up her mind where she stands on the abortion issue but says she’s concerned that the debate does not focus on educating people about sexuality before they become sexually active. Ortega was also concerned about the graphic content of the photos.

Combining vintage fashions, furniture made ‘absolute’ sense

“This cream plaid one reminds me of my grandma’s wedding dress,” a young woman muses while admiring a flowing dress that was made in the 1950s.

Jennifer Johnson sends her a knowing smile.

Scoping out a profit

From Tanzania to Florida, Brenda Potterfield and her daughter, Sara Zara, have vacationed all over the world. Each trip is different, but the primary reason they go is always the same: hunting.

According to the National Rifle Association, there are more than two million women who hunt, and that number is steadily increasing. For Potterfield and Zara, the number is not surprising. They view hunting as much more than a hobby.

Developing convenient communities

A simple trip to the grocery store can sometimes seem like an elaborate maze for people living in parts of the city that are far from commercial services.

Mayor Darwin Hindman thinks residents shouldn’t have to endure a maze of traffic and intersections just to pick up a loaf of bread. With that in mind, he’s rethinking the way Columbia neighborhoods are developed.

Unity through music

The drummer starts the song with four quick beats on the snare and a crash of a cymbal. His rhythm is even and on time, and the bass and the guitar come in, rounding out the musical trio.

Christian Henry is hammering out the drum line to “I Fought the Law,” his favorite song. The lyrics are in jest though; he hasn’t fought the law. In fact he hasn’t even finished kindergarten yet.

Small retailers face difficulties

Maintaining a small neighborhood business in a city full of big-name corporations is no easy task, said Mayor Darwin Hindman, but he thinks it is key to developing a sense of community in residential areas.

“One of the arguments I heard against (setting aside land for commercial development), as expressed by one of my council people, is under modern merchandising, it’s impossible to run a neighborhood business,” Hindman said.

Fetus photo exhibition comes to MU

MU students heading to class today will likely be confronted by several posted signs reading, “Warning: Genocide Pictures Ahead.”

The signs are designed to prepare students for an exhibit that opens today outside Kuhlman Court. The controversial display is a two-story billboard-size photographic exhibit that includes individual panels showing aborted fetuses and human embryos.

Missing inmates caught in prison

JEFFERSON CITY — Two convicted murderers who disappeared after allegedly beating another inmate to death at a prison ice plant were found Sunday, still inside the Missouri State Penitentiary.

Inmates Christopher Sims and Shannon Phillips were discovered about 8 a.m. Sunday in the same building where they are believed to have killed convicted murderer Toby Viles on Wednesday evening, corrections department spokesman John Fougere said.

Sewer upgrade to cost more than $11 million

Residents of the County House Branch neighborhood see toilet paper around their neighborhood a few times a year.

But the paper isn’t hanging from trees as part of some teenage prank. It’s in the creek that winds through their back yards.

Play it safe, keep children at home

Like the tradition of Halloween, the myth that everyone loves children also lives on in the hearts and minds of many.

Holiest time for Muslims starts today

For the next 30 days, Muslims will remind themselves of the importance of patience, self-discipline and helping the less fortunate. Ramadan, the holiest time of the year for followers of Islam, begins today.

Ramadan requires able Muslims to fast from dawn to sunset and abstain from smoking and sexual relations.

Bond would boost northeast water system

As far as many residents of Columbia’s northeast side are concerned, very little is wrong with their water service. Toilets flush fine, showers don’t sputter much, and firefighters have no problems dousing fires.

But as Columbia grows, that could change.

Here to help

Quiet and focused, 20-year-old Beth Stoltzfus goes about her Tuesday mornings working behind the information desk at University Hospital with a smile. Dressed in the plain long dress and black hair-covering favored by women in her faith, Stoltzfus works on behalf of the Mennonite Christian Public Service Program, a nationwide Mennonite volunteer organization for men and women.

Stoltzfus came to Columbia from Minerva, Ohio, this summer. When she arrived, she met Shana Unruh, 23, of North Dakota, who also volunteers for the program. Their decision to volunteer was a chance to get away from home — but definitely not a vacation.

Rock wall safety draws attention

Hauling in 25-foot-high mobile walls and one-and-a-half-ton boulders, a handful of climbing-wall manufacturers showcased their products during a trade show in St. Louis last week.

Among the vendors was Extreme Engineering, LLC of Newcastle, Calif., the manufacturer of the wall from which 22-year-old Christine Ewing fell to her death on July 15 outside a Mid-Missouri Mavericks baseball game.

Coalition proposes alternate sewer plan

Growth in the sensitive watersheds of southeast Columbia just isn’t smart — at least not yet, according to one community watchdog group.

Arguing that sewer extensions are the first step toward development, the Boone County Smart Growth Coalition said Friday that voters should reject the city of Columbia’s $18.5 million sewer bond issue because one of the slated projects would spur growth in the sensitive Gans Creek, Clear Creek and Little Bonne Femme watersheds. The bond issue appears on the Nov. 4 ballot.

Inmates’ hospital bills sit in limbo

Boone County officials are trying to figure out what to do with $50,000 in unpaid bills submitted by local hospitals for the care of jail inmates.

Just $10,000 had been appropriated for inmate hospital costs for the entire year, Boone County Auditor June Pitchford said. But, after just a few months, Pitchford had paid out nearly three times that amount before realizing something was amiss.

Postmark Iraq

On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, Andrew Weable watched events unfold on television. A frantic call from his mother interrupted his thoughts about what the attack could mean for the United States and for him.

“You’re not going into the Marines,” Melanie Weable said.