Decades of worship

In a back bedroom, Joan Hahn has filled bookshelves with her work on genealogy and now she has a new project: copying old documents to help organize the history of Columbia’s First Presbyterian Church, which celebrates its 175th anniversary today.

Boxes of black and white photos, some too old to identify, sit on a bed in Hahn’s guest room. Crumbling receipts, yellowed newspaper clippings and handwritten correspondences between church members dating to the 1800s cover a card table.

Exercising, one step at a time

I don’t like to exercise. In fact, my dislike borders on hate. What’s the use of sweating for no good reason? When I lift weights, my muscles ache. I never got into “the zone” when I ran, I just got out of breath. And riding a bike hurts my derrière.

I used to be into sports. I played racquetball and even won a couple of trophies. I was a dynamite catcher on our softball team. I had a mouth that would intimidate even the most fearless wannabe hitter. If I didn’t catch the pitch with my mitt, my thighs were large enough to stop even a zinger — and I have permanent bruises to prove it.

A workout for the kids

Two lifeguards sit perched in five-foot-high watchtowers over the pool at the Activity and Recreation Center in Columbia. Their red suits stand out against the expanse of blue water and dark glass that dominate the indoor landscape.

The lifeguards watch closely as a group of children joke with each other as they race up a staircase to the top of a waterslide. Across the pool, a girl investigates the spouting waters of a fountain. And a mother leads her daughter under an archway of thin liquid streams.

Door-to-door Democrats

Calling Republicans "masters in the art of deceit...who only serve one master--the Fortune 500 club," Sen. Ken Jacob, D-Columbia, led a handful of Democratic volunteers through Columbia neighborhoods on Saturday morning. The volunteers were part of a statewide canvassing event designed to raise the party's awareness prior to next year's elections.

Going door to door, volunteers distributed literature explaining the Democrats' position on the economy, education and health care and asked voters what issues they cared most about. More than 300 volunteers canvassed a total of 1,000 hours in 22 cities across the state.

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.