Commercial zoning approved on East Walnut

The Columbia Planning and Zoning Commission has recommended approval to a commercial zoning request for two adjacent tracts of land on the south side of East Walnut Street despite objection from city planners.

The commission members voted four against three Thursday to recommend the rezoning request to the Columbia City Council. If the council approves, the land would be rezoned from R-3, which allows for a multi-family dwelling, to C-2, which allows a central business district, The council will decide on the matter on Nov. 3.

High (school) spirits

Here’s what the two schools did...

NU leaves no option: Run game bruising

Michael Harden knows what is coming. Harden, a senior cornerback on the Missouri football team, has seen Nebraska’s option offense for three straight years.

“I know it’s going to be a physical game,” Harden said. “I mean, I’m trying to eat a little more to get ready.”


Vicki Scruggs is thrilled she doesn’t have to work this weekend. Scruggs, a server at Bob Evans Restaurant for the past five years, knows Missouri plays Nebraska on Saturday, and she remembers how busy she’s been when the red-clad fans arrive.

“When Nebraska comes to town, it’s a full town,” Scruggs said.

Rusty still spunky despite cancer treatments

While Rusty the therapeutic riding horse undergoes radiation treatment at MU, equine health manager Wendy Vail gives daily updates to his riders and volunteers 630 miles away in Ohio.

“I can’t walk through the doors of the center without someone asking me, ‘What’s the Rusty update?’” Vail said on Tuesday.

McCaskill considers challenge

State Auditor Claire McCaskill has yet to announce whether she will challenge Gov. Bob Holden in the Democratic primary next August, but members of Citizens Supporting McCaskill for Governor don’t want to take any chances.

The Springfield-based group, which is independent of the official Friends of McCaskill committee, uses a Web site and hot lines to organize volunteers and raise money. It has distributed around 200 pink-and-black signs across the state with the slogan “McCaskill for Governor.”

Youth center to boost size

Growing pains soon will subside for the Boone County Juvenile Justice Center.

The Boone County Commission on Thursday awarded Five Oaks Associates a $922,000 contract for expanding the center on Prathersville Road. The majority of the money will pay for additions to the center’s detention wing and classroom. The rest will cover the cost of expanding kitchen and storage areas.

Helicopter search ends

After more than four days without finding a trace of anything, the Boone County Fire Protection District officially called off its search Thursday for a helicopter that reportedly crashed in a soybean field west of Columbia.

“With nobody missing and no aircrafts missing, we’re pretty solid at this point in saying the search is unfounded,” said Rob Brown, chief of staff for the Boone County fire department.

Transcending the nutritional mystery of trans fat

Local teacher Amy Meyer stood in the aisle at Gerbes grocery store studying the nutrition facts of canned fruit. Her 3-year-old daughter, Lauren, squirmed in the cart filled with nutritious cereal and reduced-fat peanut butter.

With three children and a husband to shop for, Meyer wants to make sure that what she buys is healthful.

Group urges council to reject public-access channel plan

The Columbia Media Resource Alliance is asking the Columbia City Council to reject Mediacom’s proposal for a public-access channel. The alliance calls the proposal “unacceptable.”

In a letter to the council, the alliance said Mediacom in its proposal has chosen to ignore many issues. The alliance also suggested a three-part plan of action to tackle the issue.

Husker, Tiger game to tie up Columbia

If you don’t know a back way to your favorite places in Columbia, it might be a good time to get out your map and get to work.

When the Missouri football team plays Nebraska at 6 p.m. Saturday, it would probably be best to do one of two things: avoid the intersection of Providence Road and Stadium Boulevard or plan on spending the evening at home.

Car-shooting suspect arrested

A second suspect in a vehicular shooting that occurred early Wednesday morning has been arrested by the Columbia Police Department.

Myron Gervas Daniel, 23, of Columbia was arrested at 5:30 a.m. Thursday on suspicion of unlawful use of a weapon, police said in a press release.

Columbia boy wins golf date with Woods

Flying in an airplane makes Columbia’s Eliot Bogan more nervous than meeting Tiger Woods.

Eliot, 7, and his family will travel to Orlando, Fla., to receive a golf lesson from Woods after winning “The Dan Patrick Show’s Ten Tigers in Ten Days Promotion” on Thursday on ESPN Radio.

The science of making mushrooms

Quiet forests and old fields could hold thousands of dollars of untapped resources, say scientists at MU’s gourmet mushroom research project.

Abortion law facing halt

A federal judge said Wednesday he will block a new Missouri law that would have required physicians to wait 24 hours after consulting a woman before performing an abortion.

On the road to fitness

Missouri is spending more money per person for health care than the national average. But the state is in the bottom of nearly every measure of health, according to a study released Wednesday.

“We’re not getting enough from our investment,” said James Kimmey, president and CEO of Missouri Foundation for Health, which commissioned the study. “Despite the spending, we’re not getting results one would expect.”

Missouri to get funding to fight childhood obesity

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri will be getting federal funds to help reduce the number of overweight children in the state.

According to 2001 information gathered by the state’s Health Department, 21.5 percent of children in the state are overweight, which was a 2 percent increase from the previous year. These figures are significantly above the national average of 13 percent.

Agencies try to fill OATS gap

Three months after OATS, an agency that provides transportation for Missourian seniors, lost its funding and was forced to cut its services in half, local agencies find themselves in a crunch to pick up the slack.

The Boone County Senior Board met Wednesday with State Rep. Steve Hobbs, R-Mexico, and Boone County Council on Aging Director Lois Shelton to begin planning a course of action. Shelton said some local agencies are being overloaded with transportation requests from seniors.

On the road

Vladimir Yarets Alexeevich’s red motorcycle has seen the world and it shows.

The cycle, which Alexeevich calls his “little donkey,” is plastered with stickers from the states and countries of its travels. The Jawa350, manufactured in the Czech Republic, has taken Yarets through 29 countries including the Netherlands, Iceland, Spain, Morocco, Jamaica, Venezuela, Cuba and the United States.

Wal-Mart plan faces further scrutiny

The Wal-Mart Supercenter to be built in south Columbia will face additional scrutiny because of its proximity to Hinkson Creek, said Sierra Club representatives. The club also is questioning whether the development plans will stand up to state and federal regulations.

On Monday, the Columbia City Council rezoned a 53-acre site along Grindstone Parkway to accommodate plans for the Wal-Mart and accompanying commercial and residential development. Before work can begin, however, Aspen Acquisitions must apply for various state permits, most significantly a land-disturbance permit from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.