Veteran says conceal-carry law has too many restrictions to be effective

Jack L. Garrett grew up in a different era of Columbia’s history. Women’s suffrage in Missouri was less than a decade old, the Great Depression’s devastating financial collapse hadn’t hit and Charles Lindberg’s pioneering solo trans-Atlantic flight was still months away when Garrett was born into a city he remembers as a much safer place to live than it is today.

“There used to be a time when I wasn’t afraid to walk or even drive through parts of Columbia,” Garrett said. “Columbia was a little town, very comfortable to live in. There were really no problems and we didn’t have to worry much about locking doors or robbery. Now there are places in the city I won’t even go anymore.”

Gun decision

The ruling by a St. Louis judge that Missouri’s conceal-and-carry law violates the state constitution came as no real surprise to local state lawmakers.

Responsibility in recreation

Sarah Mounter owns two handguns and a shotgun. Although she doesn’t carry the handguns for protection, she said, as a woman, she feels more secure with them when she’s in her home alone.

“I do keep them accessible when I’m in my house and, yes, they do make me feel safer,” said the 40-year-old Mounter, who is a research associate in plant microbiology and pathology at MU.

Study finds overtired nurses err

Too many hours, too many patients and a lack of trust between nurses and management are to blame for nursing errors, according to a study released last week by the Institute of Medicine.

The study claimed the work environment of nurses needs to be revamped to protect patients from mistakes.

The rich win against ‘we the people’

Some of us who matured in another age (BD: before deregulation) seem to have stronger feelings about stealing than people who have matured AD (after deregulation). It’s true that there have always been people in business stealing from their customers or their investors. But it was harder to get away with when you had federal agencies breathing down your throats.

Boy, 6, lone suspect in killing

JEFFERSON CITY — A 6-year-old has been taken into custody as the only suspect in the shooting death of his grandfather, said Cole County Sheriff John C. Hemeyer.

“Statements made lead us to believe he is responsible for the death of his grandfather,” Hemeyer said during a press conference Saturday night.

Power plant to sell credit for pollution

The Municipal Power Plant began negotiations Thursday that will bring it more than $1.2 million in revenue, all from selling pollution rights.

Plant Supervisor Tad Johnsen formalized negotiations with the Ameren Energy division of fuels and services, a gas and electric provider, to use it as a broker for the power plant. It will sell the right to generate 6,071 tons of sulfur dioxide allowances, according to a report Johnsen wrote.

Judge blocks state’s new weapons law

Local stakeholders expressed mixed reactions to a judge’s ruling on Friday that blocked Missouri’s concealed gun law.

St. Louis Circuit Judge Steven Ohmer issued a permanent injunction against the conceal-and-carry law, saying it violates a provision of the Missouri Constitution that says the right to bear arms “shall not justify the wearing of concealed weapons.” The ruling blocks a law passed by the Missouri General Assembly to override Gov. Bob Holden’s veto.

New chapter in textbooks

Last fall, MU senior Andrew Zumwalt read an article online about buying textbooks overseas.

“I thought ‘This is something I can use,’” he said.

Director dreams big for Kemper property

When Boonville’s economic development director, Sarah Gallagher, thinks of the shut-down Kemper Military School, she sees it as the center of Boonville’s economic activity for the next 100 years.

Gallagher has endless ideas for the use of the property, which the city purchased for $480,000 in April.

A matter of time

Andrew Spain and his fellow paramedics sit in the University Hospital emergency room, making small talk, when their handheld radio crackles: “Medical emergency.” Details follow as they rush to their ambulance, Medic 20, hop in and flip on the sirens.

Spain’s partner grabs a road map and gives directions as Spain tries to balance medical urgency with safe driving. The heavy ambulance corners well but the ride is bumpy.

A paradise lost

When I stepped out of the battered minivan in Bukit Lawang in northern Sumatra, Indonesia’s largest island, I had a huge grin on my face, and not just because I had survived a hair-raising drive.

Word had it that the village was actually illegal, situated as it was inside the supposedly protected Gunung Leuser National Park. The idea of an illegal village appealed to the closet Indiana Jones in me — hence the grin.

Flood potential hits home with lax regulation

Fred Stolle paints a bleak picture of Indonesia’s forests.

Stolle, a research associate with Global Forest Watch at the World Resources Institute, said logging in Indonesia is rampant. “Basically, everyone with a chainsaw is cutting the forest,” Stolle said. In recent years, government officials have linked deforestation to devastating floods in areas ranging from Mexico to the Mekong Delta. A flood in Indonesia, widely attributed to logging, killed more than 200 people.

Enns earned acclaim for MU museum

Dr. Wilbur R. Enns had a passion for insects.

Enns, a professor emeritus of entomology at MU, was a world authority on mites and blister beetles and focused most of his research on these two groups of invertebrates. Dr. Enns also worked extensively with insect systematics and insect taxonomy, the classification of insects.

Child support scofflaws face state action

Parents who neglect their child support can now fear for the security of their professional licenses.

“If noncustodial parents don’t pay what is owed their children, the state has an obligation to take whatever legal action it can to recover that money,” Attorney General Jay Nixon said in a press release Friday.

Pastor celebrates 30 years

The Rev. John Prenger credits a vision for leading him four years ago to “a little white country church in a grove of trees — a real fixer-upper.”

With two assistants, Prenger preaches at Saints Francis and Clare Church in Hatton Chapel and presides over about 25 members. Prenger said the church, which is just northwest of Columbia off Route E on Hatton Chapel Road, is one of three Charismatic Episcopal Churches in Missouri. This type of church embodies a convergence of liturgical, charismatic and evangelical components of the Christian church.

Plaintiff awarded $325,000 in surgery lawsuit

The simple act of baking Halloween cookies with her young daughter this year brought 26-year-old Carrie Ratliff of Higbee to tears. Because she has reflex sympathetic dystrophy, a debilitating nerve condition, she could not hold the mixer needed to make the holiday treats.

In a civil trial that began Tuesday in Boone County Circuit Court, Ratliff charged Dr. Ronald D. Carter, a surgeon practicing at Columbia Orthopaedic Group, with causing her RSD by performing an unnecessary carpal tunnel surgery on Dec. 11, 1997. Ratliff’s cookie-baking experience is just one example her attorneys gave of how RSD affects her everyday life.

Fighting hunger from afar

The Rev. Zacchaeus Masake’s return to Kenya will mark one more step in winning the fight against food insecurity in his country, and Boone County residents can take some of the credit.

Masake and community members from Columbia, Centralia and Hartsburg are integral links in a chain of aid organized by the Foods Resource Bank.

Survival chances drop 7 percent each minute

In a medical emergency, every second counts.

“Any time someone has to wait longer for an ambulance, the risk of something severe happening increases,” said Andrew Spain, a University Hospital paramedic.

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.