House vote fails to trump Holden’s veto

JEFFERSON CITY — Legislators fell short Wednesday in an effort to override Gov. Bob Holden’s veto of a bill that would have made sweeping changes to the state’s child abuse and neglect system.

Attacks fuel public affairs enrollment

The events of Sept. 11, 2001, have been linked to increased enrollment in public affairs and public administration schools nationwide, including MU’s Truman School of Public Affairs.

Before Sept. 11, 2001, 24 students were enrolled in the MU program for that fall. By the next year, a 75 percent increase brought enrollment up to 42.

Refugee intake still curtailed two years after terror attacks

The Rev. John Yonker has been waiting nine months for a phone call. It has been that long since the First Christian Church of Columbia applied to resettle a refugee family from war-torn Sudan, but there’s still no word on their arrival.

“We are kind of anxious,” Yonker said. “People keep wondering when they will come.”

Security funds roll in ... but so do headaches

Two years after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, states and cities are settling into a new annual tradition: going cap-in-hand to federal agencies for homeland security dollars.

But all beggars aren’t equal, and debate is still raging in Washington when it comes to distributing the millions. Big-city representatives demand a “threat-based” calculation that would send more money to cities such as New York and St. Louis, citing high-profile targets such as the Empire State Building and the Arch. Those from rural areas argue that other factors, such as agricultural safety and power plants, should also figure prominently in the distribution formula.

Local 9/11 memorial events

Courthouse ceremony commemorates 9/11

Two years after the tragedy and devastation of September 11, 2001, American citizens gathered across the nation to pause for reflection and bow their heads in prayer.

About 300 people joined at the Boone County Courthouse this morning for a small but poignant ceremony to remember those who lost their lives and to praise those who fought to save them. Mayor Darwin Hindman spoke, and representatives of many local emergency agencies attended.

Two injured in I-70 accident near Rocheport

A graduation portrait stared back at rescue workers Thursday afternoon as they cleaned up the wreckage of an I-70 accident near Rocheport in which two senior citizens from Illinois were injured.

Driver Donald Clark, 71, sustained moderate injuries and was driven to University Hospital, Missouri State Highway Patrol reported. Enedina Clark sustained serious injuries and was flown to University Hospital in a medical helicopter.

No sweat

Every gym has its culture: its soundtrack, its clients, its sweat. But Columbia’s 9-month-old Activity and Recreation Center is not just a gym.

DMV test-drives new technology

Driver exams in Columbia have entered the 21st century.

People applying for a state license can now take their exams on a touch-screen computer rather than the traditional written test.

City settles lawsuit over fiber optics

A formal settlement that ends a lawsuit by CenturyTel against the city of Columbia should ease tension between the two over whether the city should provide fiber-optics service to local businesses.

The settlement, approved last week by the Columbia City Council, will suspend the issue until the U.S. Supreme Court reaches a decision on a larger, but similar case in its 2003-2004 session. The high court’s decision could affect the way many businesses nationwide choose their fiber-optics service and could decide whether cities would be able to compete as service providers.

Flying Tigers prepares for takeoff

Wes Stricker is in the final stages of an effort to establish his new company, Flying Tigers, at Columbia Regional Airport.

Nearly a year after the former co-owner of Ozark Air Lines won approval of his proposal for a new fixed-base operation at the airport, Stricker is preparing for takeoff. Fixed-base operations provide services such as flight instruction, aircraft maintenance, charter flights, sales and refueling. Flying Tigers would become the second such operation at the airport.

License plates to observe Sept. 11

After Sept. 11, Vincent Rotundo pictured a license plate that would unite Americans in their hatred of terrorism and remembrance of the victims.

Officials in his home state of Virginia thought he was onto something, and in July 2002 Virginia unveiled the first “fight terrorism” license plate.

On Thursday, there will be a Sept. 11 memorial service at the state Capitol. Rotundo plans to be there, alongside Gov. Bob Holden, when Missouri publicly announces the release of its own “fight terrorism” plate.

Seven MU programs evaluated

The University of Missouri is considering merging or closing programs on its four campuses — including seven degree programs at MU — because they cost too much or they graduate too few students.

In addition to the seven programs, two MU departments are targeted for evaluation. Lori Franz, MU vice provost for undergraduate studies, said a committee is developing criteria to use in evaluating the programs.

Campaign ads scrutinized

Fall TV season is here, but MU communications professor Bill Benoit is tuning in for the new season of political advertisements — and handing down judgment.

Benoit, nationally known for his research on political campaign ads, analyzes and records information about what candidates target in their ads, and how they go about it. He then compares candidates’ strategies.

Items stolen from deputy found in ditch

A group of cyclists riding in the MS 150 Bike Tour on Saturday discovered several discarded items that were stolen from a Boone County deputy’s home near Hallsville Friday, according to Boone County Sheriff’s Capt. Kevin Merritt.

Merritt declined to provide details about which of the stolen items the cyclists found in a ditch alongside the road in the 11200 block of Route Z southeast of Hallsville.

Mo. tax loophole under fire

JEFFERSON CITY — Its namesake may be cute and lovable, but the “Geoffrey Loophole” has elicited sharp opinions.

The non-Missouri source income and intangibles tax, better known for the nickname derived from the Toys“R”Us giraffe mascot, exempts some large Missouri corporations from paying state income taxes.

The hard road to safety

Thomas Hutchinson has been on a mission since his grandson Tommy Hutchinson and friend Brandon Wright-Hyler were killed June 11 when they pulled into the path of a tractor-trailer on U.S. Highway 63 at Ponderosa Street. The quest: pushing for ways to make the intersection safer.

“How many kids have to die there before they change it?” Hutchinson asked.

Study shows schools’ strengths

When Phyllis Chase arrived in July to lead the Columbia Public School District as superintendent, she turned to citizens to find out how public education plays out in Columbia.

On Monday night, Chase told the Columbia Board of Education what she learned through a survey of about 80 people, including parents, staff, community and business members.

Public channel moves closer to reality

Mediacom, Columbia’s largest cable television provider, will send a proposal to the Columbia City Council this week that would establish studio access and equipment for a new public-access channel.

If the city approvesthe proposal, the studio could be set up pretty quickly, said Gary Baugh, director of operations for Mediacom.

DNR fund aids town, creates class project

Columbia Street in Rocheport is slowly caving in and breaking apart, but a stormwater grant from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources should soon change that.

Rocheport is one of 74 communities to benefit from $10 million in grants awarded last week by the DNR.