Ashland group targets teen drug use

Turnout at the first Drug Task Force meeting in Ashland was a disappointment to the 18 people who showed up.

Those present were all members of organizations involved in reducing tobacco, alcohol and illegal substance use among Ashland’s youth. Members of the Boone County Sheriff’s Department and the Ashland Police Department, the PTA president, City Administrator Ken Eftink and some teachers were all there.

Fayette board votes to keep rental ordinance

The Fayette Board of Aldermen voted 4-2 Tuesday to keep a controversial ordinance. The ordinance sets minimum standards for property maintenance and requires owners to finance city inspections to ensure compliance with these requirements. The board reconsidered the ordinance after landlords voiced concerns at an Oct. 21 hearing that the law was too vaguely worded.

Money awarded for Rocheport housing projects

For Rocheport senior citizens living in Moniteau Housing, doing the laundry is about to get a lot easier.

Since 1974, residents of the eight apartments in the housing complex have washed clothes in the bathtub or used the machines of family or church members. Others load up their cars and drive to Columbia or Boonville to reach laundromats.

Panel calls for apology on roads

JEFFERSON CITY — The state Highways and Transportation Commission received a citizen panel’s report Tuesday on how to improve its credibility with the public but passed over its first opportunity to publicly apologize for dropping a 1992 highway plan.

A public apology was among the report’s recommendations.

Missouri Episcopal leaders weigh split

The Rev. Mike Kinman, prominent in Missouri’s Episcopal Church, likens a possible split over the consecration of an openly gay bishop to a big family fight at the Thanksgiving dinner table: ugly at the time but ultimately reconcilable because of the deep ties that bind.

Election Day Impressions

On Tuesday, Columbia residents were talking about sewers, growth and bonds -- the issues core to the election. They didn't all agree, but they all had something to say.

Ringo death sentence stands

In a unanimous 7-0 decision, the Missouri Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld the murder conviction and death sentence for the “Ruby Tuesday Killer” Earl Ringo Jr. The ruling rejects an appeal that the defendant’s trial lawyers failed to investigate his history of child abuse.

Ringo, 29, of Jeffersonville, Ind., was sentenced to death in July 1999 for killing Dennis Poyser, 45, and JoAnna Baysinger, 22, during an attempted robbery of the Ruby Tuesday restaurant at 2010 Bernadette Drive. Ringo, a former employee, was convicted on two counts of first-degree murder for the July 4, 1998 killings.

Troy man hurt in duck hunting accident

A Troy man injured in a hunting accident Tuesday morning remained in good condition Tuesday afternoon at University Hospital.

“The victim was very lucky,” said Brian Flowers, a hunting incident investigator with the Missouri Department of Conservation.

HIV/AIDS education focuses on Hispanics

Once a week, a carload of construction workers pulls up to Centro Latino de Salud and dispatches a man to pick up a supply of condoms for the crew.

Since Centro Latino, in Parkade Plaza on Business Loop 70 West, opened three years ago, it has given away thousands of free contraceptives. But center director Eduardo Crespi knows that, with the rate of HIV infection increasing most rapidly among minorities, it’s only the first step in educating Columbia’s Hispanic population about AIDS.

City considers new alcohol programs

In response to recent Missouri Division of Liquor Control budget cuts, Columbia is considering adopting new programs for alcohol enforcement, including creating an independent liquor control board. These issues were discussed at the City Council meeting Monday night.

The Division of Liquor Control reduced its number of field agents this year from 80 to 54. Special Agent Bill Alton is the only field agent overseeing Boone and five surrounding counties. Working out of his home in Moberly, Alton is in charge of an area that has 500 licensed premises that serve alcohol.

MU student, 19, dies in car wreck in rain on Interstate 70

Michael Clements will miss his friend Katie Odle at Shakespeare’s for Monday afternoon pizza.

This Monday, he sat at a table with friends Sammy Miles, Stephanie Arage, Chris Berg and Sheena Martin between classes, sipping a soda, sharing a pizza and talking about her.

Cuts again in store for Columbia’s teachers

For the second year in a row, teachers will be cut from the Columbia Public School District. But exactly how many and from which schools are months away from being determined.

With an extremely early estimate of a $12.1 million shortfall for the 2004-05 school budget, a cut of more than 250 teachers is possible. In budget discussions, Jacque Cowherd, deputy superintendent for administration, is using the estimate of about 23 full-time employees per $1 million.

Columbia College receives challenge gift

Columbia College is $300,000 closer to paying for the new Atkins-Holman Student Commons, thanks to a challenge gift from 1954 alumna Mary Agnes McQuinn.

McQuinn and her husband, Al McQuinn, have pledged to match 100 percent of every gift for the student commons — up to $300,000 — from now through September 2004. That means the college could get $600,000.

Ho Ho-hum

Columbia residents are only beginning to think about Thanksgiving turkeys, but local retailers are already getting ready for the Christmas shopping rush.

Holiday sales are expected to increase 5.7 percent this year to $217.4 billion, which would represent the largest increase since 1999, according to the National Retail Federation. Despite the high expectations, however, many local retailers say they’re doing nothing different from last year.

Reserving his place

Mike Shipp no longer worries about sand creeping into the pockets of his white doctor’s coat, but evidence of his recent military service in the Middle East — a splash of freckles across his nose — remains.

A physician’s assistant in University Hospital’s emergency room, Shipp is also a captain in Missouri’s Army National Guard. From December 2002 to early June 2003, he served in Qatar with the 205th Area Support Medical Company of Kansas City. While he said it was difficult to leave his family for Operation Enduring Freedom, he didn’t worry about leaving his job.

Saving a piece of history

Last summer, Debbie Sheals embarked on an ambitious task. Going from one address to another, she researched the architectural history of almost every building in Columbia’s Special Business District.

The result is a richly detailed report that could eventually put several dozen downtown buildings on the list of America’s most important cultural resources — the National Register of Historic Places.

The North Ninth Street Historic District could join National Register of Historic Places.

Seven buildings in a single block in downtown Columbia could soon be added to the National Register of Historic Places.

The buildings, known collectively as the “North Ninth Street Historic District,” will be considered this month by the Missouri Advisory Council on Historic Preservation for nomination to the register, a listing of the nation’s historic and archaeological resources.

A century of learning

Wearing a white suit, fake moustache and glasses, the hunched man wobbled into the gymnasium.

“Do you know who our special guest is?” Principal Mary Sue Gibson asked the students of Robert E. Lee Expressive Arts Elementary School on Friday morning.

A collection of counter culture

Wayne Penney will be the first to acknowledge that he doesn’t quite look like somebody who would manage a store like Sunshine Daydream Imports.

The former military man, with short brown hair and a brown mustache, owns what he calls a “hippie store” in downtown Columbia; Sunshine Daydream Imports at 812 E. Broadway.

Workers without insurance on the rise

The number of Missourians who had no health insurance in 2002 rose to almost 650,000, many of whom lacked coverage because they also lacked a job.

But more and more, even Missourians who are working are likely to be without health insurance.