Mo. court sets aside Columbia killer’s sentence

Ruling that juries — not judges — should decide between life and death for a defendant, the Missouri Supreme Court on Tuesday set aside the death sentence for a Columbia man convicted of killing three people.

In a 7-0 decision, the state high court resentenced Deandra Buchanan, 30, to life in prison without possibility of parole or probation for the November 2000 killings of his aunt, girlfriend and stepfather.

Budget forces library database cutbacks

The University of Missouri system’s MERLIN libraries have cut $159,000 worth of database subscriptions in the past few months as budgetary reins have been tightened, said Mary Ryan, head of Ellis Reference Services at MU.

The most popular database of the ones being cut, Periodical Abstracts, was discontinued Tuesday.

Bunny boom greets hunting season opener

Robyn Raisch began his search at sunrise in early July. He drove 30 miles of country roads in north-central Boone County, pacing himself at 20 mph and counting each and every cottontail rabbit he saw.

“It gives you a good reason to be up early and watch the sun come up,” said Raisch, a state conservation agent in Boone County. “I just putt along and watch the rabbits.”

New life in America

After church last Sunday, the congregation of Rock Bridge Christian Church passed around a white construction hat at the groundbreaking for their new sanctuary. Instead of going toward the building project, the money filling the hat was used to buy a mattress and box springs.

The furnishings were the finishing touches in an apartment that will be home to a family of six refugees from Liberia who arrived in Columbia late Monday night.

Concealed arms would be banned on county property

In anticipation of Oct. 11, the date a new concealed-gun law will go into effect, county and city governments are enacting policies to ban concealed weapons.

When the Boone County Commission meets tonight, it is scheduled to vote on an order that would ban concealed weapons on county property. An existing order bans weapons on county property but does not specifically apply to concealed weapons.

Bush OKs do-not-call law amid continued debate in courts

WASHINGTON — While court fights continued, President Bush on Monday signed legislation to ratify the Federal Trade Commission’s authority to set up a national do-not-call list that could lead to fines for telemarketers.

“The public is understandably losing patience with these unwanted phone calls, unwanted intrusions,” Bush said. “Given a choice, Americans prefer not to receive random sales pitches at all hours of the day. The American people should be free to restrict these calls.”

Pieces of the Past

Black smoke pours from a gristmill, grinding corn, wheat and rye that will be fed into a nearby whiskey distillery. In the distance men cut down trees that will burn and create enough steam power to run the mill. A blacksmith pounds metal into horseshoes. Hogs squeal from their pens, crying for a morning meal of leftover grain.

This scene from 1850 characterized mid-Missouri’s first industrial center that once stood on the same land as Rock Bridge Memorial State Park.

Reflecting on exercise

Mirror-lined walls and fitness centers go together like french fries and hamburgers. But are mirrors at the gym any healthier for women than a value meal?

Not if you believe a recent study from Canada.

From can to critic: Couple becomes coffee, tea experts

When Gary and Susan Pfau bought Coffee, Tea & Spice, they were drinking coffee from the can, but one year and a variety of flavors later, they have become coffee experts.

The Pfaus purchased the store in May 2002, when it was located at Chapel Hill Plaza, and reopened it July 22 in Parkade Plaza. When the Pfaus bought the store, there were no coffee beans and few tea bags in stock. However, they still had the coffee roaster, teapots, mugs, cookies, instant cocoa and coffee mixes to move. For the next two months, the Pfaus studied characteristics of different coffees and teas before reopening the business.

Come in, we're (still) open

One of the most trusted people in a man’s life is his barber. And trust is what keeps customers coming back to Tiger Barber Shop on Ninth Street.

At one time, there were at least six barber shops on Ninth Street. Today, Tiger Barber Shop is one of only two that remain. The shop has been open for 80 years and today serves people who began coming in the 1950s.

A Fork in the Road

Fairview resident Sharon Stevens and her husband, Frank Schmidt, have dreaded completion of Rollins Road for the past 15 years.

“I hoped they’d never get to it,” said Stevens, whose home is at the edge of Fairview Park at Westport Drive and the end of Rollins Road.

Petition calls for curbs on panhandling

Almost every morning at 7 a.m., Leigh Lockhart, owner of The Main Squeeze on Ninth Street, finds the same man passed out in a dirty baseball cap in front of her café.

The problem is more than people sleeping on benches.

Boone County to get changes in zoning code

Extensive revisions to Boone County’s zoning regulations are beginning to show up on county commission agendas for final approval.

The revisions are the product of a series of public hearings and lengthy discussions by the Boone County Planning and Zoning Commission over the spring and summer. At its Tuesday night meeting, the Boone County Commission is scheduled to approve revisions to the first five sections of the zoning code.

The Meter Readers

It’s already nearing 90 degrees at 9:30 on a Thursday morning, and Jimmy Ott has found his oasis — a large, red Water and Light van cresting a hill in the Valleyview Garden subdivision.

Perspiration staining his blue work shirt and Cardinals hat, his sleeves rolled up and arms baking in the sun, he fills his paper cup twice from the mud-stained cooler that sits in the van’s back seat. He finally called in on his radio for water after having walked several miles on his meter-reading route, which isn’t completed yet.

I’m ready for fall and the remote

This is my favorite season of the year. I’ve tired of summer, especially this past summer when the temperature soared to such heights that I holed up inside for days not wanting to venture out into the heat. I’m sick of my skin sticking to my clothing even indoors with the air conditioner going full blast. I want to see a utility bill under $200.

I’ve become bored with my clothes. I want to exchange the shorts and cotton-knit tops with sweaters and shoes that aren’t flip-flops.

This Old House

On any weekend, Becky Snider can be found balanced atop scaffolding next to her house, carefully scraping layers of paint off the wood siding and shingles.

  “As a historic preservationist I couldn’t live in a historic house with vinyl siding,” Becky says. “The good thing is the wood is in decent shape, and there are shingles on the house, which add interest.”

Without words

The mime talked.

The mime also did the usual mime things: He ran into invisible walls. He acted like a lost baby, looking for his mother. He stomped around like a disgruntled dinosaur.

University merger delayed

A proposed merger between the University of Missouri system and Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville will take longer than expected. Thorny issues such as admission standards, educational fees, changing Northwest’s name and workers’ compensation have slowed the merger, officials from both universities said Friday.

This is the second time in five months that the universities have decided to delay seeking approval.

Competition awards artists for work

Starting this weekend, the 44th Annual Boone County Art Show includes paintings, drawings, sculpture, ceramics and more. The show, cosponsored by Boone County National Bank and the Columbia Art League, features 275 works of art by 182 artists.

The popular choice award and the bank’s purchase award will be announced at 4:30 p.m. today in the lobby of Boone County National Bank on the corner of Eighth Street and Broadway. All of the entries will be on display in the lobby and selected works of art will remain on display through October.

Insurance on tower questioned

Children with painted faces licked powdered sugar from their fingers, their tummies full of funnel cake. Nearby, parents browsed among craft booths, greeted neighbors and hoped the rain would hold off. As dark storm clouds rumbled into Ashland on Saturday afternoon, threatening to soak the town’s annual Fall Festival, a gray tower stood alone against the skyline. Colorful footholds jutted out from the wall’s surface; however, any adventurer hoping to reach its craggy summit was out of luck.