The spirit of survival

Young cancer survivors and their families cheered from their reserved seats near the end zone as cannons fired in celebration of MU’s first touchdown. On Saturday, these children didn’t worry about fighting disease. Their concern was another type of battle: MU vs. Middle Tennessee State University.

Before the game, families convened outside the Veteran’s Administration Hospital to attend the third annual Childhood Cancer Awareness MU tailgate party. The barbeque and other activities were organized by Children’s Hospital to recognize Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

Awkward memories of church

It seems that the most embarrassing times in my life have been at church. I spent eight years being taught by nuns in parochial schools, and daily Mass was mandatory. Back then, females had to cover their heads when entering the church. I can remember on more than one occasion forgetting to bring the standard-issue beanie that matched my navy blue uniform. And although I never found in any of the commandments that forgetting your beanie was a sin, I think the nuns had their own set of rules that they learned in the convent. There would be one nun stationed in the back of church on the lookout for little girls with bare heads. She would spring from her seat in the last pew and grab me shaking her head. Then sighing she would produce a Kleenex from her pocket and attach it to my head with a bobby pin.

Children who were late for Mass were relegated to the back pews. On one of the many occasions that I was stuck in the back of church, I was joined by another child who was also a latecomer. For some reason, the sergeant-of-arms nun had vacated her post. The two of us started talking and giggling. It was not easy to pay attention. Mass was said in Latin in the 1950s, and I only knew a few words. Back then the priest said Mass with his back turned to the congregation, so our antics went unnoticed.

Creative cacophony

Crammed in a hallway between painted white brick walls, the Columbia Shape-Note Singers sit in a traditional hollow square shape, facing each other, and belt out their parts, trying to listen to others and harmonize. They are trebles, altos, tenors and basses but both women and men sing treble and tenor, so the double octave produces the effect of six parts. Usually the group practices upstairs at Trinity Presbyterian Church but tonight they’ve been booted for a meeting. So they make do with the hallway’s odd acoustics and the fact their two tenors are missing.

  Penny and Lou Kujawinski have been members seven years, but the group was formed earlier. They think Columbia Shape-Note Singers is ten years old — it’s therefore considered a young group. Shape note singing began in the Northeast and at one time was national. It died out as a result of the “Better Music Movement” and was only preserved in the South. Now the music and singing groups are again nationwide. The local group has 10 members and is always looking for new people.

Double standards

On July 1, Wanda Saunders stared out the window of her apartment as uniformed men with German shepherds went door-to-door at Columbia Square Apartments. Saunders wasn’t sure what the men were up to, but since they didn’t come to her door she went back to watching TV.

When Saunders later found out the men and dogs were conducting random drug searches of the property, she saw it as just one more intrusion into the lives of Columbia Square residents by Yarco, the private, Kansas-City-based management company that took over the federally subsidized 128-unit complex at 1801 W. Worley St. two years ago.

Groups debate Kemper’s fate

A group dedicated to Kemper Military School in Boonville has begun discussions that could lead to the school’s reopening.

In a closed session Thursday night, the Friends of Kemper Foundation met with Boonville’s Industrial Development Authority to discuss the future of the school, which was founded in 1844.

What a glass: Tough enough for hurricanes

As the heavy rain and 95-mph winds of Hurricane Isabel churned toward the East Coast, many residents in the storm’s path took the time-honored precaution of reinforcing windows and glass doors with tape.

Such measures may not be necessary in the future. An MU researcher is developing a type of glass that could reduce the property damage and physical injuries caused by tropical storms and hurricanes.

I-70 widening project prompts concerns

Along Interstate 70 through Columbia are numerous businesses, parks and neighborhoods. Now that the widening of I-70 in the Columbia corridor is being discussed, people are wondering how those places will be affected.

On Thursday, residents and city officials attended a public meeting at the Columbia Activity and Recreation Center held by the Improve I-70 Advisory Group. The advisory group is responsible for gathering public input on the different approaches that could be used to widen the interstate.

Not ‘solely’ for food

A surprise awaited visitors of the Loaves and Fishes Soup Kitchen on Thursday afternoon.

In addition to the free pizza delivered by Shakespeare’s every Tuesday and Thursday, visitors were fitted for and given free pairs of Naot brand shoes and sandals. The shoes were donated to the St. Francis House by Yaleet Inc., makers of Naot Footwear. Student volunteers from the Hillel Foundation helped with the fitting.

Sewer district promotes bond issue

In the next few months, groups all over Boone County will spend their lunch hours hearing and talking about sewers.

Representatives from the Boone County Regional Sewer District are making the rounds to build support for a $3.85 million bond issue that Boone County voters, including Columbia residents, will be asked to approve in November.

MU center interviews candidates

Four finalists, including an MU professor, will be on campus over the next three weeks to interview for the first ever Life Sciences director position.

The finalists are: Hans Bohnert, professor of plant biology and crop sciences at the University of Illinois; David Hart, professor of microbiology and infectious diseases and medicine at the University of Calgary; R. Michael Roberts, curators professor at MU and F. Robert Tabita, professor of microbiology for Ohio State University.

Students discuss public policy issues in meeting

An effort is under way in Columbia public schools to help students become more actively involved in the public policy-making process. On Tuesday, Hickman High School students gathered for the first of these discussions designed to resemble town hall meetings.

“It is extracurricular, but it is complementary to the curriculum,” said George Frissell, chairman of the Language Arts Department at Hickman and organizer of the meetings.

Philips tract forum postponed

A public hearing on proposed development of the 489-acre Philips tract was tabled Thursday by the Columbia Planning and Zoning Commission at the request of developer Elvin Sapp.

The commission has rescheduled the hearing for Oct. 9.

Amnesty for warrants ending

Today is the last day Columbians can settle their arrest warrants without being penalized.

The Municipal Court Arrest Warrant Amnesty program, which gives residents the opportunity to expunge warrants without being arrested and exempts them of additional fees, ends at 4 p.m. today. Those wanting to participate must turn themselves in at Municipal Court, 600 E. Broadway, and pay the tickets or fines assessed by a judge.

Short bench slows Stars

Stephens College coach Carrie Crossett knows it is difficult to be competitive when your soccer team lacks the depth to field a solid practice.

Harris-Stowe State College defeated the Stars 9-0 at Cosmopolitan Park on Thursday night.

Curators approve $175 million bond issue

The University of Missouri Board of Curators on Thursday approved the sale of $175 million in revenue bonds to pay for projects on all four campuses and to refund bonds issued in 1993.

A maximum of $134 million will be used for construction projects.

MU's Capital Campaign announces fundraising success

Dressed in their best black-tie and gold apparel, alumni, donors and guests gathered in Jesse Auditorium for the historical announcement of the $334.7 million raised since the initiation of MU’s capital campaign in 1999.

Citizens rebuff city curfew

Members of the NAACP and some concerned citizens have been knocking on First Ward doors to ask residents for their opinions on a proposed curfew ordinance, and for any alternative ideas they have for reducing juvenile crime.

Mary Ratliff, president of the Columbia branch of the NAACP, said she and nine other people surveyed at least 80 residents Tuesday evening in the Park Street area and in public housing around St. Paul Church.

Alderman files early for post

The race for the Boone County Southern District commissioner got off to an early start this week.

Mike Asmus, an Ashland alderman and member of the town’s Planning and Zoning Commission, declared Tuesday his intent to run for the office, almost seven months before the required March 30 filing deadline. The office is now held by Karen Miller, a Democrat.

Huntsdale vote triples town area

In its boldest move since incorporation, Huntsdale’s Town Council has voted to triple the size of the riverside town by annexing 68 acres.

The three-to-one vote Monday added 68 acres of a new development to the town. The annexed area, adjacent to the Missouri River and the Katy Trail, includes a boat ramp, campsite and bait shop owned by Linda Lenau and Robert Brown, who have also expressed interest in developing an RV park near the trail.

Group will discuss how to widen I-70

The Improve I-70 Advisory Group will meet today to discuss options for widening Interstate 70 through Columbia.