Affordable-housing obstacles studied

Strengthening public policy and planning will help Columbia overcome affordable housing obstacles, according to a city consultant’s final report about Columbia’s housing market.

Dallas-based J-Quad and Associates presented its final report to the Housing Steering Committee on Tuesday. The firm mainly used data from the U.S. Census Bureau and from city or local housing agencies to compile the report.

Senate panel hears bill to bar Floyd’s consolidation plan

JEFFERSON CITY — Two members of the Senate Education Committee voiced support for a bill to prohibit the president of the University of Missouri system from occupying the position of a chancellor of an individual campus.

The bill was heard Tuesday by the committee.

Columbia honored with budget prize

For the eighth consecutive year, the city of Columbia has earned the Distinguished Budget Presentation Award from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada.

The GFOA also awarded the city a certificate of achievement for excellence in financial reporting. City Finance Director Lori Fleming said the city has received that award more than 20 years in a row.

Rocheport winery set to expand its facilities

Don’t call Curtis Bourgeois to reserve a room at the hotel in Rocheport — there’s no vacancy.

Bourgeois, part-owner of Les Bourgeois Vineyards in Rocheport, is storing nearly all his inventory in the rooms of the rundown hotel adjacent to Les Bourgeois’ tasting room and gift shop.

Trading cards show off Mo. River

A new trading card series entered the market Tuesday, but it doesn’t feature Alex Rodriguez in Yankee pinstripes.

It’s the fourth set in a card series created by the Department of Natural Resources highlighting Missouri’s natural wonders. But this year the cards are more specific — commemorating two local favorites, the Missouri River and the bicentennial of the Lewis and Clark expedition.

School forum discusses gay marriage

It was standing room only at Hickman High School’s Speak Your Mind Forum Tuesday night. More than 100 people attended the evening’s discussion about the legal issues concerning marriage and the religious ordination of gays and lesbians.

“This is a pretty hot topic in the news right now,” said Jimmy Janes, a senior at Hickman. “The idea that you want to restrict a group of people from achieving a pretty basic goal (of marriage) in society seems over the top.”

Methodists look to expand church property

With an eye on the needs of future parishioners, Missouri United Methodist Church is planning to grow.

The massive limestone church at Ninth and Locust streets is in the preliminary design phase of a projected $8.5 million expansion that would add about 40,000 square feet to its existing facilities, which now measure about 64,000 square feet, the Rev. Neal Lassinger said.

Jacobsen fighting for votes in 9th District

Linda Jacobsen has an uphill battle to fight against Kenny Hulshof, who has represented Missouri’s 9th District in the U.S. House for the last eight years.

Hulshof, a Republican who opposes gay marriage and supports President Bush’s tax-relief plan, will be fighting for a fifth term this November.

Sheriff won’t issue new gun permits

Boone County gun owners will now have to go to Ashland or Hallsville if they want to apply for conceal-and-carry permits.

The sheriff’s department will not be accepting applications for conceal-and-carry permits, according to a department press release. The decision was made during a two-hour meeting Monday with Boone County Sheriff Ted Boehm, the county’s legal adviser and the Ashland and Hallsville police chiefs.

Radio giant buys seven area stations

Premier Marketing Group announced Monday that it is selling its seven local radio stations to Atlanta-based Cumulus Media Inc. in a deal worth $38.75 million.

Pending approval by the Federal Communications Commission, Cumulus, the second largest U.S. radio broadcasting company, will take ownership of KFRU-AM, KBXR-FM, KOQL-FM, KPLA-FM, KBBM-FM, KLIK-AM and KJMO-FM by the end of the year. Cumulus will begin operating the stations immediately under a local marketing agreement with Premier.

Philips opponents fault City Council

Opponents of the Philips development fear the Columbia City Council has spent far too much time doing public business — in private.

At its meeting Monday night, as the council adopted a series of amendments to developer Elvin Sapp’s plans for the 489 acres in southeast Columbia, the public got its first chance to voice its opinions on the changes. Sapp wants the council to annex and zone the land to allow for nearly 2 million square feet of homes, businesses and office buildings.

Arena whistles while they work

Jim Henley has worked in construction for 25 years and says he’s never heard anything like it.

The construction project manager for MU came to work Monday morning on the new MU basketball arena prepared for the usual sounds of gravel crunching under tire wheels and the roar of truck engines. He never expected an industrial symphony.

Ticket trouble

When a family emergency kept MU senior Nick Ziegler commuting between Columbia and his hometown of Kansas City last month, the last thing on his mind was the coming MU men’s basketball game against Kansas.

After his family issues were resolved, Ziegler returned to Columbia on Feb. 20 and went to the Hearnes Center to pick up a ticket to the KU game as part of the All Sports Pass he bought at the beginning of the school year. But Ziegler’s student ticket, along with 2,099 others, had been sold to the general public.

Funds aid nutrition program

MU’s Food Stamp Nutrition Education Program has received the largest grant in its 10-year history from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service.

The grant, which is contingent upon matching funds from MU, will give the program $5.8 million this year and can be renewed for an additional four years.

Price of finale tickets is dear

Greg Winscott, who works in the ticket office at the Hearnes Center, has been doing his share of apologizing lately.

The calls keep coming from fans in search of the hottest ticket in town: the last men’s basketball game in the Hearnes Center on Sunday against the Kansas Jayhawks.

Inside Job

Abercrombie & Fitch’s shrink rate, or level of lost inventory, is usually below three. A few years ago, one store’s rate mysteriously sky-rocketed to 12.

Was it customer shoplifting? A clerical error?

Inside Sports shields athletic practice from non-suitable weather

Negative temperatures in the winter and heat waves in the summer can cause dedicated athletes to seek an indoor sports facility to train year-round.

Inside Sports provides just that, offering an indoor training and a practice facility that includes clinics and instructional opportunities with professional athletes. While the center emphasizes baseball and softball services, it also has instructors on hand for a variety of other sports.

Trout season opens

MU student Andrew Hippert still recalls the first time he went fishing for trout.

"I remember when I was about three years old, and I went with my grandfather to fish for my first time at Tilles Park in Brentwood," said Hippert, a parks, recreation and tourism major.

Arrest made in jewelry forgeries

E.J. Silverbrooke & Co., a wholesale imported jewelry store, sits in the corner of a blue-gray office building on Vandiver Drive.

The store’s owner, a former minister named Tim Meyers, is described by family members and former employees as devoutly religious and a loyal family man who named his business after his three children: Evan, Joel and Emilie Brooke. Those who know Meyers say he’s not the kind of man who would knowingly commit a crime.

Schools keep an eye on reserves

Stashed away in a school district’s annual budget is a fund that, ideally, should never be touched.

That fund, known as a district’s reserves, is designed to help a public school district survive a year, or maybe two or three, of financial difficulty.