Months after tornado, Stockton survives

On May 4, a town of 1,960 people in southwest Missouri

was leveled by a tornado. Almost as soon as its citizens

started digging out, they began asking, ‘Can we rebuild?’

Grindstone plan includes extra perks

A hiking trail. A 2-acre park. A recycling center. More than 40 acres of open space. A unique storm-water filtering system that would be the first of its kind in Columbia.

Those are just a few of the features developer Aspen Acquisitions has included in its plans in an effort to win approval of the 53-acre Grindstone Plaza development proposed for south Columbia.

Missouri earns ‘C’ at managing pain, regulating opioids

Missouri’s policies on pain management meet — but don’t yet beat — the national average, according to a new report from researchers at the University of Wisconsin. But a new council established this year by the Missouri General Assembly could change legislation that hinders patients’ access to drugs for chronic and acute pain.

Missouri earned a “C” overall for its policies on prescribing and regulating opioid drugs to control pain in a state-by-state evaluation that included the District of Columbia. That is up from a “D” in March 2000. No states scored an “A” or “F” overall.

Some catfish would get something of a reprieve

Since the late 1980s, anglers have taken an increasing interest in trying their luck at catching blue catfish and flatheads that can tip the scales at more than 100 pounds.

“Its quite a thrill catching a fish that big,” said Steve Eder, a fisheries official for the Missouri Department of Conservation.

Victim awarded $5 million

Head down, short brown hair falling in her eyes, Kelly Pope sat in the witness stand of a Boone County courtroom last week. She stared at a spot between her feet and relived the worst years of her life. “I would look at the sun coming in through the window,” she said finally, “and hope that someone would come protect me from these things I didn’t ask for or deserve. I wished that God or someone would come in there and say, ‘Stop.’ ”

A few feet away, Lester Pope, seated at a table with his attorney, listened with no apparent emotion as his adopted daughter repeated the testimony that helped send him to prison in 1990.

Kemper lease proposed

The Friends of Kemper Foundation announced plans for leasing the Kemper Military School in Boonville. If the plan is accepted by the city of Boonville, the foundation hopes to reopen the school within the next two years.

The plan to lease, not buy, the school was announced at an alumni association banquet Saturday night. Steve Read, chairman of the foundation, said, “We feel the city is behind us. It’s our general impression that everyone wants to see Kemper reopen.”

MU fund raiser more than halfway to goal

When the “For All We Call Mizzou” fund-raising campaign officially went public on Friday, MU had raised more than 50 percent of its $600 million goal.

David Housh, vice chancellor of development and alumni relations, announced the totals at an opening reception in Jesse Auditorium — an event packed with alumni, donors and guests. The goal is to raise $600 million for MU by the end of 2005.

A wide gulf

Wendy Malmberg had been looking forward to celebrating Thanksgiving with her husband, an Army reservist serving in Iraq.

1st Lt. Jay Malmberg with the 352nd Civil Affairs Command has been separated from his family since last December.

Fall brings sewer line intrusions

Autumn is a time for football, fallen leaves, and in some older Boone County homes, a tree root clogging the sewer line.

Fixing the problem is, at minimum, a messy nuisance, but in worst-case scenarios can cost hundreds of dollars.

Outlook drab for autumn’s leaf viewing

As if the summer drought wasn’t hard enough on crops and people, now it looks as if Missouri’s fall foliage will be on the drab side.

“The dry conditions won’t help the fall color. Trees have been losing leaves already and will continue to do so before they have the opportunity to change color,” said Ann Koenig, an urban forester for the Missouri Department of Conservation.

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.